Does ANYBODY write thank-you notes anymore?
OK, not even write. How about thank-you calls?
The answer to all of the above is a resounding…
Etiquette: An old-fashioned word, going back several hundred years when it evolved from French into Spanish, back into French and eventually to English. In all those languages it meant the same thing:
Behavior that takes into consideration the feelings of others. The comfort of others. The acknowledgment that there are others on the planet who are impacted by your behavior.
Examples of etiquette:
- Waiting until someone finishes speaking before you speak.
- Being punctual, whether it’s a business meeting, lunch with a friend, or a doctor appointment.
- Saying “please” and “thank you” and “you’re welcome.”
Examples of etiquette failures:
- Dropping your airplane seatback into the lap of the person behind you.
- Picking your nose in public.
- Failing to acknowledge a gift.
Several years ago I sent my nephew and his fiancée a wedding gift. Now, etiquette guidelines suggest that a bride and groom have three months to send thank-you notes, so as time passed I didn’t think much about it. Then more time passed, and more and then…
They got divorced.
I guess I can forget the thank-you note. Or email, or text, or call.
I’ve got way too many examples like that, and I’ll bet you do, too. You send someone a gift and then spend days wondering if they got it. The days turn into weeks. Finally you call and ask if they got it. The conversation goes something like…
You: Hey, Mikey, I just wanted be sure you got the (birthday/wedding/ Christmas/whatever) gift I sent?
You: Yes, the (birthday/wedding/Christmas/ whatever) gift I sent?
Mikey: Um…oh, wait. Maybe. I think so. Yeah! It’s great! Um…thanks!
Perhaps you’ll consider NEVER SENDING MIKEY ANOTHER GIFT AS LONG AS HE LIVES?
Sorry. I know all-upper-case letters is online yelling. Bad netiquette.
Emily Post (1872-1960) cared enough about etiquette to write a book about it in 1922 and it became a best seller. After Emily (politely) passed, her descendants continued with updated versions, their 19th edition released in 2017.
Because good manners matter. Good manners make life easier and just plain better, for you and me and everyone around us.
And when have we needed that more – than right now?
So go write those Christmas thank-you notes. Or emails. Or texts.
Do something. Anything.