Saturday, June 23, 2007

The Very Best


Tomorrow is my birthday, and guess what I got in the mail today? A Special Invitation to... HALLMARK Magazine. Omigod. Do I look like a Hallmark kind of person to you?

Ew.

"This is what you'll get," it proclaims.

"Lots of ideas that cost nothing. Lots of proud, joyful moments. Lots of long, lavish hugs. A wealth of great times. A wealth of great memories, all wrapped up and made easy for you."

Ewwwww. Has it never occurred to these people that I would not like my life to be prefabricated like Sea Monkeys, who live in suspended animation for years until they are dropped in water? I don't even buy greeting cards with canned messages, but blank ones in which I write something specific to the occasion and the recipient.

"Hallmark Magazine really helps with things that matter: What to say when your child goes to college, what to do for a friend going through rough times. How to cope when your parents need your compassion and care. Even what to say when there are no words." Honestly, people. There are always words. We are a thinking, feeling, verbalizing species. It is really not necessary to substitute sentimentality for true sentiment. At least, I would hope not.

"For nearly 100 years, Hallmark has helped people connect & celebrate. Our slogan "When you care enough to send the very best" has come to mean showing how much you care. You deserve the very best."

I do. And I am my own very best. I do not need freakin' Hallmark to help me simulate feelings. In fact, right now, my overwhelming feeling is that this revolting piece of crap advertisement belongs in the garbage, right down to its last fancy font. I have to wash my hands now. Hallmark crackwhores, just go away.

61 comments:

Josie said...

Hearts, good for you!! Hallmark would prefabricate our whole lives if they could, just so they can make money. I always buy blank cards as well. It's always much nicer to write a personal message, and the blank cards are nicer anyway. And if I'm feeling really energetic, I buy a box of watercolor paper cards, and paint my own. It doesn't take long, and the receiver always appreciates it.

You have such a way with words, I'll bet your own messages are a hoot, anyway.

thailandchani said...

Your post just showed up!

As for Hallmark, (sticking finger down throat, making gagging noises) I can't stand their sappy sentimentality either.

Just another product of canned culture for oh-so-busy people who can't take the time to express themselves.

Doesn't it make you want to gag? :)

And Happy birthday, by the way. (I typed that myself. LOL)



Peace,

~Chani

Josie said...

I almost forgot.
Happy Birthday to you,
Happy Birthday to you,
Happy Birthday dear Hearts,
Happy Birthday to yoooooooo.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Josie,

Ohhhh, I would love to see your hand painted cards. You are such a talented artist.

I just can't stand one-size-fits-all sentiments.

Chani,

Yeah, gag me with a spoon.

That's what I object to, canned culture for the masses.

Wow! You wished me a happy birthday without benefit of Hallmark. I AM impressed. Thank you.

Josie,

:) :) :) :) :) :) :)!!!!!

MsLittlePea said...

Haha! I buy blank cards too. I hate corny greeting cards.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Sweet Pea,

I am the Anti-Hallmark. Glad to have you in my church.

seventh sister said...

Depends on the hall and how you want to mark it, darlin'.

Happy Birthday.

Luv ya.

Voyager said...

Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
I hate Hallmark,
As much as you.

Have a very happy birthday!

V.

Ian Lidster said...

Well, I do care enough to send the very best, but it will be 'my' vry best. Hope that's OK? Otherwise I, like you, send blank cards and write my own messages, always.
Have a wonderful birthday and felicitations of the day to you.
Ian

Deb said...

If my clock is to be trusted, in 2 minutes time it will be your birthday (at least on this coast). Let me be the first to wish you a HAPPY BIRTHDAY on your actual birthday. I am not going to click the send button until the clock strikes midnight.

Counting down........

starting........

NOW........

One more minute. I am trying to think of something clever and profound to say, but I am not so much a clever and profound person, so don't expect too much from this. Some of us NEED the pretty words written for us.

(watching the clock)

Okay.......

NOW!!!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY CHICKLET!!!!

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Seventh,

Hallmark, when you care enough to whiz the very best.

That could work.

Voyager,

Rose are red,
Violets are blue,
Hallmark's Da Bomb
The one with doodoo.

Ian,

Exactly. We have brains. It's nice to use them once in a while.

Deb,

Oh, thank you, thank you! You are the first, and I was born on that coast so I guess that means I'm a year older before these Californians suspect a thing.

Wanderlust Scarlett said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY HEARTS!

Hope that this is a nice one for you, perhaps a visit to a place that you love.

I go out of my way to skip past Hallmark, I go for unusual, fun, and blank... nothing says what I feel like me writing it myself.

I always love to get hand written cards myself. Actually, I prefer postcards. Then they HAVE to write something.

So glad to see you back.
My best to you.

Scarlett & V.

Lex said...

I hand write notes to people when I want to "show how much I care". I give greeting cards when, like Mommy always said, I can't say something nice. It's the card that's lying. Not me.

