When it comes to thank you notes, I am the worst. I write them. I address them. I even put stamps on them. For some reason, though, this is about as far as I get. It’s as though my brain says to me, ”Well done, now stick these in a drawer and go pour some wine.” I will find these thank you notes years later and then finally send them out, hoping people will just blame it on the post office. I realize that this is terrible manners. I realize that Bethany thinks I should eat it and die. I am sorry, everyone who ever sent me something and then didn’t get a thank you note for two years. I am who I am; uncouth and unfinished.
On the other hand, I feel I am at least redeemed by the fact that I don’t want your dumb thank you notes either. When I get them, I usually read them because I know you took the time out to write them, but then they go into the trash because I not only have terrible manners, I am completely unsentimental, and clutter makes my skin itch.
That’s why I make a point of telling expectant women not to bother with thank you notes at all. If I ever send you something for your baby, you might find that I’ve written on the card that I don’t want a thank you note. I absolve you. I pardon you. Check it off your list. If you absolutely must thank me for something, lest the bloodthirsty undead corpse of Zombie Emily Post rise again to devour your thoughtless hormone-addled brain, text me. It totally counts.
The thing about thank you notes is that you send them when you get a gift, usually. And when do you get gifts once you’re an adult? Weddings, that’s when. Baby showers. Housewarmings. During the most stressful, busy, shitstorms of activity that comprise adult milestones. Often we’re juggling these things right alongside work schedules, school schedules, and other children.
So understand that when I send you a gift, I realize that you may not have any money left over after feeding 200 wedding guests to buy stamps. I know that your only functional pen is buried in a box somewhere, location unknown. I get that the faint whisper of your tongue over an envelope’s glue strip might be enough to wake your colicky baby, who will proceed to cry all night long. I understand that the idea of walking down to the mailbox with your fresh cesarean incision seems like an insurmountable journey into Mordor.
Please relax. If you promise not to blink when you get a thank you note for that blender you got me for my wedding sometime around my fifth anniversary, then I promise not to judge you if you forget to thank me for that Boppy cover you returned.