Amongst a sea of “save the dates” featuring faces of friends, family, and their betrothed, floats two lonely islands on my black GE refrigerator.
One is a signed thank you note from Seth Klarman, legendary investor and author of an out-of-print book that retails for $2,000; the other is a hand-written note from a college friend thanking me for attending his bachelor party.
What’s not obvious at first glance is the irony that presides over the surface of this humble kitchen appliance.
Last week, I received a thank you note for a Perrier Jouët Fleur De Champagne gift set I gave to my Godmother for her wedding a month ago. It made me happy to see that the newlyweds appreciated my attendance on their special day, the thought that went into the gift, and that they planned to use it for another special occasion in the future. I smiled as I read the card, then tossed it in the trash can, wishing them well in my mind.
This small gesture of sending a “thank you” didn’t come as a big surprise — wait — YES IT DID!
The irony I mentioned earlier is that, out of all the “save the dates” I’ve received in my adult life (and the subsequent weddings that follow them), a shockingly low number of couples now take the time to send any kind of thank you at all for my attendance and gift.
Do I *need* a thank you? No.
Do I *expect* a thank you? Yeah, kinda.
Does failing to send a thank you affect my opinion of you? Sadly, yes.
Never having been married, I realize that weddings are expensive, planning them is time-consuming, and, when they’re over, you’re probably exhausted. But should the tradition of sending “thank you” notes really be forgone for the simple reason of feeling drained? (Or maybe it’s something else I’m missing? If so, comment below.)
I’m not perfect, but I do try to practice thanksgiving and gratitude towards others in my own life. My work emails often start with “Thank you for” and often close with “Thank you,” or “Thanks,” rather than “Regards,” or “Cheers,”. I enjoy going out of my way to thank people for things which they might not necessarily expect to be thanked. In fact, a few years ago, I even bought a bunch of “thank you” notes on a whim with the intention of being intentional about using them to thank people. I’ve found only about 6 occasions to use them and felt great about it every time.
Maybe I’m old fashioned. Maybe I’m making a big deal about nothing. But if you invite me to your wedding and I bring or send a gift, just shoot me a quick “thank you” note — or email, or text, or tweet, or snapchat, or whatever — and I’ll be grateful.
Thanks for reading!!