Let's burn all the GET WELL SOON cards, k?

Have you ever noticed there are a gajillion kinds of greeting cards for people in love and only one for sick people? GET WELL. That’s it. That’s all we ever say to sick people. GET WELL. Sometimes we add: SOON. Because the only thing Americans hate more than being sick is being sick for an indeterminate period of time. It's an affront to our American-ness.

Are you listening, Linda? I said GET WELL. SOON!

Sick doesn’t work that way. You can’t just bibbity-bobbity-praise-the-Lord-pass-the-essential-oils and the sick is gone. Sick doesn’t GET WELL SOON on command. Sick is not a Pavlovian dog.

This is why we need more greeting cards for sick people.

How about: “Saying a prayer for you, Fred, that your cancer cells DON'T GET ALL fruitful and multiply.”

Or how about: “Get thee behind me, chemotherapy.”

Here's the only greeting card I need these days: “Sorry to hear you got a majorly serious, like-whoa mental illness. Here, have some chocolate. p.s. don't die.”

Why don’t these cards exist? How did this dearth of greeting cards come to be? I imagine it happened one boozy weekend when The Greeting Card People were sitting around in a comfy mountain cabin having their annual writing retreat and nobody felt like writing get well cards. Instead, everyone was sipping wine and writing stupid stuff like: I don’t know much, but I know I love you and love is all you need cause if you like the way you look that much, oh baby you should go and love yourself. 

This is the mountain cabin where the Greeting Card People have their annual writing retreat. Yes, I painted it myself. No, I've never been there.

This is the mountain cabin where the Greeting Card People have their annual writing retreat. Yes, I painted it myself. No, I've never been there.

But when The Greeting Card People move onto Sickness Cards, everyone is all: “HARD PASS.”

The wine ran out. That's what happened. The wine ran out and everybody lost their imagination and found a headache.

Except for one person. That person is Bob from Sympathy Cards. Bob is—how shall we say—different. Bob is the Dwight Schrute of greeting card people. Anyway, Bob jumps out of his chair and blurts out: “The Eskimos have 50 different names for snow!”

Everyone looks at Bob. Bob looks at everyone. Terry from Birthday Cards clears her throat.

“Oh, Bob. Have I told you lately that I love you?”

The room bursts into uproarious laughter even though it wasn't that funny. And then they all go to bed with their headaches and aspirin.

Well, the Greeting Card People really missed out. Because Bob From Sympathy Cards was making a good point. You just need to know how his brain works. Here, let me translate: “Hey guys, just like the Eskimos have 50 different names for snow, there should be 50 different cards for sickness.”

See? That’s not so hard to understand.

It doesn’t take a oncologist to tell you that having cancer is not the same as having a cold. Having a broken leg is not the same as having a broken brain (I’ll let you guess which one I have). You need different cards for different ailments.

I mean, sure. Go ahead and get all bossy with the guy who has a cold. Throw him a GET WELL SOON card and tell him Linda’s right, having a cold is no excuse for missing work.

But giving the guy with cancer a GET WELL SOON card? Now, that’s just rude. What’s he supposed to do with that? Yell at his cancer to GET WELL? He’s not in control of his cancer. Cancer does not bow to his command. Cancer is not on his timetable. Cancer does not arrive and depart on time.

Bossing at people to GET WELL SOON is like those pink T-shirts that tell women with breast cancer to NEVER QUIT FIGHTING.

UGH. Just lob off my boobs now. 

Fighting. Could we please stop with the whole FIGHTING thing? It’s ubiquitous. It’s like you can’t be seriously ill without someone telling you to FIGHT. You go, girl. You FIGHT that cancer. You’re gonna FIGHT to the very end. You’ll never stop FIGHTING. Guys, please. Find another slogan. Better yet, don’t use slogans. Burn all the slogans to the ground.

It’s all a little shame-y, if you ask me, bossing at people to FIGHT and GET WELL. Sick people don’t need to be bossed at. If they want to fight, great. But a sick person who doesn’t wanna jump on your FIGHT WAGON is not less of a person. Just go ahead and back that wagon on up and  move on out. 

Go do something helpful and buy them ice-cream. Or cigarettes. (OMG did she just suggest—?) YES I DID. Cigarettes. They’re gluten-free.

Look, if your Grandma wants to smoke before she dies, let her smoke. 

This exact thing happened to my friend, Felecia. Her Grandma was 103 (for real, onehundredandthreeomg) and finally had to move into a nursing home.

Well, the over-zealous Nursing Home People told her she couldn’t smoke anymore. This was preposterous. Grandma Lillie Bell was born smoking. Grandma Lillie Bell had been smoking for 103 years.

But the Nursing Home People were like: “No. No more smoking.” They took away her cigarettes and forced her into nicotine withdrawal and that’s when they discovered she had stomach cancer.

Moral of the story: smoking keeps you healthy. Don’t quit.

Now Grandma Lillie Bell is dying of stomach cancer and all she wants is a cigarette and the Nursing Home People are all: “No, honey. You’re gonna FIGHT THIS CANCER and you’re gonna GET WELL. SOON.”

“What for?” Grandma says. “So I can live a long, full life?”

The hospital people were like: “Sorry, smoking is against nursing home policy.”

As soon as Felecia heard about this injustice, she drove straight over to the nursing home, wheeled Grandma Lillie Bell out into the sunshine and gave her a pack of smokes.

Basically, Felecia is a hero. I’ll never say bye to her.


Elizabeth Esther9 Comments