Indonesia Musings

Lifetime Greeting Cards will either make you laugh or question your emotional health.

I first encountered these greetings cards while browsing through a book store back in high school. Like any typical teenager, I was struggling with personal insecurities, teetering between the urge to express and the fear of embarrassment. Admittedly, these cards resonated with adolescent-me, they were hard-copy expressions of things I would really like to say to some people.

Many years later I stumbled upon these cards as an adult and realized how tacky they are. The graphics left much to be desired and the contents of the cards baffled me. I decided to buy one of each to show to my friends and maybe one day post a blog about it for giggles. Being the procrastinator that I am, it took many years before I finally photographed and uploaded them with the intention of blogging.

Frankly I had envisioned a different direction when I drafted this post in my head. I had planned on mocking the very existence of these cards, portraying them as cringe-inducing evidence of how lame some Indonesians are. Some people perceive Indonesians’ fixation on dramatically expressed feelings and their propensity to be mushy as a sign of weakness. So you got your heart broken, quit whining and get over it. Self-respecting adults would not find these cards acceptable, I thought.

Some cards left me wondering “why would anyone in their right mind risk humiliating themselves with such blunt expression of their insecurities?” Others left me feeling sorry for potential recipients for they hit too close to home. Nonetheless I realized that similar things have been expressed in various contemporary forms, just look at the anonymous secrets people submit on Whisper and the passive aggressive gif and memes getting reblogged over Tumblr. Thanks to social media people are now more comfortable in expressing their vulnerabilities. Although they might not express their hurt through greeting cards, you can easily find messages in the same vein when you scroll through cryptic Facebook statuses.

If I were to be honest with myself, mature-me still resonate with the messages that the cards carry, I may have mastered the rules of acceptable behavior and expression, but that does not negate the fact that I sometimes feel as hurt/insecure/jealous as my teenage self. I might not be bothered by minor annoyances, but when the occasion does arise, well yes I still wish I can send someone a card that bluntly asks “am I not good enough for you?” I might be able to live with rejection, but that doesn’t mean I’m not curious about why I was rejected, be it by a romantic interest or from a certain position that I covet.

Nowadays such raw expressions can only happen when my inhibitions are lowered. Blame the painkillers/alcohol/lack of sleep for my outburst, God forbid I ask honest questions when I’m sober. I have come to the conclusion that mature people who see themselves sending these cards are either courageously putting themselves in a vulnerable position for sake of being straightforward or are desperately seeking for attention. I have the utmost respect for the former and suffer annoyance from the later.

These unique greeting cards are published by a company called Lifetime cards, there  were no website listed, only an email contact at which I’m not sure is still active, I’ll try to email and post an update. Their tagline is emotion and feelings and I must admit it really does show. The contents of these greeting cards do distinctly express feelings and emotions, in a very straightforward manner. Below are 9 specimens that I managed to acquire, each specimen is presented as a composite of two images. The image on the left is the cover of the cards while the image on the right side is the contents inside:

Specimen 1

talking to a wall
might be a sign of unrequited love, if you ask me (c)Lifetime cards














Specimen 2

special to me
I’m guessing they meant to ask whether the sentiment is mutual (c)Lifetime Cards














Specimen 3

Grammatically incorrect but we get it, we get it. (c) Lifetime Cards














Specimen 4

I don’t even know that to say (c) Lifetime Cards














Specimen 5

*ba-dum tss* welcome to the friend zone, I’m your mayor Ross Geller (c) Lifetime Cards














Specimen 6

You can’t really blame them you know, you can’t force love (c) Lifetime Cards














Specimen 7

Personally I won’t dare to ever ask this question, cause I’m afraid of the answer. (c) Lifetime Cards














Specimen 8

Ever heard of a break-up card? it’s better than a post-it (c)Lifetime Cards














Specimen 9

This one is applicable not only in romantic relationships but just about any relationship, IMHO. (c)Lifetime Cards















Let me know what you guys think in the comments below.

2 replies on “Lifetime Greeting Cards will either make you laugh or question your emotional health.”

Hi Indira,
How are you?
I did not know these cards before. Basic human need is to be loved either people admit it or not. To be accepted is a part of it. This hunger will always come to us, since we are social creature. So, these cards shows perfectly that need in an imperfect world. I find that people who dare to express their feelings and thoughts as courageous. We have limited time in this world and therefore, it is necessary to express out minds and feelings especially to those that we love, even though we suspect that these person won’t have the same feeling toward us. So, I have no objection to these blunt questions. IMHO, there is no different between conveying blunt questions using these cards and people’s outburst (by alcohol), since the questions are the same. The worst answer will only be a rejection. Should we know the reason of it, we can either accept it and fix our defect (if any) or just leave it behind. It is our choice, but at least we can stop questioning their answer and move forward. IMHO, it is more important than the fear of humiliation. Therefore, I give my respect to those who dare to send these blunt questions, and move forward upon receive it results.

Peluk Gajahhhh. Krn hidup kadang emang pelik .. (got it? Peluk/pelik :D)
I’m the kind of ppl that would ask these questions straightforward(ly?)~ I think. But I sensed that most ppl jawabnya ga jujur2 amat jg. Gamau bikin lu “tersakiti” dg menutup2i fakta sebenarnya. Kasih kulit, bukan intinya. Gemes ya. Tp drpd penasaran ya kan. Berasa kok yg mana yg jawabnya jujur, yg mana yg ngasal. Btw ni kartu2 seru jg y, terutama kl mikir adanya jaman SMA, saat dmn~di Indonesia esp, ga bnyk orang yg seterbuka itu.

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