A ‘thank you’ is a great gift

Simcoe Reformer - Times-Reformer - - LIFE - AMY DICK­IN­SON ASK AMY

Dear Amy: My young-adult daugh­ter and her part­ner have lived to­gether for four years. They live 300 miles away.

I am very fond of my daugh­ter’s part­ner and send her a birth­day gift each year.

I have never re­ceived a thank you. I’m flex­i­ble on the for­mat — a text would be fine with me, how­ever ... noth­ing.

This year I asked my daugh­ter if her girl­friend had re­ceived the gift, but that didn’t feel right, either. In the fu­ture, should I text her girl­friend and ask her di­rectly? Should I give up on this ex­pec­ta­tion and as­sume the gifts are re­ceived?

The track­ing num­ber lets me know it ar­rived on their front porch. Of course, I’d like to hear that I se­lected a gift that was ap­pre­ci­ated, but I re­ally want to know if she got it.

I’ve sent gifts to chil­dren know­ing it was up to their par­ents as to whether I re­ceived a thank you. When send­ing a gift to an adult, my ex­pec­ta­tions are that there’d be some ac­knowl­edg­ment.

Amy, are thank-you’s and/ or acknowledgements passé? — DID YOU GET IT? Dear Did You: A “thank you” never goes out of style.

And I would say that over four years’ time, a texted ac­knowl­edg­ment from an adult that a gift was re­ceived should be con­sid­ered the min­i­mum in­vest­ment to­ward re­ceiv­ing a gift the fol­low­ing year.

Her be­hav­ior is em­bar­rass­ing to you, be­cause now you have to face the prospect of proac­tively chas­ing down this gift.

Let’s set aside the whole idea of even say­ing “thank you.” Pack­ages get nabbed off of front porches. Even with ac­cu­rate track­ing, senders only know if some­one ac­tu­ally re­ceived a pack­age — if the re­cip­i­ent tells them.

And, here’s a hol­i­day bonus for all of you clue­less or awk­ward re­cip­i­ents out there:

Let’s say you re­ceive a gift (even if you don’t like it). Oh no! What should you do? At the very least, you should send a text — or call — say­ing, “Hi, I got the gift you sent! You are so thought­ful to think of me. I re­ally ap­pre­ci­ate it. Thank you!”

A slightly more-clever (and more fun) ver­sion of this is to take a selfie or a video selfie of your­self hold­ing the gift, and de­liver this mes­sage to the sender’s phone. It takes 30 sec­onds, and is much ap­pre­ci­ated.

And yes, po­lite and high­func­tion­ing peo­ple of­ten also fol­low up with a note.

Given this woman’s be­hav­ior, I think it’s time for you to tran­si­tion to­ward birth­day cards. Then all of you can stop wor­ry­ing about it.

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