So you appear well-raised

Month: July 2018

Send The Right Message: Why You Always Send A Thank You Note

Recently, a woman at a baby shower was told she didn’t need to send thank you notes to the attendants for their gifts. As I read this, I went from shock to eye-rolling, to the ever-popular pursing of the lips and shaking my head.

So wait. Let me get this right. A group of people has come together to celebrate you or something you’ve done and you don’t thank them beyond that moment?

I say this as I have a stack of thank you notes to send out from a recent birthday fete where I told my friends “no gifts!” but they came through with the goods anyway because they are magical and wonderful.

Back to the matter at hand. Thank you notes are necessary. After a baby shower. After a wedding. After a nice present is given to you. After someone has shown you tremendous grace. Show appreciation and put it in writing. Not in email, either. No. A handwritten note.

I love stationery. Buying it and designing my own. But you can very easily pick up a pack of thank you cards at your local supermarket. They’re with the greeting cards.

A well-thought out thank you card thanks the person for a specific act or gift and genuinely expresses how much you enjoy said thing. GENUINELY. If you didn’t really like it, don’t go overboard.

Kids should get started writing notes of appreciation as soon as they can hold a crayon. Did an aunt get them a nice present? Have them scribble a note to her in a card after you’ve written a note of thanks. It may be literally a scribble, but the receiver will get a kick out of it and you will have shown your child one of the more important parts of etiquette.

My memory is long and petty. I’ll admit it. I remember folks who don’t send notes. I am working hard on extending grace to those people, but it’s hard. It just feels as though they feel entitled to my gift and they are certainly not. The verbal thank you at the time of the giving isn’t enough.

I’ll even bend a little and say a phone call would be nice if one isn’t inclined to send a note. A personalized phone call. Pick up the phone and dial the number. Don’t send a text. Leave a message if you have to. This seems better than saying nothing.  

Evites: The F-Boy of The Invitation World

I’m about to get into something controversial here: Electronic invitations. Personally, I think they can see me in hell and die a slow death. There are a great many of you who don’t feel that way and are using them for everything from weddings to backyard BBQs. Of course, this is just MY opinion and it doesn’t have to be right. So don’t get your panties all in a bunch if you’ve decided to completely eschew the postal system in favor of a web invite.

I personally see electronic invitations as the fuckboy of the invitation world. Sure, they get the job done. You got the info. But is anyone taking you or it seriously? Are they excited about it? Are they even apt to arrive on time?

Electronic invitations have always said to me, “I want to invite many people at one time, but I don’t want to spend the money on printing and stamps, nor do I want to spend time gathering addresses from Whitepages. So I’ll just send this to *insert really high number of people* and attach my registry information.” That could just be my interpretation.

There is something about a nice, addressed envelope. You open it and you know that the sender meant this for you. They thought about you as they were stuffing, sealing, and addressing. Something just feels really nice about that and I love it.

When planning an event, I build in the cost of the stamps to my budget. To do a simple invite on A6 paper will not cost you extra at the post office. I’ve heard people say things like, “Stamps cost too much. I’ll send it electronically.” But you want gifts from these people and you can’t spend $.50 on a stamp.

A paper invite also says to me, “I’ve taken some care with this event and it is NOT to be missed!” Now, we hope that’s true. We hope it’s not foolery and Costco food platters once you arrive. But there’s a glimmer of hope that it won’t suck because your host has sent out a nice, thoughtful invitation.

For more casual events, fine. Go ahead and send the evite. But for your gift-giving occasions, please do take care to send an actual invitation. This is part of the cost of entertaining.

RSVP Or You’ll Regret It

So you’ve been invited somewhere – great! Now, your host wants to know if you’ll be there. Yes, we’re about to talk about RSVPs.

Put simply, you need to do it. If someone takes the time to invite you somewhere, you need to let them know whether you are coming or not and in a timely fashion. There’s typically a date they’d like to know by.

Let’s discuss why you have to do this: Food and space. Your host would like to make sure they have enough of both. Imagine the horror of having food for 20 people, but 50 show up. You’d talk about that host like a dog if you had to fight another guest over a chicken wing. A deathmatch over a morsel of food is never a good look.  

Also, did they invite just YOU or your posse too? If it was just you, then just YOU need to RSVP and show up. They didn’t budget to feed you and your homies, so don’t ask if they can come. Trust that your host has taken the time to be thoughtful enough to invite people with whom you’d like to converse.  

Whether it’s a wedding, dinner party, or a house party – let your host know whether you are coming or not. I think people get confused about the “not coming” part. No matter what, you MUST tell your host SOMETHING. If your host has to track you down and ask you, you are a schmuck. There’s no way around it. You aren’t that important. You aren’t that busy. No one is too busy for good manners. Not me. Not you.

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