Sunday, February 1, 2009

On the Matter of Greeting Cards

I have a question for you all. I know many of you don't post comments, but seriously, I need some advice. M. and I have about a gajillion cards we don't know how to deal with.

For the record, I love getting mail, especially greeting cards. I love that people chose a particular design or funny picture and sent it out in the world. In a digital world, they mean even more. I have cards from junior high, from a lot of graduations and birthdays. So does M. His mom is all about sending cards. Like,she sends cards for Thanksgiving and Halloween, not just the big holidays. One card for each of us. And she sends them for Jewish holidays too. Her cards alone occupy a ton of space. We've been living together for almost 5 years now, so you can imagine the amount of cards that we've accumulated.

What's your policy on getting rid of or storing greeting cards?

Up until now, I have been buying those cloth covered photo boxes for our cards. One for me and one for M. We put the cards in there and when one gets full, it goes in the spare bedroom closet. There are four boxes like that overflowing. Their lids only stay closed because the heavy box on top of it squishes it down. The old cards (from before we were together) are all over the place in different file boxes. He has Halloween cards from 1997 that have no inscription, just a signature.

M. doesn't like getting rid of the cards, as you can probably tell by now. I feel that some of them should go. Here's my deal. I'm not devoid of feeling. I love that people took the time to send me a greeting card. I think it is a wonderful sentiment. But I think only some cards should stay and others can, after a few months or so, go to the big recylcing bin in the sky.

My criteria for keeping a card is this:

1) Does it have a nice inscription beyond just a signature? This is more like a note or letter and I think those should be kept.

2) Is it particularly funny or sweet? Funny cards that I have found 5 or 6 years after getting them still make me smile. Particularly sweet or romantic sentiments on the card are also tearjerkers I like to keep.

3) Is the card made from a photo of the sender or sender's kids/dogs/etc? It feels really shitty to throw away a picture of someone, or even worse, their kids. I think pictures are sacred, so I like to keep them, even if I don't know the person very well.

Having just gotten married this past summer, we have a ton of little cards that came with mailed gifts that have not much more than "Congratulations" printed on them by the people at Crate & Barrell. I wrote the gift on the back of the card so that I would be sure to send a thank you note to every single one, but do I need them now? Will I want to see these cards in the future? Or am I just leaving a bunch of stuff for people to have to go through after I die?

Some people have binders or card keepers. Do you do this? The one above looks like it couldn't keep 1/16th of our card collection.

Am I a heartless bitch for wanting to get rid of any cards?

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