OMG, it’s mid-September already and I haven’t done my Halloween cards. Friends and family: Please know that you will be in my heart on Oct. 31, but until yesterday, I somehow hadn’t realized that Halloween had become a card-sending holiday.
I thought my only obligation was to lower my kids’ obesity risk by assuming the health danger myself and stealing their loot.
But I was in a store — looking for Spooktacular eggnog and tombstone Peeps — when I noticed something going on in greeting-card aisle.
A) Not only do Halloween cards outnumber cards for all the other fall holidays combined — Veteran’s Day, Thanksgiving, the Jewish New Year and National Boss’ Day; but
B) Sending a card has become so obligatory that forgetting to recognize someone now requires an apology card, and rest assured, they are for sale.
“Forget you on Halloween?” a belated Halloween offering reads. “Now that’s a scary thought.”
Know what else is scary? The Halloween-card category is so huge — nearly 36 percent of Americans planned to send a Halloween card last year, according to the National Retail Federation — that it has to be broken into categories.
Nary a human, or animal, relationship is left out. There’s “across the miles,” “from the dog,” “from our house to yours,” “from the cat,” “to grandma and grandpa from the grand kids,” “miss you,” “Halloween birthday,” “flirty & naughty,” “baby boy’s first Halloween”. . .
Hey — what about “baby girl’s first Halloween”? I didn’t see that one. Is the same sexism that discourages girls from math and science also at work here? Are girls being steered from Halloween?
Alas, given the proliferation of “sexy wolf,” “sexy referee,” and “sexy NAME THE LEAST SEXY THING YOU CAN THINK OF” costumes, it looks like the holiday offers plenty of opportunities for women.
Somehow there was no Halloween “sympathy” section — “I’m sorry I thought you were better looking as Marilyn Monroe than you are in real life, and hence didn’t ask you out again” — but I did notice cards with slots for cash, the better to eek another gift out of distant grandparents.
I was feeling somewhat down after reading a cloying “across the miles” card — “Even though at Halloween/we may be far apart/Many warm and special thoughts/will keep you close in heart” — and wondered where it would all end.
Then, standing in CVS, I got my answer: “This is the world’s first pumpkin spice card,” it read.
You’ve been warned.Beth Teitell can be reached at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @BethTeitell.