I ALMOST BOUGHT a $9 greeting card the other day. Nine American dollars. The only way to justify charging $9 for a greeting card is if it comes with $6. If I were making minimum wage in Oregon, it would take me an hour of work to afford that greeting card. AN EIGHTH OF MY WORKDAY WOULD BE DEVOTED TO AFFORDING THAT FUCKING CARD. There wasn't anything special about this greeting card, either. There was a construction-paper bird on it, evoking whatever sense of free-spirited whimsy a bird is supposed to evoke, looking blissfully unaware that it was all part of some vicious plot to get someone to buy a greeting card that cost as much as 21.6 inches of Subway sandwich.
I've spent the last however-long-I've-been-alive just buying greeting cards because the practice was handed down to me by my very-considerate parents. I didn't question the custom back when I had no concept of how much money adults had, I just bought greeting cards because my mom always bought greetings cards, like how you feel when you meet a religious child. Well you fucking blew it, Papyrus. Nobody needs a $9 greeting card, and you know what, nobody needs a greeting card at all. Nobody has ever needed a greeting card. As far as I can tell, a greeting card is good for three things.
1. HOLDING MONEY: When I was a kid, every time I got a card I would open it up, check to see if there was money inside, and then pretend to read the card for as long as it took to convince people that I wasn't just some typical kid, but a deep, almost eerily placid child who appreciated a warm turn of phrase far more than the Magic cards I was going to buy with the money that I didn't even notice until it fell out of the card, what beautiful paper stock! Thank you, Karen! When you get a card with a $15 check in it, there's a moment where you think, "You could have just given me an $18 check and saved the card." The only problem with that is, an envelope with money in it is so impersonal, which brings us to...
2. GREETING CARDS LET YOU CO-OPT SOMEONE ELSE'S FEELINGS: Hell yeah! This card has some flowery message, and then I can just sign my name at the bottom of this message, and then that message is from me! I know it seems nice, but it's all a charade. You think you're the only one who spent four minutes in a Safeway on the way to the party picking out a card that was either sweet enough to pass off as considerate or ridiculous enough to pass off as a joke you spent time thinking about? If you insist on buying something to stand in for your feelings, buy them a comic book instead of a card, it costs the same and it mighty actually get used. Buy them a pack of gum and stick it to their present, everybody likes gum. Or! Sit down and write a fucking letter. It doesn't have to be long, but your grandma would probably appreciate a heart-felt message, however short, to the Ziggy card you bought her because she probably likes Ziggy because she was born before Negro League Baseball existed. But of course, there is that third reason greeting cards exist...
3. JUST KIDDING, THERE AREN'T EVEN THREE REASONS: Fuck greeting cards!