Ah, the holiday season. That blessed time of year when we are inundated with card after lovely card, wishing us a Merry Christmas and Happy Holiday season. Cards arrive from family and friends, near and far. Every card featuring some combination of children and animals, dressed in matching outfits, smiling as though they are truly enjoying themselves and cooperating with whatever photo session was required to capture the magazine-worthy image. Some cards include beautiful homes or exotic locations featured subtly in the background, suggesting a year of success and extravagance. Some cards deliver the clear message, “my kids are cuter than yours…Warmest Christmas Wishes!” Others imply “I have clearly been more successful in business than you and drive a more expensive car…Peace and Love to you and yours!” And still others include pictures of thin, well dressed adults with perfect hair that declare “I haven’t gained a pound since high school and my boobs are still perky…May the blessings of the Christ Child find you this Christmas season!”
I get it. I totally get it. And I think your kids, in their coordinated outfits that match nicely…but not so perfectly that it looks like you spent 5 hours pacing feverishly through target picking up shirts and vests and accessories and then putting them back over and over and over until you found yourself in the bakery department about to pry open that box of cookies before paying for it, are really adorable. And you look amazing! I never would have known about the botox had you not told me yourself. But it’s not the perfectly coiffed offspring or the tropical locations that make me want to jab my eyes out with a poorly sharpened holiday pencil.
It took me a few years to understand the hidden innuendo of the holiday card. It’s the obvious, yet rarely noted reality that has me feeling…self conscious…like a dadgum failure. You see, there was a time in the not so distant past that I had the time, energy, motivation and organizational skills to send out my own cards. But now I have three kids, and a job and this little thing called apathy…which is often strangely necessary for survival. You and your cards have become a glaring reminder that I suck at adulting. The fact that you were able to capture a picture, find 10 uninterrupted minutes to upload it to one of those snapfishy websites and order cards before the 40% off coupon expired is remarkable! And apparently some of you keep some sort of detailed spreadsheet with addresses that you also upload to the website because my card was delivered in a fancy envelope featuring our names and address in a trendy font. And still others of you chose to hand print names and addresses…you hand print that shit! How long did that take you? And what were your kids doing while you were sitting writing out name and address…name and address? And what were you drinking? And stamps… Do you just have an endless supply of stamps in a pristinely organized drawer in your immaculately kept office? Because when I received your card, that’s what I envisioned and THAT is what made me insanely, ragingly jealous. Not your European vacation or your lack of forehead lines…it was the thought of you sitting in a quiet, clean room affixing stamps from an organized drawer onto your fresh stack of envelopes. On a good day I can maybe find one or two stamps stashed in random places throughout my house. Of course, they are detached from their backing and have lost all of their adhesive. And you can bet when I’m trying to send that one lone Christmas card, I will inevitably find a Fourth of July stamp and ONLY a Fourth of July stamp. Which I will then tape onto an envelope. Such is my life.
And then what? Did you drive to the post office to mail said cards? Every post office in my life requires a complex series of left hand turns to get into and out of. And again, where were your kids during this process? If your card is any indication, they were sitting in the backseat, holding hands and singing Joy To The World in perfect harmony while gazing lovingly at each other in coordinating plaids.
So, good on you…you accomplished card sender outer. You thriving adult with time and energy and motivation. I am thrilled for your success, your travels, your darling children and your smooth skin. But the fact that you had the time to send cards makes me question our friendship.
Can I borrow some stamps?