Monday, July 24, 2006

Aunt Marge Buys the Farm

This is about greeting cards, sympathy cards in particular. Greeting cards are made for women to send to each other. The thank you card for instance. Someone has done something nice for me, gone out of their way and I want to send them a thank you card. Every last one of them is decorated with unicorns, kitties, or flowers - no way I am going to send oneof those San Francisco boutique specials to another guy. The sympathy cards are even worse.

They have a sappy little poem, some religious claptrap, or the standard “With Sympathy” - rather impersonal if you ask me.

This all started when one my friend’s Aunt Marge died. Marge is just a fictitious name; it just seems like someone named Marge would welcome the reaper just to be rid of that name. Advance apologies to any Marges out there – here’s a tip, sue you parents and use the money to get that name change. Any rate, I don’t know her and now the moment has passed. My options are limited so I generally go for the blank card. This is a good tack in one sense as long as you avoid cards with clowns or jokes on the front. No one wants to read a “Farside” cartoon with Marge starting up at him or her from her brand new satin lined box. I can usually find a card that has something tasteful on the front, not some flowery piece of crap. On the downside, now I have to write something.

What to do you write? “I know how you feel” or “I share the sorrow over your loss” won’t cut it – you didn’t know Aunt Marge and you can’t know what the bereaved is feeling. Hell, he may have though she was the Wicked Witch from the East-Northeast and for all you know, he may want to do the River-dance on Marge’s new mound, or he may have had some deep feelings - there is no way for you to tell.

“You are in my prayers” – prayers are a little late to help aunty, and I have gone beyond looking up to the sky and wishing for shit, you might as well play the lottery because there is a remote (extremely remote) chance of a payoff. Another lame inscription is “Let me know if there is anything I can do for you.” That would work if you could dig his aunt up and breathe life back into her, but beyond that I doubt there is much you could do for the dude aside from handing him another Kleenex or joining him in an impromptu clog dance on the grave.

I often go with the “My thoughts are with you”. It isn’t a lie, I shopped for the card and am trying to think what to write beyond “Sorry about your dead aunt,” so in effect my thoughts are with them. It is a safe statement; you haven’t given your heart away, spread any greeting card schlock, or shown any curiosity as to what happened to Marge – toaster in the bathtub, trip down the stairs, eaten by her 47 cats, or just plain bad luck.

Hope this helps in some small way the next time someone you know makes the final payment on the farm. Finally, homemade cards probably wouldn’t be a good idea, especially if there are crayons and construction paper involved - sometimes it doesn’t pay to go cheap.

22 Comments:

At 9:27 PM, Blogger jin said...

Hahaha!!!
You can make practically ANY subject matter incredibly funny.

Is that a blessing or a curse?!!?

 
At 10:06 PM, Blogger The Phosgene Kid said...

Jin: Both. Like a friend of mine always used to say "You can laugh or you can cry and I am fresh out of tears so I have to laugh.”

 
At 6:36 AM, Blogger Becky said...

Fuck greeting cards at all! They piss me off, just another way for housewives to compete, like I waste money better than you do. Reminds me of my sister! She wastes money like there is no tomorrow and it sickens me to my very core! She would have so much more money if she just didn't have to buy the best of everything! I'm about to go on a tyrade, let me stop.

 
At 9:56 AM, Blogger Cherry! said...

Hahaha! You're hilarious! The last card I bought was one that sings Happy Birthday Mr. Wonderful when you open it. it was for Mr. W, you see. Well guess what? We broke up before his birthday and I still have the freaking card!! I'm waiting for the next Mr. W to come around. I may be waiting forever! hahaha!

 
At 10:59 AM, Blogger The Phosgene Kid said...

Becky: Your sister has lots of money? Is she looking to adopt?

Cherry!: Glad to hear from you! You should hack the little song program in the card, see if you can get it to say rude things, and then give it to W on his next birthday, along with that swift kick to the junk he always wanted.

 
At 12:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 5:22 PM, Blogger Eternally Curious said...

You're one in a million Phos! Still LOL...

 
At 7:54 PM, Blogger The Phosgene Kid said...

EC: Thanks, depending on a million of what...

 
At 7:59 PM, Blogger Fancy Laces said...

thank you, and come by to say hi, that little gesture means a lot, and it also means that i need to update my blog, SOON.

see ya, kido (if u don't mind me calling u that)~

 
At 8:35 PM, Blogger The Phosgene Kid said...

FP: No worries, been a while since the word "kid" was mentioned in the same sentence as ol’ Phos, but that is fine.

Thanks for dropping in, was getting worried about you!

 
At 9:18 PM, Blogger Keshi said...

ROFL! some very funny ones :):)

**“Sorry about your dead aunt,”

hahahaha!

how abt 'Im sorry she's dead as a late goldfish'...

Keshi.

 
At 1:02 AM, Blogger Cherry! said...

That's not a bad idea! I'll change the Wonderful part to Asshole or something like that.

 
At 2:32 AM, Blogger mummified said...

I never know what to say either. And anything that does come out of my mouth sounds trite (to me anyway). Perhaps I should just write a card and give the bereaved a bottle of whisky to numb things...

 
At 8:39 AM, Blogger fairscape said...

pk

This is an easy one. You only need to take a piece of you nicest stationary and write these words.

I am so sorry to hear about your loss.
Please accept my condolences.

I know it sounds formal but it is all people need to hear from you. By always writing the same thing you avoid saying something inappropriate.

 
At 2:06 PM, Blogger Chickie said...

I'm a fan of the "my thoughts are with you" line.

 
At 6:15 PM, Blogger The Phosgene Kid said...

Keshi: Marge couldn’t have goldfish because she had 37 cats – not a good mix.

Cherry!: Good luck hacking the card.

Mummified: Or drink the whiskey and then write the card, it will be so illegible it won’t matter what you wrote.

FS: Hate to break this to you, but my “good stationary” has blue lines on it and holes on the side so you can put it in a notebook. In fact I would be suspect of nay dude that had good stationary readily available. He’d probably know what the color puce looked like too…

Chickie: Beats any worm jokes. FS is right, condolences work too.

 
At 8:39 PM, Blogger Keshi said...

haha!

Keshi.

 
At 1:03 AM, Blogger Stranger said...

Hmm...I kinda don't bother with cards..I can never figure out what to write either. I'll bring flowers, but if its someone I know, I'll do stuff like bring food to the wake and the gathering after the funeral, and a hug doesn't hurt either.

 
At 8:33 PM, Blogger The Phosgene Kid said...

Stranger: Good tips, not much of a hugger myself, though.

 
At 3:23 PM, Blogger Sarah Letnes said...

You could have sent one that said, "She's not dead. She’s just pining for the fjords."

 
At 8:49 PM, Blogger The Phosgene Kid said...

Battling evil in another dimension

 
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