YOU ASK! WE ANSWER! YOU DECIDE!
By Callie Gordon, Lillie-Beth Brinkman, Helen Ford Wallace
QUESTION: My daughter, a nurse, threw a rather elaborate baby shower for a co-worker. Everyone who attended received a thank-you note within a couple of days of the shower, and the woman also sent a card to the hospital unit where my daughter and she work, thanking everyone for the gift card from those who didn’t attend. Everyone got a thank-you note except my daughter.My daughter is hurt and a little irked. I told my daughter that I thought something happened to the thank-you note. How do I help my daughter get over this without letting it affect her altruistic nature?
CALLIE’S ANSWER: The fact that everyone got a thank-you note except her makes me think that the thank-you got lost. Her thoughtfulness didn’t go unnoticed! We need more people like your daughter in the world.
LILLIE-BETH’S ANSWER: I can understand your daughter’s hurt feelings, but somehow I don’t think she chose to throw the shower for a thank-you note. It sounds like the acknowledgement could have gotten lost along the way, so assume the co-worker had the best intentions until proven otherwise. Did the co-worker give her a hostess gift for hosting the party? If so, maybe the honoree thought that was enough at the time. I am not sure you can do anything to help your daughter other than reassure her that it was a nice gesture. A neat quote that I saw on the Internet the other day attributed to the late John Lennon might help: “When you do something noble and beautiful and nobody noticed, do not be sad. For the sun every morning is a beautiful spectacle and yet most of the audience still sleeps.”
HELEN’S ANSWER: It was really nice of your daughter to plan the shower, invite the people and, probably, pay for most of it, and hers should have been the first thank-you note written. The party itself was a huge gift for the honoree. The note really might have been lost in the mail. I don’t think that she was intentionally forgotten.It would be very hard for your daughter to ask why she was not thanked properly with a thank-you note, so probably the best thing for her to do would be to forgive and forget
.GUEST’S ANSWER: Bebe MacKellar, local community leader: I am sorry for your daughter’s hurt feelings. In this instance it really seems like the note must have gotten lost.
Typically, the honoree would have presented the hostess with a token of appreciation for hosting the event. Obviously, she did not do that either. I cannot imagine that the honoree would go to the trouble of writing so many notes and ignore the hostess?
Clearly, her friend was honored and enjoyed the shower. Maybe she feels so close to your daughter that she thought by personally thanking her she did not need to write a note, which is not really acceptable, but I would let it go, I don’t know what good could come out of confronting the honoree.
It will just embarrass them both.
Your daughter should not be disillusioned because people don’t always behave like we would like. Chalk it up to inexperience or lost mail and move on.
To ask an etiquette question, email firstname.lastname@example.org.