Wednesday, April 6, 2011

BEDA 6: The Curse of the Thank You Notes

I like writing, as you may be able to tell. And I'm fairly tolerable at it. I can string words together and have it sound relatively smooth and well-thought-out in the end.

Not so of thank you notes.

I don't know what it is. I'm grateful, I really am. I'd almost rather I could gather all the people who give me stuff in a room and walk up to them and give a good five minute monologue to each one about how much I love their gift. That would be fine - wonderful, in fact. They could get that I appreciate it, and I wouldn't have to endure the pulling-teeth procedure that is writing thank you notes.

This works with good friends. I think people in my generation for the most part are averse to writing letters, which is actually really sad but comes in handy in this one instance. But as for my aunts, uncles, grandmothers, cousins, etc... thank you notes it is.

I only have to write four thank you notes for my birthday presents. I've already written two, and the thought of writing the other two has struck me with such dread that I decided to write this blog about it as a means of avoiding it.

Like I said, it's not the content I hate. It's not the act of mailing someone a letter.... that's fun! It's just, somehow when my mind realizes I'm about to write a thank you note, it leaves behind all rules of good writing completely and falls back into some horrific pre-intelligence mode in which I somehow think it's perfectly good form to use tired old phrases like "I just wanted to thank you so much for" or "I really love it a lot" and to insert way too many smiley faces, exclamation points, and underlines. It's not even the words themselves; in this context they seem relatively harmless. It's the whole over-the-top uber-bubbly tone of the letter. It's the way the sentences are so jerky and disjointed and obviously squeezed in to the small space on the card. It's the fact that I sign off with "Thank you, again!" because I don't know what else to say, and the fact that by the time I'm on the fourth one I'll probably have a whole formula going with an insert-appropriate-gift-name-here blank.

It just feels fake, which is what's so frustrating. Because it isn't! I'm genuinely grateful for the scarf, the check, the movie, the lovely card... but when I go to write it in a letter, it becomes this whole terrible monster of an ordeal. Let me sit in a room with you and thank you face to face and be done with it, so I don't have to go through the ridiculous charade of trying to write a thank you note only for you to go through the ridiculous charade of opening it, glancing at it once, and throwing it away.


Okay, that's it. Consider myself vented. I now will go write two more of these monsters then continue where the night leads.

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