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Social Etiquette and Good Manners/not receiving a thank-you, is it proper to send notes and stamps?


Dear Cynthia

I ran into a woman at the market I have been acquainted with for 12 years since our sons went to the same school and were very good friends.  We shared play dates and great conversations, and bday parties.  Her young daughter tagged along and when I ran into to her last week, her  young daughter now 13, a lovely, polite teenager commented on loving my bracelets,  I love my Brighton,Pandora, and my favorite Alex an Ani.  Being a generous  person and just arriving home from my home state RI, where Alex and Ani are made, let just say, I purchased 8 of them, a bit over board.  
Since they live 5 houses from my parents, I decided to be my generous self and make a teenager happy, I gave her the initial L , her name is Lara, great I thought, and the state of RI with an anchor, the "in" symbol of the summer and the states motto hope,  well after I knocked on door, the mom answerer, all wrapped in gift bag with card, and I said please give to Lara to enjoy,   well after I week not a thank you call or card.

I realized later the next day, the L initial looked different because it was not the usual 28-38 dollar price bracelet made of  unique alloy materials, this one cost me 98 dollars, being 40 percent off, only sold at headquarters in RI because made of solid 14 k gold.  I was mortified for a moment, then said, oh let her enjoy,   knowing that the mom and daughter would not know thed difference I placed a call, and left a nice message to please call back, I needed to tell her something,  3 calls later, no return call, so on the 4th call, my message was very nice and informed her that the L bracelet was special and real 14 k gold, that wad why looked different, so take care of it different and clean with gold cleaner, not just a cloth,

anywho, I am so pissed off, no call, no note,  I feel like putting an envelope in mail addressed to daughter, telling her I hope she is enjoying the 2 bracelets, the ring and earrings,  and where I come from when someone, family or stranger gives you a gift that you like and enjoy, it is proper to say thank you with either a phone call, or the most polite way is by a thank-you card,  here is a pretty box of them, all that is needed of you is to tell the person that you received the item, you can name it, say you like it, and tell them that was kind and thoughtful of them, and close with a thank-you an your name Lara also send her a book of stamps,  tell her it is not necessary to send me one now, but in future, since you were obviously never taught or forgot, it would be nice and proper

am  I right or nuts

Louise in Miami

Dear Louise,
Thank you for your question.  You are a most generous woman and you have the right to expect a thank you for your gifts to others. But... Please don't send thank you cards and stamps to your young neighbor. That would be unwelcome and insulting even if the gesture would be helpful. It isn't up to the giver to demand a thank you from the recipient.  You said that you reached her on the fourth call and spoke to her. I hope she thanked you then. You can't teach someone who is not your child or close family member that they need to thank givers for their gifts.

I suggest that the next time you see the girl that you ask her how she likes the gifts and if she has worn them for any special occasions. You might mention that you hope to how pretty they look on her sometime. Other than that, leave her alone and learn not to give her anything else.

Please remember that we give from our heart and shouldn't get frustrated if our recipient of the gift doesn't  have the simple kindness and appreciation to thank us. We learn when they do not that they are not worthy of another gift from us. Unfortunately we have to deal with people of all ages now who feel entitled to whatever someone gives them without having to acknowledge the kindness of the giver.

Social Etiquette and Good Manners

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Cynthia W. Lett


Proper manners with friends,family,colleagues,neighbors and everyone else you know.


I have been an etiquette expert teaching and consulting on the subject worldwide since 1983. I started and serve as the Executive Director of the International Society of Protocol & Etiquette Professionals and am considered a leader in the field of etiquette and protocol training and execution. I edited "Etiquette for Dummies" and have recently written "Lett's Talk - Everyday Etiquette Dilemmas and What to Do about Them". My book, "That's So Annoying:An Etiquette Expert on the World's Most Irritating Habits And What To Do About Them" was published in 2009 and is available wherever books are sold. I taught the Business Protocol class to Master's level students at the George Washington University, Washington, DC for seven years I served as Chief of Protocol for MCI Telecommunications for three years.

International Society of Protocol & Etiquette Professionals, ASTD, PCMA, National Speakers Association

I have been quoted over 700 times in the past 5 years worldwide. Publications include Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Washington Times, NY Times, Washington Business Journal, USA Today, Associated Press, London Times, Newsweek Japan edition, Newsweek US edition and many many more.

I am a Certified Etiquette Professional (CEP) and Certified Protocol Professional (CPP) earned by examination through ISPEP. I have a Master's degree in hospitality law and undergrad degrees in Restaurant & Hotel Management and Public Relations/Interpersonal Communications from Purdue University.

Awards and Honors
Who's Who Worldwide,Who's Who of American Women, Distinguished Darden Professor (Purdue University).

Past/Present Clients
World Bank, United Nations,US Dept. of State, US. Dept. of the Army, Pentagon, Barclays Global Investors,Accenture,Fox News, MSNBC, CNN, The White House, Dept. of State, AT&T,Bank of America,American Association of Clinical Pharmacies,Ritz Carlton Hotels, Hilton Hotels, Marriott Hotels,Starwood Hotels,and many more.

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