Wednesday, July 16, 2008

no time

A few weeks ago I was invited to a bridal shower which I was unable to attend. I sent a gift anyway. Yesterday I received the thank you note for the gift... it was 2 sentences and printed from a computer.

I have been annoyed about it ever since.

Seriously, when has it become acceptable to not take the time to handwrite thank you notes for these kinds of things? If I had a cell phone, I wouldn't be surprised if the thank you had been texted to me since that seems to be the main mode of communication between people right now.

I kind of think I would have been less annoyed if I had never received a thank you note at all - although I can't be sure... that probably would have annoyed me, too.

I'm not lamenting for the "good ol' days" here. I understand that technology changes, people do things differently. However, I think that this is an example of the busy and hurried world that we live in. A world in which people need to be at 3 places at the same time and so they aren't ever fully present at one. And it is an example of the impersonal way that people communicate now... there are few face to face conversations, few real moments between people. We're shortening our words to save time. We're removing vowels or using numbers - and I fear that it is only a matter of time before textspeak (or whatever it is) shows up in school papers and teachers get tired of correcting it so they let it go.

I know, I know. I'm ranting. And this is just on my blog - you should hear me in person;)


kkoois 8:07 AM  

i wonder if it is not as much of a lack of time issue as it is laziness. or it seems these days that showers and gift are expected so why would the recipient need to put effort into thanking the giver for something that was entitled to them? (warning, here i go on my rant) it seems to me that now a days people are so into their pre-parties (showers, personal showers, bachelor parties, etc.) that is has become assumed they will get one or in many cases now, several showers. and what's with people inviting everyone they know to the shower but not to the actual event. call me old-fashioned but isn't that tacky? apparently, i am good enough to buy you a present but not good enough to share in your special day?!?!? now i'm all worked up.

amanda 8:28 AM  

i agree with both of you girls. pre-printed cards are ridiculously tacky. oh, and you want to know one of my latest pet-peeves??? including a gift registry on a CHILD'S BIRTHDAY PARTY INVITATION! read that right. when annaliese was in preschool, we got an invite to a party and the mom had written 'xxxxx is registered at toys r us'. i almost gagged. annaliese couldn't go, but i sent a gift anyway (the girl came to her party a few weeks before)...something i chose on my own that was NOT from a registry. so there. :P

i am not 9:16 AM  

1. I'm glad I'm not the only one who is bothered by this.

2. I find it very amusing to get BFWW worked up:)

3. Amanda - don't get me started on birthday party registrations. I have not run into that yet, but I imagine it is only a matter of time and you wouldn't want to be Cornbread when that actually happens because he is going to have to listen to my reaction.

4. I did not mention in my post that the pre-printed card came along with a picture of the happy couple in front of a pile of their new loot.

5. Is anyone else annoyed by what is actually ON the registry? 4 sets of $129 sheets for example? What?

6. I sure hope these people never run across my blog. If they do - its nothing personal, just a reaction to a general situation. Really, it is.

Alisa 9:28 AM  

Hi's been a long time! I just had to respond to this one....I know I shouldn't make such a big deal out of it, but I feel the same way about thankyou notes. I just think it's so easy and only takes a few minutes to write one out, I can't understand why people fail to send them or print it instead of writing them out etc. So annoying! When my brother and sister-in-law were engaged a year or so ago, my mother and I, and my sister and other sister-in-law, really went above and beyond with all of her shower, bachelorette party and wedding gifts. Not one of us EVER received one single thankyou note! I was beyond mad for quite a while and embarrassed for her that maybe she didn't send them to anyone else either (extended family). We later found out she had sent them to ext fam and friends, just not our immediate family (the ones I think really matter :) Boy oh boy, it's hard to forget that. I consider myself a "thankyou note" kind of girl, so I can't understand it. (I got your email and I will reply soon!)

Jen 10:30 AM  

Tacky. And I'm with Kim. . .If I am not invited to the wedding DO NOT invite me to the shower. Tacky.

And I could go on for days about kid birthday parties themselves, let alone gift registries.

Now when one has their 4th baby in 3 years. . .thank you notes can slide.

Doni Brinkman 12:23 PM  

I read this today just after I was lamenting the fact that Tori's Thank You Notes are sitting on my dresser made out but not sent and she is FIVE MONTHS OLD. I guess I better start praying that God grants gracious hearts to those who will be receiving them. I have typewritten thank you's in the past and they seemed much nicer to me than my sloppy handwriting and I took the time to say more. I gues I am one of "those" people. :)

Amy 12:30 PM  

Don't get me started with the thank-you notes. I think people just expect to receive gifts now and assume that no one sends thank-you notes anymore. I have not received thank-you notes for the last four showers I have attended. I've always been under the understanding you should send thank-you notes within two weeks of the event. Yes, I spent hours writing personal thank-you notes when Derek was born when I could have been doing other things like sleeping. But it was important to our family that we acknowledge everyone who thought of us. It is hard to not feel jipped when this is not reciprocated. You feel a little taken for granted if anything.

