I’m in the wrong business.
Even though I love my job.
In fact, I just finished my next book, an epic about a love triangle set in fascist Italy. I’ve never written such a big book, and it’s 200,000 words.
But I realized I’m in the wrong business when I went to a card store, bought some birthday cards for my bestie Franca, and realized that greeting cards are now a mortgage payment.
I never realized it before, because I usually buy cards with groceries and other things. I wanted to say, “Excuse me, did I just buy a house by accident?”
I had sticker shock, at Hallmark.
And I am definitely in the wrong business because I wrote 200,000 words for a book that will probably sell for 20 bucks, but a card that contains six words costs eight bucks. Plus two of the words are happy birthday, and three are I love you, so with a book, you’re getting way more creativity-per-buck.
Especially with an epic.
I mean, it’s epic.
The cards come in plastic envelopes, so maybe that’s why they cost so much. I remember I used to go to the card store, and the card would be loose in front of an envelope, and you could switch envelopes if you liked another one better.
Not that I ever did that.
And these days, cards have a lot of stuff glued on the front, so maybe that’s why. Of the cards I bought, one had a satin ribbon, one had a feather, and another had sequins in the shape of a heart.
It’s not a card, it’s a parade.
The clerk at the store asked me if I had a rewards membership, and now I know why.
I want a reward.
In fact, I want a medal.
I really like the cards I got because they’re very lovely, and I never get mushier than I do in a card, when I lose my mind. And I always like to give more than one card because Mother Mary always did that, underlining random words so it looked as if she were trying to send me a secret message.
Of course I do the same thing, so if the card says happy birthday and I love you, I will underline happy and love, and then write I love you so much!!!! Then add x’s and o’s, and underline that, too.
I wrote all of that in Franca’s card, but my handwriting is so illegible that I can barely read it anymore, so I basically defaced the card, devaluing it from three billion dollars to only two.
And not all the greeting cards at the store were mushy, so I didn’t buy any of those. Since when do greeting cards go for snark?
For example, I didn’t buy the card that said on the front I Like You Lots.
What kind of thing is that to say?
I would hate to get a card like that.
It feels exactly like my second marriage.
Inside, the card said, And I Love You Tons, but still.
Who needs a second-marriage card on their birthday?
You like me lots?
Guess what. I don’t like you at all. How about that?
Sorry, I digressed.
Nobody needs to be dissed on their birthday, even if it’s supposed to be funny.
Birthdays are the time we’re supposed to tell somebody we love them and not hold back, because life is short and nothing proves that more than another birthday.
Every year gets you closer to the cards that are all about wrinkles, sagging breasts, and age-is-just-a-number.
Basically, this column.
Today I’m handing in my book, and I’m lucky enough that somebody will publish it, which is my life’s dream.
Hey, I have an idea.
Buy my book, and inside it, I will write a lot of mushy things with words underlined, so you won’t have to buy a card.
True, a book is more expensive than a card, but you get so many more words for your money, plus there’s a sex scene.
It has a whole lot of x’s and o’s.