Saturday, December 10, 2011

Double stuff.

Look, y'all. I'm a busy lady. I have some etiquette-related queries that I need answers to and I don't have time to hunt down Emily Post or Miss Manners.  Besides, who needs them when you have a whole world of blog readers with real-time insight, feedback, and . . .ah hem. . .manners.

So help a sister out.

Okay, so check it. While I would like to believe that I have a fair amount of class, sometimes I am not sure if I'm doing things that are . . .well. . .classless.  See, my thing is. . .I'm a fairly practical person. And I am learning that practicality can sometimes get you the hairy eyeball when it comes to etiquette.

The deal.

My son Zachary turned five on October 23 and this wonderful event was punctuated by a big ol' birthday celebration in our backyard.  The party was well attended by lots of wonderful people, and those wonderful people came bearing wonderful gifts.

Alright. So I will admit that I have just gotten to completing all of the thank you cards.  But before you give me a hard time, at least give me credit for the fact that I did, in fact, complete them. I followed the rules and wrote down what each person gave him, including the name of said item in each and every note.

Go Mommy!

Now. Let me give you a minor piece of background information on Team Manning and birthday parties around these parts. We essentially don't have a party unless the birthday can be divided by five. In other words, those who wondered if we had neglected to invite you to Isaiah's sixth birthday party know that you missed nothing. We DO make certain that something special happens for your birthday. . . .like cupcakes in your class or a friend over for a playdate. But unless you are turning 5, 10 or 40. . . .you'll be doing that celebrating with immediately family and one or two of the homies.

But the birthday party years? We make up for lost time and get real festive. Jumpy castle action, temporary tattoos, and all that.  Matter of fact, we even make sure the grown folks have some things to keep them happy.  (Remind me to tell you about how at Isaiah's fifth birthday party Harry and Isaiah's godfather Shannon made snowcones for the kids and "grown-cones" for the adults. Oh, and let me just tell you, those "grown-cones" were an ABSOLUT hit. Heh.)

So where was I? Oh yeah. Zachary's thank you cards. So yeah, it's been just about a month and a half and I am just getting ready to send them off. But here is now my question. At least 75% of the folks who came to this gathering (which was a big ol' family gathering with a whooooole lot of people) are people we intend to send Christmas cards to. So me being practical, I said to Harry this morning:

"Would it be completely class-less for me to put the sealed thank you card for Zachary's gifts into the holiday cards I'm already mailing to the same houses?"

And Harry said, "Sounds smart to me. Postage adds up, man."

"So you wouldn't find that completely ghetto-unfabulous if someone had a thank you card tucked into a Christmas card when you opened it?"

"Nope. But you have to realize, babe. I'm not bourgie like that."

Aaaaah.  "Bourgie."  Pronounced "BOO-ZSHEE." Short for "bourgeoisie."

This word often comes up with my people, particularly amongst the ones that have moved on up like George and Weezy.

So I responded to Harry, "I just don't want folks talking about me."

And he replied, "See? That's the difference between you and me. I don't care about things like that. At all."

"But it's not that I care. It's that I. . . I don't know."

"Well, to me it would seem stupid to double the number of stamps you use because of that. It's like me coming to your house for something and not bringing something I needed to give you because that wasn't the reason I was coming there. That's stupid."

"So, can I ask you another question? What if someone comes over your house and hand delivers a Christmas card or a thank you card? Is that cool?"

"Mmmmm, now that might be a little trifling."  Harry turned the page in my People magazine that he always pretends not to read and then looked up at me. "What?"

"Why is THAT any different than double stuffing the Christmas card?"

"I don't know. It just is."

"Well, that's absolutely no help whatsoever," I shot back with my brow furrowed.

"Then you shouldn't have asked me."  He yawned and squinted down at the page of People. "I used to like her but not any more."  I glanced over and saw him looking at Scarlett Johanssen. He looked over at another page with Jennifer Anniston walking down the street. "I still like her, though."

"Well, I like Bradley Cooper and George Clooney still."

"George Clooney? I thought you liked Bradley Cooper and Will Smith?"

"I like Bradley Cooper, George Clooney, and the 'I am Legend' version of Will Smith only."

"Oh.  She's still number one. Even with this baseball cap on. Lord."  He held up a picture of Halle Berry in the park with her daughter.

"Number one?"

"Number one in that fake-paparazzi kind of way. Not like the way you are." He looked up and smiled.

Mmmm hmmm.

"Uuuuh, okay. Well, you better hope I never meet the 'I am Legend' version of Will Smith. That's all I'm saying."


(Don't worry. Jada Pinkett Smith has nothing to worry about. But as much as I detested that creepy movie, I did love that scene above.)

Hey. I only added on the end of that conversation because I wanted to know what the etiquette is on spouses sharing daily commentaries on who is super-hot and who in People magazine "does it" for them.


What's up with the double stuff thing? Hairy eyeball worthy? Yay or Nay? Weigh in, people. I need you.


Happy Sabado.


