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:
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?