Monday, December 13, 2004

Christmas Carding

I am in charge of the majority of the Christmas card duties here at Team Kafka HQ. I know you may not call them Christmas cards. You may call them Holiday cards, or Solstice Missives or Death of Nature Fliers. I don't know. Anyway, some thoughts:

- The decay of enthusiasm
I always start out the Christmas cards with a great attitude. I compile the list of worthy recipients and go somewhere like Cost Plus and pick out the right cards for the wifely friend and I. We need cards that will adequately express our caring and artful sensibilities, and inspire the recipient to new levels of gratitude and potential guilt, if they haven't remembered us this year.

It's important to have a card that stands out, too, so you can act wounded if you visit the recipient's home and see that your card is in the B-team display, over behind one of the potted plants.

I start out with our overseas cards, and I'm writing letters in each card. I'm telling relatives things they probably don't need or want to know about trivial details of our personal lives. About our cat. About the newts I find in our back yard from time to time.

But inevitably, after this outpouring of card-filling, I am spent. The domestic cards cannot help but suffer, and end up getting only terse little Merry Christmas!es. After writing fifty Merry Christmas!es and Hope to see you soon!s I end up speaking that way for days.

"Going to store! Hope lunch good! Have run over pedestrian! Have malaria!"

- The baby card
Lately people we know have been reproducing at an alarming rate, so we've been getting those "here's a picture of us with the babies pretending we're not really annoyed and tired every single moment" cards. That is, of course, just fine. They're actually handy, in that I can't tell the difference between the gaggle of babies that are being produced, so the cards function as little flashcards, preventing awkwardness at social gatherings.

"Hello friends who have reproduced!"
"Hello, Kaf! Here is our baby!"
"Ah yes! Your baby! Whose name is...umm...give me a minute here"

And then I quickly rifle through my stack of baby-cards until I find the right one, and I am the champion of baby-name-remembering. It's small things like this that ensure a place in people's wills.

- The love question
I have a hard time saying I love you. Not to the wifely friend of course. I say that to her all the time, especially if I suspect she has become peeved with me in some small way.

I have a problem with the Christmas card love. I mean, do I put "love, kaf and wifely friend" on every card? I mean I like my friends plenty, but love may frankly be a little strong. I don't want to feel like I'm subjecting people to some sort of emotional blackmail with my signature. I don't want anyone thinking I'm going to want to spend the weekend at a hippie drum circle retreat with them or anything.

Maybe I should try Sociopathologically Yours?


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