Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Thank you. No, thank you.

As a bachelor, I have been told that I get a "free pass," so to speak, on certain rules of etiquette and other things. Things like, "No one expects all your serving bowls to match." Or "They don't expect you to get a gift for their new baby." Or "You're a guy. It's OK if you don't have a single thing hanging on your walls."

While I readily admit I don't know half of the Dear-Abby-Heloise-Miss-Manners rules of life, I do make an attempt. I send out Christmas cards each year. Do (nearly) all of my own shopping for gifts. And I almost always get a wedding gift when I get an invitation in the mail. However, some bits of etiquette and politeness I just do not understand. To wit...

I have received two thank you cards in the mail from people, both female, with whom I exchanged Christmas gifts this year.

I don't get it.

Thank you cards are fine for graduation gifts, wedding gifts. Or I suppose anytime someone gets you something and you don't get them anything. But we exchanged gifts. My gift to them was my thank you for their gift. And vice versa. We're even.

Except not now.

Now I owe them a thank you card?

And what's next, a "you're welcome" card? And then a "please, it was my pleasure" card? Or what about a "thank you for your thank you card" card? When does it end? I think the entire thank you card industry has gotten out of hand.

And then I started wondering if there might be someone out there that I offended by not sending a thank you card? Probably. Somewhere there's probably two people who haven't talked in years simply because one did not get a thank you card from the other. You think?

I'm sorry. It's just too much.
So I think I'm going to take my bachelor free pass on this one.
Do not go to Hallmark.
Do not spend two dollars.

The title of this post reminded me of an episode of Married... With Children. I think it's the one where Al moves the family into the supermarket. He's walking behind some hottie, taking items off the shelf, and dropping them behind her so she'll have to bend over and pick them up:

Al: "Oh Miss. I think you dropped your corn."
Scantily clad babe: "Oops! Thank you."
Al: "Thank you."
Al: "Oh Miss. You dropped your flea fogger."
Babe: "Oops. Thanks again."
Al: "No. Thank you."
Al: "Bud, here's something men do. Quick, get me something... Excuse me, Miss. You dropped your... uhh... eggs."

"Mister Jones and me, tell each other fairy tales. We stare at the beautiful women. She's lookin' at you. Naw, naw, she's lookin' at me..."


  1. I am the worst at these etiquette rules... and as a woman I am supposed to uphold these philosophies of life. I have known chicks that have sent Thank You cards out for virtually anything and everything... Thank you for the gift, thank you for coming over for dinner, thank you for the "Bless you" when I sneezed.

    I am OVER IT.

    BTW- If ?over it? means that I shant receive anymore gifts from people? where is the nearest Hallmark?!?!

  2. I'm one of those thank you card people. My friends do it too. I don't know it's just the opportunity to do something extra for someone you like and to let them know their gift (money) is appreciated. We often take the time in the thank you cards too to tell each other how much our friendship means. Can you ever say that too much??

  3. I totally agree with you! Christmas is NOT an occasion to give a thank you card! What the hell??!!!!! Does that mean I'm supposed to send out thank you cards, in addition to Christmas cards, for all the gifts my children get from random family members?? I think not! I do love cards, and I'm great at getting them for people, but you really have to draw the line somewhere, ya know?

  4. Oh since I'm baring my soul this week--my mother wrote my thank you notes when I got married--she could imitate my handwriting

    So I sometimes overdue it to compensate--but in an email or some other way the person won't feel guilty about not answering; actually write sometimes "don't acknowlege under threat of death,"

    Thats a sure fire way to make somebody think you're funny, even if you're not really

  5. Carnealian- You are right... I do exchange "just because" cards with my friends... I guess I ever thought about them as being "thank you for your friendship" cards, but that is what they are.

    Good... then I am not completely horrible in this field.

    (Carnealian - Is it proper or not proper to now send you a thanks for your comment?!?)

  6. My momma always said if I didn't want to write thank you notes that was ok but don't except a gift next year. I don't totally agree with this when it comes to adults but children should write thank you notes. I get pissed when i don't get one from my nephews. Of course their spelling is so f-ing funny I end up keeping the notes for years on the frig. "tanks for my moken chol car" For those who don't know 6 year old. That is "Thanks for my remote control car."

