Sun, 06 Feb 2005

Excessive Gratitude or the Return of Written Correspondence?

Yesterday, I received a thank-you note from my friend, Mike. He hasn't recently gotten married, had a child, or had a birthday (at least, not that I know of). In fact, I hadn't bought Mike a gift for anything. He sent my wife and me a note thanking us for having him and his girlfriend, Lisa, over for dinner. It was a very nice note, but it seems completely unnecessary.

My mother always told me how important it is to send thank-you notes after receiving gifts, but I'd never heard of sending them after being invited to somebody's home. I would assume that Mike is just extremely polite, but his note was the second such note we've received in the past couple of months. After a little party we had, my friend, Meagan, sent us a similar note.

Did I miss a lesson by Miss Manners? Is American society becoming gracious? Or do people just want to take advantage of the fewer and fewer opportunities to actually use hand-written correspondence?

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The state is that great fiction by which everyone tries to live at the expense of everyone else. - Frederic Bastiat