Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Thankless! Is It Ever Too Late to Say Thank You?

“How are you?” reads the e-mail subject line. Uh, oh. How am I? I’m thankless. Rude. Ungrateful. Lacking in etiquette. I imagine Emily Post’s great-granddaughter and Miss Manners wagging a finger in my face and admonishing me: “You never sent a thank-you note.”
I forgot. A long time ago, I forgot. More than a year ago, I forgot. But, oh, I have been reminded recently.
* * * * *
Judy, my good friend Gaye’s mom, is a talented watercolorist. The last time I visited her was December 2009. At that time, Judy showed me several matted watercolor paintings that went unsold at her recent show. “Pick one,” she said.
“Huh? I can’t do that.”
Judy assured me she was serious, so I looked closer. My choice came down to two favorites—a landscape abundant with pink-hued flowers or a solitary rooster. I’m a fool for flowers. Few things make me happier than a day in a garden, mine or anyone else’s. Something about the rooster caught my fancy, though, perhaps the cobalt blue in his tail feathers—or the look in his eye. The primary colors in the painting also woke me up from my usual preference for pastels.
I thanked Judy and brought my treasured rooster home. I clipped a coupon from the next Sunday’s Michael’s ad, purchased a frame, framed my rooster, and hung him in my dining room.
The rooster’s colors are so striking that several people have noticed him and complimented the painting. One person likes it so much she keeps trying to steal it. My daughter’s boyfriend has rooster décor in his kitchen and she has decided my rooster should move across town where he would fit in. She pointed out that the rooster’s black frame doesn’t match the oak color of the other frames in the dining room. I am decorating-challenged, so I don’t care if it matches!
I firmly stated: “Gaye’s mom gave me this painting, I love it, and you’re not getting it!”
Oops. I then realized, yes, I love it, but I never sent Judy a thank-you note for it. Arrghh! What a clod! What an ungrateful clod I am! Judy’s recent e-mail was a coincidence because the rooster and lack of my thank-you note have been heavy on my conscience. Her e-mail was cheery. She simply wanted to catch up on life, but I feel too guilty to answer it until I send a thank-you note.
I hate it when I lapse in the social graces. I try, I really do, but often when it comes to the sin of omissions, I’m far too often guilty as charged.
Advice columns always direct people to send those thank-you notes, no matter how tardy they may be.
Although my style in this case is rather unconventional, here is my thank-you note to Judy:

Dear Judy,
       Thank you so much for the rooster painting. I hung it in my dining room where I see it several times each day and the bright colors always bring a smile to my face. I just love it!
     Please forgive my tardiness in thanking you. I can assure you I have enjoyed the painting every day for the last 18 months.

P.S. Chelsea is not taking it!
    * * * * *
Have you forgotten to thank someone? It’s never too late. Thank that person today!

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