Here’s how Shop Boy thought the card would read:
“Emily and Josh Morrow request your presence at a celebration to mark the acceptance of their gifted son, Henry Sumner Morrow, to the University of Tennessee on full academic and football scholarships for the Autumn 2025 semester.”
Here’s how it actually ended up reading:
“Happy Valentine’s Day from the newest little heartbreaker in the family tree. (Can you tell he’s been keeping us busy?)”
We got a baby announcement done before the kid reached puberty.
If you’ve ever done work for a friend — for pay — then you can understand why it’s taken Shop Boy so long to tell this story. I was basically terrified. See, Henry was born about a month before we even started talking about a birth announcement. Emily’s a graphic designer and illustrator and had been a favorite co-worker at the Baltimore Sun (she’s also a Tennessee kid who can reaaallly turn on the southern accent). Anyway, Shop Boy had talked and talked and talked about Typecast Press — does this surprise anyone? — and Emily wanted to give us some business.
See, it’s hard enough working for strangers whose weddings, party invitations and even business cards mean the world to them. We respect that. We want what we put in your hands to be … magic, you know?
Now, add in the fact that it’s an adored friend having her first baby, meaning this birth announcement becomes part of family history. Heck, if the kid becomes president, this card could be in the Smithsonian. You never know, right?
Ah, but Shop Boy has an ace up his sleeve: Mary. See, as tends to happen, Emily got distracted with her baby, learning to be a mom, traveling to show him off and all that stuff. And time passed. The illustration she’d intended to do for the card? Wasn’t going to happen — though the rough draft was really neat.
So, Mary got creative. Henry’s first Christmas card? Too late for that. Happy New Year from Henry? Too tight a deadline. (It’s the holidays, man. Everybody wants something.) So, Valentine’s Day!
Do I go on too much about Mary? Tough. This was a great save. You should see it — and you will if I can figure out a link. We loved it, Emily loved it, and some day the Smithsonian will love it, or at least the University of Tennessee Football Hall of Fame will. Go get ’em, Henry.
Haven’t had enough of Shop Boy or his alter ego? Here’s some great news: Unattended Items is a freshly minted blog just across the hall from this one. It’s about the commuter culture. You know, the bad things we do to one another in the name of getting to work on time. (It’s so new I haven’t even come up with a nickname for myself. Transit Boy? Yuck.)
Anyway, if you commute, I’m guessing you’ll see yourself in some of these stories.
And perhaps you’ll promise never to do that … um, that … ooh, and especially not that ever again.
Even if you don’t commute, I’m hoping you might like the stories. Meanwhile, thanks for reading Impressions of a Shop Boy. And stay tuned: I’ve got so much more to tell you.
But enough about me … for now.