Photo: Katherine Ryan

Birthday cards are bullshit. Pretty much all prepackaged sentiments are, which is why the best of us either write our own cards or buy those novelty ones with naked hunks and bad puns. Because, really, all we crave as humans is a little bit of honesty. Telling someone you hope their day is “blessed with sunshine and smiles” is about as empty as tweeting out “thoughts and prayers” after a national tragedy.

Luckily, there’s one cool dad out there doing the Lord’s work. Comedian Katherine Ryan recently shared a few examples of the cards her pops sends her on special occasions. They’re exactly the kind of dreck you’ll find in Walgreen’s, but with a few notable edits.

This isn’t a new thing, either.

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Sure, there’s a chilliness to these thick, black strikethroughs, but perhaps our children will see them as motivation to do better next year. It’s like when a coach tells you to work on those free throws. One day, a card will arrive with nary an edit and they’ll know, once and for all, they’ve truly earned those “sunshine and smiles.”