Hopkins (pictured) said it was the musical cards that put her over the edge.
Acknowledging that they were “shocked” by how quickly things had gotten so out of hand, area couple Jeff and Laurie Hopkins reported that Laurie’s inordinate collection of greeting cards was responsible for a substantial proportion of the family’s credit card debt.
The family reported that their mother’s collecting started “innocently” with the occasional purchase of a “cute” birthday card in the grocery store line.
“When Laurie’s sister gave birth to her beautiful twin daughters, it was such a blessing for our family,” said Jeff Hopkins. “But every month and every holiday brought a new excuse to send well wishes and gifts, and it started to take over Laurie’s life.”
Laurie reportedly started to spend entire weekends at the outlet mall in Youngstown patronizing stores like Papyrus, Paper Source, and Hallmark.
“I had everything under control when it started,” said Laurie. “If I saw a really cute ‘Happy 1st Christmas’ card, I would grab a few to have around just in case. If I saw a card that reminded me of my best friend, I’d buy it and wait for the right time to send it.”
“But then it spread into other holidays and occasions. I would look at what my collection of 300 “thank you” cards was doing to the hall closet and just pretend I couldn’t see what was happening,” she continued.
Hopkins’ husband claimed that as his wife’s greeting card collection started consuming her life, he also tried to pretend the problem was not as serious as it really was.
“Sometimes I would wake up in the middle of the night and hear Laurie downstairs reorganizing her boxes of cards and I would try to just ignore what was going on,” said Mr. Hopkins. “But soon I realized that half of the cards she was buying never even made it to a relative or friend. Laurie became a shell of homemaker. That’s when I knew I had to confront her,” he continued.
The Hopkins’ claim that weaning Laurie off of card-buying has not been easy, but that she has enjoyed spending her newfound free time pursuing more constructive activities like starting, and ultimately abandoning, scrapbooks for each of her children.