Thursday, August 30, 2012

The Art of Thank You

Where has the art of thank you notes gone?

Call me old fashion but I’m a huge fan of the thank you note. And not an email or text, tho’ those have their time & place, but a good ol’ handwritten thank you note.

After high school graduation, while my friends got to slap address labels on pre-printed thank you’s, my mother made me painstakingly hand write each thank you note and address each envelope individually – no labels allowed.

In college, every time I got money or a package – out went a thank you note.

After my wedding – it took a month or two, but every one got a thank you note.

And after the babies – all three of them…

I used to laugh when I’d hear older women comment that “they didn’t even get a thank you” for the shower gift. I’m not that old, but I now appreciate a handwritten thank you.

There is a thank you etiquette that seems to have been lost on this next generation.

You take me out to dinner, you get a thank you. You fix me dinner, you get a thank you. You buy me a gift, you get a thank you. Unless I know you fairly well, you get a thank you for even inviting me over to your home for a cookout.

Mr. DDA grumbles when I send thank you notes with him to work for different things. He considers it “brown-nosing.” I consider it being polite. And if someone wants to call a thank you note brown nosing, they’re probably just jealous that they didn’t think about it first.

Dear new brides & grooms – a preprinted picture of you with “Thank you for your gift” does not a thank you card make.

We “old souls” want to see a real effort. Not just your picture or signature. A card that says “Thank you for xyz. We are going to use to help us purchase our washer & dryer. Please pray for us as we start our lives together. Thanks again.”

Four sentences. With ink. On paper.

It’s time consuming, yes. It’s a nuisance, yes. But trust me, people remember it. Long after you’ve forgotten the gift, people remember the thank you.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Splitting the Check

We all know I’m a bit anal, obsessive-compulsive, flat out annoying about some things.  Splitting the check is one of them.

When we were poor broke newlyweds, I can’t tell you how many times we would agree to pick up pizza, pay for dinner, etc. with a promise that we’d get paid back and then never would.   We’d end up with a $50 bill to a restaurant that we didn’t choose, that we didn’t like, with drinks we didn’t order…And living off a quarter of a tank of gas and no milk for the next week.

It became a huge hot button issue with us…well, me actually.  I wouldn’t go out to eat with certain people because I knew I’d have to pay for all of it.  And just to be clear, I happily would have, if I could have afforded it.

Last week, we went to a friend’s house for pizza.  (Hi friend!)  We had all agreed to split the cost of the pizza amongst the different families.

And guess what, Ms. OCD forgot to pay!

I totally forgot.  Me – with her anal retentiveness about owing anyone a red cent!

So Saturday, I drove over there and put my money in her mailbox. 

Some people call it crazy. 

It was just $10.

But it was the point.

I detest asking for money.  So unless you owe me more than $50, I’m probably not going to ask you for it.

And I assume the same about others.  No one wants to say, “Ok – let’s pray and eat.  Oh and don’t forget to give me your tab money.”

That isn’t fair.  There are people out there who love to take advantage of others’ generosity.  I’m terrified of being grouped into them.

And I’m talking about the habitual offenders.

The “I’ll getcha next time-ers.”

Last thing I wanted was for my friend to think, “Wow.  We ordered all this pizza and paid for it and Sarah didn’t bother paying us.  That’s the last time we’ll do that with her.”

So, if I owe you money and I’ve forgotten, 1) I apologize; 2) it’s probably from a long, long time ago; and 3) remind me and I’ll pay it. 

Kid brothers need not apply…you owe me wayyyy more than I’ll ever owe you.