I am utterly shocked. The second of today’s Dear Abby questions was from a Kansas woman who had just attended quite possibly the rudest bridal shower ever. After the gifts were opened, the guests were instructed to address, stamp, and write their own thank you notes. Once the guests properly congratulated themselves on the gifts they brought, all that was left for the bride to do was sign her name to the bottom of each card.
The take-home message of course was that the bride couldn’t be bothered to do more than autograph her name, and that somehow that autograph was worth a stamped & self-addressed envelope. Not only that, but I’m guessing the party couldn’t have become less festive once this thank-you note assembly line began.
I’m not naïve enough to think that this is how Kansas brides have been taught to behave. This woman obviously “went renegade” from her formal etiquette training, and was probably even patting herself on the back when she came up with a plan to avoid those pesky hand cramps. But I do believe that California brides can do so much better than this. That’s why I’m calling on all of you, from the sandy shores of San Diego to the lofty mountains of Lake Tahoe, to not only write your own thank you notes for your bridal shower and wedding gifts (“duh” doesn’t even begin to describe my feelings on that subject!), but to make the notes special.
In this age of emails instead of letters and crackly cell phone calls instead of friendly one-on-one visits, I ask you to not only thank these people for their thoughtful gifts and time, but to really mean it. I challenge you to insert one short, personalized phrase into the usual thank-you note template that shows that you not only appreciate the present, but you actually know the person who gave it to you. And if you can’t think of anything interesting to say to these guests, I’d recommend revising your next invite list with a bright red pen.
Those extra few moments of thought may be tiring, but imagining how you’ll make your guests’ day a little brighter after they made your day a memorable one might help you through those last few sentences.