Tag Archives: silly

Defending The Thank You Note

Thank-you notes were the bane of my existence.

I couldn’t stand the horrible things. Just straight-up couldn’t stand them.

Even worse, to the young dude I used to be, my birthday is in late November, just about a month before Christmas. Which meant I had to write all those thank-you notes at the same time.

Mooo-oooo-oommmm! My hand hurts! Do I have to write all these? What’s the difference? No one cares? Mom! Are you listening to me?

Writing thank-you notes just went downhill from there.

The thing is, even though she’s dead, I have the feeling she’s still smiling over what I’m about to write.

The same answers she gave me when I was a young complainer who didn’t know how good I had it. . . Yeah, those are the same things I tell my three young dudes, young complainers all, who all don’t know how good they have it.

Sarcasmo, Zippy the College Boy and Hyper Lad . . . None of them count good penmanship among their many skills. In this way, they really take after their dad. I’ve never been able to craft a written letter with a neat hand that will allow others to read it without struggling.

(The fact that I became a reporter and didn’t get sued for writing down the wrong thing, or writing down the right thing, but not being able to read it and printing the wrong thing, is a testament to my young eyes and resilient brain that could actually remember stuff.)

So writing anything is not their favorite activity. Not even in their favorite top 100. Or top 1000. Or, well, you get the idea.

Still, I make it as easy for them as possible. I take notes during present times so we know who gave what. I’ll give each young dude a list (as well as a list for their mom), with the name and address for each person written next to it. Some years, I’ll even help write the address on the front of the envelope.

And still they complain. Zippy the College Boy, especially, keeps harping on about how no one cares about thank-you notes and how he’d never want to get one from anyone he sent a gift to. And, if he does have to write one, why can’t he type it out and e-mail it to the person?

That last one is a toughie. Personally, I’m all in favor of writing electronic thank-you notes. It saves paper. It saves energy. It gets there quicker. It’s better than sending a paper note at all levels.

The problem being that most people who are sending the young dudes gifts are older than they are. Which means they were raised in an era when a handwritten note was essential if you wanted to express a sincere emotion to someone. An e-mail is seen as the slacker’s way of doing things, as not requiring enough effort to show that you really did mean a sincere thank you.

It’s silly, but that’s the way it is. Which means we have to live with it and work within it.

Which means I get to hear the complaints again and again.

Eventually, I fell back on my mom’s best counter to my note whining.

“If you really don’t want to write a thank-you note. . . That’s fine.”

I’d celebrate, but she wasn’t done.

“I’ll just tell everyone that doesn’t get a thank-you note that you’ve decided not to receive presents any more. Receiving a gift from someone means you’ve entered into a contract. You’re end of the contract is that you will write a thank-you note. No note? No present.”

It’s mean. It’s heavy-handed. It’s autocratic.

But, darn it, people who took the time to pick out and mail a gift to you, deserve acknowledgement for trying to make your life better.

It’s a small price to pay, but one I think is well worth it.

So. . . *sigh* Yes, Mom. You were right about saying thank you in a short letter. Again.

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And The Race Is On

Halloween is coming!

It’s inevitable. In a bit more than a fortnight, goblins and ghosties and ghoulies will roam the streets of almost every city in America and parts unknown. Candy will be demanded and given.

Tricks will be played. Treats enjoyed.

And I will be stuck at home.

For most of the last two decades, I’ve been able to hit the streets with one, two or three of the young dudes as an excuse. That is, they dressed up and headed out to Trick or Treat and, for safety’s sake, they needed an adult to go with them. Not that I wanted to go, you understand. But for the good of the kids.

And, if I had to go out, I probably needed to wear a costume of some kind so I would fit in. Surely you don’t think I would be wearing a costume because I like wearing costumes? Don’t be silly.

This year, though, I just don’t see it happening.

Sarcasmo and Zippy the College Boy are both too old to require a chaperone and, even more difficult to swing, they’re both far out of town on Halloween. For the last few years, I’d been pinning my Halloween Hopes on Hyper Lad and, for the most part, it’s been working.

That comes grinding to an inglorious halt this year, I’m afraid.

I’ve talked to him again and again about Halloween, asked what he wants to have for a costume, if he needs any help coming up with something to wear, or help creating something for the costume. All I got was a condescendingly incredulous stare that spoke volumes, mostly on the topic of “Just How Young Do You Think I Am?”

It was a horrible read, that volume.

Which means that I’ll be at home. Even worse, I had thought I’d be able to stretch one more year out of the costume chaperone thing so I didn’t actually plan anything else. I mean, I enjoyed years of post-costume Halloween fun before I started going to dress-up parties by dressing up our house and trying to scare the costumes off of any kid that dared to walk onto our yard.

I’ve got some good ideas, dudes, but I’m not sure if there’s enough time to pull it all together.

Although, I think I might just have an idea here. I’m thinking the Old Living Statue trick. Get a comfortable chair, dress up a bit, with some make up and maybe gloves, sit down in said chair and then put the candy bowl in my lap.

When someone walks up to the bowl, don’t move, don’t breathe, don’t blink. Get lots of questions and people trying to guess if I’m a doll (aren’t I, just?) or a person. Then, when they’re least expecting it. . .

WHAM!

Ha, ha, ha, ha! Is there anything better than scarring and scaring a young child? I don’t think so.

Who cares if Hyper Lad thinks he’s too old to go out Trick or Treating with his dad? I don’t. I’ve got other fun stuff to do.

But I need to get a move on. The clock is ticking.

And the race is on.

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