Author Topic: From The E-Hell Blog: Ooopsie Thank You Note  (Read 11797 times)

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Asharah

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From The E-Hell Blog: Ooopsie Thank You Note
« on: November 24, 2009, 08:20:15 AM »

    Many years ago, two friends of mine were married in another state. I received a wedding invitation, but couldn’t attend. However, I wanted to send them a gift. Money was very tight, so when I went to the store where they were registered, I chose one of the less expensive items on the registry: a set of matching oven mitts and dish towels. I brought them home to wrap them for mailing and chose a box from the recycling that was the right size; it happened to be a trash bag box.

    Three weeks after mailing it off to them, I received a thank-you note from the bride. It began, “Thank you so much for the trash bags. What a practical gift! It is so thoughtful of you. We are moving to a new house and really have a lot of trash to throw away, so they will come in handy…” That’s right, they hadn’t opened the box! I was horrified.
    What kind of message must they have thought I was trying to send?!! I asked my husband if he thought I should call them and he said, “No — they’ll figure it out when they need the trash bags and open the box.”

    Sure enough, about a month later I got an e-mail from the bride saying, “I have never laughed so hard as when I opened that box!!!” So all was well.

    I couldn’t resist sending this story. Talk about perfect etiquette — the poor bride, who was faced with a friend apparently sending trash bags as a wedding present, responded promptly with a gracious thank-you note! 1117-09
Asharah's comment: And the moral here is: Open the box before you send the thank-you note!
Asharah

cicero

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Re: From The E-Hell Blog: Ooopsie Thank You Note
« Reply #1 on: November 24, 2009, 08:32:05 AM »
CRUD MONKEYS! this is hysterical!

And it's always a good idea to check the box... as my sister learned when she decided to regift a wedding gift that they had gotten, only she forgot to check the box, and the 'new' couple recieved the gift with a card that was addressed to 'sister and bil'  ::)

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kandikrisp

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Re: From The E-Hell Blog: Ooopsie Thank You Note
« Reply #2 on: November 24, 2009, 08:33:30 AM »
If I was the gift-sender in that situation, I probably would have been touched a little that the bride cared enough, and was polite enough to send a thank-you note even though she thought all I'd gotten them was trash bags.

If I was the bride in that situation, I probably would have opened the box out of sheer confusion. I *do* try to show appreciation for gifts, no matter how odd or seemingly impersonal they are, but opening a box of trash bags with a calm, collected face is simply a level of etiquette I have yet to reach. I'd probably have opened the box wondering if they were particular trash bags that the gift-sender was really fond of, or if I was just confused on what was considered a wedding gift.

For some reason, while I wouldn't be offended to receive anything, of course, but I may have two thoughts. Either they walked through their house trying to find something to wrap up and send and all they found unopened was trash bags, or it was a PA way of insulting my cleaning. (I'd probably lean toward the latter, only because my cleaning isn't the best.) In that way, it kind of reminds me of how buying soaps and deodorants are a really risky present, because it's easy to read into a "hint" you may not have put there. (Or maybe that's just my social circle where it's considered a bad idea?)

While I do think the bride should have opened the box to check, kudos to her for having enough sense to still send a thank-you note for what she thought was possibly the strangest gift ever. I think a lot of brides may have decided to not send a note in face of what the present was.

mechtilde

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Re: From The E-Hell Blog: Ooopsie Thank You Note
« Reply #3 on: November 24, 2009, 08:38:47 AM »
I got a thank you letter from my grandparents - thanking me for a tin of drinking chocolate.

I'd made pot-pourri, and that was the only container which eight year old me could find to post it in. I was so puzzled!
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ladycrim

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Re: From The E-Hell Blog: Ooopsie Thank You Note
« Reply #4 on: November 24, 2009, 01:02:15 PM »
Reminds me of the story on the main site where the bride is given what she thinks is an iron ... only to open the box when her old iron dies (four years later!) and discover a lead crystal vase.  Or one of my favorites: the bride who returns the picture frame her grandparents gave her, not knowing they put a photo of their own wedding day in the frame as a keepsake.

