Sunday, November 3, 2013

Life Is Give and Take, Part II

According to Someone in the Know

My wife and I are not imbedded members of any level of the social scene. Thus we were naïve as to what constitutes a proper response when we received a wedding invitation from relatives on our extended family tree. We had never met the groom-to-be, and have met the blood-relative bride-to-be on perhaps a half-dozen times. We decided not to fly across the country to attend the wedding back east, so we acquired a proper card and sent a reasonably sized check to them on September 19, 2012. They cashed it immediately.

Five months passed, and when we hadn’t received even a one-line thank you note, I was curious what to do, if anything. I contacted a more knowledgeable family member who had undoubtedly given a more generous gift, had attended the wedding, and was likely involved in her own social milieu.  When I asked if she had heard from the newlyweds, she said that she had received a thank you card a while back.

When I mentioned that we had not, that “someone in the know” emphatically informed me that the recipients are not expected to send everyone a thank you note so soon. Moreover, she stated it is considered proper for them to respond within a year because newlyweds have so much on their minds.

I also have much on my mind, and the next time I receive a wedding invitation, I will not rush out to acquire a card and write a check, even if it is only a reasonable one. Perhaps just a card will be sufficient, and I will decide on that, since now I am someone in the know.

Ironically, I received a call from the bride’s father on the anniversary of the date that the check was cashed. I casually mentioned that his daughter’s anniversary is approaching and I have a bone to pick with her. He intuitively said, “They didn’t send you a thank you, did they?” When I confirmed his suspicion, he was a trifle upset. A few days later I received a thank you card from him, and he signed his daughter’s name.

If I celebrate the couple’s nuptials at all, it will not be on the anniversary of their wedding date, but on the date when I receive their thank you note.

PS: After our grandniece’s Bat Mitzvah, the thirteen-year-old immediately sent us a thoughtful, hand-written thank you note for our gift.