Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Thank You Notes

Today I sat down and started writing thank you notes to people for things Lee and I received as wedding gifts.  Yes, it is quite a bit after the wedding, but I was told I had a year to do them.  At first, I didn't want to write them because I felt like people might wonder why I was so late in sending them and say "it's about time" Yet, after I sat down, I was actually glad I waited so long.

I hate writing thank you notes.  It is something I often defer.  And, admittedly, I have forgotten to do it in the past because I put it off for so long.  The problem is, when I receive something, I find myself in a bind when it comes to the thank you note.  Personally, I don't like or care to receive thank you notes from other people.  It's not that I don't want them to be appreciative.  It's just that I really believe they are mostly a waste.

Let's be honest.  When I open my mailbox and I see an envelope addressed to me that clearly contains a card, I get kind of excited.  Then, as I open it, I think "oh, it's just a thank you note." I read it over and I really don't think much of it.  I feel like it was sent to me because the person felt that he or she should have or needed to send it to me; therefore, the whole thing loses meaning.  Plus, I have no real use for the card, so it usually goes in the trash soon afterwards (I hope nobody feels personally offended by this.  I am just being honest). Do I think people are all insincere? No, not really.  It's just that things that are treated by society as obligatory lose value because then you don't know when it's a formality and when it is real. I wonder how many other people are like me.  There may be some who really love a thank you card and get excited and say, "Oh look! A thank you card!"

For example, I was talking with my mother recently and she wholeheartedly believes in thank you cards.  I honestly don't know if she loves receiving them, but she definitely feels it is very important to send them.  She has said that it might be that her generation was raised being taught that writing thank you notes is important, and mine is so much more electronic that we just don't get it.  I will not deny the fact that generation plays a major part in what we deem important.

Still, for me, it is something I find completely absurd.  Everything seems to be simply "fluff."  If I give you a present, I'll assume you were grateful.  Most people stop to say thank you anyway.  For me, that is really enough.  And honestly, if the person didn't want it, I would really prefer it if he/she didn't fake some kind of appreciation out of obligation to write a thank you note.

I mean, this is why I don't want to write thank yous so soon after receiving a gift because I find myself not knowing what to say.  "Uhhh errrrr...thank you...uhh...for that just stirs so great...I have never seen a spoon that can stir like that one!"  It just sounds like foolishness to me and I like to be genuine.  You see, this is why I don't like giving thank you notes because if I'm going to write to somebody it will be true and real.  It won't be some forced thing I do because I feel like someone wants one by a certain date or shame on me...I obviously wasn't thankful.

So, this is why I ended up being glad I waited so long.  Because I can honestly say that every note I wrote today was packed full of meaning.  I was able to express appreciation for a gift but also make comments about things I know that have gone on in their lives.  I felt so satisfied that I didn't have to make up something just to write a thank you note.  There were many other things to say.  Besides, we have also had the things long enough that I could write more about them.  For example, I could explain how and when I've used it and what I truly think of it.

If you are one of those people, and you will soon be receiving a thank you card from me.  Just know that I meant every word I said.