Lazy Greetings (TM) Postcards Now Available
I'm old school. When someone takes the time to find me the perfect gift and spends their money on it, money that probably has a million other uses, I believe they should be thanked. But not just thanked. Thanked with a real, physical, through the mail thank you card. Not a text. Not an email. Not a quickie phone call. A card.
It's old school, OK, but it is also polite and respectful. It says "I really appreciate the time and care that you took finding this for me. I really appreciate that you spent hard-earned money on me. Thank you."
Yes, you could say that in a text. You could send it in an email. But texts and emails are so fleeting. They are run-of-the-mill. They don't require much thought (often), they don't require the sender to think and plan and compose, to gather the tools (card, envelope, pen, stamp), to actually take the time to put their heart into their message.
I'm sorry, but when someone buys me a gift, they deserve more than just an emoji whipped back at them.
Old school. I know.
I've raised my son Derek to be a thank-you-card-writer. He hates it.
Every Christmas, every birthday, every stray check-tucked-into-a-card from his grandparents, and I go through my card box, carefully select the ones with the best messages for the occasion, add the envelopes, address the envelopes (yes, I do that for him), put a sticky note on each card to remind him who it is going to and what they gave him, and hand the pile to him along with a pen.
He grumbles, he complains. He balks. But eventually he gets it done.
It's not that Derek isn't appreciative, it's not that he doesn't understand the time, effort and expense that someone just put into making his day a little better. It's that, according to him, the cards are so big (even the small ones) and his writing is so small and he has to think of stuff to say beyond "thank you" just to fill the space.
I was thinking about this recently - the idea that it is not so much the having to write a thank you card that bothers him, but rather the need to "fill up space" on the card - and it occurred to me that a postcard might just meet both our needs. My old school sensibilities that demand a hand-written note of thanks, and his desire to get away with as little writing as necessary.
Originally, the idea was to write heart-felt messages on the front of the card and leave a little area on the back for the sender to add his or her - short - message. When I tried that out, I realized that an effusive thanks just didn't cut it on a postcard. There is something common about a postcard, something off-the-cuff, not very serious.
Eventually, then, the heart-felt message of thanks morphed into something generic, something funny that recognizes its own "generic-ness", that almost makes fun of itself for simply being. But that still gets the message across. And still lets the receiver know you cared enough to take the time to put thought, money and effort into your response.
Now, as a traditionalist, I'll still send a card, one that comes with an envelope and that gives the receiver something to open up and spend a little time with. For those not so serious moments, though, for when I want to say thank you or congratulations or just a note to say I'm thinking of you, I'll send a Lazy Greetings (TM) Postcard
, something to keep the human, old school, connection thrumming along.
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