    I do think adults should write a thank you for wedding, shower (baby/wedding) gifts. Does all this make me old fashioned?

  7. OCG: Yes, and besides, thank you cards are soo last week. We should concern ourselves more with proper blog, chat, webcam, and email etiquette :-)

    Carney: Thank you cards are fine. But I agree with Arlene. On Christmas? That's a bit much.

    Arlene: Thank you! See, I just said the words. No card necessary :-)

    Pia: I like that idea. Email is good. That way, if I feel the need to reciprocate, it's just a simple click.

    OCG: Hey! This isn't Bone's chat room! Just kidding :-) You girls converse all you want. I'll get the Jell-o.

    hotpink: I think thank you cards are fine for showers, and as I mentioned, weddings and graduations.

  8. Thank you cards for Christmas gifts?

    Bone, babe, do these chicks have the hots for you or something?? Just looking for an excuse to make contact?

  9. What about the thank you for the thank you? I mean it's only polite, right?

    Here through Courting Destiny's recommendation!:)

  10. I'm a chick, a MARRIED chick and I don't get the thank you card thing either. I have only sent out thank you's for wedding shower and wedding presents, and graduation presents. This Christmas my brother-in-law's girlfriend wrote me a thank you note for the presents I bought her. They weren't fancy. I got her a Starbucks Coffee sampler pack and a book of knitting designs. I felt bad. I didn't send her a thank you note and she MADE her gift for me. She knitted me a GORGEOUS scarf.

    I'm such a heathen and I have no excuses. LOL.

  11. If you get a gift, but don't give a gift, a thank you card is required. If you exchange gifts no thank you cards are required, I think is the way it works.

    Also, thanks for attempting to interpret those incredibly wack dreams I had last night. I'm not sure what they all mean, but I'm sure it's something grand.


  12. Meghan: Um, no. I'm fairly certain these two don't have the hots for me. I was talking to a friend tonight who said he received a couple of thank you cards as well.

    Janet: Is Pia talking me up again? Thank you so much for stopping by :-)

    Chickadee: Yes, I guess you don't get the bachelor's free pass :) I wonder what the official rule is on this. I'll have to write Miss Manners. Not that I would send them anyway. We have to make a stand somewhere!

    I do know you're supposed to handwrite thank you notes when you do send them.

    Java: Just enjoy the interpretations while they're still free :-)

  13. I've never written a thank you note for any gifts I've gotten... and I still get gifts the next year so that theory is out...
    Even when I had my kids.. I announced at the baby showers... "I'm really bad at sending out things like thank you cards... so I would like to say ... Thank You.. I appreciate anything and everything you put so much thought into to get my baby"

    Yeah that was my thank you card....

    now as for thank you cards at Christmas or any other holiday that involves gift giving... big NO there... especially christmas... you spend hundreds of dollars in cards and envelopes, stamps... for christmas cards... I wouldn't friggin do that again for cards...just to say thank you for some gift... next time I see ya.. I'll say hey thanks man I loved/hated/threw out/threw up on/gave away (whichever one fits) your christmas present...

    and I agree with the whole if you get a gift and didn't give one then a thank you is/should be sent... but if you exchange gifts then no thank you card...

    Geez this is turning into the length of one of my blog posts.... Sorry Bone... lol

  14. O.K. ~ I have to admit something...
    I have appx. 4 etiquette books that I've purchased over the past few years, just because I don't want to be 'lost' when I have a question simular to yours.

    And everyone of these books agrees...
    You do not have to send a thank you card for exchanging gifts!

    *Just call me Mrs. Manners*

  15. Maybe I'm part guy. I don't understand thank-you cards either. Seems like another "Valentines Day" kind of thing.

  16. Rae: No prob :-) I'm just glad to see we're mostly all on the same page here.

    Sherry (aka Miss Manners): I'm actually surprised that thank you cards aren't required. But thanks! Now I'll know who to ask with any future etiquette questions ;-)

    Lass: Yes. Hope I haven't ruined my chance to get a job as a card writer for Hallmark :)