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Sunday, April 12, 2009

The eternal sunshine of the Hallmark mind


I’m sure it’s no coincidence that shortly after I rail against those people who disappear into the ether with nary a peep once I catch them up on the whole cancer thing, I find out that Hallmark has come out with a line of, yes, cancer cards.

You might think I’d be against this, but frankly, I think it’s brilliant. For those who can’t think of a few words to write in a blank card, this is a godsend. After all, why fret over that all-important sentence or two – “Thinking about you, and I hope you keep kicking cancer’s ass!” - when you can have Hallmark do that heavy lifting for you? My favorite is the one for those who have lost their hair:

“No one said it would be easy to lose your hair....but you’ll find a way to turn this situation around and use it as a badge of honor, a sign to the world that your treatments are working.”

Because really, when you’ve gone totally bald, nothing is going to cheer you right up like a platitude pointing out the obvious, that the chemo is indeed working, poisoning your body such that your hair falls out. Beautiful. I mean seriously, how could any of us mere mortals come up with anything that meaningful and profound?

Well, it’s hard, but I tried mightily to reach that level of meaning. Behold, my cancer haiku:

Sorry that you lost your breast
Will it not come back?
I guess that’s just for lizards


Pretty impressive, huh? Not like, say, Hallmark impressive, but who am I to aspire to the kind of wisdom that can be bought for $3.25? The ladies over at the YSC message board also unleashed their collective creativity on this, with the most stellar of results:

Roses are red,
violets are blue,
Cancer really sucks,
And my friends do too!

Needless to say, that one was suggested by someone whose friends bailed while she was in treatment. Another popular suggestion was just a card that says “Fuck Cancer!” – and clearly, I’m behind that as well. Hallmark, are you listening?

Hallmark also has helpful suggestions as to what one can do for one’s sick friends. These include sending Mylar balloons (ahem), or my personal favorite, “borrow a child’s stuffed animal....send snapshots with funny notes about its adventures from the road.” Now, how excellent would it be, as you’re laying in the hospital, to get a photo of a stuffed manatee off on some madcap journey, with a note: “Paris is lovely this time of year – sorry that I’m here and you’re not - since you’re too sick! Being cooped up in a hospital is no fun. Oh well. I’m going to take my stuffed animal self and go have some chocolate croissants. Au revoir!”

It just doesn’t get any better than that.

2 comments:

Roadie in Vancouver said...

Cockscomb celosia is red
Welwitschia is Green
They are to ugly
what BCBS is to mean

Motria said...

Lizards have breasts?!