Card shark

What’s your shopping obsession?

After shoes and accessories, I’d have to say my greatest shopping pleasure is picking out greeting cards. I’ve spent upwards of $60 at a whack at places where they offer good cards. I buy hundreds every year.

What are good cards? I lean toward humor, so I go for the cards that have me laughing out loud right there at the rack. I’ve been a spectacle at the airport news stand, where they often carry my favorite line of cards, Avanti.

I think the reason so many people no longer send greeting cards is that they’re under the impression it takes a separate trip to the card store for each acknowledgement.

In fact, like the airport gift shops, the best cards can be found at places where we already are. I often buy cards at FedEx Kinko’s, where I browse the racks while waiting for a print job. If you like cards and live near where I do, Bertram’s Inkwell at White Flint Mall and Knowles Apothecary in Kensington will hook you up.

When I’m traveling and have a little time, I seek out the local card shops. I found Boulder, Colorado, to be a greeting card Mecca, and Gidget’s Gadgets in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, can’t be beat.

I wish I could be like my friend Sheree, who makes her own cards, or my friend Jeuli, who had her own line in stores some years ago, or my friend Carla, who wrote for Hallmark’s humor lines. I just don’t have that kind of talent.

I am good, though, at buying and sending. And I have a kind of a system for managing my habit.

I buy all year long because, after all, I enjoy the hunt. Most cards remind me of friends and family members, so I select cards with specific people in mind, rather than just stocking up. Even if you’ve just had a birthday or anniversary, chances are I’ve already bought your next year’s card, affixed a Post-it with your name on it, made a note on my calendar a week before your occasion that there’s a card for you in my pile and then put it in the pile.

I do stock up on things like graduation cards, so that I’m ready when those announcements starting rolling in, and I keep other cards on hand just in case.

Recently, my pile became so unruly that I extended the system. I now have a box with purchased, assigned cards sorted by occasion, sitting by my stock of notecards and personalized stationery. If you stepped into my office, you might mistake it for the Hallmark store.

When people see my various “systems,” they often tell me I have too much time on my hands. Perhaps that’s because I’m so organized.

6 Comments

Filed under Beauty and Fashion, Family and Friends, Holidays, Travel

6 responses to “Card shark

  1. Mom

    I can always count on you for a laugh-out-loud card when I least expect it. And I must admit, I have my own stack.

  2. Ellen

    I have the same filing system, but can do you one better. I have 2 for birthday cards, “Male” and “Female”!!

  3. Dear Ms. Nymph,

    You could indulge your greeting card obsession a great deal more easily and effectively by adding a Send Out Cards account to your life!

    I am a retired teacher who loves words and word play and fell into your blogsite by chance a couple of months ago; I have enjoyed it ever since. Thank you! I found Send Out Cards six years ago after I took early retirement and, being a greeting card fanatic myself, have loved the ease and creativity it has given me with card sending. Not that it necessarily replaces store-bought cards altogether, but the spontaneity and convenience it makes possible (sending whatever you want from your computer while in your bunny slippers) have resulted in my being able to send many more highly personalized cards, which I love.

    Basically, it is a web-based card store with over 15,000 cards to choose from, categorized just as in a card store, and you can also design and create your own card covers. You compose your card online, then click send and a real paper greeting card is printed, addressed, stamped, stuffed, and mailed for you from the post office the next day.

    All designs can be sent as either a postcard, regular two-panel card, or three-panel, and you can upload pictures on the inside and/or cover panels. In addition you can insert a gift card or send any of a great number of gifts along with the card. All this for much less than you pay for cards from a store. You can try sending a card for free by going to my website at http://www.pickacardanycard.net–I hope you like it! (PS: Just as a heads-up, it is a business as well as a service, so do not be put off by the first part of the video.)

    Best wishes from Japan, where I am visiting my second granddaughter!

    Dawn McDonald

  4. Polly

    Snailmail is no longer something I dabble in often. Guilt still rides me about that. Probably the best place where I found cards was in a great college bookstore. I always enjoyed Shoebox cards (A Tiny Little Division of Hallmark). Sandra Boynton and Far Side cards were my favorites for a while. I am chuckling just thinking of some of my favorites.

  5. You send the greatest cards to Uncle Earle and me. Thank you for all the laughs.

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