by Marinka on May 7, 2010

If you don’t count the hypocrites, there are two kinds of people in the world. Those who believe in greeting cards and those who don’t understand why you have to pay $4 when you can just call someone and say “Happy Birthday” or “Happy Mother’s Day” or “I’m sorry that I ruined your life”. I’m a hypocrite because I hate sending cards, but I kind of like getting them, especially when they have a cute funny message inside that implies that I’m stunning.

Maybe I’m just cheap and shoplifting is the obvious solution.

But there is no one on this planet that likes greeting cards as much as my mother-in-law. To her, they are a sign that someone cares and that they are thoughtful. I clued in on this early on in my relationship with Husbandrinka. I was the new daughter-in-law, and I wanted to win her over. Hallmark never knew what hit them.

My biggest coup was on Mother’s Day about 10 years ago when I scored my first Happy Mother’s Day to My Mother-in-Law card. I knew when I saw the card that it was a winner. She was impressed. “Not many mothers-in-law get a card like that,” she thanked me. “Yeah, they didn’t have a big selection in the store,” I told her. It was clear that I was her favorite daughter-in-law. The fact that I was her only daughter-in-law was not my fault and didn’t diminish my thoughtfulness.

This year I almost had a stroke when I realized that I didn’t get a card for my mother-in-law. On the one hand, I don’t get my own mother a card. On the other hand, mama doesn’t expect a card and would probably suspect a brain tumor if I suddenly got her one (traditionally, I hug her and say ‘you’ve always been like a mother to me’ on this special day). On the third hand, cards mean a lot to my mother-in-law, and on the fourth, how can I not get her a card this year when I’ve gotten her one every single other year. I mulled all this over and on the final hand decided that it was worth $4 to just stop thinking of this already, get the card and move on with my life.

So I did. And when I was picking past the cards that I’d bought in years past (seriously, there are like five designs total), I came across one that said “To My Ex-Mother-in-Law”. Some people just don’t know where to draw the line.

Happy Mother’s Day! To everyone.
(and for more more Mother’s Day fun, check out these very funny ladies!)

One year ago ...

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{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

May 7, 2010 at 12:35 am

Secret confession: my MIL buys THREE cards for my three children for every occasion. Even for St. Patty’s day and we aren’t Irish. I kept most of them – always signed “love grandma” (that’s it) – but recently started to just throw them away.

Do you know how many Hallmark holidays there are in one year? Enough that if she saved her money instead of buying THREE cards for each holiday for each kid, I would have enough dough to purchase new heels.

Cards for the kids for every occasion (that I throw away)? Or new heels to make her son smile? DUH!?!


May 7, 2010 at 8:02 am

I definitely think there’s an Italian-American aspect to this story. Like moustaches or the ability to make tomato sauce (not gravy, as you say in New Jersey), Italian-American women have this love of greeting cards genetically bred into them. Hopefully, this will be a recessive gene in your daughter. (btw, my mom’s been dead for 5 years, but I send Mother Day cards to my aunts, sisters, Godmother, and my childhood friend’s mom. ugh.)


traci May 7, 2010 at 8:03 am

My top #3 favorite cards:

With friends like you, who needs pants!

Sorry about the tequila fueled romp through your begonias, but I ask of you what better way to celebrate?

Happy Birthday! Go to hell. On the inside: You heard me.


anna see May 7, 2010 at 10:31 am

My MIL loves cards, too! She was supposed to come this weekend, but didn’t b/c Molly is sick. Now I have a card that I was planning to hand deliver. Better late than never?


the mama bird diaries
May 7, 2010 at 11:26 am

I am just APPALLED by the price of cards.

If you can’t say, “Happy Mother’s Day. I love you” in $2, it’s just not worth it.


I'm Nate's Mom May 7, 2010 at 1:22 pm

Is that the card you chose, or the one you rejected b/c it looks like the flowers are popping out of a commode (or possibly a travel mug)? I can’t even tell you about the card my husband got for his mom. Okay, I will: it’s a birthday card with a hairy man wearing a coconut shell bra, and inside it says, “Makeovers. What you get out of them depends on what you put into them.” Ummm. . . . never mind that it’s not a mother’s day card . . . it’s not even a good birthday card. When will he understand that you cannot buy cards at CVS?


Erin I'm Gonna Kill Him
May 7, 2010 at 3:00 pm

I’m thinking of writing my MIL’s card on a cocktail napkin with the note, “your son drives me to drink.”

I’m a favorite DIL, too, but alas, the only. I may have to hire a sniper to take care of the next one.


Mo "Mad Dog" Stoneskin May 7, 2010 at 5:41 pm

Because you’re brilliant I’ll tell you a little secret. Not that it works so well for, say, a Mothers’ Day card to my mother, but instead of buying an overly-priced card, you should do what I do. Sit the toddler at the table with a piece of card, some glue, her box of art bits including tiny little sparkly things that you’ll find scattered liberally about the house for years to come. Tell him/her to make a card, give them five minutes and hey presto, the dining room table is ruined but you DO have a cute hand-crafted card to send.


May 7, 2010 at 6:17 pm

You started to really impress me when you got to the third hand. And by the fourth, you won me over. Four hands is, like, twice as many hands as everyone else has. But I’m bad at math, so that’s just an approximation.


dusty earth mother May 7, 2010 at 10:19 pm

I just have to know, who would your mother think had a brain tumor if you gave her a card, you or her? Or both? Get back to me. I may not be able to sleep tonight.


Karen at French Skinny May 7, 2010 at 10:43 pm

Thinking of all my friends with EX- Mother’s In law (and there’s quite a few) I can’t think of anyone who would buy that card. But I kind of love that it exists.


May 7, 2010 at 11:35 pm

Now I feel really bad. I never got a card for my MIL. I don’t know, I still feel it’s her son’s job, right?

I don’t know. I do know that I’ll catch hell for this. Passive agressive style somewhere down the line.

Happy Mother’s Day to you!


The Carded May 8, 2010 at 9:26 am

M y MIL sends a card every three weeks to someone in the family. They live 6 hours away and on top of Facebook and email, we receive these cards. Cards to say I miss you, I’m glad you visited, I’m glad you’re going to visit in addition to the traditional holiday cards. I do throw each and every one away. Yep, I do. Maybe our MILs should email about how many Hallmark employees they keep employed 🙂


May 8, 2010 at 11:14 am

Despite knowing my MIL is a cardaholic, we live in the same town and she MAILS Halloween cards to the kids- major cardaholic- I don’t buy her cards, because really? We see each other several times a week and hugs and visits are like a card come to life, no?

I too am the favorite, and only DIL, but proximity is my friend.

Happy Mother’s Day!


The gold digger May 8, 2010 at 11:47 am

I’m with Alexandra. MIL’s cards are my husband’s responsibility. Plus I can’t stand my in-laws.


Slow Panic
May 8, 2010 at 8:22 pm

my mom loves cards and reads every word and takes it completely to heart.

kinda drives me crazy.


May 9, 2010 at 7:28 pm

Don’t try sending those e-cards. Even when they have the exact same sentiment, they never work in the same way. I guess it shows that you care when you put a stamp on it and send it through the mail.

My mother was not happy today.


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