Geezer Tribe: Greeting card blues

by Linda Shaffer

As luck would have it, we’ve been pretty much untouched by Covid fatigue. During this time of quarantine our lives have been relatively unchanged. We have the same habits from one week to the next and the months flow into each other without any trouble. We are enjoying the change in weather and the addition of sunshine to our days. We’ve learned to cook a little lighter and smarter. The days of messing up the entire kitchen for one meal are gone. Life seems to have taken an easier path for us. Though we have both of our vaccinations now, I doubt we’ll make any big changes soon. The world out there still seems a little scary.

The only times we’ve been out are for doctors appointments and grocery shopping. As most of you know, grocery shopping isn’t what it used to be. Hanging out in the aisles is not a popular thing to do. If it were up to me, we’d order everything online and pick it up at the store. Mr. S however, likes grocery shopping. As a consequence, he’s done most of the shopping and reports back if he gets to visit with a friend we haven’t seen for awhile. Sometimes I go with him but I’m slow and tend to clog things up. On one grocery store visit I had my cane in the cart and it got rammed by another cart. Awkward. Mr. S took the cart from there and I took my cane back.
These sorts of things have put a real cramp in my style with the ONE thing I miss shopping for. Greeting cards. Yes, I’m one of those people who can stand in front of racks of greeting cards for a very long time. If you hear someone snorting with laughter in that area of any store, it’s quite likely to be me. I just can’t help myself. These cards are a lifetime habit and I truly miss them. You can’t just pick any old card for a special person or event. A true greeting card fanatic like me needs time. I need to touch the cards, read the cards and go through lots and lots of cards to choose just the right ones. In a world where this type of loitering is no longer allowed, I’ve ended up with a bad case of “greeting card blues.”
It’s not just the process of choosing the right cards that I miss. I miss writing notes to friends. I miss helping folks celebrate birthdays, anniversaries and other special days. These cards have helped me stay connected to family and friends for as long as I can remember. I guess I just miss that part of my life. Yes, I am on Facebook and can contact people using that platform but it’s just not the same. Given the option, I admit that I’ve gotten into a pout and do nothing which is really not a good thing. If I could figure out how to do it, I think I’m almost desperate enough to design and print my own cards but I just don’t see that happening right now.
Because you’re never too old to blame your parents for stuff, I’d like to credit all of this to my mom. All those U.S. Navy years we spent away from family started it. Then there were all the friends we made along the way from one duty station to another. She’s been writing letters and sending cards for as long as I can remember. At 91 years of-age, she still is and I don’t look for that activity to stop. If you want to see a real pair to draw to, it would be my mom and me in a card store. For starters, we have to show each other the cards that are funny. Then we laugh and laugh. Then we do that again. I think the last time we went together to a Dollar Tree store, we each bought more than 20 cards. We’d have to take out a loan to go to a Hallmark store.
Yup. I really miss all of these things. And while I’m pouting, let me apologize for missing your birthday, anniversary, Christmas and graduation. I’m sad that I didn’t tell you how I felt when you lost a family member because a greeting card wasn’t really necessary and I should have written to you. I just couldn’t get started. That’s where the cards always helped. I’ll be buying them again as soon as it is possible and in the meantime I’ll be practicing speed reading and card grabbing for the next time I’m near a giant rack of possibilities.
Have a great week my friends.