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If Thank You Notes Told the Truth

Updated: Dec 5, 2019

Thank You

Dear Betty,

I really didn’t want to write you this note, but my mother-in-law said that since you two co-chair the Spring Gala Committee at Mercy Hospital, I had to.

Generally speaking, I believe that thank you notes, with respect to gift-giving, have no place in modern society. If you hand me a gift in person and I say thank you, you have all the information you need: I’ve received the gift and I’ve thanked you for it. The end. If you send me a gift that you purchased online, you will receive an email confirmation from the company saying that the gift has been shipped. You might even receive an email saying that the gift has been delivered. I might send you a quick email saying “Gift received–thank you!” or I might not. If I like the gift, great. If not, I’ll return it.  For me, the ideal gift comes with a note saying “No thank you note necessary!” When I buy a gift for someone, I don’t need to be praised in a thank you note for my gift-giving abilities. Why do you? You should think about that. Did you not get enough praise from your parents as a child? Perhaps you got too much, and now you can’t function without it? If you’d like, I can recommend some cognitive behavioral therapists who can help you.

They say that, when it comes to giving gifts, it’s the thought that counts.  But, really, if you had been thinking about it, you wouldn’t have chosen this particular gift for Balthazar. I mean, what is he going to do with a 5-foot tall, stuffed duck?  He’s four days old. He can’t play with the duck. I don’t even think he can see the duck. And, once he’s old enough to see it, then what? What is one supposed to do with a big, stuffed duck? Moreover, the duck is kind of creepy just sitting there, tilting to one side like it’s at a perpetual Passover Seder. I think there’s a good chance that it’s going to kill all of us in our sleep. Was that your goal, Betty? Was it?

Further, to use the word “big” to describe the duck would be a gross understatement. It’s the size of a baby elephant with a severe case of gigantism.  I feel like maybe my mother-in-law asked all of her friends to buy us gifts that were way too large for our city apartment, in the hopes that we would finally give up and move to the suburbs. If that’s correct, “friend me” on Facebook and send me a winking face, ok? It can be our little secret.

I could add a phrase to this thank you note along the lines of “I’m looking forward to celebrating more happy occasions with you in the future,” but all that really means is “Please send more gifts.” After all, I don’t ever see you on any of these happy occasions. And, truthfully, I don’t want any more gifts from you; you’re a bad gift giver. I guess I could say “Thank you for thinking of Zar at this exciting time in his life.” But I don’t really mean that either because, while it was thoughtful of you to get him a gift, the gift that you selected is so ridiculous that I’m now angry that I need to figure out a way to dispose of it and also take the time to write you this note.

To conclude, what I’m trying to say is “Thank you?” Let’s agree that, going forward, we can save each other money and time by your not buying me any more gifts and my not writing you any more extraneous notes.

See ya (never),


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