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.