Dear Ms. Cards Etiquette,
I had a batch of thank you cards written up, and ready to go, and supposedly mailed a month ago, and I just found out the person who was supposed to mail them actually misplaced the whole batch instead! I’m embarrassed to send them all out so late, but I don’t want to write a whole new batch just so I can add a line apologizing for the delay. What should I do?
Up the Creek without a Thank You
Goodness, that is an unfortunate situation, Creek. Congratulations, you even made Ms. Cards Etiquette cringe! But there is still hope, even if you’re too lazy to rewrite an entire batch of cards. (Just kidding, I’d be too lazy to re-do them all as well!) If you need new thank you cards CardsDirect has plenty of varieties from which to choose.
Firstly, I always say it’s better late than never for thank you cards. So, by all means, you should still mail them out. But I also always say you should make some apology for tardiness if it is an issue, so you’re not taken for an oblivious buffoon, so that’s where we must get creative in this case. How I would deal with it depends on one key question: Will the recipients appreciate a humorous approach to the situation?
If so, here’s an idea that will acknowledge the mishap with a smile: Write a quick humorous note on the back of each envelope, such as “Finally rescued from the Australian outback!” or “We fired the mail monkey when we found a bag of cards hidden in the broom closet,” or maybe, “If you noticed this card was late, you passed the test! Congratulations! Report to HQ for your secret assignment.” You get the idea … something that will make the recipients chuckle, but also let them know you realize you made a boo-boo.
If you have the poor luck to have humorless recipients, or the situation is just too formal for such shenanigans, you have my condolences. In that case, you might want to put the old cards into new envelopes (assuming they haven’t already been stamped, one hopes), and enclose a very brief note apologizing for the delay. Basically write the same apology you’d include in a re-written card, but write it on a separate note. Then stamp the new envelopes yourself, if that’s what you need to do to ensure they get to the mailman this time, and hope nobody on your list is overly uptight about promptness.
All in all, it’s not a hopeless disaster, so long as you handle it with good grace and good cheer. It’s amazing how far a positive attitude can take you in an awkward situation! Good luck and Godspeed, Creek. Now start paddling!