Happy Birthday! I would have called had I known how. :)

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Scarlust,

Thank you for the nice birthday wishes.

I often use postcards in place of greeting cards.

Lex,

My mother said that, too. I rarely managed to say nothing at all, though.

Thanks for the virtual phone call. It's always fun talking with you.

katrice said...

I have GOT to call someone a crackwhore at some point this week. Too funny!

Happy Birthday to a phenomenal woman! You deserve a Hallmark-free day!

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Katrice,

Yes, you really must. Surely you can find someone who deserves the very best.

Thank you for your lovely wishes.

Sienna said...

Happy Birthday Hearts

Tried to do that in another font...hmmm blogger gets very serious when I try to do Pamtastic stuff......however horses are on their way...

Have a ggggreat day...

Pam

sognatrice said...

Happy birthday, and, ew is right.

The CEO said...

Happy Birthday Hearts!

Hallmark is for people like me, who can't write. I guess for a real writer, they're pretty pablum.

It's your day
Your very own day
Enjoy every moment of it

Happy 29th

Monty

meno said...

Happy Birthday my dear!

And Hallmark creates holidays and guilt so they can sell cards. Ick.

la cubana gringa said...

I do hate the cheesy cards, no doubt. But I love a good funny card.

Feliz CumpleaƱos, Heart!

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

Oh, Happy Birthday to my gal, Hearts.
She's all fiesty, both fire and ice,
But don't be sending her no Hallmark cards,
She don't believe in artificial sugar and spice.

Thank goodness I saw your post in time to stop the posting of the life-size Hallmark Birthday card I was going to send you.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Pam,

LOVE the horsey pic!! Thank you, thank you!

You ARE Pamtastic.

Sognatrice,

Ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww.
That should take care of it.

Monty,

It's always the thought that counts, so I'm happy to get cards of any kind. I love it when people think of me.

Your writing ain't exactly chopped chicken liver, ya know.

Meno,

I have long suspected that many holidays are hyped up or even invented out of mercantile greed.

Thank you for the happy wishes.

La Cubana,

Gracias, muchas gracias.

Squirrel,

Oh, no. Life size? I can't believe I did myself out of that. I'm sorry now.

Artificial sugar and spice makes the world go round.

thethinker said...

Happy Birthday!!

goodthomas said...

Happy Birthday, HinSF!

Hope you have a grand and wonderful birthday.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Thinker,

Thank you!

Thomas,

Thank you, too.

I expect to have all that. :)

Open Grove Claudia said...

Happy birthday!! I am glad you were born!!

I know someone who writes greeting cards for Hallmark - it's a weird, weird world.

Judith said...

Ive already sent you a card (at least I hope it does not get lost in the seedy underbelly of cyberspace) But in case it does not reach you in time, Please all of you join with me in unison with the mad hatter and sing 'Statistics prove, prove that you've one birthday,
one birthday ev'ry year.
But there are three hundred and sixty four
unbirthdays.
That is why we're gathered here to cheer.
A very merry unbirthday to you, to you.
A very merry unbirthday to you,
It's great to drink to someone and I guess that you will do.
A very merry unbirthday to you

notfearingchange said...

Happy Birthday!

CS said...

"What to say when your child goes to college" - my God, if you need help with something like that, you are in very sad shape indeed! Revolting.

But, hey, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! (imagine me singing, "You say it's your birthday, nananana, it's my birthday, too, yeah, nananananana, you say it's your birthday, nananananana, happy birthday to you."

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Claudia,

I'm glad I was too, on balance. :)

You do have some very interesting friends. Does this one speak in corny couplets, too?

Judith,

Thank you for a adorable card! Yes, unbirthdays are pretty cool, too. I consider all of June my birthday, just in case anyone can't make it on the actual day.

Notfearing,

Thank you so much, and welcome to my blog. Don't trip over the candles.

Cs,

It's YOUR birthday, too? How wonderful! I've hardly ever known anyone who shared my birthday.

I hope yours was really special.

Jocelyn said...

You and I are prickly about just the same things...which means we must be right.

Or something like that. Anyhow, I actually get infuriated (if I have the energy) when someone sends me a pre-written card with just his/her name signed at the bottom. My good pal says such cards are like getting a freeze-dried hug.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Jocelyn,

I cut people a little slack if they write something besides the greeting card sentiment, and they get big points just for thinking of me, regardless.

My Reflecting Pool said...

heheheeh, Happy Birthday! Thats right, screw hallmark and the wordless for needing them!! I kid. I have totally purchase Hallmark for when I really didn't care enough to send the very best!!!

Dumdad said...

Happy birthday for yesterday! (or have I screwed that up with the time change?)

Ryane said...

Wow. A Hallmark magazine? Ew. That actually frightens me. I am w/you Hearts--no.thanks. !!

Bob said...

Many happy returns of the day. (see - I remember pooh!)

