05 January, 2007

Thanks for the Thank You

I have to start out by giving myself a little pat on the back. I have been avoiding putting the mounds of folded laundry away by blaming it on all the holiday events and happenings that I’ve committed to doing, but this morning I really buckled down and started to make a nice dent in things. I’m not finished yet, and it also prompted me to semi-clean out and re-organize my disastrous closet, but I’m hopeful I’ll have things all wrapped up by this afternoon (provided, of course, I do not fall asleep during naptime and end up snoring-and I do mean snoring- the afternoon away). It’s also prompted lots of organization ideas and thoughts to start running through my head, so at Chloe’s request, I’ll be working on some organization tips and products for various areas of the home (don’t worry, Chloe, I’ll address your English Tea Paperie organization issue).

Anyway, now that the Holidays’ are over, I have a boat-load of thank you notes to write. Of course, it would really make my life a lot easier if the 3 & 4 year old could write their own thank-you notes, but until that happens (please, oh PLEASE when WILL that happen?!), it looks like it’s all up to me. And it’s fruitless for me to even attempt to get Mr. Monogram to share these duties as he is just too swamped with work goings on to be pestered by a few thank you notes that I, the stay at home mother, just can’t find the *time* to write. That would probably be a very hard sell if you know what I mean (as it is, I’m having a hard time explaining why exactly I haven’t managed to put away all the folded laundry that’s currently occupying our master bedroom).

So my goal is to have them all finished and in the mail by Saturday morning, but that means I need to hunker down and just do it. It’s not homework for goodness sake! It’s sitting down with my stationery (how do I love thee? Let me count the ways!)! And a pen! And writing a few heartfelt lines of written word to my family and friends who were so kind and generous to us all during the holidays! So with Tiger Woods on the brain, I will sit down and “Just Do It!”

And I’m sure you’ve got your fair share of thank-you’s to send out as well. Since a lot of people seem to find their way to Monogram Momma’s by Googling things such as etiquette and proper stationery and letter addressing verbiage, let me just make things simple and lay them all out right here for you (as an aside, I really must do an entry specifically on the crazy combo’s that people Google that actually somehow lead them to me. I swear you would not believe some of this stuff!).

Not to state the obvious, but thank you’s are sent to thank someone for a gift, having you as a dinner guest or for any small favor (see Ashley, I told you!). Not sure if you should send one? Then send it anyway just to be on the safe side. Of course, I should throw in here that I think it’s perfectly acceptable in this day and age that if a friend does you a favor such as picking up a gallon of milk for you, to send them a quick little email thanking them, in lieu of breaking out your expansive stationery collection of Crane or Whitney English.

When sending your thank you note, it is always best to write on either a small foldover note or on a correspondence card. A woman can properly use either one, but typically a man uses a correspondence card. But did you also know that there is an actual formula you should use to write the proper thank-you note? Yep (shaking my head), there sure is.

4 Parts to Writing the Proper Thank-you Note
(as shown in an example note to my nephew)

1) The greeting
Dear Andrew,

2) Appreciation of item or favor
Thank you so much for the frog you left in my shoe yesterday. What a thoughtful gesture!

3) Mention how useful it will be
I am so looking forward to putting him back in the yard to enjoy his company as I pull the summer weeds.

4) Sign off with a suggestion of future meeting (or rememberence from the past)
Uncle Monogram and I are very much looking forward to your next visit with us, and can’t wait to share even more adventures with you.
Love, Aunt Monogram

So now that the thank-you note is written, it’s time to wet the envelope, seal it with a kiss, address it and send it on its way via snail mail. But often times, addressing the envelope is where we get into trouble. There are so many options these days, so let’s just go over a few when addressing casual thank you notes in case you have any questions in your future correspondence.

Addressing Envleopes to Young Boys
1) Boy 12 & under
Master Matthew Dresden

2) 2 Boys 12 & under
Masters Matthew and John Dresden

3) Boy over 18
Mr. Matthew Dresden

4) 2 Boys over 18
Messrs. Matthew and John Desden

Addressing Envelopes to Young Girls

1) Girl 12 & under
Miss Sarah Dresden

2) 2 Girls 12 & under
Misses Sarah and Catherine Dresden

3) Girl over 18
Ms. Sarah Dresden

Addressing People Living Together but Not Married

1) This is old school/wedding envelope etiquette, but I use this one myself

Ms. Elizabeth Cook
Ms. Elizabeth Cook
>>>>>Indented address line 1
>>>>>>>>>>Double indented address line 2

