Must you read it?

Mike No Comment

When buying birthday cards, or any sort of greeting card, it usually is a very personal activity. You want to find that perfect card.

I hate buying cards. I’m very picky and rarely can I find just the right one. Sometimes it’s especially difficult when it comes to the Happy Birthday Step-Dad section.

On occasion I will buy a card that is sentimental. Most times they will be funny or odd, something that might be perceived as strange or childish to observers.

My usual method of purchasing a card is to tuck it under the envelop flap, face down, with the bar code visible so that it can easily be scanned without the card being seen. This avoids any awkwardness at the register. If the cashier would happen to see the card said ‘Happy Birthday, Mom’ they might feel the need for some small-talk and ask about your mom’s birthday. It could get much worse with Get Well Soon cards. I also don’t want to be judged based on the appearance of the card.

I usually go to the Hallmark store but there weren’t any convenient for my ride home yesterday so I went to Wal-Mart. After only a few cards I found one that was perfect. It may have been the best card I’ve ever found, but I haven’t kept track to be able to say that for sure. If I had to categorize it I would say it was cute, possibly childish. It would have sentimental meaning, but it wasn’t a flowery card with script writing. I put the card under the envelope flap as usual and headed to pay. I get up to typical Wal-Mart cashier with only the card to purchase. She scans it then proceeds to pull it out and read the front. Then she opens it up to read what’s inside. The whole time I’m standing there with my money out. It’s only a few lines but it takes her a little while to digest. Luckily the extent of conversation was her saying, ‘That’s cute.’

I feel like the Hallmark employees follow some sort of code that states they are not to read the cards while checking out. I can see the Wal-Mart employees not being used to it. They don’t often come across cards and they don’t stock them themselves.

I had developed my card tuck system before ever having someone read a card I had purchased. I had only assumed that it would be an odd encounter if the cashier were to read the card. Turns out, I was right. I will make more of an effort to go to Hallmark from now on. If I do wind up at Wal-Mart or Target I hope I won’t let the fact that the cashier may read the card in anyway sway my selection. Sadly, I feel my fear of being judged by the cashier will weigh heavily on my decision. Especially those Wal-Mart cashiers, they’re so hard to impress.

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