Sadly, I have had to buy probably 10 sympathy cards in the past year for friends and relatives who have lost people close to them.
So having become, unfortunately, well acquainted with the selection of condolence cards at several stationary stores, let me take this opportunity to share a few things I'd like Hallmark to take into consideration. (Ha, ha.)
1. Theme. Not everyone who loses someone is a Christian, or religious. When I am choosing a card for an athiest or agnostic, or simply choosing a card for a not very religious person whose cultural/religious background is, say, Judaism, this tends to impede the task.
2. Design. Would it be possible to create a card without a flower or a cross on it? I swear, get enough sympathy cards, and spring will make your eyes tear up because of the floral association. As for crosses, refer to the previous gripe. And what's with the glitter? Are we going to a funeral for a friend of Britney Spears? I'm sure the recipient will really appreciate wiping glitter all over his or her face when grabbing the box of kleenex. This isn't art class, you fucking jackasses.
3. Message. Can I just say: cards for people who are grieving SHOULD NOT RHYME! This should be a no-brainer, but apparently, it's rocket science. Rhyme is associated with silly, child-like, and overall *happy* times. Do cardwriters think the reader will be inspired to suddenly burst into song because of their clever cadence? Are there failed Dr. Seusses stuck working for American Greetings? I don't give a fuck! KEEP YOUR RHYMES OUT OF MY DEATH CARDS.
4. Length. "I'm here if you need me," or, "I'm sorry for your loss," should suffice, no? Why is it that many of these greeting card writers feel the need to write a fucking book? Believe it or not, I was capable of driving to the store to select a card BY MYSELF. So it's likely that I will be able to inscribe an appropriate message without your help. And PS - don't you think it would be tacky to simply sign my name under the printed message, thorough as it is?
4. Selection. Having to weed out the religious, overly flowery, overly glittery, rhyming, long-winded, and other repugnant cards, this typically leaves just one or two options. So if there were ever (and I know this is a stretch) one big pity party, and all of my friends and relatives showed up with cards I had sent in tow, they'd notice that...shit! I probably end up sending the same one or two of them. If you all ever decide to have such a get-together, I apologize in advance.
Hallmark made me do it!