For many years I was bad at writing thank you notes, which led to a lot of family members thinking I was insufferable and unable to put pen to paper. Emily Post and other sources of etiquette probably were mortified by my continual dependence on phone calls and emails to express thanks. I don’t quite get why the handwritten note is so preferable, given my atrocious writing, but I suspect it has something to do with the joy of receiving stationery.
At any rate, I sent out two thank you notes recently to people who had purchased items off the roommate registry. One was to the kind lady who purchased a toaster oven for us (who may or may not be half of the parental unit that prepared the Gemini for a future of FFBR). Here is the card for an example:
I relied on the following things to write an effective thank you letter:
1.) I got cute stationery from a shop in Park Slope– Lion in the Sun. Hopefully, the stationery, which features delicate birds, distracted the recipient from my atrocious handwriting.
2.) Speaking of handwriting, I wrote in cursive. Older generations especially love to see cursive handwriting. It reminds them of a time before computers were so integral to our daily lives, when children really only used them to play the Oregon Trail, when you could get a C+ in penmanship in elementary school and bitterly hold onto that years later while typing away at a blog.
3.) I like to tell people how well I’m using the gifts or money I’ve been given. “Thanks for the 50 dollars, Auntie Jo. I’ve spent it well on things that are totally legal!” Or: “Your hand-me-down shoes have really come in handy for recent ‘volunteer’ work I’ve done picking up trash on the road! Who knew late 90s Gucci flats would serve such a useful purpose in erasing that DUI off my record?” These are just examples. People in my family know better than to give me crappy gifts, and I can’t drink or drive.
Anyway, in this case, you’ll note I pointed out that already the toaster oven has been pretty (in)famous in this apartment. While it was a shock to see the coffee grinder and toaster oven engaging in unmentionable acts, involving wires and plugs, I can’t say I’m surprised. And it contributes to the FFBR cause greatly.
4.) Be as prompt as possible. I waited a few weeks longer than I should have to send my thank you note. I was really debating during that time period whether or not I was going to design some FFBR stationery. I decided against it, simply because I was busy moving my life to NYC. That said, the future may hold some carefully designed nip slip stationery. Not sure yet. We’ll keep you posted.
Do these things, and you’ll get so many gifts forever! Because people will want to buy things for you. Because you deserve it.