Characters/Ships: Jeff Winger/Britta Perry,
Word Count: 625
Summary: As a rule, Britta Perry doesn't do holidays. Jeff Winger just likes to give her ironic Hallmark cards.
Notes: I had writer's block and decided to push through it with this really awkward ficlet.
As a general rule, Britta doesn’t do holidays. After all, they’re nothing more than concoctions invented by soulless greeting card corporations as a cheap ploy to gain money.
Still, there’s a short, fraying line of wire hanging in her room, with several crumpled looking cards haphazardly strung through it. The bulk is from Shirley. There are saccharine wishes on Easters and Christmases, followed by thinly veiled plugs at the benefits of conversion. Then there’s Annie cheesy set of cards, all of which have musical singing boxes inside of them. Britta put in the extra effort and removed all the batteries.
And then, there are a few cards at the end, whose lingering smell of the Gap and poisonous cologne seems to be at war with her apartment’s overpowering scent of cat food.
A sky blue card with a familiar white emblem is the first of this set. Happy United Nations Day! It reads in a voice that belongs to a cereal commercial. Once opened, Jeff’s bored, deadpan voice replaces it. Brittles, she can positively hear him snarking, Congrats, you’re thirty. Best time of your life. Try not to poison your liver. The words bring back images that are way too vivid for her comfort. There’s the smoky air of the Red Door and … tequila. Lots and lots of tequila.
Next to it, Hallmark blandly wishes her Happy Holidays. The card’s political correctness might have worked in its favor, had the color scheme not been a Christmassy red and green. The message inside it is short and simple: Britta, Troy; Merry Christmas. – Jeff. She remembers calling him out on it at his apartment. “Just because I’m in a conventional relationship now doesn’t mean that I’m still not working against this industry of capitalism!” Britta had insisted, failing to see Jeff’s intentions.
After Boxing Day comes a fat, round piece of cardstock. A defaced portrait of Susan B. Anthony with cat ears greets her. I know you don’t believe in Valentine’s Day. But, you do believe in Susan B. Anthony. So, happy February 15th BFF (is that still a thing?). Thanks for keeping me company yesterday. In light of her breakup and his graduation and a whole hurricane full of changes, those are the most delicate, sincere words that Jeff can offer. And Britta appreciates it.
Finally, at the end of the line of cards is a tribute to all professional assistants out there. The one that inaugurated this stupid tradition between the two of them. Please forgive me for my terrible first impression, Jeff writes in a voice that's not really his, one that practically oozes I-Want-To-Impress-You-And-Get-Laid. And Happy Secretary’s Day!
Underneath her wire of cards is yet another stack, all of which arrived yesterday. There’s Shirley’s completely unsubtle cartoon of a chapel with a very prominent cross standing upon the rooftop. There’s Troy, Abed, and Annie’s resounding musical card of the theme from Titanic. There’s Pierce’s card, which was a relatively unexpected effort. An official product of his neo-Buddhist hive, it depicts a young, naked couple sitting at a table surrounded by lava lamps and fresh, tropical fruit. To Britta’s surprise, there’s a card from her mother. It's going in the trash afterwards.
But at the bottom of the pile is the one she’s been looking forward to the most. A sunbathing beaver salutes Britta with a cheery, Happy Canadian Labour Day! Inside, the message read:
It’s kinda weird for the groom to send the bride a card. But we’re straight-up dysfunctional, so what’s the point?
Look, normally I’d say a speech, but you can see straight through my bullshit. But trust me, I’m honest when I say this: I can’t wait for tomorrow. And every day after that.