My parents always made me write thank you cards for everything...invitations to sleepovers, gifts, notes--you name it, I had to write a proper thank you. The card also had to be more than 3 succinct sentences.
As an adult, I have carried this with me. I get frustrated when I send a gift to someone--wedding, birthday--and get no response since I enjoy giving thank you cards and of course, receiving them too.
Recently, I sent a card to Dave and Erik for the fantastic dinner I had with them at Il Mulino. It wasn't my birthday, but I was included in the celebration since I was in Las Vegas with Jimmy. I felt it was the right thing to do and an illustration of my respect for their palettes.
It always surprises me when someone that I feel has class, convinces me otherwise. I feel that if you are invited to coffee, lunch, dinner and have no interest in attending or have other plans, the best way is to be honest and say--sorry, I am unable to make it, but thank you for the invitation. Today, I was told--I'm not--when I inquired to a friend of mine if they were coming to our house for dinner. My roommate decided to throw an impromptu dinner and selected a few of her friends. Everyone was in, except for one person who apparently doesn't understand courtesy. The appropriate thing to do would have been to call her and say that he wasn't able to attend instead of responding with--I'm not.
It saddens me that with all of the technology--iphones, e-mail, text messaging--we have forgotten how to be appropriate.