Index Cards – Shadows of Former Glory

I ran out of index cards last week.

Since the new year, I’ve been using them to keep notes. I thought I had plenty, since I had just bought 300 of them from Office Depot, and it said “index cards” on the package. Upon opening them, however, they felt like nothing more than cut up scraps of paper.

These were not really index cards, despite initial appearances. Index cards should emphasize the latter word in their title: card. They should be made of noticeable card stock. Not second-rate printer paper.

This lead me down a rabbit hole. It turns out, there are plenty of other people like me who are in this predicament and who fill Amazon.com reviews with vindictives against the sorry state of modern index “cards.” They just don’t make them like they used to.

I guess it makes sense. Just another microcosm of many of our cultural institutions. Something that, at first glance, appears the same, and when push comes to shove, will still perform its basic function. But it will perform it only as a shadow of its former glory. Everyone knows something is missing.

For those interested in my plight, I eventually ran to Staples and picked up some more of their store-brand, heavyweight 4×6 index cards. They’re still not as good as what your grandmother used to write recipes on, but they at least remember a bit more of the strength of their ancestors.

 

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