Every so often I cross paths with a certain woman who I respect professionally but wonder about personally. Frequently I find that her thoughts on various matters challenge my preconceived ideas. I like talking with her because she always gets me thinking. Which I like to do.
So, when I saw her this last time she was opining about Christmas. Specifically she was talking about presents (give gift cards only) and alcoholic drinks (a must for all festive meals) and holiday greeting cards. It was this last point that caught me by surprise.
This woman hates holiday cards. Thinks that they’re a complete waste of time, money and resources. In fact, she shared with me, that when a friend sends her one, she doesn’t even open it and just throws it away.
That’s how much she dislikes holiday cards.
I’m fascinated and appalled by this woman’s cavalier approach to holiday cards– and by extension, I believe, to friendship. I like receiving cards of all sorts, so it has never occurred to me to not at least open a card addressed to me.
Yet here was someone I’ve known for years telling me quite casually that a card from a friend is of no consequence to her. That the effort involved in sending it means nothing to her. And that her friends should really know better and not bother her with holiday cards.
I don’t know that her point of view is going to change my card sending behavior; I’ll continue doing what I do. But she did remind me to not make any assumptions about anything. No matter how innocuous it may seem to me, I now realize that there is a possibility that someone somewhere is tossing aside my
gift of friendship holiday card… unopened.