Our first cultural confusion happened mere days after we got married. That’s right. In fact, it had to do with the post-wedding etiquette itself.
Upon our return from our honeymoon, we sat down to open the gifts from our guests. I grabbed a pen and piece of paper.
“What are you doing?” Billy asked.
“I’m writing down who gave us what.”
“The thank-you notes.” (Blank stare.) “We have to send cards saying thank you for the gifts.”
“I already said thank you at the wedding.”
And thus began the Great Gracias Debate that has resurfaced at every child’s birth and major celebration.
You’ll notice in the “bios” and what not for this blog that I refer to myself not as an American girl, but as a Southern girl. I identify pretty highly with my Southern roots. And GRITS send thank you notes, y’all! Ideally on monogrammed stationary…
And so, if I remember correctly, I wrote every single thank you note from our wedding myself. But Billy has been inching his way on board.
Perhaps ironically (I say perhaps because I’m never quite certain I’m using the word ironically correctly), Billy is actually one of the most grateful people I know. So he’s adjusting to cultural norms since he married a Southern girl and lives in the South. When in Rome… even Rome, Georgia…
And I’ve adjusted a little bit, too, I suppose. Sometimes I’ve written thank you notes to Billy’s friends that I cognitively know are not expecting them. I guess my concession is I let it go when he doesn’t deliver them.
Maybe one day I’ll stop actually writing them. But right now I can’t. It is so deeply engrained in my cultural upbringing.
Although I will say… our last trip to Guatemala we were lavished with gifts celebrating Isaac’s birth and Christmas. I said thank you to everyone. And that was that.
It was actually kinda freeing. I could get used to this… Okay, maybe not really. But I can appreciate that we’ve got two different gratitude strategies going on here.
Do you send thank you notes?
*GRITS - acronym for "Girls Raised in the South" and a delicious Southern hot cereal that I ate as an afterschool snack every day for years.
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