We’ve all received them. We’ve all given them. We’ve all wasted a lunch hour stuck in the back of a newsagents picking out the ‘perfect card’ for that bitch in accounting whose birthday is next week. Why don’t they ever say what we really mean?
‘Get well soon!’ translates to ‘Seriously, come back to work. We all know you’re faking it.’
I’ve never known of a ‘Get Well Soon’ card that wasn’t sent with the intention of being condescending. Maybe it’s because none of us are cruel enough to give a ‘Get Well Soon’ card to somebody suffering from a horrific terminal illness, so instead we use them for minor ailments like a common cold or unusual skin welts after routine Botox injections. When we say ‘Get Well Soon’, what we’re really saying is “get well now, and haul that lazy ass of yours into the office”. Deep down we’re all convinced that our colleagues aren’t coughing up phlegm, picking at chicken pox scabs or nursing a torn knee ligament. In fact, they’ve probably taken a day trip to the coast and are spending the day frolicking in the water and roasting their supposedly ill bodies in the sun. Furthermore, later on we’ll have to send them a ‘Get Well Soon’ card when they go and get a cancerous mole removed that they acquired on this aforementioned ‘sick day’. It’s a vicious cycle.
‘Congratulations on your pregnancy!’ translates to ‘So you’re pregnant? Big woop.’
I understand spending $9.89 on an elaborate card with glitter, 3D pop-ups and an audio recording of a baby giggling upon opening it (when the baby is actually born), but to congratulate somebody on carrying a ball of cells in their uterus seems ridiculous. If ‘Sixteen and Pregnant’ has taught us anything, it’s that getting knocked up is pretty easy, so it doesn’t seem to me like the kind of thing we should be constantly rewarding. If newsagencies are going to sell congratulatory pregnancy cards, they should also go one step further and sell ‘congratulations on your first period’ cards, because getting your period is like having the magical ability to fall pregnant bestowed upon you. Perhaps instead of celebrating the pregnancy in its entirety, we should celebrate the certain fun aspects of having a bun in the oven, such as ‘congratulations on your bigger boobs’ or ‘congratulations on being able to conveniently rest a bowl of cereal on your gigantic stomach’.
‘Happy Valentine’s Day, beautiful!’ translates to ‘Roses are red, violets are blue. I better be getting laid tonight.’
Couples already have enough ridiculous causes for celebration without adding Valentine’s Day into the mix. There’s the anniversary of the first time you met, your first kiss, the first time you said ‘I love you’ and the first time you held back your significant others hair while they drunkenly blew chunks into a train station toilet. The only reason anybody gives a ‘Happy Valentine’s Day’ card to their concubine is to attempt to convince them to engage in penetration of the sexual variety. It’s the same reason we take them to degustation restaurants whose already exorbitantly priced menu items have an added 15 per cent surcharge, and where you are crammed in so close to other horny couples that you can practically feel their hot breath on your neck. In fact, the $5.95 you will fork out for a ‘Happy Valentine’s Day’ card is probably the least amount of money you will spend on this emotionally manipulative holiday. There’s also flowers, champagne and caviar-flavoured condoms (it don’t get any classier than that). An A3 piece of sparkly cardboard is the least of your worries.