The Best Way To Miss a Thank You Note

Little Miss LateWe talk a lot about thank you notes here, because really, if you have to choose one thing in your life to do that’s polite, thanking people should be it. You can use a spoon for a fork and argue about politics and never offer to bring a bottle of wine to a party, but if you thank someone for the pleasure of their company, you’ll probably still be considered a nice person. Actually, who knows, the person I just described sounds like sort of a dick, but thanking people is still important!

One of the biggest thanking tasks adults face is thanking guests after a big event, and for most people this means a wedding. Currently, the median age at first marriage is around 29 for American men, 27 for American women, so plenty old enough to have mastered a thank you note and know that they should be sent timely. But guess what else happens around age 28? Graduating from grad school. Having enough money to buy a home. Pursuing an active career. Maybe a kid happened, or a parent died, or you moved across the country. Life doesn’t stop for weddings!

Which is why this belated thank you note package makes me so happy.

I recieved this from two friends who got married in March 2012 and had not yet sent out thank you notes. Honestly I didn’t notice, because we’d seen them many times since and always talked about what a good time we had together on that day. But the other day we received a rather thick envelope from them, which included a card that began “Thank you for your patience…” It reads:

To our wonderful family and friends,

Between New Year’s Day 2011 and now we have had: a grad school graduation, a wedding, a giant honeymoon to the other side of the world, several job changes, and more. Through all of that, we had all of these cards sitting at our house waiting…and waiting…and waiting…to be mailed, and it just didn’t happen, because well, we failed. We have owed these to you for quite some time and wanted to take advantage of this opportunity to correct our error. Hope you are doing well, and happy…Veteran’s Day?

Inside were personal thank you notes, photos, holiday cards, etc., all which had clearly been written at the time they should have been sent. Honestly, it was fantastic. You know how we questioned whether someone would feel loved and appreciated getting a thank you note a year later? Well, I did!

The key is, though, that they acknowledged their missteps. If they had just sent a card a year later it would be one thing, but clearly they felt a little bad and wanted to remind everyone they cared. That’s what this whole thing is about. So kudos to the couple, for knowing how to make someone feel thanked.

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