August 29, 2012 in Features

Stop emails; send thank you cards

Judith Martin Universal Uclick
 

DEAR MISS MANNERS: I’m getting married soon and have begun receiving gifts via mail or parcel delivery. I will write proper thank-you notes, but we won’t get back from the honeymoon until (in some cases) more than a month after receiving the gift.

I’ve been sending emails to people to thank them, mostly to let them know their gift or check arrived, but I also will send handwritten thank-yous.

Am I going overboard? What’s the accepted interval before one should expect a thank-you? I don’t want people to think me rude for not thanking them, but I don’t want them to think me rude for using email, either. I also don’t want them to think their gift was misrouted.

GENTLE READER: Why are you making double work for yourself?

And why does Miss Manners believe that with the best intentions in the world, you are never going to do it? Because you will return from your wedding trip with all sorts of things to do in your new life, and the mere thought of all those letters to write will exhaust you. Oh well, you will tell yourself, you already wrote these people. There are more urgent things to do.

But if you actually get so far as to sit down with a piece of paper, you will ask yourself what more you can say, as they know you received these wonderful presents.

Ah, you could tell them about your trip. But it sounds stupid to say you had a wonderful time on your honeymoon, as if you had expected not to, and anyway, this is supposed to be a thank-you letter, not a travelogue. Is it enough to tack on a “thanks again for …”?

There is no need to put yourself through all this when you can dash off the handwritten letters as the presents come in, almost as fast as you could write those emails. But it is true, Miss Manners admits, that you would have to factor in the time you spend looking for a stamp.

Please send your questions to Miss Manners at her website, www.missmanners.com or to her email, dearmissmanners@ gmail.com.


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