What's with having multiple showers for your second, thid, or even fourth child??? I always thought you just had a shower for your first. Don't you already have baby stuff if you already have a child? We went to a shower for the second child and the invitation asked us to bring diapers (along with another gift) and specified what size we were supposed to bring (so they don't all get the same size). Our money was so tight at the time and we weren't going to even go. We went at the last minute and no, I did not bring them any diapers.

i am not 12:46 PM  

Doni - entirely different. I take no issue with getting thank you notes out 5 months later and no issue with typing a thank you note if it is personalized in some way. I take issue with the generic nature of this note and the pre-printed - it appears that these could have been printed long before the shower happened. Yes,

I think handwritten is better, however, I wouldn't have a problem with a typed note that said, "thank you for the wonderful gift. We are really going to enjoy using X. We're sorry you were unable to attend the shower, but we look forward to seeing you at the wedding."

(I know that seems contrary to my post, but it truly is the generic nature of the note that has gotten me going - and the included photo).

Jen 4:06 PM  

I had a shower for my 4th. I thought a shower was to celebrate a new arrival. For the record, it was NO GIFTS but I did receive a few very cute boy outfits "just in case." :-)

Jen 4:09 PM  

To weddings and babies are totally different. I greatly appreciate a handwritten wedding thank-you note. New baby? I would rather mom thanked me in person and spent the 10 minutes rocking her baby. Or taking a shower.

Amy 6:08 PM  

Wow, Jana, you started quite the discussion.

Sorry I did not want to come off as rude or stuck up. I actually used to struggle with not thanking people right away and it caused this big conflict between some people...learned the hard way you should thank people right away. I agree that there are good alternatives to thank-you notes like e-cards, e-mails, phone calls, thanking them in person etc. I now prefer the handwritten note, but that's me. I have just seen this "entitlement" attitude in certain situations that really bothers me.

That shower I was referring to with the second child was more or less a bad situation. It really was not the fact it was a shower for their second child, but more the fact the proud parents were a little rude to us...kind of different situation.

heidi jo 11:33 PM  

i have no issue with showers for each child... if friends or family want to plan a party for me and a second baby, i plan to attend. :) :) :)

i think the idea of the couple's photo with their pile of gifts is actually cute.

i miss the days of handwritten notes - something that is quaint and maybe a little romantic about it (not in a dating romantic way - but a wistful, jane austin appreciation for wordy detail sort of way). :) but i'm less and less offended by HOW people send thank yous... the days are a changing and i have to trust the heart of those sending a thank you at all.

as to baby thank yous - i'm with jen - make it quick and just go kiss the baby or take a well-needed mama nap.

as to gift registries for parties? on one hand i think - sheesh, how CHOOSY should we be for a birthday party! on the other hand i would think, oh thank the Lord! i had no idea what this child would like or what they already have (in this day and age of EASILY accessible and way too many toys for most kids) and i sure am glad to be able to spend my $$$$ on something they will really want or need and not just throw in the back of the closet.

that's all i can handle tonight. :)

Carol 8:56 PM  

Interesting. I too believe in old-fashioned hand-written thank you note etiquette. I looked it up on google to see if I was just behind the times:
Click here

JCarey 11:24 AM  

Oh Jana, I have been pondering what has happened with communications in general for weeks now. I have gone back and tried to think of its evolution from caveman era forward. I believe we are going backwards as is evidenced by the incomprehensible texting and the speed with which it occurs and the lack of thought. I can only imagine that the next generation will begin to have showers with no presence desired (it would save on the rental of the facility or the making of food). Read my blog to hear about a communication of thank you that has lasted for one hundred years! It is a beautiful story. I am enjoying reading the comments from your generation and praying for the generation down the road.

Ginger 1:33 AM  

this is the first time I read your blog but I had to comment...I design wedding invitations and thank you cards for friend's weddings all the time..I refuse to print anything on the inside of the thank you card as I think that part should be personalized.
My thank you cards are typed up but all have their own message inside for the person receiving it and then I sign my name.
My son got a birthday invite one year with the name of the store the boy was registered at..I too thought that was tacky..I myself put on party invitations some of my sons interests so that the guests have an idea of what to get but I also put that gifts are not required that the child being at the party is present enough.

Heaven Sent 10:38 PM  

Wow. I feel so left out!

My thoughts:

I completely appreciate hand-written notes and try to send them as often as I can.

Registries for anything other than a shower or wedding is just plain tacky.

If someone throws you a shower -- whether it's your first or sixth child -- go with it. I don't think it's necessary, but hey, why argue if someone is willing to throw it for you?

Have yet to be invited to a shower, but not the wedding. Totally insulting.

All of this made me realize that in some ways, I'm guilty of being lazy with communication. I'm slowly falling into the texting and email trap. Somehow it's just easier than returning a phone call. Sure, I'm busy, but so is everyone else. I need to work on that!

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