Saturday, March 22, 2008

No Thank You: Why Thank-You Cards Are a Barbaric Practice: A Nevin Barich Blog Experience

Tomorrow, my friend Reggie from college is getting married. Per his request, rather than getting him some fluffy sheets from Bad Bath & Beyond, or pots and pans from...

(well, from wherever you go to buy pots and pans. All my pots and pans were given to me by those who know where such items are sold).

Rather than give him any of that typical "wedding gift" stuff, I will be giving him and his soon-to-be wife cash.

In addition, I've planned one other gift.

"Don't bother writing me a thank-you card," I'm telling him in my little Hallmark greeting that is holding his cash. "It's not necessary. I know you're thankful. You don't need to take time writing me a card to tell me so."

See folks, here's the thing:

Thank-you cards are stupid.

There. I said it.

Think about it from both sides. From the "having to write these thank-you cards" perspective, THEY TAKE FOREVER!!! I mean, having to write a separate, personalized note to 100-plus people (most of whom you had to invite and, quite frankly, wouldn't care if you found out tomorrow that they got picked up by Tom Cruise and the Scientology Mothership) saying, "Thank you so much for (insert name of gift here) and for being a part of our special day. It wouldn't have been the same without you, blah blah blah."

And it's not like you can type these notes. You've got to write them out, with PENS!! Who writes these days? I'm considered a writer and the only thing I actually write are checks. I use a trusty keyboard, thank you very much. Excessive use of pen, pencils and paper is barbaric.

And then there are those who receive the thank-you cards.

Two-and-a-half years ago, my good friend Joe got married to an awesome woman named Kristy. A few weeks after the blessed event, I received a card from them thanking me from my lovely gift.

Kids, I bought them pot holders. POT HOLDERS!! I got them because they were on their registry, easy to carry and cheap. Joe and Kristy did not need to waste 10 minutes writing me a thank-you note telling me how much they love the pot holders. They're pot holders. How much can you possibly love them? I know they're lying. They know I'm not buying it. There's no reason to drag this out. Just take the pot holders, use them or don't use them, and let's all move on.

And then there's my favorite: Getting a thank-you note for something you had nothing to do with.

For example, this past Christmas my sister's best friend, April, gave birth to her first child. A couple weeks later, her and husband, Jay, sent me a card thanking me for the baby clothes I had gotten for them.

Now, the only reason why I was associated with the baby clothes was because my mom and sister put my name on the card. More importantly, April and Jay knew -- deep down -- that I had nothing to do with these baby clothes. And yet, because of this barbaric and archaic societal practice called "thank-you cards," they had to take time away from their newborn to write me a card thanking me for something that THEY KNEW I was not involved in. Meanwhile, I feel like a cheap, heartless schmuck reading a handwritten note thanking me for the impact in a baby's life that I never even made.

In short: Both sides suffer.

We, people, are the new generation. And I urge us to take a stand. No more thank-you cards. Unlike war protests, this is something we can actually win!! Be strong and say: No thanks.

And don't send me a thank-you card thanking me for this suggestion.

And now for this week's:


I was in Ralphs today doing some grocery shopping when I saw something at the register:

The Idiot's Guide To Prayer

Ninety-six pages on the right way to pray.

Now, people have been praying for centuries and, to my knowledge, have had no literature on how to do it up to this point. But if you're not sure of proper technique, or think your prayers might be better answered with a little how-to guide, then purchase:

The Idiot's Guide To Prayer

$2.95. At Ralphs.

(tax not included)

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