Thursday, May 7, 2009

House of cards falls short

Men seem more comfortable inside beef jerky outlets, stinky cigar bars and greasy garages than inside local greeting card shops.

The card shops seem overtly oriented toward women who take responsibility by default for the purchase of greetings for birthdays, anniversaries, Easter, Passover, ad infinitum.

It is at this nexus of gender occupation that I ventured into a local Hallmark to buy a Mother's Day card for my mother-in-law. There were cards for grandmother, mother-to-be, stepmother, adoptive mother, and every mother type in between from husbands, fathers, grandfathers, sons and other males who only venture once-a-year into Hallmark heaven.

There were tens of varieties for every category at every price point. But not for mothers-in-law.

There must be an unwritten code in card retailing that a guy would never buy such a card for his in-law, unless he was looking to butter up for a warm meal, inheritance or redemption. I guess they just don't figure they would sell.

After a long search, I finally spotted two mother-in-law specific cards languishing on the bottom shelf. They were just next to a niche that had three different types of cards -- Mother's Day greetings from the cat. FROM THE CAT. If you're familiar with comedian Lewis Black, this lunacy would take his comedic anger to a new stratosphere.

Hallmark must take the cat demographic as a more profitable one than the typical male. But if you screw up a Mother's Day greeting, you won't have nine lives to recover.

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