In the past, when a father had something to say to his son—Today you are 6. Happy Birthday, for instance—he would enlist the help of a trained card-writing professional, because it was not deemed prudent for a man to address a child directly until that boy had reached adulthood and developed his own fully formed opinions. (Daughters were addressed on their wedding day; a solemn "Goodbye, young lady.")
Now, when a dad wants to say something to his son, he'll just post on the kid's Facebook timeline:
today you are 6. HAppy birthday love, Dad
Or, worse, pop on down to his local "high end paper store" and design his own card with, like, four soccer balls on a beach at sunset, plus text reading "Happy Birthday Son, Love Dad" on the front, but an inside that is totally blank.
This kind of nonsense is killing the American greeting card industry (though, curiously, not the American Greetings™ card industry).
The Associated Press reports that that Hallmark, America's top card maker, announced last week plans to close a Kansas plants that manufactured one third of the company's greeting cards. Three hundred jobs will be lost in the process.
Hallmark estimates that, over the past decade, the number of greeting cards sold in the U.S. has declined from 6 billion to 5 billion per year.
According to the U.S. Postal Service, mailed correspondence dropped 24 percent between 2002 and 2010, and the volume of mailed invitations alone decreased by nearly a quarter between 2008 and 2010.
America should stop printing most types of cards all together, and focus exclusively on churning out "Happy belated _______"s, since those are pretty much the only cards anyone ever guiltily purchases.
Nowadays, people only want to send and receive cards bearing their own graven images. American Greetings, Hallmark's number one rival, announced in August that it would be adding 125 workers to a plant in Arkansas, in association with an expansion that allows customers to design and personalize cards online.
"Merry Christmas from ME." "Happy Nurse Appreciation Day from ME." "Sorry for your loss from ME," etc.
In order to rejuvenate the dying field of cardography, we're all going to have to start sending way more cards than usual. Here are some suggestions:
1. Send a thank you card to your haters, to thank them for makin' u famous.
2. Send a good luck card to your haters, to wish them luck on their quest to tear u down.
3. Send a religious events card to your haters, to let them know ur too blessed to be stressed.
4. Send a sympathy card to your haters, to tell them ur sorry ur not sorry.
5. Send a National Boss Day (10/16) card to your haters and sign it "The Boss."
6. Send a congratulations card to your haters, to congratulate them on being noticed by u.
7. Send an encouragement card to your haters, to encourage them to get on ur level.
8. Send a birthday card to your haters on their brithdays.
9. Send an April Fool's Day card to your haters, to let them know they r looking foolish.
10. Send a self-addressed pre-stamped Teacher Appreciation Day card to your haters, with instructions for them to mail it back 2 u with a grateful note.
Bonus: send an anytime card to your haters, anytime you just feel like saying "Hi Haters!"
We'll be beasting our way through those forever stamps in no time.