Tuesday, August 31, 2010

One Hundred Things My Mother Taught Me A Million Times – Chapter 48

#48 - “When someone gives you a gift, or simply does something nice for you, hand-write and mail a thank you note immediately.” 
(Photo is of my sisters, Honey and Gloria, and Dot's legs.)
The mere act of looking at this one of one hundred things my mom taught me a million times makes the hair stand up on the back of my neck. She was so adamant about prompt thank you notes, I worry about not sending them the way some people worry about burning in hell for their sins.

Me:  Mother forgive me for I have sinned. 
Mom:  When was your last confession daughter?
Me:  Yesterday.
Mom:  What is your sin?
Me:  I waited two days to send Sandra a thank you for the bracelet she gave me.
Mom:  Sorry honey. You’re going to hell. Didn’t I tell you a million times?
Me:  Yes. That’s OK. I deserve it. Bye.

I even collect thank you cards the way some people collect Coca Cola memorabilia. “Oh, that would be perfect for thanking Carol. She loves cats.” I have a side table by my chair with a drawer dedicated to thank you notes and pens – ever ready to execute etiquette with eloquence. 

Me:  Mother forgive me for I have sinned.
Mom:  When was your last confession daughter?
Me:  Two minutes ago.
Mom:  What is your sin?
Me:  I typed a thank you note to Mary on my computer and printed it on to the note card.
Mom:  You are no longer my daughter.
Me:  Yes I know. I just want to stop breathing.
Mom:  That can be arranged. 
Click on Read More Below...
Unfortunately I inherited the Wade family handwriting curse, which is causing me even more thank you note writing stress. Us Wade kids’ handwriting started out pretty bad and deteriorated at an astonishing rate, becoming completely illegible around the age of 11.  Having spent years studying mom’s cipher-ish letters, I really should have sought a career in Symbology. My sisters and I would occasionally get together to compare notes on one of my mom’s letters.

Me:  Is she saying here she drove her car into the hospital?
Dot:  No, no, she’s saying she dyed her curtains a hue of purple.
Honey:  Come on! She is saying she fried chicken for the historical society.
Gloria:  Look at these three symbols. I’ve seen them before. Clearly she dried the cat and a pet tail.

Me:   Mother forgive me for I have sinned. 
Mom:  I don’t know you. You’re dead to me.
Me:  OK.           

And then there's the issue of email thank you's. 
Me:  Mother forgive me for I have sinned.
Me:  Mother? Mom?


  1. SueAnn, this was GREAT! We have all sinned at one time or another, haven't we? And then there was that letter from my mother telling me she went to the china factory in Ft. Stockton. Me: Mother, I didn't know there was a china factoryin Ft. Stockton. Mother: What are you talking about? Me: Your letter where you said you went there. Mother: I went to the chiropractor!! And I won't even start to tell about the circumcised crabs......

  2. I am laughing so hard I can barely type! Love it! I cannot stop laughing. Thanks! Who are you? Suzi? Linda Sue?

  3. What was your penance? I'll bet you weren't allowed to read Archie comic books for a month!! Jane

  4. Yes, the withholding of comic books was definitely a thrashing punishment. That and having to eat a bite of liver at dinner. But there was no penance for not writing thank you notes. You went straight to hell for that one.

  5. The art of not sending a thank you note is one of my pet peeves! I sent to high school graduation gifts this year and have yet to hear or see anything from either one. Don't parents teach their children the basics of courtesy any more?

    Now, that aside....LOVED your conversations!! I laughed to the point where the people in my office were wondering what was going on. The part about Mommy Wade's letters was especially funny and hit so close to home. I could see all of you Wade girls making those comments and I clearly remember helping to interpret her letters. That was tooooo funny!! Thanks!

  6. I was about to hyperventilate after researching medical plan options the past 3 hours, then switched to my bookmark "Gals." Thank you for the laugh (forgive me for I have sinned sending an email thank-you note). And therefore my being able to return to normal breathing!! Doob

  7. You really need to do a piece on Mommy's lesson on how a wife should serve her husband's dinner on a pretty plate. I recall that she (even) wiped the edges of the plate with a dish towel, just like one might see a chef do these days. Of course, it didn't matter that the food might induce a heart attack by Monday night, as long as it looked "pretty" on the plate at Sunday dinner (or, was that supper?). I.E., creamed corn, creamed potatoes with fried meat (mystery or otherwise), and lots of lumpy white bread, all smothered in creamy gravy. Oh yes, washed down with sugar-laden iced-tea.

    How about her Bank of the Three-Inch Heels? Remember all the $20 & $100 bills she'd roll up and tuck into her high heels. Remember all the change in the floor of her car? I loved that woman. Jane

  8. The "husband's plate" one is definitely on the list, but I'd forgotten about the money in the toes of her shoes and on the floorboard of the car! Thanks for the reminder. I think that's #109!.