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Thank you letters.  Urgh. 

It’s not that we’re not grateful.  We’re very grateful.  Extremely grateful.  So grateful that we just can’t put into words how much we truly appreciate the amazingness of the wonderful thing you so kindly gave us…

Well actually we could put it into words if we wanted to.  It’s just we’re lazy and we can’t be bothered. 

There you have it.

All of us are at an age now where the generic thank you letters of childhood are no longer acceptable. Now we are required to be creative and humorous and intelligent.  We have to engage our brains.  What we write must be demonstrative of our maturity and the fact that we are educated.  We are adults, grown-ups with a widely ranged vocabulary of which we are master.  In theory.

Who doesn’t long for the good old days where we could still get away with:

 ‘Dear Uncle Bob, thank you so much for the lovely book you gave me for Christmas.  I love it.  I will read it every night. I hope you are well and I hope to see you soon.  Thank you again.  Love, MY NAME (which I do spell very well, don’t I?)’

How lucky we were back then.  And why didn’t we ever appreciate this?  Spelling mistakes were excused, the lack of imagination, understandable, and what’s more, people thought our efforts were adorable.  Some of our attempts were even favoured above all others – framed on the wall for their complete and utter incomprehensibility.  Errors were hilarious, the more the merrier, hell, they made the letter.  ‘Oh the little dear!  She wrote ‘shit’ instead of ‘shirt’.’

There were extra points for using a fountain pen too.  But that was never a problem because we loved boasting.  ‘Check me out.  I’ve progressed from “pencil with rubber-corrective-finger-holderer” to… my BRAND NEW PARKER.  Ta-daa!  My intelligence levels are 365 days more advanced than last year and my mastering of this metal-nibbed writing instrument is sure evidence of this.  I may still play with Barbies – and yes that’s why I’m writing – but don’t let that fool you.  Just know that in my dictation on Mondays, lead…is DEAD.’

But that was then.  I don’t even own a fountain pen any more.  And even if I did, I doubt it would make the letter writing rigmarole any more exciting.  In fact, it would probably make it worse as I’d have to buy ink cartridges – and who knows where to find them since the long-lost days of Woolworths?

In all honesty, if I can find an ‘inkier’ pen than a biro, I’m doing well.  But that still doesn’t get me over the fact I have to write the damn thing.  And since part of my personal job description reads ‘writer,’ I feel an over-whelming sense of pressure to produce something competent.  Which just makes me dread the whole process even more. 

How ungrateful.  I have been given a present and dread that I have to thank someone for it.  It’s not that I’m not grateful.  I truly am.  It’s just once I’ve written ‘thank you’, what else is there to say?  Yes, I can bang on about what I’m up to, but that just implies the person reading it is even interested.  Rattling on about my day-to-day activities just seems a bit egotistical.  ‘I’m writing to thank you for what you’ve done, but to fill space, I’m also going to write about me and what I’ve done.’  Just shut up and get on with it.

So, dear family members, I have decided that this year my thank you letters to you will be short and to the point (though no less full of sincerity or gratitude):

 

Dear Granny,

Thank you.

Love me x

P.S. Sorry it’s now March.  They had run out of all the stamps.

 

by Beenie Langley

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