So let’s talk about something else. I talk about (and do) schoolwork quite enough! 😉
As some may have noticed, I’ve had several (three so far) showers lately. Following showers, it is proper etiquette to write thank you notes (yes, Mom, I have kept up with the thank you note – childhood lessons go deep). I was amused, however, at how strange I felt writing them at times. It felt really weird to be thanking someone for purchasing something that I’d picked out.
I think the beginning of the registry phenomenon has created an interesting space between demanding what you want and sitting back and being surprised. As someone who has used registries before in order to buy necessary and wanted things for friends’ weddings and babies, I’ve always been appreciative of a neat list that said what someone wanted. I was also trained to create birthday and Christmas wish lists by my parents, and the creation of a registry wasn’t a far cry from that.
But writing thank you notes after my showers was a little strange, as item after item that we had put on our registry showed up. It was a weird thanking someone for the lovely gift, since we were actually the ones who had picked it out in the first place. So I ended up going back to what I think thank you notes were originally meant to be. Not gushing over what the gift was (though I did some of that), but showing appreciation of the giver’s thoughtfulness and generosity in giving the gift. It’s not that the giver thought of the gift, it’s that the giver thought of the recipient. It’s not that gifts are required (because we certainly don’t require that everyone give us something), but that people want show their caring in giving us things that will help supply our new home as we start our life together. It’s that the giving of gifts by family and friends can be tangible expression of love and support.
And that’s what I’m thankful for.