Greeting cards and next-level no chill

The scene of all the times I overthink while writing a card or letter.

The scene of all the times I overthink while writing a card or letter.

I eyed the card at my favorite store for weeks, debating whether I should buy it. Blue, letter pressed, local, framed by stickers, patches and jewelry. I drafted it in my head long before I typed it out on my computer, long before I wrote the words in blue ink, fearful I’d accidentally spell a word wrong, sealing our fate in smudged pen.

Meandering the store with a free frozen margarita on a First Friday in the East Village, I picked up the card. Pink and almost too big for the tiny cup, the paper umbrella nudged me to relax, tapping my nose with each sip.

In high school I asked the boy I liked to Prom with a handmade card in red and pink permanent marker. He said no.

After the election, I wrote a thank-you card to Hillary Clinton, stumbling to find the right words when I knew none really existed.

But here I was at 24, counting four $1 bills, so I could etch my feelings into another card. I’ve graduated from handmade cards to locally made, store bought cards, but I still have hope in them, I guess.

I’ve long joked that I could never write greeting cards. They would all say something like, “Hi, hello. I think you’re cool. Love you, KTHXBYE.” Clumsy affection in an envelope.

So I drafted, revised and edited this card, the card, rearranging lines as I read them out loud.

While I write in pencil at work, scribbling and smudging and brushing aside old drafts in eraser dust, I write cards and letters in ink. I write the card slowly, making my handwriting neat but not too neat to preserve the illusion of “chill girl” status.

“Oh, I just had this on hand,” I’ll say. This is a goodbye card.

I seal it with a puffy, planetary sticker; I spent a long time debating between Jupiter and Saturn. I settle on Saturn; I like how its rings are really bits and pieces of planetary matter. They look solid, impermeable, as if there’s no discernable distance between the dust, rock and ice that swirl into its iconic rings.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *