Thursday, April 26, 2012


How to Do the Right Thing

More advice, in case you need it.

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Facts: I have never gotten a single thank you note for any wedding gift sent within the course of my lifetime.

Now I'm getting married and I have to write wedding thank yous because it's the nice thing to do. Do you send them right after the gift comes or after the wedding in one swoop?


@parallel-lines You send the thank you note after the gift comes. It's Emily Post correct and it makes your life a bit easier since you can get some of them out of the way before the wedding.


@parallel-lines You can do either, really. If you're printing fancy labels off a mailing list, it can be easier to do everything at once (keep a list of who sent what as it arrives/you open it to make sure of proper attribution). If you're hand-writing everything, doing it as you go might be easier on you. If you're expecting a large number of gifts, you might want to wait and then pick up the proper amount of stationery and stamps in one go.

fondue with cheddar

@parallel-lines That is ridiculous. What kind of people have you been giving gifts to?

Also, @wharrgarbl's idea of printing address labels is a great, time-saving idea, and this probably goes without saying, but PLEASE make sure you hand-write the actual thank you note. I got a thank you printed from a computer and it was insulting.


@jen325 I think "insulting" is a bit harsh. I wouldn't judge it that hard, a lot of people have terrible handwriting nowadays due to all day computer typing as has been discussed in previous cursive writing cost cutting. I now have terrible handwriting and if I had to write dozens and dozens of thank you notes, I would consider a computer if only for legibility. They are still getting their gift acknowledged with a personal thanks, and that's the important part.


@jen325 I know, right? I mean, I began to wonder if it had gone out of fashion or something because I can count the number of thank yous I've received on one finger but thanks for confirming that I'm not being touchy here. I was tempted to follow up with a few people but didn't at the worry of seeming obnoxious.

fondue with cheddar

@maevemealone Using the computer for legibility is fine, but I would still expect the person to sign their name and/or my name. A printed thank you feels so impersonal, and it makes me not feel properly thanked. Not that the purpose of giving a gift is to receive a thank you for it, but it's just courteous. But a handwritten note shows me that they're thinking of me when they wrote it. It's like the difference between a mass "Happy New Year, Everyone!" text blast and a personal "Happy New Year, Jen!"


@jen325 I got a text message Thank You that included the phrase "to save a stamp" from one of my closest friends after being a bridesmaid in her wedding, throwing bachelorette party, nice gift, travel, whole nine yards. Un-fucking-believable. I was (am) livid, but understand she is a bit socially awkward and blunt, but WHAT THE HELL, MAN.

fondue with cheddar

@bitzy WHAT? I hope you told her in the nicest way possible that that is Not Okay.


@jen325 If the nicest way possible is passive aggression (it is not), then yes. I think I just didn't respond to it until she followed up, asking if I got her Thank You. I asked if that is what that the text was and then saying, "Oh yeah, I got that, but that isn't a Thank You." And then engaging in some serious wine-fueled judgement with my best friend (another bridesmaid who got the same treatment).

Quite bitchy, but WHAT THE HELL, MAN.

fondue with cheddar

@bitzy You know what? I would probably have reacted the same way. Bitchy, yes. But it's pretty maddening behavior on her part. I hope she realized the error of her ways.


is very good@k


Always do the right thing.
That's it?
That's it.
I got it, I'm gone.

Reginal T. Squirge

@Lucienne Beat me to it.


What the fuck? Seriously? Use confirmation delivery. It's still cheaper than UPS, who have all the problems at greater expense. Also, "if it's lost, it's lost" is frequently bullshit. Drop your buds a line making sure they got it, explain that you were a little worried because it's an oddly shaped package, and if they didn't, initiate a trace with your goddamned post office. They don't just hurl stuff into Mount Doom on suspicion of it being a magical superweapon if they can't deliver something.


@wharrgarbl Is this true? They can trace things? I get so nervous about the mail, but much of that stems from just not knowing the mysteries of the post office.


@wharrgarbl I've used that and still had packages lost (the post office by my work is notorious for stealing stuff). The conversation went like this
me: "But I got confirmation delivery."
post office dude: "uh, someone signed for it."
me: "who?"
him: "...uh, Mike? Mark. Mike? Whatever."
Me: "Mike WHO?"
him: "Not my problem, go file a pointless complaint that will go nowhere if you don't like it."

I have had them lose, like forever lose, so many packages as well. I HATE THE USPS SO GOD DAMN MUCH GOD THEY ARE THE WORST.


@wharrgarbl And don't send without delivery confirmation if it's a present. Especially a wedding present! I mean, really. It's like two dollars more.


@parallel-lines If your post office is full of thieves, there ain't much you can do besides keep filing those complaints/demanding to speak to a supervisor. Eventually a supervisor will probably get cranky enough to start firing people.

@boyofdestiny Yeah, if you sent something, you can call them or go in and say "Yeah, I sent a package from here three weeks ago to this address. Here's the description." and they'll initiate a trace. Most of my work orders use media mail for their shit, and stuff doesn't get lost-lost too often. Usually they'll come back a week later and say "Okay, the post office found it with the delivery label ripped off because we decopuaged it onto the back of an old cereal box before affixing it with artisanal twine, so we just had to pick it up from the originating post office, and we're re-shipping now."


@boyofdestiny I have some experience with this (courtesy of a whole debacle involving a scammer on ebay), and there is a big caveat. USPS delivery confirmation demonstrates only that a package was delivered to your zip code, not specifically to your address. (I know, it's insane but true.)

In my situation, I bought something from ebay and the seller appeared to send it, and the package tracked the whole way through the system but never arrived. When we traced it through the USPS, they basically shrugged and said, "It's been delivered. Here's the record." My husband and I did a ridiculous amount of sleuthing, including checking with our regular postal carrier who assured us that he hadn't delivered the package in question. But the post office refused to get involved.

Since then, I've learned that a not uncommon ebay scam is to sell an item but ship an empty package (even an envelope will work because the tracking data doesn't include weight) to any random address within the buyer's zipcode. The buyer has already paid, the package appears to have been delivered, the scam is complete.

Apologies for the tome.


@datalass I used to sell stuff on eBay (and buy) and now I just won't do it anymore. Way too many scammers out there.


I need all the advice I can get.


@redheaded&crazie Get rid of your cat. This is essentially the best advice ever given by a clean person.


But what was IN the small, strangely shaped package?


@anachronistique this is totally off topic but KORRA KORRA KORRA your icon!! I love her and the show so much already!


@phenylalanine KORRA IS THE BEST WITH THE BEST FACE. I do not regret changing my icon one bit.


I loved that whole Tumblr and was getting a little crush on the author all the way till the end where she said repeatedly and without qualification that Adele is fat and then I fell out of love.

But she's right about all the other etiquette questions!


@Maryaed yeah, I read back to that one, and was like WHAT? I can't tell anyone they look like any famous person unless the famous person is "nearly-universally seen by the culture at large to be stunning or at least very attractive and appealing"? That's bullshit. I get what she's saying abotu Adele's figure being made-much-of in the media, so her prettiness gets conflated with "even though she's fat", but jeebzuss


@Maryaed Yeah, I got to the one about Adele and just lost it with that author. "You look like Adele" is not instantly "You're fat," it could mean a myriad of things -- you have amazing hair, your eyes are gorgeous, holy shazam you look really good.

I mean, she's big, sure, but she's also fucking stunning. I'd take a comparison to Adele any damn day.


@Scandyhoovian Isn't she, like, a size 12? i.e. only Hollywood-fat. But your point would stand if she were a size 28.


@Maryaed I don't even know. Hell, if she's a 12, she's smaller than I am! But yeah, "Hollywood fat" is such a ridiculousness it just sets my teeth on edge. Did you see after the Hunger Games came out people were picking on Jennifer Lawrence for being "big"? It's Luxan-Hyperrage-style rage I feel for this stuff.

oh! valencia

@Scandyhoovian hmm. The whole time I was watching the Hunger Games I was thinking how similar her body type is to mine. And on the grand scale of humanity, I'm a small.
Geez, people are messed up.


Thanks, but no thanks. I have "A Lady" and "A Dude".

fondue with cheddar

There was only one time I didn't get a thank you note, and it was because the marriage only lasted 6 months. Because she left her husband for my husband.


@jen325 TELL US MORE.

Lily Rowan

@jen325 !!!!

I'm so sorry, but also, you were probably better off without him?

george glass

@jen325 Maybe it was you who should have written her the thank you note?


@jen325 Wow, I like how you dropped that teaser on us (also, I <3 your icon/avatar thing)


@jen325 Soooo, when you, like, write a hilarious essay/brilliant screenplay/something else that brings in royalties galore, it will all have been worth it, right? Right?

Yeah, I can see that one going either way, too.

And that is just the very worst. I am sorry. :(


@jen325 But she wrote you a thank-you note for the husband, yes?

fondue with cheddar

@Lily Rowan I am WAY better off without him. He's her problem now! Unfortunately, he's their daughter's problem, too. Poor kid.

@george glass Ha! That's a good idea. I wish I'd thought of it sooner. It's been 5 years (!) since we split, so it's a little late for that now.

@Maryaed She never did! What poor ettiquette!

@fabel Thanks! I've been thinking about changing my username to something that's not my name, and if I do that I'd want to change my icon. But I love it! And I'm not sure I want to be Mr./Ms. Banana Grabber. Dilemmas!

@Alixana @fabel I'd be happy to share it with you because it's an incredibly juicy story YOU HAVE NO IDEA. I've debated whether to pitch it as a "The Best Time..." piece, but there's just so much betrayal and overall awfulness on the part of my ex that I'm afraid of how it will come across. By that I mean I don't want to write a piece that is all about him being a Bad Man and me being a Victim, even though that's pretty much what it was. And now I have to go because my ride is here! Sorry!


@jen325 This the best worst ever. Also, I'm sorry


I haven't written a thank you note before, but to be fair, I was recovering frm surgery and super out of it on pain killers.

george glass

I like the idea of repaying a "tangible expression of goodwill" in kind. I send more parcels than most people my age, just little things, and while I never expect a hand-written note in response, it is always a let-down when I have to ask if it was received. If it requires more effort than a Facebook poke (is that still a thing?), at least an email in response is nice.


@george glass This exactly! I really like giving people gifts and I don't expect a thank you note or anything but a simple acknowledgment that they've at least received it would be nice. I have one friend who for all I know throws them out unopened because I've never received so much of a text after I give him something.
I may be kind of bitter about this.


When I got married, I remember it took me about a month from the date of the wedding to finish up thank-you notes, because of honeymoon and buying a house and moving and stuff, and people started hounding me for the thank-you note within a week of us getting back from our honeymoon. Even The Knot says you get a month from the date you return from your honeymoon to send out notes. Geesh.

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