Maurey Pierce said...

Blank cards with funny photos are definitely the way to go. Write your own caption.

Happy birthday!

Hel said...

May you have a birthday filled with unexpected, unhallmark moments of joy!

Christina_the_wench said...

I use to work at American Greetings Corp. Our motto was, 'Hallmark sucks.'

My daughter had her first photo shoot at 10 months for an AG card.

Blackmail material.

Molly said...

Happy Birthday Heart! I also got that invitation. We have reached a point of ridiculous excess. Next they'll have a magazine devoted entirely to the best techniques for toenail trimming....The trouble is there must be people out there who buy them! Who are they??

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Reflective,

Anything can be used to ones advantage. Usually, no one is the wiser.

Dumdad,

You're exactly right. It was yesterday. Thank you. It was great, even if I didn't get to eat dinner in Paris.

Ryane,

Yup. An entire magazine. I should have sent for the trial issue out of curiosity, but it offended my sense of decency to let them waste paper on me when I already knew I wasn't going to subscribe.

Bob,

Thank you and Pooh for those kind wishes.

Maurey,

Funny or beautiful, but blank. I use a lot of Japanese art postcards these days. They're lovely.

Hel,

Joy by its very nature is surprising, I think. No hallmark moments, except for the getting a year older part.

Christina,

And AG doesn't suck? Hmmm. Who knew?

Was your daughter naked on a bear rug? I'd love to see the photo. Can you post it w/o her leaving home with her little pink bindle?

Molly,

Toe Trimming Times. You may be onto something.

I would have to decline that one, though. I am not a person who should be trusted with sharp implements.

mist1 said...

Hallmark has a magazine?

eastcoastdweller said...

Happy Birthday, too!

Ever since I figured out how to make my own cards on the computer, saying exactly what I want them to say, I have no use for Hallmark whatsoever.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Mist,

Yes, but any and all references to it have been removed and are fulfilling a higher purpose as landfill.

Eastcoaster,

Not everyone has your creative gifts.

We published a line of greeting cards several years ago, tweaked antique photos with humorous captions. I would have preferred blank insides, but they did pretty well anyway.

Photoshop is a revelation.

EsLocura said...

everyone hates hallmark but they sure do make a lot of money go figure ... happy day on the anniversary of the day of your birth. Muchos besos.

Dan said...

Happy belated birthday. Tomorrow's mine! :)

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Eslocura,

Muchos besos to you, too!

We've been brainwashed to believe that we can't express ourselves well enough, hence: Hallmark & Co.

Dan,

Happy birthday to you, too! I should have known that you were another Cancer.

I hope your day is wonderful in every way.

Lee said...

Oh man, but did I love Sea Monkeys when I was little.

Happy Birthday Susan!

The Moon Topples said...

Happy Birthday to you, Hearts.

A question about the Hallmark Cult: do they dispatch people to forcably bestow those "long, lavish hugs" touted in the ad?

I'm frightened.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Lee,

I've never had any, but it took me quite a long time to recover from my disappointment that they were not monkeys at all; nor did they even slightly resemble them.

The grown-up world is full of lies.

Moon,

I'm frightened, too. There is something downright nefarious about long, lavish Hallmark hugs.

It's not right.

Lee said...

Yeah I didn't like that either, but my imagination was big. Big enough to fool reality.

I saw monkeys and they were pink.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Lee,

I was imaginative, too. When I saw that "sea monkeys" really looked like stunted shrimp, I thought of all kinds of ways to get even with those mean people who thought kids were stupid.

Luckily, imagination doesn't get us put in jail (yet.)

Girl on the Run... said...

Happy Birthday, *(SAPPY SENTIMENT)* May your days be brighter than all the flames of birthday candles, may your life be even sweeter than any slice of cake, may your dreams and wishes all come true an your health be nothing less than great! Happy Happy Birthday!

Good for you, I too prefer to send my own card written but me and not some generic card with some ridiculous sentiment. However... after re reading my note...lol

Happy Birthday and all the best!
M

Tanya Brown said...

"Hallmark crackwhores, just go away."

ROTFLMAO!!!

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Maria,

Do you write verses for Hallmark? You're really good!!!

They should be paying you for your talent.

Tanya,

But they won't. Go away. In fact, they're replicating.

We'll stop laughing when they carry us away like soldier ants and drown us in sugary quicksand.

Odat said...

Happy Birthday, belatedly and not in a Hallmark sorta way!!!
Peace

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Odat,

I hope you did a birthday happy dance for me. Thank you (in a non-Hallmark kind of way, of course.)

CS said...

Um, no - I was doing the Beatles song for you. Ddn't write it, I just (virtually) sang it.

CS said...

And P.S., it was your fault the Beatles song popped into my mind, because of the title of your previous post.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Cs,

What about "When I'm 64?"

Thank you for singing to me. That is so really special, and I love the Beatles.