Well-writ­ten thank-yous don’t have to be long com­po­si­tions

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - COMMUNITY/ENTERTAINMENT - Abi­gail Van Buren Dear Abby is writ­ten by Abi­gail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Con­tact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los An­ge­les, CA 90069.

DEAR ABBY: You have men­tioned in the past that you have a book­let on writ­ing let­ters, in­clud­ing thank-you notes. Where do I send for it? I’ll need four be­cause my grand­kids are lack­ing in that area.

It’s truly a shame that younger gen­er­a­tions haven’t been taught about the im­por­tance of such notes. A sim­ple “thank you” can not only open doors of op­por­tu­nity both so­cially and in em­ploy­ment, but also help grand­par­ents feel ap­pre­ci­ated after their heart­felt gift-giv­ing. — NANCY IN NE­VADA

DEAR NANCY: If there is one sub­ject that crops up re­peat­edly in my mail, it’s thank-you notes — or rather, the lack of them. I print let­ters about it be­cause of the num­ber of com­plaints I re­ceive. When a gift or a cheque isn’t ac­knowl­edged, the (un­writ­ten) message it sends is that the item wasn’t ap­pre­ci­ated, which is in­sult­ing and hurt­ful.

Chief among the rea­sons that thank-you notes are un­writ­ten is that many peo­ple don’t know what to say. They think the message has to be long and flowery when, in fact, keep­ing it short and to the point is more ef­fec­tive. My book­let, “How to Write Let­ters for All Oc­ca­sions,” con­tains sam­ples of thank-you let­ters for birth­day gifts, shower gifts and wed­ding gifts, as well as those that ar­rive around hol­i­day time. It also in­cludes let­ters of con­grat­u­la­tions and ones re­gard­ing dif­fi­cult sub­jects, such as the loss of a par­ent, a spouse or a child. It can be or­dered by send­ing your name, mail­ing ad­dress, plus cheque or money or­der for $7 (U.S. funds) to Dear Abby Let­ters Book­let, P.O. Box 447, Mount Mor­ris, IL 610540447. (Ship­ping and han­dling are in­cluded in the price.) With the hol­i­day sea­son ap­proach­ing, this is the per­fect time to re­ply with a hand­writ­ten letter, note or well-writ­ten email.

Be­cause the com­po­si­tion of let­ters is not al­ways ef­fec­tively taught in the schools, my book­let can serve as a help­ful tu­to­rial, one that is valu­able for par­ents as a way to teach their chil­dren to write us­ing proper eti­quette.

DEAR ABBY: I have been dat­ing this guy for a year and a half and he’s not into mak­ing love. He’s happy if we only do it once a month and, when he does give in, he will only do the same old po­si­tion. I, on the other hand, en­joy sex.

My ex (we have been apart eight years) is now in a sex­less mar­riage. We started hook­ing up six months ago — just for sex — and it is awe­some. Part of me feels guilty be­cause I’m against cheat­ing, but I need sex. What should I do? — CHEAT­ING IN THE NORTH

DEAR CHEAT­ING: Be­cause the man you have been dat­ing for a year and a half is a sex­ual mis­match, you need to end the ro­mance. It would be kinder than con­tin­u­ing to cheat on him.

Your mar­ried ex may seem like an oa­sis in the sex­ual desert right now, but don’t waste more time on him. He isn’t your fu­ture; he’s your past for good rea­son, I’m sure — so keep him there.

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