Thank You Cards & Why I Suck At Them
There are two types of people in this world: Those that are awesome at sending cute and thoughtful thank you cards and those of us that suck at it. Disclaimer: I am in the second group. In fact, I am probably the fearless leader in the second group. I suck at sending thank you cards and I will be the first to tell you that. This is odd coming from someone who loves to write (ahem, this blog), who takes way too long in the card aisle picking out a dang card, and who would consider words of affirmation one of my love languages.
I have saved literally every single card that I have ever received. I know that I tend to exaggerate but I promise you that I am not exaggerating this time [cue in my husband who can totally vouch for this]. If you look at the top shelf in my closet (past the pom-poms and red and gold cheerleading jacket that I still just can’t get rid of) you will find a brown Ugg box just sitting up there. That box is stuffed full of cards that I received at my high school graduation. At the bottom of my closet I have a fancy shoe box and more Ugg boxes that I stuff other letters and cards in. On our bookshelf in our room is the card box from our wedding where every once in awhile I will sift through the cards and read the messages that people wrote us. Downstairs in the filing cabinet, under the archived bills and random paperwork that comes with being an adult, is a drawer devoted to all of the kids birthday cards that my family sends every year. I’m really, really good at getting rid of stuff in my house, but man do I suck at getting rid of all of the sentimental paper. Photos, friends senior photos, camp photos, letters from friends, letters from my campers, cards from my grandparents, cards from my staff, cards from anyone – I keep them. And the thing is that I absolutely love getting cards. Buy me coffee and chocolate and I will surely be happy, but write me a nice note on a card and my heart will be full instantly.
So why is the one who loves getting cards the worst at sending thank you cards? I think I may have figured it out…
When my husband and I got married I got about half way through our list and sent out about half of the cards that I wanted to. I had every intention in the world on writing nice thank you cards to every single person that generously gifted us anything during our wedding from the showers to the wedding itself. I truly am so, so grateful for all of the wonderful and incredible gifts that we received and was so humbled by all of the generosity that we were shown. But let’s just be real for a second. When I write a thank you card, my instinct is to fill up the entire empty space with words. I want to put thought into what I write and scribble a message back to you letting you know just how thankful I am & how much I appreciate you. And well, this sounds h-o-r-r-i-b-l-e, but that takes time. A whole lot of time. Especially after big events like showers and weddings where there are so many to write. So instead of writing thank you cards and slipping them in the mail – I put it off. Because it seems like such a daunting task to sit down and write them because I want them to be perfect. By the time a year rolled around after our wedding and I still hadn’t finished sending out the thank you’s I was totally embarrassed and decided not to finish the thank you cards. In my head finishing those thank you’s was a huge deal and a huge time commitment because I wanted each of them to be meaningful and perfect. I’m not just going to buy a generic thank you, scribble my name at the bottom, slap a stamp on that baby, and send it on its way. In my opinion, what is the point? Please, in the nicest way possible, save your postage.
The same exact thing happened with the baby showers for my daughter. Okay, this time I’m not going to screw it up! The same people that were at my bridal showers and wedding are here and now I am going to pull through and show them that I’m not a sucky adult and I really am thankful. I WILL send out those thank you cards this time, dang it! Yeah… a few months ago I was cleaning out my girls closet when I found the box of thank you cards from the shower that was now 2 years ago. I found about 10 cards that were filled out, addressed, and sealed but never made it out to the mailbox. What a shame. I seriously contemplated giving my friends the cards that I had written, but by now I’d just be embarrassing myself even more. Sorry, friends.
So here is what I have concluded.
I suck at writing thank you cards. And if you know me, you know that I suck at this. But you still love me despite the fact that I suck at them. You know that I love you and I am appreciative of every single nice thing that you have ever done for me. Truly. If we are together and you buy me coffee, I will say thank you. If you surprise me with chocolate, I will say thank you (hint: I really love coffee and chocolate…). If you buy me a gift that I have to awkwardly open in front of everyone while wearing a pink boa, like at my bachelorette party, I will say thank you in front of everyone right then and there. If you send me something sweet in the mail, like a red and white checkered apron, I will send you a text with way too many emoji’s and say thank you. But just know that you probably aren’t going to get a nice thank you card in the mail. And it isn’t because I don’t think about it, or that I don’t want to because I’m trying to be a jerk. It’s partly because I’m too much of a perfectionist and the thought of carving out 30 minutes to find the perfect thank you and write the perfect message is exhausting. And well, it’s just life. Life is so busy. And we already have all of these crazy high expectations to live up to and quite frankly I’m just never going to be the girl that sends thank you cards. Ever. And it’s okay. It’s got to be okay. Because we have too many other things going on to be good at everything. I need to learn that not everything can be perfect. Something has to give. Throwing thank you cards off the ferris wheel, as one of my friends would say. And I surely hope that my relationships are secure enough to withstand the fact that I’m just not going to send a thank you card. I’m sorry I suck at thank you cards, but please continue loving me anyway.