Monday, July 18, 2005

Adulters' Greeting Cards?

File this under the "It's too strange to be it must be true" label.

Adulterers need cards too

BETHESDA, Md. — One morning at breakfast, Cathy Gallagher told her husband she wanted to start a line of greeting cards for adulterers.

There was a pregnant pause. And then he said, "I think it's a great idea."

Lucky for him, Gallagher doesn't plan on patronizing her own business. "You don't have to be a murderer to write a murder mystery," she says.

Nor, apparently, does one need to be unfaithful to write a Christmas card that says, "As we each celebrate with our families, I will be thinking of you."

Gallagher says her Secret Lover Collection of 24 cards is the first line exclusively for people having affairs, and she expects hot sales. She says half of married people have had affairs (though some studies show the figure to be far less — more like 15% of married women and 22% of married men, according to the University of Chicago). From former President Clinton's relationship with "that woman" to shenanigans on TV shows like "Desperate Housewives," affairs are out in the open.

"Look at the soap operas. It's all about forbidden love," Gallagher says in her Bethesda office, where the walls are painted red and pink. "Look at how many people on soap operas are having affairs. That's real. And I think that's why this is so scary — these cards are real, and for a lot of people it hits very close to home."


The cards feature acrylic paintings on the cover, done by an artist in Virginia and predictably heavy on deep shades of red, with long verses by Gallagher inside. Some of them read as if they were written by a dropout of the Hallmark school of greeting-card writing: "My soul has been searching for you since I came into this world.

"All my life I have had this emptiness inside, like a part of me was missing and I was incomplete …

"And now I can't imagine my life without you … Even if I have to share you."

There's a card for office romances that begins, "The weekend apart is finally over," and an apology card that describes how hard it is not to be able to call and smooth over "our misunderstanding."

There's even a breakup card that says, "I can't go on like this anymore … I guess our timing just wasn't right."

But there's also a card urging the receiver to leave his or her spouse. "Let's live our lives together and finally be one," it says. "I can't imagine not having you in my life. Let's start living our lives for 'us.' "

Is it just me, or does this sound like a bad idea? I'm all for capitalism and all, but I'm not sure this is a market you want to tap. As much as it is romantized in modern entertainment, adultery is a downright bad idea. Other than doing those moderately bad things like, oh...I don't know...RUINING PEOPLES LIVES, it's just bad morals. After all, did these people not make a *VOW* to stay faithful? Is not their word...their honor, important to them? Ahh...enough ranting from me...anyway, I suspect this won't really fly because it creates's awefully had to say you're being faithful when you're signing your Hallmark Adultery Card.

I think there are much wiser routes in life. As the Marines say, "Semper Fi" (always faithful).


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