  1. Double stuff away! it isn't uncool nor it is tacky. It is smart financially and it is the "green" thing to do...less transport and throw away paper.

    Just the fact that you sent thank you cards puts you in the 1% of people with impeccable manners. did you do with RSVP's? My pet peeve is planning a party and getting no responses so you have no idea how many to count on coming.

    Belated Happy Birthday!

  2. Believe it or not, I just got a thank you note from a very classy lady, tucked inside a Christmas card, which also included an invitation to a holiday celebration at her house. How's that for efficient?

  3. You know, getting actual mail is so very lovely that I'd send them separately - the thank you cards now, the Christmas card a week or so later. It just doubles the pleasure of receipt.

    About the etiquette? Soul, I'm entirely classless and can never be turned to for that.

    Your parties sound like so much fun!! Love the 5-divisible rule.

  4. I don't know what's "correct" but I wouldn't mind getting two in one envelope and it would be even better if you delivered them in person. It's the thought that counts and I really appreciate it when someone acknowledges that I gave them a gift. And I like to know people are thinking enough about me to send a card. And to stop by! wow! I've always been on the other side of bougie though.

  5. I would be tickled to get a note from you and double-tickled to get two of them. ... But not offended to get them double wrapped. BTW I adore George Clooney and Will Smith. I wouldn't discuss it with my man though. He doesn't need to know everything.

    Barbara from TX

  6. I agree with Dr Brayer...double stuff away! Also, the sending of thank you cards is an essential life lesson to teach your kids. I am constantly amazed by the really classy people I know who don't know how to write a simple thank you note. My mother was old school and didn't let me play with or wear whatever my grandmother sent me until I sent the note. Christmas was the exception to the rule. Still had to write the note though. Hand deliver? Even better. My word verification is "ingst" that like "angst"?

  7. I very rarely even get a thank you card for birthday gifts, so I say double stuff away!

    Depending on how heavy your Christmas cards are, though, you may end up having to pay more in postage. Just be careful with that!

  8. Good evening! I'm a long-time reader, first-time commenter (LOL). I dislike the double-stuff card idea. Instead, I'd write a note of thanks and how your son used the gift on paper. Makes it more personal, and less awkward to open 2 cards in 1 envelope.

    God bless.

  9. These days? I doubt anyone cares what Emily Post says - getting a thank you and a Christmas card is an honour. Even hand delivered. If someone wants to talk about you for that then they are just nasty and looking for something negative.

  10. Tell ya what. Double Stuff away. But avoid the word trifling. It is a bit Boo-Zshe.


    In all seriousness, you get a shout out for encouraging the art of Thank You notes.

    In this world of Gift Cards, Wishlists and Email, you have done a very good thing in teaching Zachary the Art of the Written Note.

    Nothin' Boo-Zshe about good manners!

  11. Imma have to be the voice of dessension here, and voted against the double stuff, unless we're talking about Oreo cookies! I LOVE receiveing cards and getting two would pay off in spades with me! Like a night of free baby sitting! :)

  12. I do not believe it is poor etiquette to send the two cards together. However, my first thought was the same as NOLA's - it is so pleasant to get something in the mail that is not a bill. Getting two envelopes days apart would double the pleasure. It may be a bit more expensive, and a little less green, but considering that our Postal Service is being crushed because of politics, I do not mind giving them a little extra business and buying a few extra stamps.

    And, Dr. M., the fact that you have gotten around to writing "thank you" notes within a month and a half of the birthday = major mommy WIN!!!! *high five*

  13. Oh, also, my husband and I discuss people we find "hot" whenever we come across pictures, movies, etc. He knows all bets are off if I ever meet Boris Kodjoe, the "Troy" version of Brad Pitt (although I don't really find most other versions of him all that attractive), the "I Am Legend" version of Will Smith, and a few more. ;) And if he ever meets Halle Berry or any of the others in his top 5, he's got my blessing.

  14. Another vote in favor of double-stuffing! (My sister-in-law and a very classy one at that just gave me the Christmas card and within it was a thank you note from the twins B-day party that was a month ago. I thought it was perfectly fine that they were in the same envelope.) Go green I say and stuff away.

  15. I say as long as you're not writing the thank you inside of the Christmas Card then double stuff. The good news is that even if someone thinks it's bad etiquette they'd never tell you. LOL!

  16. The rules changed since Emily's day. Now we have this thing that we call "carbon footprint". In the shipping industry we talk about it all the time. The amount of shipments increases the need for us to be pouring toxic fumes into the air as we drive around. The brown company that I work for actually uses a small portion of the money we receive to do things to reverse the damage we do, like plant trees and clean up streams, etc. So, stuff away and consider yourself environmentally responsible.

  17. I am not a fan of double stuffing. If people took the time and money in some cases to attend two different events for you I would argue that you should send two different thank you/invitations.

  18. Eyeball worthy! They don't get one present for Christmas and birthday do they? Then two envelopes! :)

  19. So what did you decide on the double stuff issue?


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