a glimpse of my dark underbelly

O, save me from myself. I am VERRRRY tempted to let my inner passive aggressive beeyotch out to play.

Here’s the background: Daddy J and I go to a fundraiser/dinner/music performance on Monday night. We have a great time. We bring wine. There is a silent auction and I bid on four of the items and win three of them. Not a whole lot of bids; I was pretty much the first or second bidder on all the items. One of the items is a necklace that is resting on a scarf. We pay for the stuff at the end of the evening and the hall is pretty much cleared out. There are only a couple of things left on the tables. I ask a fancy looking older lady, whom I assume is one of the fundraiser people, The scarf doesn’t go with the necklace, does it? She is emphatic: Oh, YES, it does! Take both of them! Isn’t it pretty? You won BOTH!

So, Bonus, I think. Not so much that I need another scarf or this one is all that and a bag of chips, but the colors match the colors of the Habitat ball this coming spring and it will be nice to put in a basket or use in some decorative capacity.

I put it away and think no more of it.

I get a message on the machine from a fairly irate sounding woman on Wednesday telling me that she believes I bought a necklace at the auction and that I have her scarf. I return the call and I am the nice cop to her huffy cop. Her: Apparently the catering staff was telling people that the scarves went with the necklaces and that was NOT the case. That is my PERSONAL scarf and I would like it back. Me: Well, I would be happy to return it to you. How should we make that happen? Her: You can just take it to the downtown cafe with a note and I will be in to pick it up sometime next week. No hurry.

So, fine.

Except: I do the fundraising auction thing, people, and it chafes me that she didn’t even thank me for attending her event or for bidding on her stuff and giving financial support. Or act apologetic for the confusion or explain that she knew it wasn’t my fault that I took it. She did say, I hope you enjoy the necklace, but she should have said, We really appreciate your paying to come to our fundraising event and for buying stuff at the auction, and hope you will come again to an event in the future, and I am so sorry for this misunderstanding.

And: Her repitition of the words “my personal scarf” made me think it was a favorite scarf that went with her favorite dress or something. But no! When I was packing it up for her, I saw that the price tag was still on it. From Cato. It started out at $11.99 and after numerous markdowns was marked at $1.99.

Now, I get the buying stuff on cheapo clearance thing and LOVING the fire out of it, but am I wrong that it would have been nice for her to have been a bit more humble and sweet about the whole thing, considering it was a brand new $2 scarf she’s giving me attitude about? And I was supporting the fundraiser she is involved in with my purchases?

Here’s my ethical dilemma, and you have the power to SAVE ME FROM MYSELF. I currently have the scarf all packed up in a clear gallon ziploc with a note with her name on it (as instructed) and the super-markdown price tag on display through the plastic, next to her name. This makes my inner bitch snicker with glee; although she would quite likely be completely indifferent, she might be totally embarrassed. Plus, I want her to know that I know she was giving me grief over a cheap scarf that wasn’t really part of her wardrobe yet.

But AM I EVIL???

(dang!!! once again, can’t get the poll to save. What’s UP with that? Bummer. I LOVE polls.)

BUT: FINE. Here are the options I was going to put in the poll. Vote and stay my hand of evildoing, or else add your strength to my wicked twitch.

A. Yes, that’s evil. Hide the price tag. Why would you want to make her feel bad, even if she wasn’t all delicate with you, Miss Treatmewithkidgloves, on the phone? She clearly loves the scarf, so just give it back in a gift bag and be sweet about it.

B. I like the display of the price tag in the clear ziploc idea. She was not-so-sweet about the whole thing anyway, plus it doesn’t actually hurt anything and she’s got her scarf back in the end.

C. Well, I’d make it harder for her to get the stupid scarf back. Make her call a couple more times, just for fun. Mwah, ha, haaaa….

D. No, I’d never be THAT awful, but hmmm… How about giving it back with the price tag shown, but reversed, so she knows you saw it and know she’s never worn it with anything and that it was super-cheap, but she’s not embarrassed at the cafe?

edited to add: A VISUAL AID
visual aid

And, the deed is done. I did, in fact, opt for B. Probably, she will not even notice or care that the price tag is showing (although maybe she will, and maybe she will think, huh, I did present some attitude over this scarf that perhaps was disproportionate, especially considering that the scarf-taker didn’t knowingly swipe it…) but for certain the scarf will be protected from any food or cooking odors at the cafe and not jumbled in a drawer, so that’s good. So, it’s a win-win, as far as I’m concerned.

etiquette poll

Oh look! I got the poll thing to work again! Yay!

My topic today is THANK-YOU NOTES.

Yay! Thank you notes!!

Historically, I am really, really bad about the thank you notes. I did them for our wedding, but after we had kids it was all downhill from there. And the kids’ gifts: Forget It. Especially at Christmas; they tear into their stuff, gift tags get tangled up in wrapping paper, and it’s impossible to get them to slow down and write down each gift’s sender for thank you notes later. Christmas mornings I tend to be sluggish but happy, munching fudge and chugging coffee and/or mimosas, and am not up for much of anything, let alone fussing at the kids to slow down and let me record their gifts. Their birthday parties are pretty much the same way, although I do actually write down the givers’ gifts and names with some vague idea of making the boys write thank you’s later.

So, yeah. Which, apparently, according to the interwebs, is just hideously rude and unforgivable, and PEOPLE NOTICE if you don’t do it, so you MUST.

Which. Sigh. I get expressing gratitude, but isn’t opening the gift in front of someone and giving effusive thanks at that moment enough..? And certainly an email or phone call would cover it otherwise, right…? I mean, I’m all about meaningful written correspondence, and like to write letters of support and sympathy and the occasional random hello note, and I LOVE Christmas cards, especially photo ones.

But does anyone actually notice and think less of you if you don’t send thank you notes? And do all you other mamas make your kids write thank you notes for their birthday and Christmas gifts? We can all agree that the whole process (procuring cards, writing them, addressing them with current addresses) is time-consuming and not that fun, right?

(fyi, this comes on the heels of me finishing up the next-to-last batch of baby shower thank you notes from this spring. Clearly, I grumble and whine about it, but do it anyway, because it rankles to think that Emily Post would fuss at me for rudeness and I don’t want our gift givers to think I’m not grateful for the gifts they gave us.)

Food for thought: a CONSPIRACY. Emily Post-types, the stationery lobby, and the USPS. I’ve got no proof, but it could be that SOMEBODY’S palms are getting greased. ahem. Emily?

AND CHECK IT OUT: If you don’t like the given responses, you can do a write-in! Whee!

Edited to add: Hmm, very interesting spread of opinions. I am curious, now, whether you feel that thank you note-writing is a particularly feminine activity. Does your husband or do men you know write thank-you’s for shared gifts? Do they teach the kids to write them and make sure that they do? If not, and you do, does that bother you, since you probably are just as busy as he/they are? Or do you feel that it’s fair that it’s women that do thank you notes because it’s just a ladylike thing, like having showers (the gift kind, not the cleansing kind) and ladies’ lunches?

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