When your danke schoen turns to ‘oh nein’

Some say three months, some say two. And some say immediately.

If this is the case, well, frankly I’ve been in strife for more than a year.

It’s not like they’re not done. They’re done. They’re just not done.

The thing is, I get all huffy when I don’t get one and here I am, with a big finger pointed at myself with bright neon lights flashing ‘pot, kettle, black’.

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I haven’t sent out my Thank You notes.

Before you start with your ‘First World problems’ scoffing, etiquette-wise it’s a big deal.  Such a deal that if this was a challenge set to me by Ms Shrager et al, rest assured the silverware at Eggleston Hall would blind you with shine right now.

The best advice out there is that brides and grooms have to start thinking about their thank you notes before the wedding.

But what if you didn’t do that? Because, you know, planning a wedding?

Then, like me, you might find out you’re, despite the best intentions, umm, doomed.

If you’re about to be married, there is still time.

If you’ve just been married, there is still time.

If you had your wedding two or three months ago, apparently you’re flying extremely close to the sun.

If you had your wedding a year ago (or in my case, 14 months ago), you’re either in one of two camps – it’s too late and who cares or remembers this kind of shit anyway*, or the it’s too late but I feel terribly guilty and despite my crippling embarrassment I have to do something.

And to you naughty newlyweds, I have one lifeline for you. Just one.

Send the tardy thank you’s out in time for your first wedding anniversary.

If people ask why, you tell them you missed the whole ‘wedding thing’ and wanted to stretch out the whole experience an extra year. Either that, or say it’s the new de rigueur trend on Pinterest that’s threatening to overtake the photobooth moustache or the unshakeable stalwart, The Mason Jar.

There are the obvious reasons why you need to say thanks, I mean it’s just good manners. But, just as crucially, it also sends the message that it wasn’t intercepted by opportunistic five-finger discounters or on an island somewhere with a volleyball named Wilson. Simply, it says ‘yep, I got it’.

So what constitutes a gift that deserves a thank you note?

Sure, you have the usual suspects: enveloped cash (which remains contentious for reasons I have no idea) and appliances wrapped in white floral glossy paper.

But think beyond the toaster.

  • Did your niece help you put together a killer playlist on iTunes? That’s a gift.
  • Did your friend give you a wine decanter and also help keep your drunk cousin away from your new mother-in-law? That’s two gifts.
  • Your partner’s colleague who wasn’t invited but helped you print out some stuff off their office printer on the down low? That’s a gift.
  • Did your Dad, who have a difficult relationship with and because money is tight, use his sign-writing skills to hand paint your seating plan on a borrowed easel? That’s a gift.
  • Did you brother come off nightshift early to help ferry your five different ‘wedding’ cakes from five different suburbs from five different aunties and still managed to write an amazing speech? That’s a gift.
  • Because you had no bridesmaids, your BFF who sent you stress-busting absurd texts about normal stuff an hour before the wedding when you felt nothing but ants in your matrimonial pants? You get the idea.

If in doubt, send one out.

As for me, I’ve crossed my one-year anniversary by two months and I’m now using the excuse of moving house as to why they’re monumentally late.

So why am I blaming myself and not The Mister?

His part of the thank you note  (or in our case, thank you DVD) is done. He was a machine. He simply got it done. All I had to do was get the envelopes, address them and send them out. He offered to help, but I don’t like his handwriting, so it’s my own bullshit that’s held everything up.

I also think deep down I miss it. I mean, this is the last thing I need to do that’s connected to the wedding.

But this is the same thing that drove me bananas, while the wedding was one of the most wonderful heady times I’ve ever had – it was also one of the most exhausting things I’ve ever done.

While I don’t want to look too far into it, I can’t ignore the symbolism that comes with writing all those names and addresses out again. The first time was to send out the engagement party invites – which was June 2010.

Now I’m about to bookend the whole experience with the same list of names, close to four years later.

But hey, that’s getting a bit deep, yeah?

Look, if you got your thank you notes out, on time and on budget, I tip me lid to you comrade, you’re a far better bride than I.

At the rate I’m still going, forget the engagement parties, hen’s nights and kitchen teas – I think I need an official shower to celebrate getting these thank you notes out.

*People remember and you can never over-thank people who contributed to your wedding. Stop being a dick.

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