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Thank you Notes from Hell

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My cousin and his wife live several states away from us, and my hubby and I were unable to attend their wedding.  We * DID * however, send them a nice wedding card with a good-sized wedding check enclosed.  They never sent a thank you note.  Several months to a year after their wedding, we received a note from my cousin's wife saying she lost our check we sent for their wedding (it had never been cashed), and would we "send another one!" I wanted to ignore her letter.   My hubby, good man that he is,  insisted we take the high road and send them another check.  Yep, they cashed it.  NO, they did not write a thank you note for the SECOND check we sent them, either! 



This is not a faux pas, I just have a tidbit to submit. My husband and I were married in March and I wrote thank you notes as I received gifts, then held onto them until after the honeymoon. When we returned from the honeymoon, we opened the gifts and wrote the thank you notes out - everything by hand (no pre-printing whatsoever). We wrote long, individual notes to each person. In some cases, we wrote thank you notes and included letters to express specific gratitude. Several months later, people started asking us if we had received their gifts. Turns out, most (if not all) of our thank you notes were never delivered. I took these to the post office myself in two bundles (in town, and out of town). What would have been appropriate? What we did, instead, was we sent out Christmas cards to everyone who attended the wedding and thanked them for their gifts and their attendance. We did not mention that the original thank you cards were lost in the Christmas cards.



My husband and I planned our wedding together, as both my mother and his mother lived out of state.  We shared in all the decisions, and decided that we would share the responsibilities.  So, as a recent bride, I would like to point out the inherent folly of the idea that the thank you notes are solely the brides responsibility.  Men are just as responsible for etiquette as women, despite what your MIL may tell you...   Anyway, my husband and I decided to split the thank you task into the writing [me, who has better handwriting] and the addressing and mailing of the notes [him, who has a better printer with which to print nice address labels.]

  I had each fully handwritten note done by 2 months after the wedding... but DH took another 5 months to send them out!!  I was at my wit's end.  I had people from all sides asking me where the thank you notes were, but I knew I couldn't give in and just go ahead and do his half or it would set the tone for every "team effort" in our marriage in the future.  So, I had to listen to everyone complaining that they hadn't yet received their thank yous, and I was in hell because I wanted to tell them all that it was my husband holding them up, but I would just politely respond that we were still in the process of collecting addresses [not really true], and wanted to get all of the notes sent out at the same time so that there would be no one receiving them much sooner than anyone else [true.]

Anyway, I was completely embarrassed, but trying to be the feminist that I am, I refused to take over his job, but boy did I feel like the nagging wife from hell!  Once I finally got him to see that he was embarrassing both of us, he finally sent them out, but because some of the notes had been dated [oops] many people asked if they'd been lost in the mail... I didn't say a word.



Dear Ms. Jeanne,

What a great site! As many other contributors, I never expected to have a story of my own, but here it is. 

Dave was my ex-husband's best friend. As it often happens, during the nearly six years that my ex and I spent together, Dave became my friend as well. When my ex and I decided to separate, it wasn't necessarily one of those horror story breakups, but it wasn't entirely painless either. I realized that some of our mutual friends might find themselves in an awkward position: deciding whether to take sides or to try and maintain friendly relationships with both my ex and me. I arranged to meet with Dave where we could talk privately and ask him directly, "Do you still want to be my friend? I understand that you may not want to, in light of the separation. I understand that my ex is your best friend, and that might create a conflict." Dave assured me that he still wanted to be friends with me, and I was very grateful, because that was a bad time to be without friends.

Fast-forward one year. Dave and I got together for dinner a few times - most of them initiated by me. One day I called him to see how he was doing, and somewhere in the middle of our conversation he mentioned he was getting married. I knew he was dating, but didn't realize I was so out of the loop... Married?! I couldn't help wondering whether I would have ever found out about his up-coming nuptials, had I not made that particular call on that particular day. "Fine," I thought, "Maybe he is just busy with all the wedding preparations, and forgot to tell me - it happens..." During our conversation about the wedding, Dave's discomfort was palpable - he obviously wasn't sure whether he should invite me to the wedding, as my ex was to be his best man. Understanding his discomfort, I pretty much volunteered not to come to the wedding, saying, "This is your day. The last thing you need is worrying about two estranged spouses."

So, I got a wedding gift - a lovely tea-light lantern - for Dave and his new bride Janet, as well as another smaller gift, as Dave's birthday was approaching as well. I invited Dave and Janet for dinner at my place. I am not much of a cook, but I did my best to prepare a nice meal and make them feel welcome. I presented the gifts, asked them about the wedding, and where they were going on their honeymoon, etc. As the evening was winding down, I asked whether they would mind sending me a photo from their wedding. I am not sure whether that was wrong, but I so badly wanted to be a part of my friend's wedding at least in a small way, that I simply couldn't help myself.

You see, I am from another country and don't have any family here in the US and very few friends. So, my walls are usually covered with photographs of friends and family, which helps me feel not quite so alone. So, when I asked Dave and Janet for their wedding photo, I jokingly pointed at my photo-covered wall and said, "I'll add you to my picture gallery!". We all laughed, they said it wouldn't be a problem and we parted.

The wedding took place at the beginning of October, 2003. When I didn't hear from the newlyweds for about a month after that, I thought, "Well, first they were on their honeymoon, and now they are probably busy getting back into the swing of things and such..." Christmas came - I sent them a gift with a small note... No reply. I finally finished repairs on the house I bought and was able to move in (I told Dave about the house during our dinner). I sent my new address and telephone number to all my correspondents, including Dave. Nothing... No "Do you need any help with anything?" or even "Congratulations on your move!" 

My birthday came and went. Nothing... Not a card, not a phone call - nothing... After that, I finally became frustrated and wrote Dave a letter, telling him that this relationship wasn't anywhere near a friendship and that there was no sense for either one of us to pretend otherwise. I told him that if something happened, if he was in trouble, it would have been at least nice to know - to be given a choice to help or to comfort. I said I couldn't understand, why he'd told me he still wanted to be my friend, if this "lopsided" friendship was all he had in mind. I still haven't heard back - and I certainly have never received a thank you note for the wedding gift or that wedding photo they promised me.



I really like this sight, but I feel really compelled to point something out to submitters. In the "Thank you notes" section, many submitters seem to be berating the brides for not sending a Thank You note. The ones that really get me are the people who say they are related to the grooms in the story! It's the 21st century, folks, brides and grooms should share the Thank You note writing/sending nowadays! (Dear Abby agrees with me.) My parents were married in the early 70s, and my mother sent Thank-yous to her side, and my dad to his side.



Last autumn I went to a friend's wedding. I'm a photographer, and although the Bride had her own highly expensive photographers on standby, she asked if I'd take some pictures as well. No problem, I'd brought my camera bag and was all set to go.

We'd sent a gift in advance, which we really couldn't afford to do, and I'd sent another for the shower (living 3500 miles away from the venue we couldn't come up for both the shower and wedding). As well as these gifts, I took several rolls of film, including black and white and color, developed them, mailed her the original prints and also created an online album in my own storage area so she could send the address to anyone she wanted to show the pictures to.

I don't have a lot of spare time, and this took me well over three weeks, using *all* my spare time.

I got an email from her: 

Thx! B x

Still waiting for a non-abbreviated thank you, whether by email or by note.


Page Last Updated May 15, 2007