Etiquette Hell = Where the ill-mannered deserve to go


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Thank you Notes from Hell

Jan-Jun 2000 Archive
Jul-Dec 2000 Archive
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A friend from high school invited me to her wedding, which was about three years after graduation. Me, and 399 other people. A wedding this big was not an easy thing to do in our small Midwestern town, so we were all crammed into a hotel ballroom like sardines. Since she had invited so many people from high school who were all just turning 21, they got pitchers of beer from the open bar before dinner -- classy! Also, many people who hadn't been invited (including ex-boyfriends) just crashed the reception since it was the only party in town that night and the bride never showed her face back by the "kids" tables anyway. I left early because it was just weird and uncomfortable. A few months later I received a thank-you note that was 100% printed, including their names at the bottom -- which remains to this day the tackiest thing I have ever seen. Four years after all this expense and tackiness, they are divorced.     Notes0625-02

I sent in a few stories about my fiancés family, but this story is about one of my friends. Actually, at the time I considered her my best friend. We’ll call her Rachael. Rachael and I grew up in the same town and were good friends in high school, and we became better friends in college even though we went to two different colleges and only saw one another on occasion.

Rachael get engaged while still in college to a terrific guy and they decided to get married one month after she graduated. She asked me to be a bride’s maid along with two of her college friends and her MOH was her older sister. Because all of here friends were college friends we didn’t have much money, but she had asked us so far in advance I started saving up right away to buy a dress and shoes. I was glad I did because during the many support/planning phone calls I heard about how horrible the other two bride’s maids were for not paying on time and other such troubles. To make up for them, and to sooth her I pledged all the help I could give. She in turn asked me if I could get my boyfriend to follow the photographer around on the wedding day and take black and white photos since they could only afford color prints. This seemed strange to me, but I wanted to make her happy.

The wedding went by fairly well with the usual ups and downs. My boyfriend tirelessly took nearly 12 rolls of black and white film. We finally got to go home when Rachael and her new husband left for their honeymoon. In the next few weeks we had the 12 rolls of film developed with double prints, index prints and put on CD so that the couple could frame them, and give copies to their parents and print easily have more copies printed or colored (like those cute black and white pictures of little kids with the touches of color here and there). Most of the pictures turned out extremely well, and there were so many that the few that didn’t, didn’t matter. Besides, the regular photographer had been there for it all anyway. I had felt that the time and effort not to mention the developing costs we incurred would be gift enough, but I wanted to get something more "gift-y" anyway, so we bought Rachael 4 place settings. Keep in mind that I had also just graduated college and so had my boyfriend, and neither of us ad jobs yet. She had a job already lined up for that fall, and her husband had been out of college and working for two years.

To this day (and it’s been over 2 years) we have never received a thank you note for the place settings or the pictures. When we visited their home, they of course had many of their wedding photos on display ­ and most of them were the black-and-whites my boyfriend took. To top it all off I’ve been the victim of some serious re-gifting ever since their wedding. The first was a glass jewelry box I saw in her mother’s home in the stack of wedding presents they had already received and piled up to take away. I have never worn any more jewelry than a watch ­ and she’s been a friend for years and knows it. The most recent gift was admittedly ugly hurricane type candle holder/glass thing. I might have thought she actually bought it for me because she thought I would like it, but when I took it out of the gift bag there was still some wedding paper stuck to one side.   Notes 1030-02

My brother and his wife spent quite a bit of money on their photographs. She went through all of the proofs and nicely added them to her own album and just never called him back to get any of the thank you cards, which were already included in their price along with a picture, printed up. So, two years later, which they just celebrated their anniversary a few weeks ago, no one to this day ever received any type of thank you cards because the bride was too busy to look through their proof, pick out a picture, order it and write any of the thank you cards. A lot of people are very mad, especially all of my family members and friends that I know as we were quite generous with our monetary gifts.     Notes 0918-02

My BIL recently got married, and although their whole wedding was a disaster (we are talking seriously tacky here) the clincher for me came in two parts. 1)The thank you note was addressed to only my husband and on the inside addressed to only my husband and daughter(I was conveniently left out) 2)About three weeks after there wedding they asked me and my husband if we planned to give them any more money. We stated that no we felt our gift was generous (we gave them $75.00--they requested CASH ONLY to all of their guests) when we asked them why they wanted more cash their answer floored me. They had seen our checkbook one day(to which I would like to interject that the checkbook is ALWAYS in my purse and I mean ALWAYS which meant that they were in my purse!) and while offhandedly flipping through it they noted that we had given $25.00 more dollars to a friend of mine that had gotten married a month and a half prior to them and they thought we might want to increase their gift to the same amount!! I was actually speechless for a moment and then well, I lost it. Most of the words can not be printed here but lets just say that I made it known exactly what I thought of them. My poor husband still has yet to speak much of it, I think he is still in shock.

Notes 0912-02

Last summer I attended a wedding with my boyfriend. I did not know anyone at the wedding (they were my boyfriend's High School friends) but I still bought the couple a nice gift. I chose some things off of their registry and mixed them with cute things that matched their kitchen's color scheme.

A few months after the wedding, I noticed that we had still not received a Thank You note. It bothered me, but I would never say anything to anyone about it. About 4 months after the wedding, we ran into the Bride at the same store where we had purchased her gifts. My boyfriend asked her nicely if she was enjoying the gifts we had bought them and she just looked at me and said "oh dog chewed that crap up like, two seconds after we unwrapped it". I just turned right around and walked away.     Notes 0723-02