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Ask Ann Cannon: Are thank you notes a thing of the past?

Ann Cannon

Dear Ann Cannon • I have a question about the current etiquette on writing thank you notes for wedding gifts. I have been bothered by this for a few years now and I’m wondering if I’m just out of date. Receiving a thank you card for a wedding gift seems to be an extreme rarity anymore and the exception instead of the rule. In fact, I have sent numerous wedding gifts over the past year and have not received a single thank you. Has this just gone by the wayside with our kids’ generation? Honestly, it makes me very unmotivated to even bother with gifts going forward. Would love your opinion on this! Thanks!

Un-Thanked in Utah

Dear Un-Thanked • In the introduction of her newest book “Minding Miss Manners in an Era of Fake Etiquette,” due out April 28, Judith Martin explicitly says that while we don’t have to “stay on the telephone with telemarketers,” “respond to everyone’s inane or vainglorious postings,” or “put teaspoons on the table unless you are serving tea,” she isn’t going to let us off the hook for thank you notes.

In other words, people — including newlyweds — should still take the time to acknowledge a gift.

Dear Ann Cannon • I’ve recently been diagnosed with depression and given a prescription to treat it. After getting online and reading about the possible side effects, however, I am reluctant to start taking medication. This decision is frustrating to some of my friends who don’t understand why I am worried. Some of the side effects sound pretty awful. What are your thoughts?

Nervous Nellie

Dear Nervous • Oh, Depression. Why you gotta show up and rain on a person’s party? Depression, you are just NO FUN AT ALL!

OK. I need to remind readers (again) that the only thing I’m licensed to do in the state of Utah is to drive a car, although there was a time when I was also certified to teach your children how to conjugate verbs in our state’s public schools. But that’s another story for another day. I’m not a therapist is what I’m saying. But over the years I’ve had a lot of direct personal experience with the illness known as depression.

Can depression be treated without medication? A combination of regular exercise, meditation and talk therapy can certainly help. And, in some cases, depression will lift on its own. But in my experience, adding medication to the mix can be a life saver.

Are there risks? There can be, of course, which is why it’s important to take medication under the supervision of a doctor. It must also be said that antidepressants often take a long time to kick in, which can be discouraging. Furthermore, a certain amount of trial and error is often involved. Still, I do think medication might be worth a try, although (in the end) you have the absolute right to be in charge of your own health journey.

Hang in there. I know you can and will feel better.

Finally, I received this letter in response to the woman who has reconnected with a daughter she placed for adoption.

Dear Ann Cannon • I have a reply for “New to This.” I am a birth mother. I was able to connect with my birth daughter 14 years ago, when she was turning 30. I have had a positive experience. She has been gracious and generous by sharing her life. My three grandchildren know and understand who I am; they call me by my first name. I let my daughter choose the boundaries in our relationship. I also give my grandchildren small gifts for birthdays. I send a family gift for Christmas. I try to keep it simple. I never want my daughter to feel overwhelmed. I have a friendly relationship with my daughter’s adoptive parents. I am grateful to finally know her name and to know I made the right choice. I am humbled at what a wonderful person her adoptive family has helped her become. I am a very lucky birth mother.

Ann Cannon is The Tribune’s advice columnist. Got a question for Ann? Email her at askann@sltrib.com or visit the Ask Ann Cannon page on Facebook.

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