Four Coming Out Greeting Cards
October 12, 2009 11:39 AM   Subscribe

"This is for the guy who needed a card to come out to his parents." (Youtube) David Ellis Dickerson draws on his previous job as a Hallmark greeting card writer to create funny, poignant cards for people with unconventional greeting card emergencies (but he won't do cards aimed at making people feel bad).

Other videos on how he comes up with cards for awkward elephant-in-the-room situations: "Sorry I broke your toilet," and "9/11 Birthdays."
posted by cybercoitus interruptus (45 comments total) 34 users marked this as a favorite
This would probably work a lot better if he took himself out of it and just did a website with the cards themselves.
posted by dilettante at 11:50 AM on October 12, 2009 [5 favorites]

It's good to see Jeff Goldblum branching out.
posted by nímwunnan at 11:58 AM on October 12, 2009 [3 favorites]

This would probably work a lot better if he took himself out of it and just did a website with the cards themselves.

Oh, no. Wrong. He is a delight, as are his cards. Thanks for this post!
posted by cccorlew at 12:02 PM on October 12, 2009 [1 favorite]

I like it. I enjoy seeing the person behind the work, and what his thought processes are. I wish he had videos for the (I assume fictional) situations in the opening bit. Those are tough lines to walk.
posted by tzikeh at 12:04 PM on October 12, 2009

Wow, I love this guy now! Thanks for the post!! And those cards are terrific!
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 12:07 PM on October 12, 2009

It is so totally worth it to watch that first video all the way to the end. I got just a tiny bit choked up, and had to follow with an "aaawwwwwwww" to nobody in the room. So sweet.
posted by amtho at 12:13 PM on October 12, 2009 [1 favorite]

Okay, the end of the Coming Out Day post made me weep helplessly at my computer. What a great person. I will have to watch more of his postings when I have collected myself.
posted by hippybear at 12:16 PM on October 12, 2009 [1 favorite]

[...]My life up to this point had taught me two things: (1) All jobs are agonizingly, intolerably boring except the job of writing (either stories or puzzles); and (2) It's impossible to make money writing stories or puzzles. [...]

But even in writing stories for money, the way I was told to go about it was to submit to small nonpaying literary magazines, then get enough published that you could get a story collection with a small press, and then — on the basis of that or of whatever small-press novel came next — get a teaching job at some obscure college no one much cared for. [...]

This lines up with what I've noticed from writing classes, and I find the prospect as horrifying as he does. Meanwhile Stephanie Meyer and Christopher Paolini somehow shortcut right to the top. Man, Mephistopheles must be busy these days.
posted by JHarris at 12:19 PM on October 12, 2009

i approve of the man and his cards, but i am tired of playing mine close to my chest; i should move to nyc and inform npr or the grey lady about my hobbies.
posted by the aloha at 12:20 PM on October 12, 2009

Utterly, utterly charming.
posted by specialagentwebb at 12:30 PM on October 12, 2009

Great post! I'm glad I wasn't the only one sniffling at the Coming Out Day bit.
posted by FelliniBlank at 12:36 PM on October 12, 2009

I like this guy.
posted by interrobang at 12:37 PM on October 12, 2009

My computer has crashed twice on the 9/11 birthday one, right after he names all the celebrities. Weird.
posted by Chuckles at 12:37 PM on October 12, 2009

Whoa, crazy, I know this guy from The Moth (see here, also) and he actually lives right next door to my girlfriend. He's a really nice guy, very charming, funny, and hands-down one of the strangest people I've ever met in my life. That's not necessarily a bad thing ...

You can see him telling a story on a stage here. -- part 2 here.
posted by chinese_fashion at 12:38 PM on October 12, 2009 [2 favorites]

This is wonderful. He is wonderful. I'm going to go get his book now.
posted by ourobouros at 12:44 PM on October 12, 2009

Outside: Congratulations on being awesome!
Inside: You just made the world a better place, and I thank you for it.
Signed, Horace Rumpole
posted by Horace Rumpole at 12:51 PM on October 12, 2009 [1 favorite]

Eventually everyone will be forced to speak at The Moth.

posted by The Whelk at 1:08 PM on October 12, 2009

"on the other hand, if you're straight-seeming, you know, like portia derossi or [garbled] or Ted Haggard..."

oh you are just the best.
posted by shmegegge at 1:10 PM on October 12, 2009


I believe he said Jon Kyl. I wasn't aware that he was a suspected closet-case conservative, so I wonder if he meant Larry Craig.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 1:20 PM on October 12, 2009

The Coming Out Day video was very sweet. I teared up too. It gives me hope for other evangelicals...
posted by mrgrimm at 1:35 PM on October 12, 2009

I really love the 9/11 birthday one - I watched that one first, and then sent it to my best friend, as her birthday is indeed September 11.

Great stuff. Ecards are plenty cute, but I still do love real cards and spend an inordinate amount of time choosing them for people. This guy is awesome.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 1:38 PM on October 12, 2009

Here's a short from an employee at Shoebox in the style of retro cartoons.

