Apparently, in the minds of Grandma Dolores and Grandpa Fred, a greeting card - no matter the occasion - is of the utmost importance. They expect a card for any and every holiday (especially "Grandparents Day") and in return for any sort of gift. "Thank you" cards are at the top of the list and must be mailed immediately upon receiving a gift. If you neglect to properly thank said grandparents with a card, expect a phone call from two slightly senile and very disappointed elders.
They feel they are well deserving of a proper "thank you" despite the gift, which is more often than not an insignificant amount of money. Twenty-five dollars seems to be the going rate for the following occasions:
- Birthdays (I think I was upgraded from $10 to $25 when I turned 18)
- Christmas (Once every few years they double the amount in honor of Jesus' birth)
- Graduations (Note: my mom's father gave me 40 times that amount when I graduated college since he recognizes that graduating college means starting a life in the real world and a little extra cash would be most helpful)
- Other (Sometimes they surprise me and send a random check for things like Valentines Day or Easter)
To Grandma and Grandpa Erasmus a card signifies respect, gratitude and sheer appreciation for their existence. (I should note that they have never sent me a "thank you" card for any gift I gave them.) Now, don't get me wrong. Of course I love my grandparents dearly. It's just that every once in a while, I get greedy and wish they would stop being so stingy for just a second and realize that I NEED MONEY. What do they think $25 is going to get me nowadays? With $25 I can just barely fill my car with gas, buy an item of clothing (if it's on sale), get a manicure (but not a pedicure). . .
I must sound like a brat. This is just my way of pre-releasing my frustration that I know I will feel come Sunday. Unfortunately, their "Happy Easter" card was sent out this morning and will most likely not arrive in sunny Myrtle Beach in time for the holiday. Grandma Dolores will say, "We didn't get your card...?" I will probably lie and blame it on the mailman: "WHAT?! You didn't get your card?! I don't know how that happened! Maybe it got lost in the mail! I am SO SORRY!" Meanwhile I'll be crossing my fingers and praying that God doesn't punish me for lying to my grandmother on this holiest of days.
Now please excuse me while I go mark National Grandparents Day 2009 (September 13th) on my calendar.