In which I act like an adult and buy lots of greeting cards

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I spent almost an hour in Hallmark last night.

This isn’t unusual per say, but what was odd? The ridiculous amount of cards I left with.

I’m going to be perfectly honest with you: I’m still getting used to this whole adulthood thing. Up until last fall, when I moved from home and got hitched just weeks later, I was pretty accustomed to my mom — thoughtful, kind, sweet and good-hearted Mom — taking care of things like birthday greetings.

And graduations.
And anniversaries.
And holidays.

Mom has a card for every occasion. In her craft room — a space filled with all manner of bits and bobbles — is a drawer stuffed with paper and stationery. Way back when (er, six months ago), if I forgot a friend’s birthday or had an unexpected party to attend or needed to get a condolences note sent in short order? Well, I just pilfered something from Mom’s stash. (With permission, of course.)

And the stash? Well, it wasn’t just greeting cards, of course. There were gift bags and ribbon and wrapping paper for every discernible occasion, and I was spoiled — spoiled, I tell you! — by having all of this at my fingertips.

Things have changed, of course. Since Christmas arrived just a month or so after we got married, I suddenly found myself without any of the gift-y baubles I needed for our presents. There was no Mom there with an already-purchased birthday card for me to sign; I had no gift bag in which to stuff a friend’s present.

It was on me. All on me.

Over the past few months, I’ve gotten better about building up my stash so I’m not running out to Target at 9 p.m. the night before I need to get a card in the mail. That’s the other piece of this puzzle, I suppose: I’m a card-sender. I love mail. Getting, receiving, writing, addressing, stamping . . . all of it.

I may be the most dedicated under-age-30 (or age 60?) customer at our post office, a hotbed of disorganization and disgruntled employees, but it’s okay.

A few weeks back, I hit the dollar store to stock up on all the essentials for gift-giving occasions. For less than $10, I had bags and curling ribbon and four rolls of wrapping paper, most unisex. It pains me to spend $4 on something that will be torn through, ripped or discarded, so . . . I’m not doing it. I’m trying to get creative with my packaging so it shows thought but doesn’t bankrupt me.

We don’t want to be bankrupt. Especially so close to closing (May 16!) on our new house.

After I got home from Hallmark yesterday, I pulled Spencer in to look through my stack of cards for occasions through June. There are anniversaries, birthdays, ladies we’ll honor for Mother’s Day. While I can still use my beloved address labels until the move (sigh), we signed and addressed and stamped as many of those babies as possible. I stuck Post-It notes on them indicating when they should be sent in weeks to come, then tucked them into our organizer by the door.

Then I patted myself on the back for being super-organized and adult-y.

Then I wanted a big ol’ glass of wine.

Adult-y, indeed.


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16 thoughts on “In which I act like an adult and buy lots of greeting cards

  1. Meg, I love to hear how you are getting organised and being “grownup”.
    Have you thought of making your own cards? It is cheaper in the long run, and very satisfying.

    • That’s an excellent idea! I did enjoy scrapbooking years ago, though I can’t say I was particularly good at it. It could be fun to try on a lazy Sunday. I actually have a ridiculous amount of stickers and paper and scissors just gathering metaphorical dust in a bookcase . . . hmm. I’ll have to separate them out when we move! Thanks!

  2. I did this a couple of weeks ago but the only thing that I took away from it are DAMN CARDS ARE PRICEY.

    Adulthood. Woof.

  3. Congratulations on your adult-y-ness! 🙂 I am OBSESSED with greeting cards. When I go in for one card for one particular occasion, I usually come out with a stack. I find stuff that would be “perfect for so-and-so…” even if their birthday is 6 months out!

  4. I’d like to say that at age 48 I have my shit together, but it isn’t always quite THERE. I do have my box of cards for various occasions, but I always find myself needing something special that I don’t have. A retirement card, let’s say. Or a bereavement card that needs to have an extra message. I do, however, have enough wrapping paper, gift bags (yes I save them), curling ribbon and tags to last a lifetime. And my daughter pillages them. I should show her this post!

  5. I am a car sender too! My mom and sister tell me I’m not as organized as I used to be, but I love cards!! My new favorite is Cardthartic, I swear, google it, you can order from their site. Love them!! I admit I have wrapping paper, gift bags, generic cards and more personal cards too….I need to get back in gear and send them all the time!!

  6. I’m ashamed to say, somewhere along the way I’ve lost my card-sending spirit. Reading this post has inspired me to find it again. Maybe not all of it since we don’t have dollar stores where I live and everything is way more expensive, but I miss the feeling of sending a well thought out card to someone I care about and knowing their day will be brightened when they receive it. Thanks for the post and the inspiration!

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