Saturday, 16 June 2007

For My Mother... on Father's Day

Happy Father’s Day, Mom!
Hallmark cashes in on family breakdown.

From: City Journal

The mandatory trek to the greeting card display, whether for an artificial holiday such as Father’s Day or for a birthday, is occasion for fear and loathing. There is only one melancholy upside to the rising muck of cards devoted to flatulence, impotence, and outsized mammary glands: Hallmark provides a darn good barometer of social breakdown—transformed, with all the cheerful non-judgmentalism of capitalism, into a business opportunity.

For years now, as one stared with increasing despair at the studly stud, dirty old man, and bathroom “humor,” new categories of card were blossoming luxuriantly. “Celebrating your divorce” or “For my second stepmother” cards began popping up regularly among the “From the dog” or “Incompetent duffer” standards. And this year’s display at a Manhattan stationer’s did not disappoint. In the small section devoted to Hallmark’s “African-American” line (of course there is one; it is called “Mahogany”), two card pockets advertised “For mother on Father’s Day” options. One card had apparently already sold out. The other was a tasteful and ingeniously designed card in the Mahogany line’s characteristic earthtones, with a lovely charcoal drawing of a beautiful black woman in one-quarter view.

The front of the card reads:

for My Mother


You hear a lot of talk

these days about

children growing up

without a father—

without this

and without that.

You hardly ever hear

About the mothers who,

In spite of everything,

Raise their children to be strong,

To believe in God, to work hard

To make their lives worthwhile . . .

The message inside the card continued:

That’s the story

I’d like to tell

Because that’s

How you raised me.

In spite of it all,

it’s our story . . .

I made it because of you.

Have a wonderful day.

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