If you're young and used to emailing and Facebooking your notes of congrats, you may not know that Hallmark has a bunch of sub-categories of cards for specific interest and minority groups. This is good, because it's easy for people of different ethnicities to be affronted by greetings traditionally intended for white people, like a cartoon duck hoping your Halloween is "quacktastic."
In addition to highly helpful stratifications like "Tween Birthday," there are cards for Jewish people and for black people, too. I like that the Hallmark line for black people is called "Mahogany," because too often we fall back on comparing people of color to dessert foods and not enough to say, the burnished wood of a handsome desk.
Then there's line of Spanish cards called "Sinceramente," which means "sincerely." This is cool because I will often share my Spanish sentiments with Latino people and they seem to have no idea what I'm talking about, or who I am.
There's even a Susan G. Komen line you can give your friends who have cancer, and a Thomas Kincade line you can give your friends who you wish did.
And, finally, there's one for MY people: screwy ones who probably have at least one relative not speaking to them at a given time. That's right: "Troubled Relationships."
My buddy Chiara and a series of other enterprising Internet sleuths have recently drawn my exceptionally limited attention to the fact that this is an actual, available-for-sale category of greeting cards.
This is great news for the long-neglected consumers like me who are dying to buy a greeting card, but are not currently in an untroubled relationship.
These, according to photo reconnaissance, feature sentiments like "I Wish I Could Go Back" and "It's Not Perfect But It's Ours." I've said those things twice today already and I haven't even left the house. Incidentally, I live completely alone and was not on the phone.
In fact, I'm so good at troubled relationships that I'd like to humbly offer my services for hire as a greeting card writer in this category.
Hallmark (and I guess American Greetings, although you're really the "Volcano" to big H's "Dante's Peak") please consider the content below my official submission for what I hope will be my new job as the Don Draper of poorly expressing oneself.
TROUBLED RELATIONSHIP CARD IDEA 1:
FOR: The people who live in my building with whom I have silently, tacitly agreed never to exchange names or salutations.
FRONT: There's a picture of person doing like a friendly-but-neutral half wave, and the words, "Hey, you haven't been getting any of my mail, right? I've been missing some packages and sometimes they..."
INSIDE: The words "No? Oh, okay."
TROUBLED RELATIONSHIP CARD IDEA 2:
FOR: A sibling from whom you have grown distant.
FRONT: There's a pretty, pointillist drawing of a dove with an olive branch in its mouth.
INSIDE: The name and number of a close friend you've made in your cool life in the big city, whom your sibling can call if you are murdered or die otherwise upsettingly and unexpectedly. You know, should they need somebody who really knows you to identify the body.
TROUBLED RELATIONSHIP CARD IDEA 3:
FOR: Your ex with whom you are no longer really friends.
FRONT: A sepia-toned picture of two little girls sitting at a cafe table. They are playing dress up and are wearing comically oversized women's high heels, pearls and large, floppy hats.
INSIDE: "I cheated on you."
TROUBLED RELATIONSHIP CARD IDEA 4:
FOR: A relative through marriage who says offensive things at family gatherings that really bother you but like, I don't know, he's in his fifties, you're probably not going to change his mind about anything. Why ruin dinner? This could be Nana's last Christmas.
FRONT: A scene of a beach at sunset and and the words, "Thinking of You."
INSIDE: "Specifically that you are a racist."
TROUBLED RELATIONSHIP CARD IDEA 5:
FOR: A person who you have been on several dates with but are not sure whether or not you are dating.
FRONT: The front of the card is a patterned with the leaves of a beautiful bush outside of this guy's house.
INSIDE: The inside is blank and also patterned with this bush pattern. Leave the card in the bush.
TROUBLED RELATIONSHIP CARD IDEA 6:
FOR: An old colleague you were sort of work friends with but haven't heard from in awhile who sends you an invitation to connect via a little used social network for professionals.
FRONT: On the front is a gold foil lily and the words "I know it's been a while since we've talked…"
INSIDE: "Uncheck the box you fucking idiot."
TROUBLED RELATIONSHIP CARD IDEA 7:
FOR: Anybody, but only for purchase by Sean Penn.
FRONT: "My condolences."
INSIDE: "For being Sean Penn. Love, Sean Penn."
Thanks! Please send your initial salary offer to my Yahoo! address. Preferably in some kind of animated eCard.