Cheerful Givers, Confused Receivers, and Everyone in Between*
*Or why thank you notes are always a good idea
Back in 2017, after I relocated to Baltimore, I joined a local sewing group. There were in-person meetings every month or so at someone’s house and you could bring a project in progress and work on it while visiting with fellow sewists. (That’s the term I prefer because in my opinion, seamstress and tailor are more for clothing construction and alterations, and sewer is too easy to mispronounce.) I attended several meetings and enjoyed the opportunity to meet people with a shared interest who could also offer advice and occasional technique instruction. Once the pandemic started, the group leader, Staci*, switched the group to virtual meetings. In the last couple of years, our virtual sessions went to twice a month on Sunday mornings. There’s a core group of 4 people who regularly fire up our webcams or smartphones, log in to the video meeting platform, and get to sewing, fabric cutting, or seam ripping. As we work on our projects, we talk about many different things, not just sewing or crafts. We do our best to be respectful of each other, and try to call out any questionable or flawed attitudes.
This past weekend, the topic turned to the subject of sending and receiving thank you notes. “People just don’t send cards like they used to, and they don’t even seem to appreciate when others do,” said Linda*. She talked about how she’d send a thank you note to someone, and they were either surprised to receive it and said how lovely it was – or they said nothing at all. Staci had a similar experience with handmade cards she’d mail to friends. “How do I know they even received them?” she said, and we all commiserated over how crappy USPS delivery got during the pandemic.
Over the years I’ve written voluminous amounts of thank you notes. My mother instilled this activity in me from an early age, buying me stationery for this purpose and explaining to me how to write a proper thank you note. In grade school, I remember having to write out various letters, including thank you notes, as an exercise for improving cursive writing. Between these lessons from school and Momcat, I feel guilty every time I don’t write someone a thank you note, even if I thanked them in person or via another channel, such as text or email.
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