Saying Thank You (and Saying You're Sorry)
Etiquette in this country is in a chronic state of disrepair. This, we know.
Here to remind of us the right way to do things is Cindy Edwards – and we are so glad she is keeping us up on good traditions with the charm of the south. I caught her blogpost on the importance of thank-you notes earlier this week. Good sound advice, and thank-you notes and hand written notes in general are not about being stuffy, they’re about enjoying being human and taking time to appreciate the good people that come your way. It brings the good things in life back up to the surface and adds a bit of joy to sender and receiver alike. Someone said, “We write to taste life twice.” Also, Ms. Edwards, thank you for reminding me that its about time I get some nice stationary paper. That’s one thing I’m missing.
But she didn’t mention the apology note! I know about this one!
In 3rd grade, I very much disliked one of our substitute teachers, Ms. Rosen, along with everyone else in the class. She could be grouchy and demanding and was consistently disappointed in our performance as pupils.
I was with two other buddies in the coat room before class, saying not so very nice things about Ms. Rosen, when I renamed her "Ms. Rotten Flowers" To this day its funny. She walked in at just the right moment to witness my comic genius and yelled, “I heard that!" She pointed a furious finger at me, “I want an apology note from you, you, and oh yeah…you!” My poor buddies were in trouble just for laughing, but no punishment? just a note! What luck!
Because my mother had already schooled me on the art of the thank you note, the apology note was a breeze. I whipped it out in 2 seconds, skipped it up to her desk and dropped it off. She questioned my remorse, but I was done. The prospect of writing a fancy note was probably so exciting to me that it totally obliterated any feelings of guilt. My poor little friends shot me imploring looks of 'please help' and whispered, “you’re done already? What did you write?” So here is my guide for when you step in it. Or when you get caught, anyway.
Step 1. Greeting.
Step 2. Say you are sorry without reminding them of what you actually said/did.
Step 2a. Say that it will never happen again. (optional)
Step 3. If your really sorry, you can say what you will do for penance / where you will take them / what you will buy them, etc.
Step 4. Say you’re sorry again.
Step 5. Close.
Step 6. Leave them alone for a few days.
Ms. Rosen, if you're still alive, can you send me that note? I'd like it for my personal collection.