Rich Lafferty's LiveJournal (mendel) wrote,
Rich Lafferty's LiveJournal
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Card stores

For the first time in a very long time, I found myself today in a mall greeting-card store (two, really — Carlton Cards and Hallmark). Usually nyxie and I go to Paper-Papier, a paper store in the Byward Market, which has all sorts of interesting plain and craft-type greeting cards, most blank inside.

I quickly remembered why I go to Paper-Papier and not Hallmark. Let me list the terrors:

  • The staff accosted me in both stores. Back when I shopped in mall card stores regularly, this never happened, but apparently it is now normal for card store staff to come over and ask if there's anything you're looking for. Yes, I'm looking for a CARD.
  • I didn't notice what section they were in, but there were not only cards of some sort for Mom and Dad, but also for Mom and "Dad", and for Dad and "Mom". I've had a few step-parents along the way, and while sometimes they were in a parental role, I don't think I could picture myself sending parent and step-parent a card with finger quotes on the front.
  • They're trying really hard to pretend to acknowledge the paper stores' kind of cards, but it's backfiring. It used to be that 2/3 of the store was plain old cards ("Dearest Father", with fishing lures), and 1/3 was "funny" cards, but now that they've got two dozen different series, each one only gets 1-2 banks worth of cards — and since you don't want 80% of the series, you're left with 3-4 banks to choose from, total.
  • One card store had a big $1 (Canadian!) rack, for those times when you can't get to a drugstore but really want to send a drugstore card.
  • The cards suck. I swear, there hasn't been a new card written in the last ten years, and from the "funny" section they've taken out of circulation all of the jokes that weren't offensive to the person to whom you're giving the card.
On the other hand, from Paper-Papier last weekend I got my stepmother a nice little 4" square card with a 1" square of embroidered daisies on the front and a small "Happy Birthday" and lots of room to write inside. There's something about cards with little crafts on the front — embroidery, dried flowers, and so on — that makes them seem so much less disposable.
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