The Art of A Good Thank You Note {TYN}

Terri is guest posting today!  Yay!  You can read more of Terri’s posts here {There’s Gold in Them There Hills, Adam Levine Rocks, Smoking Sucks and Not Everyone has Moves Like Jagger, If you Were Here {In the City, Swinging with a Mad Man} You Would Believe}

Art of TYN


A little over a decade ago, I had the honor of spending the day with Award-winning, bestselling American novelist John Irving.   I was on a press tour with him when he came to Denver to promote “The Cider House Rules.”   A few days after he left, I received a fax (still a common form of communication back then) from him that I’ve saved all these years.  It was a simple, witty thank you note showing his appreciation to me for helping with an issue he had at the hotel he was staying.   It most likely won’t make sense to anyone but me and today he probably wouldn’t even remember that he wrote it…but my gut tells me that it was one of many that he’s written in his lifetime and it tells me a lot about him.

I am a HUGE fan of thank you notes.  So thank you to all of my dear friends and family who are reading this blog right now and who share my appreciation.  You know who you are. . . and, well, some of you know who you are not!

I know, I know…you’re busy.  You appreciate my gift, donation, time, energy but you really don’t have the time to thank me because you’re super busy and I should just know– it should just be an unspoken understanding between us because you are very busy…very, very busy.  Or, you’re lazy?  {Let’s go with busy – lazy just sounds pathetic.}

Here are some reasons that it is important to send thank you notes.  They apply to everyone – babies included.  So unless you have a Doogie Howser on your hands, you…the parent…will need to represent your baby/toddler until he/she can do it for him/herself:

  1. Acknowledgement of the gift as being received.  I sent it via USPS. I had to go into the post office and wait in the line of 20 people so that the two postal workers who are working in the workstations that have room for 8 postal workers can help me.  I stood in line 20 minutes.  My time is valuable…I’m very busy.
  2. I sent cash in the card.  Did the card make it to you or was it intercepted by mail burglars because you live in a dwelling that still has a mailbox attached to your house as opposed to the ironclad safe deposit boxes we have in our neighborhood?
  3. All I get in the mail these days are bills or credit card offers.  It’s not fun going to the mailbox.
  4. Each day that goes by, I’m losing faith in the generations that are following us Gen Xers.  You seem entitled and ungrateful.  Prove me wrong.  Teach your kids not to be entitled & ungrateful.
  5. It’s the right thing to do.

Here’s where I give a shout out to some of my favorite ‘thank you’ writers:  My mom, my dad, my brother-in-law, my mother-in-law; my besties: Denise; my Downtown Boulder peeps: Anna, Natalie; my sons’ friends including Mason, Greyson, Tanner, Max & nearly every teacher and school administrator at Stargate Charter School; and John…Irving.

I know, I know, you totally sent me a thank you note and I didn’t mention you.  SORRY!!  I know, I know,  you sent me something, donated to a cause I’m passionate about, gave me your time, commitment or energy and I didn’t send you a thank you note.  SORRY!!  I’m very busy…very, very busy but you should just know…it should be an unspoken understanding between us.

So now I say, “You’re very welcome. It was my pleasure,” to everyone who has neglected to send me a thank you note for the past four decades.  All is forgiven.   But now all of you reading this blog are on the hook.  The next time someone sends you a gift, makes a donation, gives their time/energy, you owe them a thank you.  You need to acknowledge them and show your appreciation.  They are expecting it {and you should be too.}

Make it fun.  Make it simple.  Draw a picture.  Send a photo.   It’s the cost of stamp and five – maybe ten – minutes of your very busy life.

Special thanks John Irving for the inspiration of this post and to my sister from another mister for letting me blog!

Art of Thank You


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