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a home + living guide for the post-college, pre-parenthood, quasi-adult generation

08.30.2001

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... and thanks 
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all the fish 
easy, breezy, (almost) painless thank you notes
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No, donít blame my mother Ė she tried her best to teach me otherwise, I swear. But I am terrible, terrible, terrible about writing thank you notes. Itís not that I donít fully appreciate how nice it is when someone gives me a gift, or throws me a party, or lets me intrude on their homes for any period of time, because Iím very good about expressing my sincere gratitude when Iím dealing with someone in person (or at least I hope that comes across). But thereís something about having to write a note that makes that thank you seem like the biggest, most unbearable chore imaginable. Writing one thank you note Ė no big deal. Having to write 30 thank you notes at Christmas time, on the other hand, makes me groan at the mere thought of the tedium. The notion of having to write nearly a hundred after my upcoming wedding? Downright fills me with dread.

Itís not that I donít mean well. Iíll set aside the cards Ė on which Iíve scribbled a note to myself to remember the corresponding gift Ö I do aim to be organized Ė then stack them up on a neat pile on my desk, right near the pens, assuring myself that Iíll write all my thank youís the very next weekend. But Sunday night rolls around and inevitably I find something else to help me procrastinate Ė the laundry, a TV show, chipped red toenail polish that requires my immediate and undivided attention. Two weeks, three weeks, frequently a month (and sometimes two) will pass by thus. And pretty soon, those thank yous are so late in the coming that Iím actually embarrassed to be writing them at all.

Fortunately for me, itís frequently noted that with thank you notes, late is much better than never at all. And Iím now old enough to know that those stupid etiquette rules our parents tried so hard to instill in us as children arenít meant to make life tedious Ė and that thank you notes, ultimately, arenít important because theyíre a responsibility or a chore, but for the plain old reason that theyíre something nice to do for the person who was kind enough to bless you with a gift.

but wait: there's so much more!

 

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