Birthday Cards

Writing birthday cards - a short piece on the process

A birthday card picturing a grumpy white cat, holding a balloon with an angry face on it

I hate buying birthday cards. I can never pick the right one.
I’ll spend so much time, wandering the aisle, trying to find one that looks just right.

That one looks perfect. Did I buy that one before though?
That one’s great, but why does it say something inside instead of just being blank so I can write what I want?

Writing the card is its own process. I’ll draft the words on my phone.

I have flashbacks when I write it. I’ll go really slow. I remember a montage of moments where I’ve messed cards up in the past. I’m pretty sure I got told off when I was little, for messing up the writing on an expensive card, and a parent had to rescue it.

I feel like I’m a single digit age again. I used to sign the cards for my brothers and I. Hold on. Careful. The amount of times I nearly sign our three names, even now.

The card is written. I let it stand. Let the ink dry. Not getting caught out with that smudgy mistake again.

It looks great. It’s done. Everything’s alright. Thank fuck.

I seal the envelope. The adhesive lingers on my tongue. The taste of stress, last minute fixes, and birthdays.

I hope they like it.