[Public health warning: this post is long and rambling...that's what happens when one wakes too early]
Cards are funny things and I think that the way people buy and send them is interesting...in the same way that the eating of a Cream Egg or the method of gobbling pizza can be fascinating. To some I think cards are purely functional things where something suitable will be chosen that is entirely secondary to the gift that it might accompany. To others, they are things to be hoarded so that one might always be in possession of just the right card to send, not just for birthdays, but for grey days, celebrations, commiserations or to continue a long-running joke (I have lost count of the number of cards bearing watermelons that my sister has sent me...a joke that started with Baby carrying the watermelon in Dirty Dancing when we were teenagers, and has been continued as she herself gets into increasingly tricky situations transporting them home from the supermarket. She eats them in bulk, so often there will be several in a bag. They have been known to roll down the aisles of London buses and land at the feet of the passengers about to get onto the bus).
For me, I have a small stash of them, bought when I see lovely ones. If I go card-shopping with a specific person in mind it will inevitably lead to procrastination and indecision...I will agonise over whether it is just right for them. I am learning that a card stash is a very good thing. I do not send them in quite the quantities that I receive them in though...primarily because I am disorganised (obsessively ordered in some areas...a chaotic mess in others...some uniformity would be nice).
After making several notice boards as custom orders, I recently (well, not actually very recently...I think it may have been back in March...the pictures of the emptier notice board were taken then...but I photographed it more recently and it is now overflowing...I can see a need for a whole room full of these notice boards) made this one for us that now hangs in the utility room. It seems a shame to receive so many lovely, carefully chosen cards and to not have anywhere to display them.
Just as fascinating as how one buys them, is how one stores them. It infuriates Mr Teacakes that I hoard things on such an extreme basis (even though he is a fantastic card buyer himself). After each family member's birthday, the cards are put in a plastic bag with the year written on and added to the card mountain in the loft. My own mother saved my birthday cards for me too...and I remember how much, as a child, I loved occasionally taking the cards out and looking through them...there was something very special about the ones that bore the age number. I love that some of the cards come with stories attached. In one of Dinosaur-boy's bags he has the most amazing homemade three-dimensional card, where a frog's mouth croaks open and closed with the opening of the card. I will be able to tell him that his friend arrived half-an-hour late to his party because he'd spent so long perfecting the card...I love that they took the time to do this for him.
I still have the sweet card that my father pushed underneath my bedroom door when I was a miserable 16 year old (for the card stash is not the sole preserve of the female species...my father has always kept a well-stocked stash of his own, completely separate to my mother's), and the hundreds of cards that my mother sent to me while I was at university, and even some of the notes my friends passed to me in the classroom. Emails might now have lessened the number of cards sent, but one of my best friends, who had her first child four days before I had mine, put the emails we exchanged during pregnancy in her son's box of baby treasures. I don't know whether he has read through them yet or whether they will be saved for when he is older (I am hoping the latter, as I do remember there being much discussion about the sanitary towels that the hospital had told all new mothers to come equipped with: we had worried that they were so incredibly thick that we may end up levitating above the hospital beds).
I especially love this card that my sister sent to me for my birthday this year. I noticed it this morning (when I woke at 3.30am and came downstairs to potter). It reminded me of the cake-making disaster of the last post. It reads "It's really not so much about the cake itself..." said the birthday monster, "...more about the pink icing and sprinkles on the top". "I see" said the limpet.
Comments on my blog? All saved, just like the cards...there's a sub-folder in my email account entitled 'Flossie Teacakes Comments'. Mr Teacakes believes that it is exactly this type of filing system that may be responsible for the fact that my computer's hard drive is about to explode.
What kind of card sender are you and how do you keep the ones that you receive?