Proper Etiquette

I’ve been wondering lately, how has etiquette changed for this generation? Like proper etiquette? My mom was born in 1957 and her mother was born in 1917 – both were brought up to be a proper wife of that time (aka a good 1930’s-70’s housewife).

The year I was in teacher’s college, was the first Christmas that I was living away from home, but in Canada. My first I was in Korea and Christmas isn’t that big of a thing here (not compared to the West that is). In teacher’s college, I went to the store, bought a few boxes of Christmas cards and sent them out to my friends and my aunts/uncles, as well as a few friends of my parents who were always kind enough to include me in their cards to my parents. You know the ones, who will always spell your name wrong even after you’ve been alive for 25 years – no Mrs. Hamilton, it’s not an I in the middle or two ee’s! It’s a Y! I felt like this was the “proper” thing to do.

Once I sent out my cards, I was shocked by how many I received back. “It was so nice to get your card” was written in almost perfect script inside most of them. I wish I could write the way that my aunts do! But I’m sure they took the time to perfect their cursive where I have not.

When I came back from Korea the first time, I made a very “Asian” choice (or so my Korean “mother” told me) to bring back a little gift for my aunts and uncles. I bought them each a pair of painted chopsticks in a pretty fabric case. Literally exactly like this picture:

provided via google search

They weren’t anything expensive, just a regular tourist item, but I went home with 20 pairs of chopsticks, each household would get a set (both my parents have 5 siblings each….) I matched colours together so each would get two cases the same colour, I moved the chopsticks themselves around so that patterns on the handles would match the personalities they were going to. My mom helped me organize them and told me which colour to give each person (Aunt S hates purple. give her green. Aunt G’s favourite colour is red so give her the red ones, Uncle R isn’t married so send him the blue ones and switch the chopsticks so he doesn’t get flowers). Handwritten thank you notes came in shortly after, or phone calls thanking me personally for thinking of them on my trip.

I have a few friends getting married lately. Actually it seems like the only thing my friends are doing is getting married or having babies (can you hear the queasiness in my voice? I think I need a bucket!) I’ve sent a few things home for these couples since I have been here. A few weeks ago, one of my packages reached it’s intended owner. One of the couple found me online on facebook one day and told me it had arrived. I knew it had since the Korean postal service sent me a text when they had confirmation it was picked up (that’s Korean express mail for ya!). This is what that person wrote:

I got the package from you today. 

Oh you did?! Great! I’m so glad it came on time!


…… legit that’s it. Now I’m not thinking that this couple should have been all “omg it’s FANTASTIC, it’s so great, omg omg omg!” since it was just a simple Korean gift, but in all honesty I was expecting a little bit more than just Thanks.

A part of me might think that they read the shipping label. I’m not so great with my Korean numbers yet and when I got home I noticed that the box read $10 worth of items instead of the actual price.

Am I overreacting here people of the internet?

I can admit that I overreact to things sometimes. But something in me was a little disappointed about this…..

I know my mom is slowly trying to domesticate me, and turn me into a 1950’s housewife on some level, so maybe my expectations are just a little bit out of date on things like this?

18 thoughts on “Proper Etiquette

  1. What a bummer, the least they could do was write thank you first, let you know it arrived and say you shouldn’t have gone through all that trouble but it was a wonderful gesture etc. Some people are just rude.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I think that in today’s world the email or other electronic form of message is OK but the content of the message should not stray from what would be in an actual thank you. I got myself worked up a lot when my daughter was little and I found that the parents of her peers didn’t RSVP. I made it easy for them by providing a telephone number and an email address. I never knew how many children were coming to birthday parties.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree that an electronic message is perfectly fine. Their invitations were actually in electronic form. It was just kind of a little bit of a shock to just get “thanks” and nothing else haha


  3. It’s been drilled in me to always send thank you notes. It may take me forever but they’ll get sent! Hopefully your friend will send a note…I think it’s proper especially for a formal event like a wedding.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. If the short, kind of rude in my opinion, response was due to the monetary amount indicated off the package, that’s awful, I think. From miles and miles away, you bothered to send then something… And I think the response was rude and ungrateful! Just because it’s 2016 doesn’t mean people shouldn’t be kind anymore…no matter which form of communication is used!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. UGH. You are so not wrong in feeling a bit stung by their response. $10 or .50, if someone goes out of their way to send you something, you appreciate it dammit. And, how do you appreciate it? You send a thank you, or at the very minimum, an email that SHOWS enthusiasm and gratitude. I swear, this new generation is the rudest, ill-trained pack of ingrates I’ve ever seen.

    Liked by 1 person

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