04 February 2006

Blogging it off my mind... maybe.

This week was my brother's birthday, and, just as I intended the last few years, I decided I wanted to send him a card. Since I, like the average person, am able to express myself fully and creatively to those I care about, I did the natural thing... I went to Target and looked for one.

Now, for most situations, this isn't a huge ordeal. You spend a few minutes (ok, I spend a lot of minutes) wading through the racks, reading all the clever comments and cartoons, snickering at the age jokes, etc, until you find the perfect card. Then you realize there are no more envelopes left, and have to raid the surrounding cards until you find one that fits, thus contributing to the problem for someone else.

I however, did not even really get this far, because after a lengthy search I realized I wouldn't find anything appropriate. Hallmark hasn't accomodated my need for a card that wishes happy birthday to the brother I haven't seen in almost five years because he's been a guest of a state correctional facility. 'Hoping this birthday is better than the last' just didn't ring right. Moreover, there's no card that says 'I'm sorry I haven't returned most of your letters' or 'I didn't know how to tell you how angry I was with you for lying to us' or even 'I still think about you every day and hope you're ok.' The blank ones are just as useless. Some of the most important things I need to say to this person, and I can't come up with them on my own -- I have to rely on a greeting card company to help me out. He's not ok, and I know that. And for a long time now I've been struggling with how I feel about all the things he did, and while I did I shut him out of my life. Was it justified? At one point I thought it was. Sometimes I still think it is. Is there a limit, to what someone can do before a family-relationship doesn't matter anymore?

But now I just want to send him a card, just to do something, and I have no idea what to say in it. I don't know why I'm so surprised -- it happened last year, too.

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