I was expecting this to be really cynical and snarky, despite the promise he doesn't make mean cards, but I was really touched by his choice of words for the 9/11 cards. Even though people make fun of the greeting card industry all the time, it is an interesting task to come up with cards that have the right message for so many people at once.
posted by mccarty.tim at 1:57 PM on October 12, 2009

There really do need to be "sorry I broke your toilet" cards. Not that I ever ever needed one or anything.
posted by Countess Elena at 2:22 PM on October 12, 2009 [2 favorites]

So you're telling us you're a good countess?
posted by maudlin at 2:23 PM on October 12, 2009

I am right along with all the teary-eyed people after watching the National Coming Out Day video. I think he's awesome. Great post.
posted by msali at 2:38 PM on October 12, 2009

I was all set to not like this and be a cynical jerk. And I am happy to be wrong... this is great.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 2:43 PM on October 12, 2009

lovely. i find myself possessed of a powerful urge to come out to my parents/best friends/homophobic acquaintances, despite being straight
posted by trulyscrumptious at 2:46 PM on October 12, 2009 [1 favorite]

This was lovely. He's kind and witty. It's easy to be snarky or cynical but he's generous in situations that are awkward and/or painful. More people should act generously.
posted by shoesietart at 3:50 PM on October 12, 2009

This was nice to see, and I agree with everyone above who got choked up at the end of his Coming Out Day episode. It's really great to see someone deal with things positively and I love that he got choked up too.
posted by ugf at 3:52 PM on October 12, 2009

I love him. And I don't even like greeting cards.
posted by HotToddy at 4:18 PM on October 12, 2009

Can anyone tell me how to send him a greeting card question? I have a semi-friend who just went into hospice and, uh, don't know what to say.

Also - he's apparently tried to join Metafilter today, according to Twitter entries on his site, but was having problems with PayPal or something.
posted by amtho at 5:33 PM on October 12, 2009

I'm a little surprised he's not already a member. He, um, looks like one, talks like one, writes cheesy rhyming verse like one. And I don't mean exclusively, specifically lore, but yeah, check two or three boxes there.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 5:43 PM on October 12, 2009

Cool stuff, I like how he shows his thought processes in creating the cards.
posted by NoraCharles at 5:57 PM on October 12, 2009

Can anyone tell me how to send him a greeting card question?

He's got a big Write Me thingie midway down his home page.
posted by FelliniBlank at 6:09 PM on October 12, 2009

Oh yeah, I see it now. Sometimes I don't see anything but text...
posted by amtho at 6:20 PM on October 12, 2009

This post has made my day slightly more pleasant.
posted by Soliloquy at 9:04 PM on October 12, 2009

neet-o! The sentimental turn (not necessarily in a bad way) near the end was totally unexpected.

By the way, I thought of an extension the third card, which says "but still like this:" and is followed by some hard-core man-on-man pr0n. I don't know if that would necessarily make the coming out any easier to swallow (HA), but at least there would be no lack of clarity.
posted by LMGM at 9:59 PM on October 12, 2009 [1 favorite]

posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 10:32 PM on October 12, 2009

Hi, everyone! I'm the guy who made the videos, and I just want to thank whoever created this original post. (I'm new so I can't make posts of my own yet.)

I'm really really happy that so many people like the video(s). I try to make them funny but positive. For what it's worth, I'm planning two new ones to arrive very shortly--one more serious about a friend going to Afghanistan, and one that's pure humor, with all zombie-themed cards just for Halloween.

So since I'm getting actual feedback on this forum, I thought I should ask you to keep an eye out for the next two and let me know what you did or didn't enjoy. And I'd also like to know about how often you think you could handle new episodes coming out. I could do a new one every day, but I don't want to overburden folks' attentions.

Thanks again for this forum. I'm brand new at this and still learning, but I'm thrilled to have made people a little happier.

--David Ellis Dickerson
posted by Wordboydave at 6:17 AM on October 13, 2009 [11 favorites]

I could certainly handle more updates a few times a week - I have trouble following things every day, but if you were up to set days per week (i.e., every Monday and Friday), I'd definitely follow.

Thanks so much for commenting! Like I said upthread, I love sending real physical cards to people and your suggestions are totally, totally awesome. You certainly have made my day a little more pleasant.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 7:48 AM on October 13, 2009

Welcome to Metafilter, Wordboydave! Thanks for joining up.

There were some contentious threads here last week that were still affecting my mood yesterday morning, only I didn't realize it until I saw your Coming Out Cards video because, man, the lift of the heart I got from watching that, whoosh! Funny, elegantly worded, and most importantly, it really helps make many people's lives better in meaningful ways.

2nding grapefruitmoon re frequency of updates.

I hope you'll consider hanging out at Metafilter and commenting occasionally. There's no shortage of mean-spirited types here as in every community, but overall I think they're usually balanced out by those who prioritize civility and thoughtful exchanges of ideas.
posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 11:06 AM on October 13, 2009

Looking forward to having your kindness and positivity around here. Welcome!
posted by HotToddy at 11:23 AM on October 13, 2009

Congratulations on making me think of Hallmark greeting card writers as human beings.
posted by DU at 6:37 AM on October 14, 2009

Okay. I just posted the next video at my site: Feedback would be appreciated. I have another one planned for Monday that's a whole lot sillier, just to see how much silliness the Web can stand.
posted by Wordboydave at 2:49 PM on October 14, 2009

New video is definitely awesome. I really liked seeing the point of view of the card recipient. Great stuff.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 3:07 PM on October 14, 2009

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