Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Oh No! I've Dropped My Castanets Down the Toilet!

I just don't get the card thing. I really don't. I suspect it's one of those women's things which, despite 100+ years of Feminism and the blurring of the gender divides, will forever baffle the average man. (And as Merriol will tell you, I'm pretty average in all sorts of ways). Women have been giving each other small pieces of cardboard according to the precepts of ever variable, and highly complex sets of rules since Jane Austen's day - and probably before that.

In Austen's time the cards were fairly small and plain and were part of an incredibly formal etiquette which determined one's standing in the pecking order of Society with a capital S; these days cards are larger, and are given as recognition of some event rather than a mere formal announcement of one's existence. They are often elaborate and expensive, and may well still form part of an incredibly formal system of etiquette; I have no idea. If there is such a system, I'm blissfully ignorant of it. I just know that getting cards seems to make Merriol happy and spending hours making them, happier still.

At the moment the house is full of elaborate and expensive cards saying "It's a Boy!".

It's a boy. This is a fact of which I am well aware, and of which I am constantly reminded by Eben's attempts to pee in my face whenever I change his nappy. It is also a fact that the fact my son is a boy is something we told the people who have given us all these cards. We know he's a boy! Why do people come round to the house, give us a small piece of cardboard in an envelope, then stand by expectantly as we open them, and then look pleased when we look pleased that they have given us a formal statement of something we told them in the first place?

This is as incomprehensible to me as the Japanese Tea Ceremony. At least you get a cuppa at the end of the Tea Ceremony. With the Card Ceremony you get a piece of cardboard which is then stuck up on a wall with Blu-tack to be totally ignored for three weeks. Why?

Here is a run down of the rules Austen's characters worked by. I wish someone would write down for me what's going on now, because I haven't got a clue.

1 comment:

Phoebe J. Southwood said...

Oh my god! You have a son!

(Sorry - you mentioned...)

I mean, I keep having to say to myself... OMG! They have a son!

It's more fun to say it to you, because you know what I'm talking about.

Maybe it's like the rule of threes in plays - the redundancy reaches all the audience members. If all the world is a stage, perhaps cards help the audience get what's going on.

I'm tired.
Forgive me.

I can't believe you have a son...

Send the cards to me as a reminder.

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