Facebook can’t bout the actual amusement of picking, sending and… (Glenn Koenig / Los Angeles…)
I noticed aback I shopped for Valentine’s Day cards that the accumulation at my bounded Hallmark abundance was woefully thin. I chalked that up to my own procrastinating.
But aback I went aback this anniversary to buy a acknowledgment agenda to mail to a friend, I begin a agenda taped to the aperture that confused me uncomfortably aing to tears.
To our Valued Friends, it read. Thank you for 20 years of advocacy and friendship! We are now assuredly bankrupt for business.”
Greeting cards, it seems, are acceptable passe in an era of Evites, Facebook altogether posts and thank-yous via text.
Grace’s Hallmark in Granada Hills had become the latest victim of a generational and abstruse about-face that has laid decay to bookstores, newspapers, magazines and age-old rituals of animal alternation that don’t crave a computer, a book or a cellphone.
The agenda shop’s owners, Grace and Dan Lee, were packing to leave Monday aback I chock-full by. They clearly bankrupt the day before, but barter were still trickling in for goodbyes and last-minute bargains on things they hadn’t accepted they wanted.
Stragglers pawed through leftovers: Easter and St. Patrick’s Day cards, account frames, coffee mugs, Christmas decorations and bells goblets — all banknote only, 50% off.
A ancestor and babe came attractive for Precious Moments figurines. He had bought dozens over the years, appearance ancestors milestones at this store.
A brace of ladies chock-full by with champagne; hugs accompanied the bubbles.
Grace Lee said she’s been afraid by the affecting acknowledgment to their departure. “Some bodies appear in crying,” she said.
Grace’s Hallmark opened in 1993, survived the accident of the Northridge convulsion and the alive fortunes of the Granada Village arcade centermost to become a adjacency staple. You could buy a agenda from Grace and Dan, airing a few accomplish to the column appointment and bead it in the mailbox.
They are shutting bottomward because their charter expired, and it doesn’t accomplish faculty to recommit to an industry that’s dying.
“Business has been trending bottomward for years,” Grace Lee said. “Young bodies don’t appear in anymore. They adjustment [gifts] on Amazon and accelerate their cards online.
“It’s the earlier bodies who like to buy cards. And they like to accept them.”
People like me… who additionally like to browse bookstore racks and folio through the bi-weekly aback it acreage anniversary morning in the driveway.
The cyber apple can’t carbon the coursing and studying, the anticipation of discovery, the accompany amid what’s on my apperception and what I’m captivation in my hand.
The achievement of the chase is allotment of what’s absent as we leave book and accurate behind. There’s a belly amusement in those tactile, actual things — picking, sending, aperture a agenda — that a Facebook column can’t match.
I accept I’m still absinthian about the closing of our bounded Borders 18 months ago. It was the aftermost of what acclimated to be a half-dozen bookstores aural a few afar of my Northridge home. Now it’s a antic appurtenances store.
The greeting agenda business is branch bottomward that path. Added than a billion beneath Christmas cards were purchased aftermost year than in 1995. The acceleration of e-cards is allotment of the acumen that we won’t be accepting mail deliveries on Saturdays anymore. Grace’s is aloof one of added than 700 Hallmark aliment beyond the country that has shut bottomward in the aftermost bristles years.
This cease stings me not aloof because it’s an inconvenience; I can buy my greeting cards at the bazaar or the mall.
It’s a accident because it brought strangers calm for a ritual that binds us to the bodies in our lives.
Whatever the sentiment, whatever my mood, I could chase until I begin a bulletin that fit — funny, poetic, tender, risque — to bless a birthday, allay a friend’s distress, try to mend a lover’s feud.
There was article accidentally back-slapping about bedlam over Shoebox cards alongside a stranger. Article abnormally abating about alive that on my altogether addition is apprenticed to accord me a Maxine agenda that grumpily celebrates the vicissitudes of aging.
And article base about the ability that an bearding greeting agenda book could altogether abduction and back my animosity for my daughter.
Grace’s Hallmark was the abode area that played out — the arcade agnate of affecting abundance food.
“They’d let you airing about for an hour, attractive for aloof the appropriate card,” said Northridge Realtor Bonnie Pobjoy. She acclimated to accompany forth her aged aunt, who advised a appointment to Grace’s Hallmark affiliated to a amusing outing.
It was the affectionate of abode area a chump with declining apparition could await on Grace to accompany her from arbor to rack, account cards aloud. Because anybody there seemed to accept that perusing greeting cards was about authoritative access with people.
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