How do you say “I’m sorry for your loss” in French when someone dies? Apparently, with a six-pack of greeting cards. Yes, in France, you can buy packets of “Sincere Condolences” cards, which I guess is handy if a lot of your friends drop off in fast succession, or if you don’t have a chance to get to a card shop when someone has popped their clogs (quite possible, considering shop opening hours in France).
At first, I was shocked that anyone would consider buying a six-pack of cards for death, but then I wondered what the difference is between this and buying a packet of Christmas cards. Choosing a card that you can send to at least six of your friends doesn’t exactly say “this is personal and sincere”, but I think the difference is that Christmas happens once a year, so you can be a bit more blasé about it. Death is pretty much a one-off (unless you’re Slash or pretty much any other member of the old Guns’n’Roses who dabbled in drugs a little too much before being resuscitated), and I’d feel embarrassed if the only card I could find to send to a mourning family was one from a six-pack. Also, just saying “six-pack” reminds me of Australian beer. Although my brother would probably appreciate the sentiment, I’m sure he’d just prefer the beer.