While shopping in a Hallmark store in Portsmouth for a wedding cake knife, imaginative Cyndi Desrosiers found a greeting card she claims is promoting sexual promiscuity to teenagers.
The message on the $2.99 Hallmark card has prompted Desrosiers to call for its removal from Seacoast store shelves and to launch an e-mail campaign urging others to do the same.
The front cover of the card features two glasses of wine held by two hands and reads, "Pardon me..." On the inside is printed, "Care for some liquid clothes remover?"
Project coordinator for the Portsmouth-based Allies in Substance Abuse Prevention, Desrosiers said she purchased one of the cards as evidence of "how desensitized we are" or maybe as how over sensitive she is, can we say ....... issues?
"Hallmark made an irresponsible decision to create this card," she said. "I have an 18-year-old daughter, and I would just die if someone gave this to her." If the daughter has her mother's shunning looks she'll need a few drinks.
Desrosiers said she first saw the card in a Dover Hallmark store in an area designated for a "Red" line of cards, from which proceeds are reportedly spent to combat AIDS in Africa.
"I find it ironic given that they're promoting sexual promiscuity," she said. "The target audience, in my opinion, is young adults."
Desrosiers said she brought the card to a store clerk, expressed her opinion "and to my surprise and pleasure," the clerk agreed, removed the cards from the sales rack and offered her a refund.
"When I refused the refund, she said she would donate it to a local charity," said Desrosiers. "She did the right thing." In the opinion of Desrosiers who likes to get her way .
The same scenario repeated itself in a Stratham store, said Desrosiers, who has since called Hallmark and asked that the card be removed from its line.
Hallmark spokesman Deidre Parkes said the card was not specifically directed toward a young couple.
Hallmark's creative team developed the card for "any number of situations," including an anniversary, or for a long-term couple, she said.
Parkes also apologized to Desrosiers or anyone who is offended by the card but really they should get a life .
"I know this is minor in the big scheme of things, but it's one way for us to have an impact on the mixed messages that are out there and the irresponsible targeting to youth," said Desrosiers. "I feel it's our responsibility as adults."
The display of commonsense is also a responsilbity.
For Desrosier's information 18 is an adult in the UK and should not need anymore coddling by over protective parents. Red wine is not the beverage of choice for young promiscuous adults and you'll find that many people have contracted aids in Africa without it.
If Hallmark did a card that said: "I'm sorry you are such a nitpicking sad-sack Ms Desrosiers would be well deserving to receive one.