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I am a card guy


This is a real test of whether somebody actually cares about you or not.

Today is Valentine's Day, and per my usual, I did buy a card for the special someone in my life.

I'm writing this not to talk about Valentine's Day but rather the importance of sending and receiving cards.

Cards matter, and don't let anybody tell you differently.

Some businesses send out birthday cards. True, it's not the most personal thing in the world when a business sends one of these. However, any business that sends one gets a thumbs up from me because they actually spent the money to mail one out. Somebody working for that company thought it a good idea to mail out cards like that just to be nice. It puts a human face on the company, which is a very good thing. And I know that for a lot of people out there, those are the only type of birthday cards they even receive. Getting one of these cards will at least put the thought of, "Well, at least somebody cared" into the mind of the recipient.

The cards that matter the most are the ones you receive from people you know, be they family or friends. Whenever you receive a card, be it for Valentine's Day, birthday, Thanksgiving, Halloween, Christmas, anniversary or whatever it is, that person actually cares about you. Why? Because they took the time and effort to pick a card, buy it and mail it or hand it to you in person.

Anybody you know that sends a card is giving of themself to you. Always remember to contact the person who sent the card and say thank you. That's not optional. You do it.

Sending a card is a really good test to see if somebody actually cares. If you send a card but never get a card back or even a thank-you, well then... you know where you stand.

And while the internet is a wondrous thing that connects people in many ways, one of the absolute worst things is the e-card. Sending a card electronically has no thought and no effort behind it at all. The only thing worse is sending a text message. And the absolute most bottom-of-the-barrel thing one can do is sending a text message with one emoji in it. Doing something like that is totally lazy and insulting.

However, a phone call where you speak nice wishes to somebody is okay. It's not as good as a physical card, but at least taking the time to dial, call and say something nice to somebody takes actual effort.

I've encountered people who make very lame excuses why they didn't send a card. I'll send them one, then ask later if they received it since they never said thanks or sent a card in return. They say yes, they received it, and then comes the lame excuse of why they didn't send one.

Example: I mailed a card to somebody some years back, waited, and there was no return card or even a thank-you. About a week later during a phone call with them, I asked if they received the card I sent. They said yes, and then I was told, "Oh... I don't do, um.. cards..." That means a) they received my card, b) could have said thanks for the card but didn't, and c) never thought once that maybe they should send a card in a return.

I don't talk to that person anymore.

Does this mean you always have to send a return card? No. But if you care about who sent the card at all, at least return contact and say thanks. If you don't, the only thing you'll ever receive for the rest of your life will be birthday cards from businesses for the ones that even bother to do that.

Published 2023 Feb 14

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