Wednesday, May 04, 2011


It's time once again to jockey for position at the local Hallmark store and purchase Mother's Day Cards.  The fact that there are still a few days to go and I've bought everything I need (I hope) means I'm ahead of the game for a change.

Hallmark knows that the definition of a "family" varies a lot these days and they definitely make it easy by having a ridiculous number of categories.  You have your basic mom and mother.  There's stepmother and aunt and grandma/grandmother/nana et al.  Cards from the pets are popular, as are cards for women who are mothers to pets.

This year, Hallmark seems to have added a new section.
Let's call it, "Awkward Moments." 

Sadly, this card is all too necessary.  I wonder if sending a "loss of mother" card on Mother's Day is really a good idea.  It's always nice to let people know they're remembered on a day like this but a card?  I don't know.  It seems like you're saying, "it's Mother's Day and just because you don't have one doesn't mean you don't deserve a card."  Are there Valentine's Day cards for people who have a partner who was killed in a car crash?

The "loss of child" one seems really inappropriate.  Again, I understand the sentiment.  But somehow I think a card reminding someone of a loss like that would just be too much.

Talk about specific.  I almost bought this for someone as a joke but held back.  I need to remember that my idea of funny tends to be other people's idea of bad taste.  The photo's a little dark but it says something about big mamas called that because they're filled with big love.  So there's one day a year that obese people aren't eating too much--they're just too gosh-darn filled with love!  Please...

Let's file these next 2 cards under "so how do you really feel?" I suppose I understand the "ex" cards.  I mean, just because someone's son takes off doesn't mean that son's mom shouldn't get a card.  I wish I'd looked on the inside.  What's could the sentiment be?

          "You're a fabulous lady,
            a woman of class.
            It pains me to tell you
                                                                        your son is an ass." 

Ouch.  This one is just cold.  I can only imagine how awkward this day is for kids who have a stepmother.  You don't want to get a Mother's Day card--that would be betraying your real mother. But there are lot's of alternate choices for this occasion, including generic ones that don't address anyone in particular.  "Dad's Wife?" That's making a statement.

I posted this gem on Facebook the other day and got the comments I expected.  As a man, all I can do is roll my eyes and laugh.  As a man who has female acquaintances, I have to step back and ask what purpose this card could possibly have.  Father's Day is a month away.  They can't wait a month for their own card on their own holiday?  Is there a subset of dads who feel left out on Mother's Day?  Seriously, I'd love to hear your thoughts on this.

I suppose we'll start seeing cards that involve everyone for every holiday.
  • To my favorite Protestant on St. Patrick's Day
  • Merry Christmas to my Rabbi
  • A Glorious Arbor Day to you and your fellow inmates
Well to all the moms, real or imagined, have a happy Mother's day.  

Monday, May 02, 2011

Playboy Geographic

So I'm sitting in a doctor's office, thumbing through a copy of National Geographic, and it occurs to me that National Geographic is the perfect magazine for a doctor's waiting room. It's not exactly topical so you can have really old issues lying there and it wouldn't make a difference. Unlike the Sports Illustrated issue predicting the outcome of the NHL season (I forgot to check who they picked to win the Stanley Cup).

It also occurred to me that National Geographic is a lot like Playboy. In both cases, I can honestly say I've never read an article. I've only looked at the pictures. I've heard the articles are interesting but I just look at the pictures.

And in both cases, I save back issues.

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