Personal Calling Cards
Recently, Time Magazine ran an article called "May I Offer You My Calling Card" that resulted in a deep sigh of relief on my part. "Oh yes. Yes. Yes. Yes," went through my mind. (Article: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1828303,00.html ) I have been an advocate of such a practice for so many years it would require a third set of fingers to count. You see, despite the fact that I generally enjoy human beings, I am a bit reluctant to provide the full details of my life to each one that requests it. Reluctant isn't quite strong enough. More like tight-fisted. Yes, I'm tight-fisted when it comes to handing out business cards to some people, wary of the extent to which they will Google me. Certain social settings lend themselves to a more conservative approach. (The phrase "on the nightstand next to a crisp $100 bill" comes to mind but that is just a pipe dream.) Enter the need for the revival of the calling card. It is an elegant medium by which to convey just the information you would like publicly dispersed. It also takes care of the issue facing many people who find their business information to be in constant flux- you can simply print a static e-mail address that will not change as your circumstances do, for example. And then there is the issue of names changing. It's been awhile since I've offered up one of my dysfunctional stories so I suppose I'm due for a purge. So here goes: When I got married in '95, I took my husband's name. A few years later, awaiting the birth of our first child, we decided that since our surname was actually that of his step-father, with whom he had no contact, it would be a great idea to legally change it back to one of his family names. He actually suggested that we take my maiden name but I, being young and naive and in need of an arse-kicking, stoically refused, concerned the guys at work would make fun of him. Oh, silly, silly Fiona. Attempting to be respectful, we sat down with his Polish mother and asked her for a list of family names to choose from. Only two were less than 14 letters in length. We chose the one that was easiest to spell, "my great-aunt's name," said his mother. Fine. Whatever. Six months and several thousands of dollars in legal fees to change the name and all of our private and professional listings later, we had a new last name. Yay us. Fast forward a few years. I am sitting at the kitchen table with his mother. Out of the blue, I ask, "So, our last name, is that your great-aunt on your mother's side or your father's?" She takes a long, slow drag of her cigarette and says in a voice totally devoid of concern or apology, "Oh, that. I forgot to tell you. I made a mistake. That was the name of the tenants we rented the old house to." Sigh. And so it was. We were an island, related to no one by our surname. Now we're divorced. I have a virtual trough of choices when it comes to how I would like my name to appear. I change my mind constantly. I can't commit to anything at the moment, much less want to print up hundreds of little cards that bear the name du jour. So a calling card with just "Fiona" written on it? Perfecto. The link I've attached here takes you to Vista Printing, a great online print shop that offers 250 FREE cards you can customize with as many or as few details as you'd like to try the calling card thing out. Give it a shot. I think it's a pretty damn cool idea.