Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Etiquette 101

Okay......I probably should have mentioned this when I wrote about the weird things about me. I have a thing about thank you notes.

My mom taught me how to write a good thank you note as soon as I learned to write and I was expected to write one for everything I received and I did faithfully. It was just what was expected, proper etiquette. If you give me something, even as small as a piece of candy, you will get a thank you card from me within two weeks.

Because of this, I expect thank you notes in return. I know it's petty and, honestly, I realize people are busy and such, but having this beaten into me all my life I can't let it go. I figure if I buy someone a wedding gift or a graduation gift or especially anything I have mailed far away, a thank you note isn't too much to ask for me to know if you got the gift or I need to start calling the post office and inquiring about cashing in that insurance. Now, kid birthday parties are a little different, mainly because most kids we know can't read or write yet and they say thank you while we are there and, really, in this world a verbal thank you is great, but my kids have and always will send a thank you card even if I have to be the one to pen it.

Last year I mailed out one wedding gift, two baby gifts, and a graduation gift. The giftee should not have been disappointed either as I gifted well for all occasions. I am still waiting on those thank you notes. I eventually even emailed the wedding gift recipient after giving her the requisite three months and then some to see if it actually arrived because it cost me dearly and I got a short reply. Basically, yep we got that, thanks. Uh huh. The other ones, nothing, nada, yet I know one of the baby gifts was received as I got a mass email with a picture of said gift on kid a few months ago. Uh huh. I know it's a lost cause at this point, but I know I will forever remember that I gifted these people and was not thanked appropriately. I hate being like that, but it's just how I am, so sue me.

A few days ago I went to the mail and found a thank you note from the couple whose wedding we attended back in November. Score. I was so impressed to see that envelope with the big thank you sticker that I was promoting them in my mind to stellar human beings, when I opened it and found something like this (now is when I really want a new scanner because it's much better on paper):

Derrick/Andriea (spelled incorrectly although they got it right on the invite)

Thanks for the gift card.

L..../M.....

WTF???? That chick couldn't even bother writing out the word and! Did she not get the little memo about how to write an appropriate wedding thank you, like maybe thank us for coming to their boring shindig? The real kicker.......we didn't buy them a gift card. I spent an entire morning perusing her registry (third marriage) for a kick ass gift and they have no idea what we bought for them. Amazing. I can still point out all our gifts and tell you who sent what and I sent out awesome thank you notes too, thank you very much.

What happened to the art of writing? When did it become okay to be so lax when dealing with others? What is wrong with sitting down and writing three lines expressing appreciation for something? It's so sad. I miss thank you notes.

10 comments:

Shane said...

OMG...I totally agree with you. I'm an avid thank you note sender. And, I've seen to it that my 9 and 6 year old are too. It's just the thing to do! We bought one of my husband's employees a really nice wedding gift two months ago...still no note. ARRGGGHHH!

BethGo said...

Amen!

Michelle said...

So does that mean my photo thank you card along w/magnet promoted me to stellar human being? :)

I know what you mean though - I send thank you cards a lot too and even have to prompt my hubby to at least email his father to thank him for birthday gifts or whatever! I want the giver to know the gift was received and appreciated!

I send thank you notes (with Kayla's scribble) to those who attend her birthday parties the last 3 years - and she's been at all of their bday parties too and we have not received one thank you note back in 3 years of attending friends' kids' bday parties. I wonder why I'm the only one sending thank you cards for the gifts. Glad to see I'm not the only one who still does this!

Lori said...

***blushing and running for cover out of pure shame***

I have to admit that I have let many a thank you note slide. I *DO* however normally at least call people and/or email them to say thank you and let them know that we received their gift.

Am I banned from your blog for all of eternity?? LOL! I hope not!

Sadie said...

I am a thank you note writing freak too. But it is unusual to receive a nice one.

You should write her back and tell her you appreciate her eloquent note, but you didn't give her a gift card. See if she even cares.

OneHungMan said...

OneHung is not particularly up-to-date with his Thank Yous. He had decided that since there is a Mrs. Hung, that should be one of her duties.

It appears that you are discovering that you simply can't be nice to people at this stage of the world's evolution. Most people are dirtbags (not everyone) sometimes you're better off just not like new people you meet because invariably at some point they are going to piss you off.

Tracey said...

Big thank you's like Weddings, baby showers, etc. require a thank you note IMHO. I used to send out the birthday party thank you's. Not anymore. Nobody else cared or reciprocated. And it was just another hassle and cost and embarrassment when I'd finally send the thank you's out a month or 2 later. My sister is a biggie on thank you's. We get thank you notes for EVERYTHING including Christmas presents... Whatever.

Mailed gifts DEFINITELY require, at the LEAST, a phoned thank you to let the sender know it was received.

Dana said...

I usually tend to lag a bit in the thank you note department. I DO send them but they're not super impressive. I have not been able to quite train my kids right in that dept. but I am working on it. Andria, maybe you can tell me this since you seem up on the etiquette....my hubby has his own business and some customers have recently sent him gifts (money) should I send out thank yous? I'm thinking yes but don't know the "rule" HELP!

andria said...

Dana,

Just to be on the safe side I would have your husband send out thank yous. You have enough to do right now. Work related gifts are hazy. I know my dad would get things from customers and contractors and I doubt seriously that anyone sent them a note. Of course, it was more along the lines of fruit or flowers.

Just today we received an xmas card from husband's new boss (the big head guy) do I send out a card now to him when it will be obvious I am just sending it because we got one from them and we also don't know them at all so why would they want a picture of my kids? Only one more week....

Sarah Gilkinson - Insan Art said...

Hi there! I was just looking up the meaning of Biagio and somehow landed on your blog! I scrolled down and read the entry about the thank you notes - it totally struck a chord with me, since I just got married this weekend and I've got a slew of thank you writing ahead of me. I would be in absolute HELL if most of these people didn't receive a proper thank you, and I personally would be embarrassed if I didn't send one, because, like yourself, I was raised to send a proper thank you!

Just thought I'd let you know I was here and reading your blog!

THANKS!

Sarah
http://www.insanart.com
sarah@insanart.com
http://insanart.blogspot.com