Tuesday, June 17, 2008

I'm Living in a Card Shop, Thank Heavens

In my periodic meanderings through thrift stores, I look for postcards, notecards, and greeting cards. I sometimes buy retail versions of those things too -- my preferred site for buying greeting cards these days is the Dollar Tree, where they have very decent cards for fifty cents each.

I stopped by the Dollar Tree last night to pick up a few things, not including cards. The local paper (not the SF Chronicle) in the newspaper vending machine next to the door had on the front page a story about a county elected official who is to marry his male partner today. I used to work with the official more than twenty years ago, so I was pleased to see the news. My mind then shut off: here I am, in the store with good (and cheap) greeting cards. But do I purchase a card for them? No.

On the way out, I even stop and write down the name of the official's future spouse. Do I go back in and buy a card? No.

So, at home, after 9pm, I suddenly think: I should send them a card. Duh!

I then decide that surely I must have something on hand that would be suitable. First stop: Bollywood postcards, using photos of the film industry in India from the book Bollywood Dreams by Jonathan Torgovni. (Link is to a gallery exhibit of some of the photos.) I definitely have one possibility: two actors, looking like Tweedledee and Tweedledum, in matching costumes that I can't quite place in time and space, but looking vaguely, I guess, like Indian soldiers of many centuries ago -- or maybe just like palace guards. They're waiting for filming, and one of them has a glass of milk. Well, no, not the right card: I sent another copy to a gay couple last Halloween, with a message saying I hope they have spiffy costumes. This card is not serious enough for the occasion.

A quick skim through the box with cards and postcards doesn't show anything suitable. By now, of course, I am fixated on the idea that I MUST send the card out early this morning, rather than buying one when the stores open.

Then I thought: don't I have something in the folder with monthly pockets in it for cards? (I realize this makes me seem pathetic, but, hey, I'm a librarian, and we like to organize things. At least my books at home aren't in call number order.) And, indeed, the folder does yield something: it's in the pocket for next January (for future use on New Year's) and it's a postcard with a turn-of-the-century photo of two men in tuxes, each with a bottle of champagne, one of which is being held in a toast. The image was probably from an advertisement for champagne -- neither man looks tipsy. Perfect for a congratulatory note, although I can picture Miss Manners swooning at my failure to just write a note in black ink on white or cream paper. (Which I also have, somewhere.)

I put the postcard, with a suitable note, in an envelope (to lend gravitas) and sent it to the official's office this morning. Thank heavens for living in a card shop, of sorts.

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