Addressing Widows

1) Typically, a widow continues to use her husband’s name.
Mrs. Matthew Cook

Addressing Divorced Women

1) Old school etiquette dictates that a divorced woman who retained her married name post divorce, should use “Mrs.” Followed by her maiden and married names.
Mrs. Anderson Cook

2) Today, however, if a woman prefers, she may also add her first name into the mix if she opts to keep her married name.
Mrs. Elizabeth Anderson Cook

3) If the divorced woman drops her married name and reclaims her maiden name, then she also reclaims her middle name and you use “Ms” as you would to a single woman
Elizabeth Anne Anderson

Addressing a Married Couple

1) Straightforward addressing
Mr. and Mrs. Matthew Cook

2) Married couple where woman kept her maiden name
Ms. Elizabeth Cook
Mr. Matthew Cook
>>>>>Indented address line 1
>>>>>>>>>>Double indented address line 2

3) Married couple when both are Doctors
The Doctors Cook

4) Married couple when the woman is a Doctor (note: some women who are Dr’s prefer that they still be addressed as Mr. & Mrs.)

Dr. Elizabeth Cook
Mr. Matthew Cook
>>>>>Indented address line 1
>>>>>>>>>>Double indented address line 2

Now, in other important news worthy of sharing, last night I hit the local cinemaplex and saw The Holiday with my friend, Cresta. We’ve been trying to see this movie for weeks but our husband’s pesky schedules and then the holidays kept getting in our way. So anyway, once we sat through the umpteen previews of other movies we have now vowed to see, our movie began and really, it was so cute. We both really loved it, and it had so much humor and yes, even lots of tears. Neither one of us was prepared for that, so consider yourself warned, and if you don’t bring your pretty lace hankie with you when you go, then it’s you own fault. Also, can I just say what a treat it was to get fresh ice cream scooped out to us in the movie theater?! We were all over that like white on rice, let me tell you!

But sadly, there are no movies in our future today. It’s rainy and yucky here so the boys are donning their galoshes and we’re heading to the gymnastics place this morning. I can assure you I will NOT be jumping in that big pit of foam again either, as it took about 2 moms (one pushing my rear from behind, and one pulling from the top) to get me out of that damn disease pit last time. So monogram momma will be strictly sticking to the trampolines and bouncy running floor thingy today. Whew! Looks like I've got my exercise cut out for me today, and then I'm back to work on my thank-you notes later. Happy handwriting!


Chloe said...

I used to go to Martha for these types of issues, but now, I'm all about the Monogram Momma!!

Paige Lynn said...

Thanks for the advice. I am a big fan of thank you cards.

Susan D said...

I wrote my thank you notes last weekend... don't know why it feels like a chore. Like you, I do enjoy the act of it. I received new stationery for my anniversary & received several compliments!

Thanks for all of the information... this post will come in handy for future reference!

Ashley said...

Seriously? Master and Messrs. ?!?!?
I am mean, I have been reminded a LOT over the last few weeks that I need to brush up on my manners and get better about notes but this is WAY to formal for a laid back girl like me! I do appreciate you trying to make me a better person (my 2007 resolution). I will certainly reference the formatting of the Thank you Note though.
MM you are the Queen of Etiquette!

Meg said...

agreed! I get my celebrity dish from PP and etiquette tips from you. Life is getting easier all the time.

the preppy princess said...

Me too, why bother with Emily Post when we can ask MM. Plus, I like the get right to it version. No thumbing through indexes and such.

Monogram Momma said...

Aww, you guys are too much! Thanks!

Belle-Ah, I k now exactly what you're talking about! my husbands family is in boston and once when his Aunt came to visit us in Georgia, we said we were taking her to eat Bar-be-Que. And my Fil says "have you even had BBQ?" and she said "well we BBQ at home!" and Mr. M and i were shaking our heads going "Noooooooooooooooooo. That is GRILLING! BBQ isn't a VERB!" LOL

J said...

I'm glad to know I'm not the only one that has issues putting clean laundry away. You definitely deserve a pat on the back!

emma's pulse said...

Awesome! Reorganizing my closet is high on my goals for the month. And finishing the pantry. Can't wait to hear what you do with your closet.

Meg Q said...

