Sunday, May 18, 2014

Greetings, Earthling

I tend to like funny cards about
kids, dogs and bodily functions.
I have discovered an easy way to cheer myself up – and also feel more organized.

When I have some extra minutes and dollars, I stop by the greeting-card section of whatever store I am in – supermarket, Target, drug store – and buy whatever strikes my fancy.

Here’s the organized part: I now have a drawer full of great cards for whenever I need one for someone.

I tend to like only funny cards. In fact, I totally don’t get the “serious” ones. If you have a serious sentiment to tell someone, wouldn’t you want to write it yourself? (We also have – this was my husband’s idea – a few boxes of blank Crane cards lying around for just that purpose.)

In this article, Hallmark says that while funny is ok for Father’s Day, if you give your mom a funny Mother’s Day card, she’ll cry. I, a mother, totally don’t get that.

Nor do I get when people get sniffy about being sent an email rather than a written card. When KJ Dell‘Antonia wrote about a cool app for iPads that allows you to have a paper card sent to someone in the New York Times “Motherlode” blog, one commenter wrote, “Appalling. I am frankly hurt when I receive an e-card: the person couldn't be bothered to find a piece of paper, envelope, and stamp?” Easy solution to this, I think: don’t send that person any communication of any kind.

Aside from that, though, I like sending cards, electronic or paper. In fact, I once, on impulse, bought a box of cards (maybe because they were purple) and used them to write hello to the first eight people who occurred to me.

That was fun. I should do it again.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Proud To Be Loud

Actually, I’m not, but I’ve come to accept it.

For years and through the whole slew of apartments and houses we’ve lived in, I’ve noticed I could always hear our family – like when I was still in the elevator or out in the yard. I could hear my husband and kids talking, laughing, crowing.

I tried to convince myself that everyone can hear their own family like this, that it’s some sort of mystical, special sense.

It’s not, though, is it?

When we call each other to dinner, we never walk all the way up the stairs and quietly knock, whispering, “Dinner’s ready.”

We bellow “DINNER’S READY!” or my son’s simpler “FOOD!” from wherever we are.

When we are excited in a conversation, we get louder. The excitement can be happy: my kids telling me what happened at school today. (They can get so loud, I have to say, “You know, I’m right here next to you in the car.”) Or it can be negative: my son said, recently, when I couldn’t find my keys, that I “probably offended all sailors within a one-mile radius.”

I know people exist who live freakily hushed lives, diffidently whispering, tip-toeing around … unlike, say, my husband who recently clumped, in his bicycle shoes, from our bedroom, down the hall and down the stairs. When he got to me, he asked happily, “Did ya hear me coming?”

I’m with the little boy I saw recently in a cart his slightly sheepish father was pushing around the supermarket. Every few minutes, this little boy would just sing out, an amazing noise coming out of his tiny body. He sounded like a very loud bird, which made him very happy.

Here’s to the noise of life. May I never be too grumpy to enjoy it.