When Thanks Are Implied But Not Delivered, Vol. 15, Issue 12

Dear Etiquetteer: I did a favor for someone which involved some effort on my part, but which I did willingly and with no thought of any repayment or gift.  I received an e-mail from this person a few weeks ago saying he wanted to send me something and asking for my home address.  Now, several weeks later, nothing has arrived.  I don't care about the gift (in fact, I'm embarrassed by it), and I don't care if the person has procrastinated (my own failing) or forgotten.  But I'd feel bad if something was lost in the mail.  My inclination is to not say anything, but then the person might be waiting for some thanks from me or comment on the gift (if in fact it was a gift and not just a thank you card).  Should I say anything?

Dear Expectant:

A specific query could inspire Wholesome Feelings of Guilt in your Debtor in Favors, resulting in Glorious Tribute or at least a Lovely Note. But Etiquetteer is inclined, as the old saying goes, to "let sleeping dogs lie." Procrastinators* often continue procrastinating regardless of the clues and hints lobbed at them. While sensitive to your own wish not to appear ungrateful or neglectful, Etiquetteer advises that you continue to interact with this person just a bit more than you usually do, but without mentioning this issue. For instance, if you talk on the phone once a month, you might now talk on the phone every three weeks; if you email once daily, you might email twice daily. This will give your Debtor in Favors more opportunities either to ask you if you received your Glorious Tribute, or foster Wholesome Feelings of Guilt about not having done anything for you yet - which Etiquetteer hopes will result in Action.


*Etiquetteer is constantly Wagging an Admonitory Digit at That Mr. Dimmick Who Thinks He Knows So Much.