We need cards to represent the realities of life

SO THAT’S Mother’s Day over with for another year.

You’ll have had your pink card with flowers and cartoon teddies on it, telling you you’re the world’s greatest mum, and perhaps scratched your head in wonder at the card companies who equate that most daunting aspect of womanhood — labour, childbirth, episiotomies, stretch marks, exhaustion, and commando levels of frontline parenting with a PhD in poo-ology — with flowers and cartoon teddies in shades of pink. WT actual F?

We don’t want pink cards. We want equal pay, affordable childcare and perhaps a monthly general anaesthetic, thanks all the same.

But card companies have always been way off the mark, it’s just that we are too daft to realise how much we are being manipulated and so go along with it, like a giant flock of card-buying sheep. Admittedly, it’s harmless, plus it’s always nice to get a card, but it’s the occasions we choose which might leave you mildly confused.

We’ve had Valentine’s Day, where you get a card for being one half of a couple; the subtext — that singledom is not worth celebrating — is a bit grating, especially if you’re desperate for solitude and regularly fantasise about smothering your Valentine in their sleep.

If only cards reflected real life. We send cards for the most random reasons — this week it’s St Patrick, the patron saint of pubs, where the cards will be decorated with cartoon leprechauns. A few weeks after that, it will be the Easter Bunny in diabetic yellow. Where are the cards that depict reality?

Instead of having to root around for a card “left blank for your own message”, and finding that the blank ones always have the blandest, most anodyne floral designs, how about a few new ones?

We have cards for new babies, new houses, engagement, marriage, civil partnership, exam results, passing your driving test – why not expand? Like ‘Congratulations On Coming Out’, or ‘Well Done On Ending That Terrible Relationship’ — now there’s a card that would sell in its millions. As would ‘Sorry Your Dog Died’.

And instead of all those birthday cards being covered in pink teddies getting plastered on pink booze, how about a Happy Sobriety section? Lots of people work hard to get off booze, tobacco and other stuff, so how about a bunch of cards to reflect this? ‘Well Done On Finally Getting Clean.’

On a more serious note, ‘Sorry To Hear You Have Cancer’ is long overdue — how many of these blank cards have you written to friends over time? People with life threatening long term illnesses want cards too. In fact it’s when things are at their toughest that you most want a card. Come on, card manufacturers. Get with reality. And no pink effing teddies.

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Wednesday, March 3, 2021

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