Tuesday, July 05, 2005

gendered greeting cards

It's July, which meansthe height of birthday season on lemming's calendar. I tend to keep a small stash of cards on hand for such occasions, but none were entirely appropriate for any of the three male relatives who are "next in line" in the July line-up.

"Pas de problem" quoth I, using the French language skills that the History department insisted I acquire because they'll be "very helpful" when the time comes to translate the nonexistant primary source materials written in French that I will need for the dissertation. "Je vais a la Targette et, er, purchase les ecartes de nativitees pour les hommes avec les pommes frites, s'il te plait."

Now, I had a vague idea that most greeting cards were purchased by women, probably for women. I also had a vague sense that grandparents were also frequent card purchasers, followed by male significant others purchasing for female significant others. I had not realized that this means the cards available for me to purchase for these male relatives would be limited to:

1) it's your birthday so go out and get drunk
2) gosh, look at all of the candles
3) only old and ugly women will jump out of your cake

and, to my great surprise

4) cards with pictures of George W. Bush on the front

La Targette featured at least a dozen Bush cards, with messages inside from all angles of the political landscape. One of these cards did pass the "all right, this is kind of amusing" test, though not sufficiently that I would consider sending it to all three of them. I was hoping for a card with Barney the dog (son of Millie Bush) on the front, but no such luck.

Had any of these relatives been female, I would have had a great many more cards to chose from, including three with Hillary Rodham Clinton on them.

On a business note: the article is ready to go out, pending comments from Roger on the new and improved introduction, which should arrive tonight or tomorrow morning. In the meanwhile, I've just completed possibly the easiest freelance project ever to land on my desk, and certainly the most fun.

The microfilm requested in March has finally been copied at the other institution, but is now going through the proof-reading process, which could easily take another month or more and then there's the shipping process before it actually reaches my univeristy. Thus I am reluctantly contemplating a roadtrip this fall, followed by a series of all nighters and the reminders that I am no longer as young as I used to be.

1 comment:

John B. said...

Greeting cards...the 'no win' purchase for men.

Women always (and I do mean always) read more into the intent of a card's message than men do.

A man sees a card in the store, reads the message, says to himself 'that's nice, it is what I feel' and then purchases the card for his wife or significant other.

The woman receives the card, reads the same message, and then proceeds to dissect the message line by line and word by word, seeking the hidden agenda from the card giver in the message.

Inevitably crying results, followed by the silent treatment and then begging for forgiveness on the part of the man.

No wonder we get women flowers...