Circumcision. Gay marriage. Immigration. There are a handful of subjects so controversial, so likely to propel people into disparate, dueling factions, that one dare not even broach them in mixed company.
They’re surefire feud igniters. They’re quarrel kindling.
Who knew thank-you notes were among them?
With the holidays approaching, I asked some friends what they think of thank-you notes — those customary expressions of gratitude scribbled, stamped, and sent by refined recipients of thoughtful gifts and generous gestures — and I was surprised to find people staunchly divided on the value of these mannerly missives.
Some insisted that thank-you notes are gracious, timeless, and classy. Others declared them outdated and meaningless. And the fight was on.
“I am dumbfounded at the numbers of people who think they don’t need to acknowledge a gift, or who think an email suffices,” said a woman who wouldn’t let her kids use any gift until they had written a thank-you note for it.
“Better to look someone in the eyeballs and say a sincere ‘thank you’ than to go through that paper-wasting ordeal,” argued another mom.