The Thank You Note

I recently had a party in my honor. Such parties are fun.

But the aftermath of those parties is frequently not. And as much of a drag as cleaning up can be, nothing is as draining as the Thank You Note.

Whoever came up with the Thank You Note was likely a well-meaning guy (or girl). He was probably genuinely grateful for whatever he received, and was able to articulate that gratitude without coming off as trite or clichéd or disingenuous. But even when I am actually thankful, I still find the Thank You Notes I write reeking of insincerity—the verbal equivalent of a forced, patronizing smile.

The first Thank You Note I wrote seemed completely genuine when I wrote it. But when I read it afterward, it rang hollow:

“Thank you so much for your generous gift and for coming to my party. It was great to see you again!”

This person had actually given me a “generous gift,” did actually go out of their way to come to my party, and it actually was “great” to see them again. The problem is, there was nowhere to go from here. I certainly wasn’t going to drop the “so much” after the “Thank you” for people I was less thankful to; what if two recipients compared notes? Any gift, really, is generous, so I added “very” to the ones that were more so. “Great” is a bland adjective, so I could replace it with similar ones: “nice,” “enjoyable,” “fun,” etc.

After a few of these template Thank You Notes, though, I got bored. And so I improvised.

It kind of devolved.

“Thanks so much for your generous outpouring of support, both financially and with your presence at the party. I truly enjoyed our reunion!”

“My gratitude goes out to you for your continued fiduciary support of my endeavors. Felicitous is the experience when we are together!”

“I gratefully extend to you good tidings in the wake of the financial windfall you helped bestow upon me. My heart remains aflutter from our physical proximity!”

“Your patronage in these bleak economic times is met with no tiny amount of appreciation. It was most soothing to see you!”

“I wish to reciprocate the warmth and goodwill you so displayed toward me a fortnight past in the guise of gratitude. Laying my eyes upon your visage was quite the boon!”

Thanks so much for reading. I really appreciate your attention. Seriously.

One response to this post.

  1. Posted by doc on August 18, 2009 at 9:01 PM

    Just cut to the chase Tim – “Thanks for the bucks, but it could have been more. Haven’t you read that these are tough economic times? Oh, and it was nice seeing you. Hope you enjoyed the free food!”


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