Annette and I are attending the Bar Mitzvah of a good friend’s son this weekend. The child’s name, who’s soon to be a man, is Yuval. I went out yesterday to find an appropriate card.

The whole aisle


When I walked into the card section of the store, I was greeted not by one aisle, not by two aisles, but by three, two-sided aisles of cards…six card racks, each over twenty feet long!



Wow, who knew there were so many occasions that were noteworthy enough to celebrate?

I guess Hallmark knew there were, or rather Hallmark and Papyrus and other card companies created many of these occasions and then excited the Need in us to celebrate them with one of their cards.

Mother’s Day and Father’s Day I understand are wholly invented. Same with Grandparents Day and   Great Grandparents Day for goodness sake.

As my glazed eyes began to clear, I was swept up with the cycle of life colorfully illuminated around me. Your life. My life illustrated before us. And like any cycle, there is no beginning and no end. The carousel swirls around and around in perpetual motion. In a Circle Game. You can jump in anywhere.



My little journey down the linoleum path of life began at one possible beginning…Congratulations on Your Pregnancy. Next, of course, are the Birth Announcements from the proud parents or grandparents. Then the cards from well-wishers answering back with Congratulations On The Birth.

Time moves quickly down the aisle of life and soon Baby’s First Birthday is upon us. Then the 2nd. And the 3rd. There’s a card it seems for nearly every one of these precious events, especially the Sweet Sixteen Birthday as the seasons race on.



In the next aisle are the associated events of childhood, the simple achievements, winning a soccer game or baseball or getting an “A” in your kindergarten class, or the staring role in your school play.

And the racks spill over with the holidays of childhood….Happy Halloween, Merry Christmas. Happy Chanukah.

bar card


And, of course, Bar Mitzvah, which began my little trip down life’s card game.

The child is soon shaving or make-up-ing and then come the Graduation Cards…from high school, from college, from law school, from medical school.



The graduates next begin their various mating rituals, the pairing up of the species. Valentine’s Day is the Big One, of course.

When the dating goes well, next are the Engagement Announcements and the invitations to the Wedding Shower, or the Bachelor Party, culminating with the Wedding Invitations themselves.

Then, if we keep on this cycle, we begin at the beginning again with the Birth Announcements after the marriage, which segue seamlessly into the endless birthdays mentioned above.



50 years


But instead, let’s stay with the married couple and follow their path. Here we’ll find their Wedding Anniversaries. All is lovey-dovey in the First year. The Second Anniversary can warrant its own card, even the Third. But soon we skip years, celebrating only the Tenth and Twentieth, perhaps the Fiftieth.

There are, naturally, Business Events of all sorts that the couple shares in together…The New Job. The PromotionThe Relocations, The New Home, and The Welcomes To The Community. But before very long, sooner than you’d imagine, come the Happy Retirement cards.



Their life goes on. Not always as they’d like perhaps. Illness can stalk them. Thank goodness we have Get Well cards. A lot of them. And often they do in fact get well and more cards are sent, Thank-Yous, and Good-Luck, even Blesssings to the Eternal for bringing them back into life.

But for others, the cycle does end, and for them The Sympathy card has its moment in the sun. It’s helpful to keep in mind at difficult times like these, that when the sun sets for one, the sun also rises for another.

And so the cycle begins again.

It’s very easy start life over in another reality…all you have to do is go back to the first aisle…



Just be sure you pick the right card.




2 Responses to A Game Of Cards

  1. Frequently cheesy, but occasionally hilarious, and always paper-using, greeting cards yet remain a very nice touch. They demonstrate that the sender has actually left her/his chair to go out in search of something for the specific recipient. True, online cards can be charming and fanciful as a Disney cartoon, and I always enjoy receiving them, but taking the time to select, sign, stamp, and send a personal greeting remains one of those old-fashioned deeds I’m glad is still around. I enjoyed reading about them here.

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