Monday, September 13, 2010

Holidays I Skip

My mom left a message on our answering machine yesterday to remind us that it was Grandparent’s Day. “Don’t worry,” she said, “we can wait and celebrate when I come down there on Wednesday.” Sure, and while we’re at it, let’s start celebrating Arbor Day, and Washington’s birthday, and Columbus Day. I mean, at least Christopher Columbus discovered America (well, not really, but that’s another blog for another day). All grandparents did was have children that got pulled into the same vicious cycle of parenting as them. And those marketing tyrants over at Hallmark decided to capitalize on this common coincidence. But, how dare them try to shove another greeting card obligation down our throats! I saw on the Today show last week that the mark-up on cards is like 200%. So, their money-lust really should be satisfied by all the birthday, Christmas, Valentine’s, Mother’s Day, and Father’s Day cards we buy. I remember one year when my kids got Easter cards in the mail and my initial reaction was “What sucker bought them Easter cards?” Their grandparents, of course.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not completely against the idea of cards. I got some that I really loved for my birthday this year. But they’ve gone on to that big American Greeting Graveyard in the sky. Cards at my house have about a four day shelf life, which is still a much higher survival rating than they get with my brother. He opens and reads cards above his garbage can to expedite their disposal. Even if they warm his heart or make him laugh, they’re read and gone. Because he’s a practical guy and he has never seen any point in holding onto things like that. I don’t know what the opposite of a pack rat is, a smart cookie maybe, but that’s him. And every time I see one of those Oprah specials about hoarders, I’m reminded of the superiority of this way of thinking. I know his grandchildren will appreciate it when they don’t have to dig their inheritance out of 40 tons of mildewed sentimental refuse. They’ll also appreciate not feeling obligated to send him said sentiments.

On a related note, I’m not a big fan of the written thank-you cards either. To me it’s just Emily Post legalism, plain and simple. If I say thank-you when I get a gift from you, or you do something nice for me, why the big charade over mailing a note? It’s like saying, “I’m so thankful I’m wasting postage.” Can’t we just get by on the verbal gratitude? I got a thank-you text the other day and I loved it. I was like “And thank you, friend, for saving me a trip to the trash can.”

I'm not sure what Mom wants or expects for Grandparent’s Day. Clearly, I can’t afford gifts because I had three kids! I suppose I could make a cake, mostly because I’m always looking for an excuse to eat cake. I could probably loan her the grandchildren in question for a day, or a week, or even a half a month. That seems like an appropriate gift for the occasion, does it not? All I know is that if she’s hoping for some greeting cards, she better not be holding her breath.


  1. This post cracked me up! And the previous one had some really funny parts, but I feel guilty for laughing because when I think about what it's really saying, it's not good that you're having some health issues. Hoping and praying that all can be cured with some iron that spinach girlfriend! :)

  2. Thanks K, and don't worry about laughing at the other one, that was the idea :) Even if I have something else, I'm sure I'll find something funny about it!