Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Ms. Manners Or, How To Be Asked Back

Tip Of The Day: The simple and oh-so ‘I spend my time sipping tea and sorting through my social calendar,’ hand-written thank you card. Sorry, folks, an e-mailed thank you just doesn’t cut it. Fabulous thank you cards are available at Target in the card department.

Tip For Tomorrow: An awesome hostess gift that YOU can enjoy, too.

Further Elucidation Of My Cheap Deal: So, dear readers, were you curled up at home yesterday evening, perhaps sipping a glass of red wine in front of a roaring fire, pondering to yourself, “I wonder if the malls are still busy at 9 PM?” Let me get that question for you.

Yes, yes they were.

I swung by Rosedale Mall last night to return an unnecessary gift. The place was PACKED. Now, I understand that Rosedale is the busiest mall in the Twin Cities, and is usually well-populated. But last night it wasn’t busy, it was “oh my God, look at all these bodies, is there enough oxygen for everyone, quit breathing so much people!” busy.

I went to return my item, and was greeted by a VERY cranky young woman. “Do you have the tags?” she snapped. No, no I did not. “Then I can only give you store credit!” she snapped again. Okay, I guess that would be fine.

She then tried for 5 minutes to get me my store credit and failed. Miserably. “Apparently store credit is STILL not working, so I’ll have to give you cash,” she wailed; as if she were announcing the arrival of a 100-ton meteor on a crash course for Earth, due to hit this Christmas Eve.

I immediately perked up, because I had WANTED cash, not store credit. So I spared the poor girl a glance. She looked like the cash machine had killed her puppy.

“Honey,” I asked, “are you having a bad day?”

That’s all it took to open the flood gates. She WAS having a bad day, and due to the fabulous holiday store hours I was currently taking advantage of, she was going to continue having a bad day for another hour.

Moral of the Story: WE might like the extended store hours, but you bet your ass the store employees don’t. So BE NICE TO THEM. And say thank you when you get your way.

And speaking of thank you:

‘Tis the Season to go to parties and stay at other people’s homes. We will discuss cheap and fabulous hostess gifts tomorrow, but here is a reminder TODAY of what you should do when the holiday is over. Say thank you. And no, not with an e-mail or in spoken word or interpretive dance (okay, maybe interpretive dance will do), but with a hand-written card.

Snail-mail and hand-writing has, unfortunately, gone the way of the dinosaur. E-mail is quicker and doesn’t pollute. I’m sure Al Gore won’t be happy with me telling you to kill a tree and send a card. But Ms. Manners is raining blessings down upon my head. I know – I’m such a suck-up.

Where can you find great thank you cards for cheap, you ask? Where is the source of ALL GOODNESS? That’s right, Target. In their card department, you will find a gorgeous assortment of cards, ranging in price from $3.99 to $12.99 a pack. The number of cards per pack vary, so check that you have enough before you buy.

I always get the mutit-colored flower and dot pack myself. It’s cheerful, yet not emasculating.

After you purchase your cards, write a brief but personal note about what exactly you are thanking that person for. Such as, “thank you for feeding me, giving me a roof over my head, gifting me with great presents, and allowing me to stink up the downstairs bathroom for 3 days.” Or something like that.

Then all you have to do is mail the card and wait for your invitation to next year’s celebration. Party on!


Larue said...

I'm rather fond of Etsy myself, if you have the time to wait for cards to arrive.

And when going to a potluck, think about your hosts. Because showing up to a gluten-free household with a large tray of cinnamon rolls is not going to endear you to anyone. Unless they are made of rice flour.

And smile at the bell ringers too. They don't get enough credit for standing out in the cold. Or you could do like Big Al does: he buys them coffee.

The Cheap Chick said...

Does he really? That is so nice! And remember, too, the vegetarians of the world. Meat-free can be cheap and fabulous!

The Material Girl said...

I really like to recycle my 6 and 4 year-old daughters' art work for thank you notes, especially for their gifts and events. I have my very own sweatshop and most of my thank you cards come down to the cost of paper and paints or crayons (of my taxes that go to public school funding or my tuition that goes to preschool, but you get the point).

Another thing: when someone says, "Thank you." to you, please, please, please respond with, "You're welcome." It's the only appropriate response.

Larue said...

So "fo' shizzle" is right out?

The Material Girl said...

Mah mizzle.

The Cheap Chick said...

Okay you to, enough with the Snoop Dog. Sheesh.