WEDNESDAY

Which is tackier—buying and sending a preprinted greeting card or not sending one at all? (Let’s not even get into e-mail, which should never ever ever be used for anything personal.) I suppose it’s the latter—although the contest is closer than you might think. As Miss Manners has explained ad nauseam, “Keeping in touch means writing one’s sentiments with one’s very own hand.” And, she points out, writing one’s own note “is less expensive…and easier than the effort people put into selecting a card that says what they want to say, when all they had to do was say it directly.” Miss Manners also notes, and I repeat it here for the benefit of all, that epistolary conventions—stuff like “Thank you” and “I’m so sorry to hear of your loss”—were invented for this very reason. So what are we to make of “Launch Your Own Greeting Card Business,” a seminar in which participants will be encouraged not only to speculate on the buying preferences of the American public but also to bring “cards, concepts, and imagination”? Not much, I’m afraid. If you want to make money off other people’s vulgarity, prepare to “brainstorm” at 1 p.m. Wednesday, April 25, at First Class Inc., 1726 20th St. NW. $37. For reservations call (202) 797-5102. (Caroline Schweiter)