Skip The Card… Buy The Wine

Photo by Jude Beck on Unsplash

It’s February. The month when couples have fourteen days to try to find the perfect way to express their undying love for each other. I guarantee most people will still be figuring it out on the 13th. If nothing else, they will buy a card.

Who’s idea was all this anyway? According to Wikipedia, there were numerous early Christian martyrs named Valentine, dating as far back as the third century A.D. During that time February 14th became a Christian feast day. The day’s  association with romantic love started with Geoffrey Chaucer, the poet and author known for Canterbury Tales, in the 14th century. A time when courtly love flourished. By 18th-century England, the day had turned into an occasion in which couples expressed their love for each other with flowers, confectionery, and greeting cards. So I guess my theory of an extreme marketing campaign originated by the greeting card companies is now debunked. I still, however, have some big problems with greeting cards.

Firstly, do they ever really say what you want to say and how you want to say it. I personally hate buying (and receiving) cards with line upon line of mushy script-font endearments, exaggerated to the point where the total message could never be believed as a description of the traits of one single human being. No one is that perfect. Not The Doc, and not anyone else I know. And certainly not me. These verses come across as bullshit. I can’t buy them because I feel like I am lying and lying is not something I do easy. I want my card to say, without any mush and in plain English: I love you. You’re a good person; and by the way, thanks for still putting up with me.

These days I have a much bigger problem with greeting cards. Not just Valentine’s cards, all greeting cards. Have you gone to your local store and looked at the selection of cards lately? They are covered with glitter, velvety fibre, metallic writing, plastic ornaments, ribbons, tassels and cords, pieces of fabric, and sometimes musical mechanisms. None of these things are environmentally friendly. NONE! So when you purchase a card and it gets read and then trashed, because most of them do get trashed, parts of that card will be around forever. Other parts will be around for 450 to 1000 years. The glitter and velvety fibre will eventually end up washing into the oceans and into the food chains of many species. To add insult to injury, some of these cards are now displayed in plastic wrapping, which is also not environmentally friendly, but necessary to protect all those decorative elements that will end up in the landfill.

I admit that I still have to buy the odd card because what else do you get for your ninety-three-year-old mother on her birthday. In this particular case it’s a double dilemma because not only do I have difficulty finding one that won’t make me feel like a liar, but I also feel incredibility guilty because I know it will be in the trash within two days.

What we all do when we finally bite the bullet and choose the card is flip it over to check the price. Have you seen those prices lately? The price on my mother’s birthday card was one third to one half of the price of a bottle of wine. I’m talking your average middle-class bottle of Canadian, Californian or Australian wine. I kid you not. I was shocked. I am sure that the price of this recent card was a couple of dollars more than the last time I bought her a card, which must have been last May during my Mother’s Day dilemma.

Hopefully those who know me won’t be offended if a special occasion comes and goes and they don’t receive a card. I am buying them less and less these days. I prefer to make a phone call, send an email or a text message, or in the case of Christmas, a Facebook post. The Doc and I agreed a few years ago not to purchase cards of any sort. This new tradition will be upheld again this year and for all years in our future. Tomorrow we will wish each other Happy Valentines Day verbally, figure out what to do for dinner like we do every day, because it really is just another day. I will probably have a glass of wine at dinner while he has a beer, and we will be content with that. No hype and no cards required.


Thanks for reading.

Previously published in February 2020, when very few readers were reading. Minor edits were made to bring it up to 2023.

21 thoughts on “Skip The Card… Buy The Wine

  1. I agree, such drivel.
    I’m not a big proponent of
    any holiday that increases my work load including Christmas, Easter etc.
    I want the time off but that’s enough for me.
    Regrettably my family doesn’t feel the same.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Cards have always been an environmental nightmare, and I’ve cut back drastically over the past decade … but they’re still exchanged here at Casa River for special occasions. I’m with you on the overly sappy sentiments though. I go for short and sweet as well. Funny is fine, but what passes for card humor these days is pathetic. Sex, booze, decrepitude and farts. No thanks.
    We’re going out antiquing this afternoon to be followed with drinks and a nice meal. The day before Valentines… to avoid the crowds.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m with you, cards are a waste of money and trees and whatever else they put on them. I actually looked at the Valentines cards last week and the cheapest I saw was $10! I’d much rather give and receive the bottle of wine or chocolates. Maggie

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Skip the damn wine and gimme the choccies! 😉

    Totally agree about cards. I still do them for birthdays and Christmas but I buy ones which are just a nice picture on card with no additions because I totally agree with you about the environmental impact and recyclability (or not). I also always buy them blank and write my own message in. I use Christmas cards to write a longish catchup for my friends about what sort of year I’ve had and they send back the same which makes Christmas very interesting.

    Apart from Christmas cards, all my other cards are general purpose and don’t state anything on the front either. I just choose a picture the recipient will like and tailor accordingly.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I completely agree. Although I buy – mostly birthday – cards now and then, I find myself avoiding that purchase more and more. I dislike all the glitter and metallic flourishes too. I have to cut all of it out before putting the remaining bits in my recycle pile. I used to enjoy getting e-cards but now with all the scammers out there, I don’t like clicking on unknown links. Just send me a text or give me a brief call (emphasis on brief 🙂 ).

    Liked by 1 person

  6. One of my pet peeves is how stupid most cards are. As I’m perusing birthday card after birthday card about drinking and farting, I think, “And people get paid to come up with this dirvel?” My wife and I laugh because each of us has gotten the other the same card before. (not on purpose, but still pretty funny)

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I like your attitude. Wine is much more meaningful than a card that’ll end up in the trash eventually. I still buy cards for all the holidays though because my MIL who lives in a nursing home likes them. Apparently there’s a little unofficial competition among the residents about who gets greeting cards and who doesn’t. She likes to win.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I Agree with you, cards are a waste of money and trees and whatever else they put on them. I actually looked at the Valentines cards last week and the cheapest I saw was $10! I’d much rather give and receive the bottle of wine or chocolates.

    Liked by 1 person

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