History Deters (We’re Not Right for Each Other)

Buying greeting cards from Walgreens, Vons, CVS,  or (you name it) is silly. Luckily for me, I figured this out over a year ago when I happened to visit the LA Central Library’s Bookstore and discovered all that greeting cards can be: cute, honest, and (most importantly) unique (to an extent). How many times have you been to a baby shower and some jackass has the same card as you? (Annoying. I know.) No more, I say. I only buy cards from museums and bougie libraries. Often, I must write my own greetings in said cards, which feels like a chore, but is always rewarding. I feel like I earned the greetees’ respect, because I know him/her well enough to have written what Hallmark always gets wrong or way too corny. Still, this freedom and creativity is not without its setbacks.

Saturday, in my procrastinators search for multiple Mother’s Day cards, I stumbled upon a few cute cards at the Getty. Now, the Getty was not was not my first choice. I had decided to attend an event at UCLA earlier, and by time I got to the Hammer (which has amazing cards), it was closed. While in en route to my next stop, and angered by the Hammers “early” closing time, I decide to stop the Getty to find cards. Who really wants to search for cards on Mother’s Day? Not this guy. (Even procrastinators have limits, though I am still curious to know what cards the Walt Disney Concert Hall has…) I stop by the Getty’s Museum Shop in search of the “perfect” card for a few of the mothers in my life, but I am quite underwhelmed. The Getty is no MoMA. Not only did it not have holiday specific cards, but my apartment is larger than its museum “shop”. Amongst their limited number of cards offered, were several that depicted an older Los Angeles – photos from the 50s of Wilshire and Santa Monica, and I thought it would be great for my grandmothers. They’re old. They should like old photos. (They’ve been in Los Angeles since ’46 and mid 60s, respectively) Very simple logic, right? However, I hesitated. As I stared at those seemingly innocuous images, I got this strange feeling that they may not be appropriate. I thought “where my grandparents ‘allowed’ to travel to Wilshire without fear of being harassed, let alone Santa Monica.” (Beach cities were notoriously racist.) I was not sure. Would these images recall events or a time they wish to leave in the past? What does it say that one of cards has a photo of three white women smiling in front of an iconic Los Angeles site? Could my grandmothers have been those women? I’m not sure. I just know they are not them, nor do those women look like them. I put the cards back, and chose others.

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On another note, I saw Iron Man 3 last night, and I could not help but wonder why that little white boy could not have been a little girl or colored kid. We like science. We are smart. This is 2013. Up did it four years ago.

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