Friday, August 29, 2008

When You Care Enough to Send the Very Best

I'm not sure what to think about this. Hallmark has a series called "Cards with real words for real life." If you go on their website one of the options is "Help Cope with trying to get pregnant, having a miscarriage or an aging parent." The above card is Hallmark's answer to showing support for an infertile friend or family member. 

Now on the one hand, I see this as a breakthrough in mainstream media to include a card about infertility. It is getting the topic out of the shame closet and showing how prevalent this problem is and that it's okay to say something to an infertile person instead of running for the hills because you are too uncomfortable with it. So I do applaud this. But my first reaction to the card was a big giggle at how cheesy this seemed. Saying it with a hallmark card has never really been my style anyway, but I tried to think hard and honestly about how I would feel if I got this in the mail from a friend. Would I be really happy that a friend thought of me or would I feel like this was a lame way of avoiding talking with me about it?

I'm probably being too harsh because in the end I have a hard time figuring out what I want from people. I really don't want packaged responses from people about my losses or infertility because it makes me want to strangle them. I despise when I sense a person is so uncomfortable with the topic or feel they are walking on egg shells around me. Sometimes I don't want to feel like a freak and don't want people to talk in a pitied tone to me. But then sometimes I get so angry when people just ignore my losses and pretend nothing bad has happened. So what do I want from people? A hallmark card? In the end my mood plays a huge part in all this. I guess my preferred interaction is when a person can just be real with me. They can frankly say this sucks so bad and is angry along with me that this is happening and doesn't show awkwardness. Maybe I am just asking too much. But the people who haven't been afraid to talk frankly with me about this (hubby, mom, dad, sister and sister in-laws, and 2 close friends) are the people who continue to make me feel the most comfortable sharing my experience. 

So Hallmark is making the right step. But of course it got me thinking of some infertility cards I would like to submit to Hallmark for consideration. If they want to get to real words for real life, I got some doozies in my pocket that I can throw out there. What about some of these?

THE SURROGATE SERIES - When you want to avoid awkward questions, send the very best. 

For Intended Parent to Friend:

For Friend to Intended Parent:

THE NOSEY NEIGHBOR SERIES - When you can't hold your tongue, send the very best.

THE COMPLETELY UNHELPFUL SERIES: When you want to make light of an insanely complicated situation, send the very best.

I kid you not, I actually received this message from a friend in an email (word for word transcription!):

THE DREAM SERIES: When you have real insight into the infertility struggle, send the very best. 

I can dream can't I?

Can you think of any more for Hallmark?


JellyBelly said...


especially the last one.

now i don't know if i would want to receive a card rejoicing in my barren-ness, but i definitely think that you've cornered the market!

luna said...

oh tabi, thanks for the laugh. these are hilarious!

I agree with jellybelly, you've got the market covered.

Duck said...

Tabi! I love it.

peesticksandstones said...

AWESOME! Pure genius. I love to scoff at Hallmark cards, and how in their world, all dads love golf and bbq-ing and being lazy -- all women love shoes and shopping. I always imagine a card that would reflect MY family reality ("Thanks for the memories, Mom... I'm still in therapy!").

On a related note, I've often wondered (if I ever manage to have a baby someday) if I should send my clinic a card? Do people send fruit baskets? And if it doesn't work, do you send, say, a lump of coal?

Ms Heathen said...

Like you, I have mixed feelings about the Hallmark card. As you say, on the one hand, it does perhaps signal the beginnings of some broader social recognition of the profound pain associated with infertility. On the other hand, I'm not sure how I would feel were I to receive such a card through the post. I do feel that it lets people off the hook, and provides them with an easy way out of avoiding a potentially difficult conversation.

But I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE your alternative series. Perhaps there could also be one with a picture of a stork delivering a baby, with the message 'why don't you just relax?' written on the front?!?

Shinejil said...

Holy shit, those are funny!

alicia said...

AHHHHH I love these! LOVE.THEM!!!

I agree though, it is nice that Halmark is recognizinf infertility, it would be a shoker to get one of those, but I still think I would apprecaite it!

Melanie said...

Oh for crying out loud (after my hearty laugh though!) I too appreciate that awareness of infertilehood is becoming more mainstream, but I would much prefer a hand written, "I'm thinking of you" or "some bastard should pay for the crap you're going through and we'll hunt him/it/they down together and break bread over their/his/its corpse." After all the moronic things I've heard going through this, I would probably just curl up and prrr if I got one of the latter.

Not on Fire said...

What can I say, but you ROCK!

Dora said...

Brilliant! Love them! (Yours, that is.)

jenibug said...

All the "cards" are great and the last one really did make me laugh out loud! I have to limit the amount of friend's blogs I look at in one day because it's so darn depressing to see picture after picture of cute kids! That is why I am finally looking at Infertility blogs and I think I may start my own. Thank you for yours.

Intending To Be Parents said...

Hallmark should definitely add you to their staff - these are some great card ideas!

chicklet said...

These are awesome, you should set up a cafepress are like I did. One of mine is "I'm sorry getting pregnant has been so tough for you", but on the inside it says "have you thought about becoming a crack whore?"


the Babychaser: said...

Oh my god, your alternate cards ROCK! I'm sitting here at work on a particularly depressingly infertile day and that was EXACTLY what I needed.

I think I'm going to link to this in my blog. Everyone needs to see this.

(Not sure how I feel about the Hallmark card. It's just so strange. I do think that if I got that from a friend, and it didn't ALSO have a PERSONAL note in it, I'd be weirded out.)

Annie said...

Oh my gosh, your cards are hilarious! (I'm here from Bridges). I think another great one for the totally unhelpful series is one I've gotten a lot after my losses. It would go like this, "I'm so sorry," and then on the inside, "But at least you know you can get pregnant!" Um right, because getting pregnant did me a whole lot of good when my baby DIED. (not to downplay the struggle for those who can't get pregnant in the first place, but just saying that getting pregnant doesn't do you any good either if you can't stay pregnant)

As far as the real hallmark card, I think the actual message in it is pretty damn good, at least compared to the response I get from most people. But if I got it in a card like that I would be weirded out by it. If someone wrote it to me in an email, a letter, a blank card, etc., I would really appreciate it.

Tammy said...

Oh my goodness. I needed that. Thank you. (here from bridges).

I, like you, am happy that IF is being noticed but I really think that that card is so condesneding in a way. Actually, I think it is just the kind of card my MIL would send to us.

Outside: I am sorry to here that you are having a little trouble (whispering) um, getting pregnant.

Inside: Good luck with your endeavors. (this was actually said to me by my MIL.)

Anonymous said...

Oh, you have no idea how badly I needed that cynical little laugh today.

I should be getting a whole stack of the fifth one any day now. It's been a rought summer!

Cassandra said...

Here from Bridges...

Hilarious! I love them all.

I've got one for you, inspired by recent events in my life.


Cover: Congratulations on the birth of your baby after so many years!

Inside: Now I can stop excluding you from my children's birthday parties.

Me said...

"I guess my preferred interaction is when a person can just be real with me. They can frankly say this sucks so bad and is angry along with me that this is happening and doesn't show awkwardness."


That last one is my favorite! ;)

Bec said...

I totally love the cards :)

annacyclopedia said...

Absolutely brilliant! Thanks for the laugh.

Celia said...

You have made my morning! My favorite is' why don't you just adopt"