The moral, of course, is: open the box, folks!  :)

Namárië

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Re: From The E-Hell Blog: Ooopsie Thank You Note
« Reply #5 on: November 24, 2009, 01:09:31 PM »
This is why I paint any and all containers that I reuse. (Though I guess that wouldn't help if it's the box for the actual item with something special inside.)
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Elfqueen13

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Re: From The E-Hell Blog: Ooopsie Thank You Note
« Reply #6 on: November 24, 2009, 01:11:14 PM »
My aunt is a great box-reuser.  She takes a sharpie and writes "no, it's not!" on all sides of the box first, though.
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Outdoor Girl

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Re: From The E-Hell Blog: Ooopsie Thank You Note
« Reply #7 on: November 24, 2009, 01:29:22 PM »
Elfqueen13, that is a great idea!  I must remember that one.

My Mom's friends and neighbours threw a bridal shower for my SIL.  One of the boxes she received was for a hand blender, which is a typical shower gift since she'd already received two at a different shower.  Fortunately, my SIL realized the box was a bit light because she opened it to find 3 beautiful hand made doilies.
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Asharah

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Re: From The E-Hell Blog: Ooopsie Thank You Note
« Reply #8 on: November 24, 2009, 01:41:29 PM »
I remember Erma Bombeck joking about what a box saver her mother was. She claimed to have once recieved a gift of a pendant from her in a box marked "Rectal Thermometer." Every year for Xmas, her gift is recieved in a Neiman Marcus box. Always the same box. Her mother has never been in Neiman Marcus.
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hobish

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Re: From The E-Hell Blog: Ooopsie Thank You Note
« Reply #9 on: November 24, 2009, 01:48:55 PM »
My aunt is a great box-reuser.  She takes a sharpie and writes "no, it's not!" on all sides of the box first, though.

I wish my family would learn to do that. You gotta love tearing the paper off a portable stereo box only to find it stuffed with bath towels.  :-\ Nice bath towels, much needed bath towels ... but in a stereo box?  ::)



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stargazer

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Re: From The E-Hell Blog: Ooopsie Thank You Note
« Reply #10 on: November 24, 2009, 06:32:49 PM »
Our family reuses boxes like they are going out of style.  At Christmas if you didn't know better you'd think everything was from Macy's or JCPenny's.  We've come to realize the box means NOTHING.

Ms_Cellany

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Re: From The E-Hell Blog: Ooopsie Thank You Note
« Reply #11 on: November 24, 2009, 06:49:31 PM »
Archie McPhee has some fabulous fake-out gift boxes, including the Bacon Tuxedo, Gravy Fountain, Musical Tie of the Month, and Box of Hope.
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fires_long_ago

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Re: From The E-Hell Blog: Ooopsie Thank You Note
« Reply #12 on: November 25, 2009, 02:06:02 PM »
Our family reuses boxes like they are going out of style.  At Christmas if you didn't know better you'd think everything was from Macy's or JCPenny's.  We've come to realize the box means NOTHING.

We do this too...my grandmother is a box-and-wrapping-paper-saver, and there was one box from a local department store that became a running gag.  We're still passing that box around, though the department store went under almost a decade ago.

Sara Crewe (previously Tia2)

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Re: From The E-Hell Blog: Ooopsie Thank You Note
« Reply #13 on: November 27, 2009, 08:53:27 AM »
My sister did this once.  My other sister and I sent her and her husband a massive outdoor beanbag for their new house.  We also bought the stuffing - those little styrofoam beads.

We were both at our parents' house when my sister calls from the other side of the world thanking us for the fake snow.  They had opened the box the wrong way up and seen the bag of pellets, but not seen the flattened beanbag beneath.

Luckily because we spoke to them on Christmas Day, they were able to retrieve the box from the garage where it was waiting to go out with the rubbish and get out the rest of the present.
« Last Edit: November 28, 2009, 10:52:13 AM by Tiamet »

Clara Bow

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Re: From The E-Hell Blog: Ooopsie Thank You Note
« Reply #14 on: November 27, 2009, 03:41:08 PM »
A relative once sent me a birthday gift in a corn flakes box. She had made me a doll dress for my Cabbage Patch Kid and it just fit in the empty corn flakes box.

Somehow, the fact that it was generic corn flakes made it that much funnier to me.
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