write thank you notes.

18 Jun

I’ve noticed a new fad in weddings – the kitschy little thank you card.  Assuming you brought a gift to the wedding, which you should have, somewhere between a week (boring honeymoon) and a year later, you’ll receive mail with the freshly printed “Mr. and Mrs. Generic American Couple” affixed to the top left corner.  Undoubtedly, the front of the card will be a picture of them, at the beach, with the words “thank you” written in the sand – so clever.  Then, you’ll open it and read through a kindhearted newlyweds best attempt to connect the fondue set you gave them with your friendship.  It really is a valiant effort.

The wedding thank you’s have become my favorite part of the wedding because: a) every couple in the world thinks they’re being so funny and clever, yet they’re all doing the SAME THING and b) It feels great to be thanked – even if it’s on a super-staged photograph with that crappy black and white with only the red roses highlighted kind of picture.

Gentlemen, most of you don’t say thank you, let alone write a note.  And while I feel I’m putting the cart before the horse by not addressing your apparent lack of gratitude, I think that starting with writing one card a month will get you in the right mindset.  Another Grown Man friend of mine says, “Get yourself there physically, your mind and heart will follow.”  Let’s talk about how to start the process.

First, get yourself a small pack of stationary or quarter sheets of ruled paper and envelopes.  Listen to me, you don’t want to begin a good habit of writing thank you notes on full sheets of paper – it’ll derail the process.  You’re not John Adams writing to Thomas Jefferson about philosophy and politics, you’re a dude who’s trying to get into a good habit – keep the paper small so you don’t have to write a ton.

Second, decide who you’re going to write to.  Obviously, you should send a note to people when they give you something (it is obvious, right?).  However, I propose that you consider writing notes to others who aren’t expecting it.  Let’s say you went out with a buddy last night and he treated you to some top-shelf brew.  Wouldn’t that be worth a quick thanks?  C’mon, it’s beer! Free beer!  Listen, you absolutely must write thank yous for gifts and such – no questions asked.  But think of how you would feel if you got a note from a friend saying, “You totally saved the day last week when you let me borrow your truck – thanks a ton!  Also, sorry I wrecked it.”

Finally, email is the lazy mans way of writing a note – but it’s still kinda acceptable.  An email thank you is like a free dinner at Outback Steakhouse.  At first, it’s exciting, but then you realize that it lacks preparation, substance, and gratification.  However, an email thank you is better than no thank you.  Just know that my judgment will be upon you as you click send.

Grown Men, go write a note to somebody.  You’ll feel good about yourself, they’ll feel good about you, and you’ll be the classiest fella on the block – for once.

Until Monday…thank you.

11 Responses to “write thank you notes.”

  1. stephaniediane88 18 June 2010 at 12:56 pm #

    also- any Grown Man who writes any type of note to a Grown Woman will automatically gain points

  2. jordanhickman 18 June 2010 at 5:08 pm #

    I like this one. Thank you notes are a dying artform, and I wish more people participated in this dying ritual. I always send thank you notes, and I feel great everytime I get one. Great post, Grown Man!

    • You're a Grown Man 22 June 2010 at 7:48 am #

      Good job, Jordan! And thanks for the kind words regarding the site. You’re a good guy.

  3. spiritofshizuku 18 June 2010 at 5:10 pm #

    This is great advice, Grown Man.

    I think I’ll go right now to finish the partially-written thank-you note that I’ve been meaning to send to my sister since my birthday.

    • You're a Grown Man 22 June 2010 at 7:52 am #

      Here’s how I picture that letter…

      Dear My Sister,

      Happy Birthday! I’m so happy you were born. How are you doing? Can you believe Al Gore lost?! Anyhow…

      Hey, I’m back. I just read a post about writing letters so here you go.

      Love,
      Spiritofshizuku

  4. vanessa 18 June 2010 at 5:43 pm #

    love the post!! i just wrote one myself about the need for thank you notes as well: http://2birds1nest.wordpress.com/2010/06/03/thank-you-notes-never-go-out-of-style/

    • You're a Grown Man 22 June 2010 at 7:55 am #

      Great post! I totally agree with you, old school letters are still the highest form of etiquette. Also, http://thxthxthx.com/ is amazing, what a tremendously funny and clever blog.

  5. lookingforsomethingtofind 18 June 2010 at 10:10 pm #

    Thank you notes really are a lost art, good to see that you’re trying to bring it back.

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