I never used to be a big fan of cards. They seemed like some corporate construct for expressing feelings. More a means of substituting money for an genuine message.
I’m also not a fan of wrapping paper. It seems like such a waste.
However, over a year ago, I moved cross country very suddenly in a desperate attempt to get my life back together. It became the furthest away members of my immediate had ever been from each other (ever since college, we’ve occupied the Mid-Atlantic part of the country.) I suddenly found myself scouring the card aisles of supermarkets, drug stores, bookstores, and even a few Hallmarks (the staff at those places are always so annoying, sorry, “helpful”) for raccoon cards. I suppose a part of it appealed to that primal hunting part of the brain that drives collectors. After all, cards with cats or dogs on them are a dime-a-dozen (with the average card being $4, it’s more like $48-a-dozen, but what’s the difference?) but raccoons are a whole other story!
And yes, I will only send cards with raccoons to my family. They’ve always known my affection for raccoons. They are, in fact, to blame for it ever since I had a stuffed raccoon rather than a teddy bear as a child! I think my parents said they weren’t aware there was a difference. Or maybe they thought it was a panda? Anyway, in real life, too, I use the raccoon as a representation of myself. While my insistence on raccoon cards is partially driven by the thrill of the hunt, I think it also adds to the message of sending commercial crap, which is: I care enough to go through the effort to find these.
Sadly, beggars can’t be choosers. I have cards referring to grandma and grandpa–which my parents aren’t yet–but I just re-write them. Sometimes the re-writing is so thorough that one might wonder why I bothered buying the card in the first place. For that, the answer is simple: there was a raccoon on it!
As we approach Valentine’s day, I’m kind of annoyed by the absence of cards with raccoons on them. With the whole “bandit” thing, one would expect there to at least be one card with a “you stole my heart” on it with a little thief raccoon scampering away holding a heart. But nope, none of that to be found. I was also very annoyed by the lack of cards with Rocket Raccoon on them after the runaway success of Guardians of the Galaxy. I really expected to see at least a boy’s birthday card with Rocket on it, pointing a gun at the reader, with the text “give me your cake” on the front.
And then I have the painful realization that my parents aren’t getting any younger, and at some point I may have a stockpile of unsent birthday cards with nobody to send them to.
I need a drink.