Nice explication. I used to work at Crane's in Dallas and handled most of the weddings. I was working with two gentlemen on the invites for their commitment ceremony, and they asked me what was the "proper" way to address an envelope to two men, or women, living together. Based on principles from Crane's and Emily Post, as well as something Miss Manners had written *outright*, I told them what you had written above. At first they didn't like it, but then they saw the logic behind it and were fine with it. But one of my co-workers, who was also, um, a "confirmed bachelor", and had overheard was *not* fine with it, and after the two grooms left he grabbed our boss and proceeded to have a fit right there on the sales floor about it, saying that "couples" should be on the same line, with an "and" between their names, and here I was giving this bad, not to say bigoted, advice. I said that they had just asked me what was "proper" and I'd told them - it was up to them to decide how to use that information. But I did that for lots of weddings. I would give people all kinds of etiquette tips when they asked, but I was (and am) a stickler, so if someone asks me for what's "proper" then they're going to get it! They might not like it, they might choose not to use that info, but at least they'll know what is right. --So our boss had to take the poor fellow into the back room to calm down a bit! You can't tell me that people don't get excited about etiquette!

And, you know, sometimes rules were made to be broken -- but you have to *know* the rules first!

Monogram Momma said...

Oh Emma, the pantry is such another place to take issue with, I know! I also have a little desk/counter area in my kitchen that has turned into the catchall area in those cabinets and it's just a MESS! I will surely be tackling that one as well.

THat was very well put Meg Q!

Cheap Preppy said...

Oh! MM, I say the Holiday as well last week and LOVED it. I was very thankful for my girlfriend that went along with me b/c I know hubby would have hated it! It is a serious chick flick!

Monogram Momma said...

You are NOT kidding, Cheap Preppy! There was NO WAY my husband would have seen that but it was such a great girlfriend movie!

Mel said...

The thank you note is such an important piece of correspondence and it's becoming a 'lost art'. I'm so happy to see you writing about it!!!

Anonymous said...

I found your blog when I googled "Alaska Silk Pie". I'm the one who had a complaint about the company. Speaking of which, I need to go back to that post and post an update. There's a happy ending!

I agree that thank you notes are becoming a lost art. In September my SO and I sent a couple a $175 wedding gift (had it delivered from Crate & Barrel) and never heard anything from them. A couple of weeks ago I quietly inquired to her mother if she has received it thinking it could've been lost or something. It turns out they just hadn't sent their thank you notes yet. Lo and behold, a week later there was a thank you in our mailbox! lol

Great blog, mm! :)

Anonymous said...

Dear Monogram Momma -
Have been reading your site for a while and appreciate your humor and dedication to family. I need a little advice...I am also a SAHM, 6 y/o daughter and twin girls who are five (yes, I am busy). Husband has big desk and big job. I rely on friends for support. But I feel two friends slipping away. They socialize without me and the daily phone calls to each other are happening less and less. This is BREAKING MY HEART. I have tried to be subtle in asking if I have offended anyone but they insist nothing is wrong, obviously something is off. I really don't want to lose these friends. I am 41 y/o and true friends are few at this age. Please...send some age advice!

Monogram Momma said...

Anonymous: Boy do I know what you're talking about, all too well. The same thing happened to me last Spring. It's a long story but I'll touch on this this week. This is a good and important topic, that unfortunately so many women have to deal with.

KK said...

MM, do you have any tips on how to spruce up the home AFTER you take down all the cute holiday decor? My home always looks so sad and pathetic after I take down Christmas stuff.

Like all of the others who posted above, you are the first person I think of when it comes to these types of questions! haha!!!

KK said...

MM, do you have any tips on how to spruce up the home AFTER you take down all the cute holiday decor? My home always looks so sad and pathetic after I take down Christmas stuff.

Like all of the others who posted above, you are the first person I think of when it comes to these types of questions! haha!!!

Monogram Momma said...

KK, I am in the exact same boat over here so I'll add this to my list of things to chat about in the next week or so. My house is looking sad too!

Erin said...

I just saw The Holiday too, at one of those "mama matinees" where you can bring the baby along...the Boy and I enjoyed it very much! And I must tell you that I just ordered Crane's Blue Book in your honor--I can't wait until it arrives. :)

Southern Fried Girl said...

Just found your blog and was scrolling through picking up bits and pieces when I came to this post. I had to do about a triple take when I saw my maiden name used as an example in your "how to address" different things. I cracked up.

So, hi from the former Elizabeth Cook. :) Have a wonderful day.