The worst anniversary card ever sent, September 5, 2008

Even if your facial features were erased in a freakish mockery of the human form, it would still be an improvement.

Alexis and Aidan,

Congratulations on three hideous years of marriage!

Three years is such a big accomplishment. Three years of romance. Three years of everyday life. Three years of trying to ignore the fact that the other person looks like a bloated fish carcass. Three years is also how long it’s taken us to forget the grotesque images of you two dancing together at your wedding. The way you looked into each other’s swollen, lifeless eyes and caressed each other’s spotted, chubby hands.

Everyone who knows you knows you’re truly a generous and loving couple, which can’t even begin to make up for the fact that you’re the ugliest people we’ve ever met. You guys really take that old adage “It’s what’s inside that counts” to the extremes.

We’re so glad God brought you together, because nobody else would be able to wake up to your faces each morning. Happy anniversary!

Love,

Mom and Dad

Analysis:

When this card was written, Maggie Brickleman had no idea that she would soon capture the coveted title of “worst anniversary card ever sent.” Mrs. Brickleman simply wanted to express her love of her ugly son and his somehow uglier bride, but her colorful prose and inventive wordplay took over and led to this wonderful bit of letter-writing history.

What’s perhaps most impressive is how clear it is that Mrs. Brickleman was actually trying to be nice. Most terrible cards and letters are written with the express purpose of angering the recipients, but this one has just enough nice things to maintain plausible deniability, a neat trick. What’s also unique is that she manages to insult her own son along with his hated wife, when usually the writer likes at least one of the couple. It’s truly a masterpiece.

Maggie Brickleman also wrote one of the top ten worst thank-you notes of all time. When Alexis and Aidan sent her a bouquet of roses for Mother’s Day, she wrote back “how wonderfully adequate they are, perfect in their thoughtlessness” and that “most mothers would be thrilled to receive anything from such a disappointing couple.” There’s no doubt that Mrs. Brickleman is headed for the letter-writing hall of fame.

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