Thank-You notes are, without a doubt, absolutely integral to the way our society functions. Let's say for example that you've just attended a fantastic party hosted by Shane O'Sullivan, one of your closest Irish-American friends. Your first thought upon arriving home from the party would most likely be something like: "Wow, that sure was a great party, I'll have to tell that crazy Mick what a wonderful time I had next time I see him."
Not so fast there pal! The first thing you should realize is that calling an Irish person a "Mick" is pretty offensive. Just because a subset of people look and talk funny, are normally small in stature, and oftentimes have problems pleasing their women in bed due to their tendency to overindulge on alcohol and possibly a genetic predisposition towards small penis size, it doesn't give you the right to stereotype them with racial slurs! There might be a few Irish guys who would probably be pretty nice people, once you get to know them. But I suppose you don't care about that, do you? What a racist.
THE SECOND THING YOU SHOULD KNOWThe second thing you should know about Thank-You Notes is that by simply calling Shane on the telephone, you are going to wound him deeply. Why? Because instead of taking the time to write him a simple 2-5 page Thank-You Note, you decided to call him and tell him how GREAT his party was. Brother, you've got a lot to learn about Thank-You Notes. Luckily I'm here to help. In this article I will answer the most common questions people have about Thank-You notes.
WHAT SHOULD BE IN A THANK-YOU NOTE?
"perfect" Thank-You Note
will be a minimum of 2 pages
(Single-Spaced) and will contain each of the following things:
- Heading [Include your full name with middle initial,
address, home and work phone, email address, last four digits of your
social security number, and your date of birth]
- Clear step-by-step explanation of the favor which was done
you [use italics]
- If the favor came in the form of a gift, profess your
use the gift by using clumsy mock enthusiasm and awkward terms and
phrases people don't really say in real life. [For example, If you were
to receive a CD you might say something like: "Rockin dude!!!! We
really appreciate the CD you gave us for a gift!! We look forward to
literally 'crankin' up the volume' whenever we listen to it and 'jammin
out to the max'!!!!! Thanks again!"
- Acknowledgment that they were in no way obligated to
favor, and moreover that only a truly benevolent human being would have
done such a kind thing for someone else without expecting a reward.
- An offer
of a cash reward [they
should dictate a suitable amount]
- List of ways in which they are superior to you [morally,
sexually, physically, etc]
- Various biblical quotations [bolded]
- Sworn oath of passionate devotion and unconditional obedience.
CAN'T I THANK SOMEONE IN-PERSON?
No. This would be considered highly impolite. What uncultured swine like you fail to realize is that we live in a society which values politeness above all things, especially sincerity and originality. There's a reason 99% of the adult US population uses slight variations on the same offensively thoughtless, idiotic, and cliched greeting ("How are you today?"). It isn't because they actually care how you are (that would be sincerity), it's because it's polite.
You are to be a mindless, thoughtless, social automaton. The only acceptable emotion you should be displaying to strangers is feigned cheer (or perhaps a mixture of befuddlement and disdain if they fail to acknowledge your presence with a stock greeting).
Please consult this chart for more information on what's likely to happen to your standing with a friend if you do something other than issue them a Thank-You Note for a dinner party they have thrown.
What Did You Do?
How Offensive Was It?
As you were leaving the party, you looked the host in the eye and said: "Thanks man, this was a really fun party."
Mildly. You did say "thank you" in person, but speaking words is not the same thing as writing them.
You will not be invited to any parties for a period of no less than 2 months.
You stand up in the middle of the meal with a disgusted look on your face and walk towards the door, saying, "This party blows goat ass. I hope all you troglodytes drop dead from syphilis. Thanks for nothing."
On the one hand you left in the middle of a meal and made some rude and extremely offensive comments. But on the other hand, you did say thank you, and that means a lot.
You will be shunned by your friend for 3-5 months.
You called your friend on the phone the next day and said "That was a really great party last night, you're an awesome host. I'm glad you invited me."
Not only did you fail to issue a "thank you" in note form, but you also failed to issue one in person.
Your friend will say "gee thanks", hang up on you, and then proceed to describe you as a "D-Bag Child Molester Who Touched a Kid" to the rest of your mutual friends.
You can expect to be shunned by these people for at least a year (if not longer).
You left the party without "saying goodbye", got into a car accident on the way home, slipped into a coma, and died 6 months later. This means that you were never able to mention the party to your friend (let alone thank him for it). Also, during the party you used the guest soaps in his bathroom.
You just committed a social war crime.
Your friend will creep into the funeral home one night and gleefully disembowel you. Then he will proceed to drag your naked body behind his station wagon for 4 city blocks, finally hefting your battered corpse into a filthy dumpster full of medical waste while chuckling to himself.
Of course, all this nastiness could've been avoided if you would have simply taken 3-6 hours out of your "busy" schedule to write your good friend a personalized "Thank-You" essay. I guess that's just too much to ask of an unconventional "free-spirit" like yourself. Talk about selfish.
SAMPLE THANK-YOU NOTEAnd finally, here's a Thank-You Note I wrote up to demonstrate the proper way to go about it. (Please note that this is the abridged version. As I said earlier, a proper one should be at least two pages in length.)
The Novelty Signing Bass you gave me for my birthday is quite possibly the greatest single gift I have ever received. I just can't get over it. You press the button and he sings various songs, it's brilliant! So I'm just writing this letter to say: Thank God for you.
Thank Sweet Christ on High.
I realize we've had our differences, but the obvious goodwill behind this gift has caused my heart to beat out a different tune. The tune that spells out: "Tom Rules!" in Morse code. And you do rule, honestly. Sure, back when we were going out you might have "cheated on me with hookers" a few times, but hell, what's a few cases of gonorrhea between future best buds, am I right? Also I just wanted to say that I forgive you for driving drunk with my mom and three infant nephews in the car all those times. It's only not, through this astoundingly thoughtful gift you've given me that I am able to realize how wrong I was.
The bottom line is: You're simply an amazing, fantastic, and wonderful gift to humanity due to to the fact that you purchased something for me at the store and then presented it to me on one of the days which marks the anniversary of the date upon which I happened to have been born. God bless you.
Seriously Tom, I honestly can't come up with many more ways to get across what a wonderful guy you are. Perhaps I could compare you to various historical figures who were known as being great people. How about Gandhi? Frankly he was a piece of shit compared to you. Mother Theresa? A Cheap whore. Martin Luther King Jr? I can't believe they gave a dumbass like that his own holiday! I say we change it to "Tom Day" seeing as you did so much more for the world than some black guy who gave a boring speech about buses.
So hey, if you ever want to have rough sex with me while alternatively punching me in the face and strangling me with a length of frayed extension cord, just let me know. I'll call a sitter and be right over (dressed like an underage anime schoolgirl fireman with inflatable tentacle breasts).
Hopefully by now you've figured out how important these notes are. Thanking a friend properly can mean the difference between a healthy, mutually beneficial relationship and being stabbed by blue-haired Helen Jacobson in the shower with a homemade soap shiv and you scream and scream and scream as the blood washes down but nobody hears anything because they're all dead, dead, DEAD!