Mrs. McVeigh's Manners
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Amount of time for wedding thank you note

 Dear Mrs. McVeigh,

I read in your column last week the appropriate amount of time to follow up with a thank you note for a baby shower. My daughter just got engaged so we are wondering how much time she will have to write thank you notes for her wedding presents? 

New Mother-of-the-Bride


Dear New Mother-of-the-Bride,

Wedding gifts often come in as soon as the invitations arrive, and get delivered to the bride’s parent’s house (or whoever is taking the RSVP cards).  As soon as a gift arrives, a thank you note should be written.  This not only thanks the gift giver, but also assures him that his gift arrived safely.  If the gift is delivered to a place that the bride or groom is unable to open the present, then the gift should be opened by the third party (parents), so the bride and groom can get the note out as quickly as possible. 


If a gift is given at the wedding, the couple has two weeks after they return from their honeymoon to mail off a thank you note for the present.  

Rude to ask why someone is not drinking?

 Dear Mrs. McVeigh,

I was recently at a party and I noticed an acquaintance/friend of ours did not have an alcoholic beverage.  I asked him why and he said he was on some medication that he cannot drink.  A mutual friend of ours later pulled me aside and told me that I should never question why someone is not drinking.  Was I being rude?  Do I need to call him and apologize?




Dear Anonymous,

As I have gotten older I have figured out that if someone does not have a drink either he or she could be in Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), or she may be pregnant.  When I was pregnant with my second child I was not ready to tell anyone and my friends quickly figured it out and questioned me when they saw me with a glass of water and not a cocktail.  Just like I learned the hard way to not ask a woman when she is due with a baby, I have stopped asking people why he or she is not drinking.  I have a lot of respect for people who are in AA and I understand that some of them may be uncomfortable discussing it.  I do not think you were necessarily rude to ask your friend about the drinking, but may not want to call attention to it again.  I do not think an apology is necessary.  I would drop the whole subject.

Baby Shower Thank you Notes

 Dear Mrs. McVeigh,

I wrote to you several months ago concerning a baby shower that I felt that I needed to attend for a co-worker.  What annoyed me at the time is it was for this woman’s 4th child, and 3rd girl.  Now I am really annoyed because not only have I not received a thank you note, but not even a verbal thank you, and the shower was two months ago!  What amazes me even further is that some people at my office have visited her at the hospital and brought her even more presents!  My question to you is what is the amount of time a person should take to send a thank you note?  I am thinking I am never going to receive one.

Frustrated Gift Giver


Dear Frustrated Gift Giver,

I understand your frustration and I am amazed also that people in your office keep on giving to this person, and she does not seem to thank them.  In the case of a baby shower or gift, a thank you note should be sent within a week of the shower. 


A tip to get your thank you notes out faster is to see who is on the RSVP list and pre-address the envelopes, put on a stamp, and start the thank you note with a “Dear Elise,” and put the note card back in the envelope.  When you go to write your notes, you are already halfway there, and the whole process will go a lot faster, and will be a lot less painful.  

If you have nothing good to say, don’t say it at all…

 This school year I am the Armstrong Elementary PTA President-Elect.  My dear friend, Laura Nell Morrow is serving as the President.  When Laura Nell talked to me about throwing my name in the hat for the position I literally laughed.  After she convinced me that she was serious I told her I would have to think about it.   After a few days of deliberation, prayer, specific questions and concerns to her about me doing the job, and consulting my husband, I decided it would be fun and I could fit it into the kids and my work schedule.  I have had positions like this one before, and ones even larger.  It had been a few years since I have taken anything this large on, but I love the school, love Laura Nell, and my kids were so excited about the idea.        


The nominating committee met and ended up thinking I could do the job.  I was happy to be chosen but kept the news to myself.  I knew people would find out soon enough.  What I forgot was the mixed reactions people have when they find out that you are taking on a large volunteer position.  I started to recall the reactions I received when I got nominated to the Junior League Board.  Some people were great and congratulated me, and even threw in a “you will be great at that.”  Then I had the other people.  These are the people I am writing about.  The people who say things like, “Are you out of your mind?”  “Do you know what you are getting into?”  “Better you than me!” 


If I have ever said that to anyone about any volunteer position I am apologizing to you right now.   What I want to say instead is thank you for doing this.  Thank you Jennifer Dix for being the Cattle Barons’ Chair and raising money for the American Cancer Society, and working towards wiping out all of the terrible kinds of cancer out there.  Thank you Paige Slates for taking on the Armstrong Auction as chair this year and helping us put in a new playground.  Thank you Laura Nell Morrow for serving my school this year and working so hard to put things in place to make your predecessor’s job (me) so much easier.  The hours these ladies will put in, and the support that their families will have to give them, so they can do an effective job, needs to be appreciated by our community. 


I promise I am not fishing for a compliment or a thank you from you.  If you think I am crazy or not up for the task, feel free to keep those thoughts to your self. If you think the job is that bad just be grateful that it is me and not you who is taking it on.

Great Customer Service – Does it Still Exist in Summer Travel?

 This summer I had two fabulous trips to two great tennis and golf resorts.  What made them fabulous were the people that I was with, and definitely not the resorts that we went to.  The first was with my husband in a world known resort in Florida, and the second was with a group of tennis friends to a Dallas area spa resort. What bothered me about both trips was the disappointing service that we experienced at both.  I have realized that manners on the whole are on the decline, but I am sad to see it trickle down to customer service in the hotel industry.            The first resort in Florida was beautiful in every way.  Seven years ago when we went there for a friend’s wedding the groom went on about how the service was amazing from the hotel room service, to how their wedding went off without one problem.  We were all wined and dined by the very attentive staff during the wedding and reception from the moment we got there, to the moment we left.  My husband and I vowed we would get back there as hotel guests.  Now that we were there, it was the little things that disappointed us.  For example, I left my Kindle on the table when we lunched.  I went back 10 minutes later and the server said that she saw me walk off and knew I would be back for it.  Why didn’t she run after me and track me down really baffled me. The next day we heard the staff fight with one another.  I had to track someone down to set me up at the pool.  We had an outdoor massage and it turned out to be noisy – it was on a balcony over one of the pools.  Seven years ago I cannot imagine any of these things happening.  Seven years ago the service was seamless.  The staff magically made our time there flawless and over the top luxurious in the best possible way.   The resort that I went to with my tennis friends is one that I have gone to several times over for the past 15 years.  The first time was with my husband, and I remembered him saying that he heard the staff was trained to look every guest in the eye and say hello anytime they came into contact with them. It proved to be true. They also were known for walking you to where ever you needed to go if you looked unsure of your way.  Little details like this give any hotel and/or resort a first class feel.  I could not help but notice this past weekend how things have changed.   It started at check-in when they could not find my name.  It turns out they took my first name, and my tennis friend Kim’s last name, and united us as one.  They told us we were in a king size bed, and could not accommodate us when told them that we asked for two double beds.  Luckily my friend Kim has a good sense of humor, and did not mind our weekend arrangement.  You can only imagine the ribbing we got from the rest of the ladies when they heard of our situation.   Ki ...

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