The air is getting heavier and the solstice marks a new season – greeting card season. With graduations, weddings, fathers day, and the birthdays of all those conceived in those months where “it’s a little nippy outside honey, let’s go inside and warm up“, it’s the time of year where card purchases are abundant. The other day my mother and I were in Papyrus, our favorite pretend-it’s-not-still-mass-produced stationer, collecting cards for our various special occasions. I picked up a few cards from the Friendship section – a few adorable little notes to send just because I love the post.
As we were selecting cards to fill our buy-twenty-seven-thousand-get-one-free-and-a-green-tote-bag deal, I started looking for something to send to one of my male friends whom I thought could use a little hello. I have a small number of male friends who are now scattered to the four winds, and I like to send them hellos from time to time like I do my female friends.
At the top of the rack was the Love section. You’re the best thing that ever happened to me, You light up my life, You make the days worth living – puppies and roses and fortune cookies oozing things I only vaguely remember ever existing. Useless, I thought.
My eyes slid down to the friendship section. This is where I should be looking, right? I scanned the plastic racks but everything seemed to be sparkling, bedazzled, or making some witty remark about the absurdity of men. I remember encountering this problem before when searching for a thank you card for one gentleman’s uncle and aunt; I could only find one that wasn’t actually producing more estrogen than I do. I found a couple that might almost work, but their sentimentalism was just a stone’s throw past platonic – in the same way that you can roll around with your girlfriends and sleep next to them at night but the same just can’t be done with your male friends without causing trouble.
I stood, exasperated, with my lower lip protruding and my hands on my hips. Turning to my mother I huffed All of the cards are intolerably girly. What about the men? They’re missing a huge market segment here! I mean, I know not many men send cards to other men, but aren’t there other women who send cards to men they’re not in love with?
She furrowed her eyebrows as if I had just suggested we strip naked and run through the mall, the she rolled her eyes, amused, over to the wall of greeting cards. Nope, she responded.
Papyrus says: “Between men and women there is no friendship possible. There is passion, enmity, worship, love, but no friendship.” – Oscar Wilde