Sunday, June 25, 2006

A lost art...

Disclaimer: ranting ahead...

There are several things that are pet peeves of mine about wedding/social etiquette:
1. Not RSVP-ing to weddings, showers, birthday parties, dinners, etc. This especially bothers me when someone shows up that did not RSVP. It is a simple common courtesy to let a host/hostess know whether you can attend the specified event so that they can plan accordingly. I have not always been the best at this, but after showers I have hosted and our wedding, I have vowed to pay that respect.
2. Not sending a gift after receiving an invitation. It's just rude and lazy.
3. Not sending a thank you note. This is probably my biggest pet peeve and current rant. While numbers 1-2 can be frustrating social faux pas, not sending a thank you note is simply unacceptable. Don't you think? Both Emily Post and Amy Vanderbilt agree that thank you notes for wedding gifts should be sent within 6-8 weeks after a wedding. They even suggest that for gifts received prior to a wedding, one should send a thank you within 2-3 weeks. I will even go as far to say, though, that a thank you note is always better late than never.

Many people get overwhelmed at writing thank you notes because they want to make them personal. I definitely appreciate a note that makes me feel special and my gift valued over a generic "blah" note; however, the overwhelming feeling is not an excuse to not write a note. And if it does take you (*someone*) over a year to write your thank you's, please make your note dang good. A once close friend sent her thank you note 10 months after her wedding, and it was so impersonal, you would think we hadn't even known each other.

One of the last mini-lessons that I shared with my seniors this year was the "how-to's" of writing a thank you note. I emphasized to them that graduation gifts that go unthanked will not lead to future gifts for college graduation, weddings, babies, etc. We talked about 1) acknowledging the gift; 2) its use; 3) and the hope for a future meeting with the giver. It's that simple.

I realized today that 5 out of the last 8 wedding/baby gifts that I have given (some to friends and others to aquaintances) have gone unthanked. This is problematic to me for a couple of reasons:
1. Did they get my gift? Some were sent in the mail, and what if they got lost? I even asked one of the girls over Christmas if she did, indeed, receive the gift... She did. Still no thank you.
2. Is thank you note writing a lost art? I hope not...
3. Do people in general appreciate others' generosity? I hope so...

I think I am going to write a thank you note to a friend for her personal, appreciative thank you note... sigh.

11 comments:

Supabloggasuprememama said...

ummmm, ok i have noticed that in fungomery, people here think they do not have to write thank you notes. so yes, I totally feel your pain on that one. Im big on that and try to be very timely with my thankyous simply bc i do not want to look bad like the other people, and I do not want them hanging over my head. not to toot my horn, but this gal who had a baby the week before me never thanked me for her gift, and i can name like fice people who never thanked me in the three years we have been here. tacky tacky tisk tisk. no excuses, flippin write already. oh, and ps, dont even get me started on not rsvping to weddings. i finally sat down and called these people to ask if they were coming. I am sure you are supposed to get someone else to ask but i dont think my bridesmaids would have been too excited about that one. i mean hello. im not having a cake and punch wedding here. were talking garden with seating arrangements, real food, a band, etc. and YES I would like to know if you were coming or not!!! AGGGHHHHH!
ok im done. All I have to say is KARMA, because what goes around comes around...

Tesney said...

I am also very old school when it comes to thank-yous. I even have a rule that if someone takes more than 15 minutes of their time to do something nice for you, you should write them a thank-you note (i.e., cooking a meal, taking care of your kid, etc.). I am afraid that thank-yous are becoming a lost art. I partly blame the parents of these individuals because my mom would kill me if I neglected to write thank you notes for gifts.

Having said that, I also enjoy giving people a free pass for writing me a thank you note sometimes. After writing tons of thank-yous for wedding and baby gifts, I think it's a bonus gift to tell the recipient that a thank-you note is not necessary. I'm more inclined to do this with baby gifts than wedding gifts since new moms often can't find time to take a daily shower much less crank out tons of thank you notes. However, this is the ONLY time I think it's o.k. not to write a thank-you.

JesseFaris said...

*sigh*

*bigger sigh*

I am the WORST. I feel shamefully guilty. I am still working on my wedding thank you notes! I promise that I'm plugging right through them. Most of the time.

Your post has inspired (and scared me) to finish them this week. Yup. This week. No ifs, ands, or buts.

Kristy said...

Ashley, Thanks for feeling my pain!

Tesney, I agree on being much more forgiving about baby notes. I even enjoy extending a free pass occasionally.

Jesse, you were the one I was going to thank for your personal thank you note. I saved it.

JesseFaris said...

Oh KDC, you are sweet. No thank you note required for my thank you note. That's a free pass right there, baby. (I save all of your sweet, beautifully hand-written notes as well!) ;)

LeslieJerkins said...

Oh my goodness. (See previous post on RSVPing.)

I have about 10 thank you notes left. And I feel good about it. Sending thank you notes is not only polite, but often necessary, as gifts are sent through the mail and confirmation of the gift's reception is imperative.

Thank you for reiterating a vitally important custom. And I think it's more than a custom... it's part of being thankful.

(sorry if this is overly verbose)

lindsay meek said...

I totally agree. There is something about getting a thoughtfully written thank you note that makes it all worth while. Too bad more people don't understand this.

Jen said...

Off to go write thank you notes for the bday gifts Luke got. :)

Heather said...

You are so right about "thank yous." It seems like all things proper and mannerly are disappearing. It's sad really.

Jen said...

Update, sucka.

Kristy said...

Yay! I got a thank you note in the mail today... So, it was a note from my sister for buying a wedding gift for a friend from both of us. (and sort of even in response to this post, but still--definitely thoughtful and NOT blah at all...) Also, my mother got a message on her phone showing appreciation about a thank you note--someone NOT related to this post. Yes, I feel validated. The end.