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20-40-60 Etiquette---Did you get it?

by Helen Ford Wallace and Lillie-Beth Brinkman and Callie Gordon Published: April 28, 2014


By Callie Gordon, Lillie-Beth Brinkman, Helen Ford Wallace

QUESTION: I know there is so much controversy regarding the etiquette in “thanking” someone for “thanking” you. This is my question:

I sent some cookies to a girlfriend, who entertained my sister and me for a day and a half. We so appreciated it, and we all had a great time. I know she’s received the cookies I sent, as I’ve kept up with the tracking.

I have yet to hear from her. I personally feel this is rude to not even acknowledge that she received package.

Am I being petty, or is this OK to not thank me for “thanking” her? I don’t plan to do anything about this, as I know that some people feel that it’s OK not to respond.

For me, I would make a brief call to let them know I’ve received their package and how much I enjoyed myself as well, with of course, a brief thanks.

CALLIE’S ANSWER: To each their own. Yes, a nice phone call that the package was received is the nice thing to do. Don’t worry about it too much, though.

Sometimes it is silly to thank someone for thanking you.

LILLIE-BETH’S ANSWER: I think this is one you can let go.

We all like a nice gesture to be appreciated and acknowledged, and your friend probably appreciated yours. But maybe she got busy.

Perhaps she was on a diet and didn’t appreciate the cookies. (Just kidding about that one.)

Or maybe she, too, was wrestling with her own issues about the thank-you-for-the-thank-you gesture and how many thank-yous were enough. You sent those as an expression of gratitude for a lovely day.

While it would have been nice to get even a quick phone call or an email from her, I would just enjoy your friendship and look forward to the next outing.

I see lots of politeness and thoughtfulness and happy memories going on here; there’s no need to get caught up in angst or irritation.

HELEN’S ANSWER: Your friend was lucky to get such great cookies as a thank-you. And yes, she should acknowledge your thoughtful gesture.

But, since she has not thanked you for thanking her, remember the great time you had with her and forget it.

At a later date, you could politely ask her if she got the cookies, and tell her again how much fun you had.

GUEST’S ANSWER: Bebe MacKellar, local civic leader and interior decorator: Although the etiquette experts will tell you there is no need to write a thank-you note for a thank-you gift I think it is important to acknowledge the receipt of such. It can be as simple as a text, email or brief phone call.

I would not read too much into it though as she might have been busy, thought she responded and forgot.

I absolutely would not question the receipt of the cookies, as she would feel bad that she did not thank you.

You know you sent them and she received them; I would leave it at that. If you had not tracked the package and you were concerned about its receipt I think it would be appropriate to make a casual inquiry. The important thing is you acted appropriately sending the thank-you and although you did not hear from your friend I feel confident that she appreciated your kind act.

by Helen Ford Wallace
Society Editor
Helen Ford Wallace is a columnist covering society-related events/news for The Oklahoman. She puts local parties online with daily updates. She creates, maintains and runs a Parties blog which includes web casts. She is an online web editor for...
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by Lillie-Beth Brinkman
Lillie-Beth Brinkman is a Content Marketing Manager for the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce. She was previously an assistant editor of The Oklahoman
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by Callie Gordon
Freelance Writer
Callie Gordon, a graduate of the University of Oklahoma, is working at Chesapeake Energy in the Environment, Health, and Safety Department. She was previously an event coordinator for Chesapeake Energy.
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