I'm not sure if you have noticed this but according to some, the nation is in great distress to put it mildly. Some citizens appear to be afflicted with CMS, (Collective Meltdown Syndrome), due to recent Supreme Court rulings, just for ONE example. Others seem to be clutching pearls whilst gasping over foreign policy decisions. Many other fine folks have concluded that we should all freak over the general state of affairs—not that kind of affair. I'm talking about the state of the Union. Good gravy, please remove that mind from the front ditch.

I simply cannot stand by, or sit down in my case, as the nation disintegrates into a gigantic heap of morally bankrupt ashes. I must get in on this action and bring to light an issue that is far more troubling than any of the above-mentioned.

The idea for this earth shattering topic tapped me on the shoulder during one of my daily feed gazing sessions. For all of you novices, that simply means I was looking at Facebook.

Believe me when I say that I am often inspired to scale tall buildings and shout out obscenities during and after perusing the Facebook feed in the early morning. (Are you shocked over the early morning jazz? I have now become a farmer's wife, no offense to farmers and I don't mean to scare you. I rise before noon—between six and 7 to be exact. Are you OK? Get up. I'm sorry to have caused a collective fainting spell across the reading area. I'm digressing madly in parenthesis. Hold me.)

Now that I've fulfilled all prophecies in terms of long intros and digressions, I shall broach this super weighty subject right about now.

To thank or not to thank, that is the question. I speak of handwritten thank you notes, of course. That question is certainly of an utmost urgent nature and far surpasses other national concerns, in my not so humble opinion.

Certainly you didn't think I would wade into the quagmire of controversy associated with any real current events, did you? Not to mention, but I will, if I were to really unchain the pure ire that oft' engulfs my otherwise cheerful aura after perusing some of the insanity on “The Book,” I would, most certainly, be exiled from Crawford County.

OK, while going through my Facebook stuff the other day, there was a comment made by a person about sending physical thank you notes via that old-fashioned, yet charming and quaint method called the U.S. Postal Service.

It erupted into a massive discussion of epic proportions. Many were under the impression that it was not necessary to send said messages in the mail and were perfectly fine with giving or receiving thank yous through texts or emails.

On the other hand, there were ardent supporters of the pen/pencil paper technique. They also indicated that they had instructed offspring to do the same and were quite strict about it.

Now, anyone who has ever heard of my dear mother, Jacqueline Houserman, should realize into which category I might fall. For lack of a better description, I shall now name her TYNE, which stands for “Thank You Note Enforcer.”

As you might have ascertained, I am an absolute and FIRM believer in thank you notes of the paper and mail variety. If I were not, my mother would be appalled, the earth would cease to rotate on an axis and life as we know it would come to a screeching halt.

I have passed this gene along to my progeny since it was gently (?) given to me. And so on, so forth, wash, rinse and repeat. Was that even a sentence?

My mother kind of cracked me up recently, nothing really new there but I digress. My kid received a graduation gift from DOGS, (not a group of canines but “Daughter of Gentleman Suitor). Actually the suitor in question sadly passed away years ago but we are very close with his family, etc. Anyhow, she flew into a panic concerning the thank you note scenario. Mind you, only five seconds after handing me DOGS' gift, TYNE said, “MAKE SURE HE SENDS A THANK YOU NOTE.” It was as if I wouldn't have the sense to do so, especially knowing the ramifications involved.

Ten minutes later, she marched over with the necessary equipment, which in this case would be a card, stamp and envelope, and demanded that action be taken immediately. The child obliged whilst recoiling in horror due to the “I'm terrified of my grandmother factor.”

Clearly, I would have reminded him to do this without our dear TYNE. Also, believe it or not, he might have just taken it upon himself to write the note of thanks. (I'm finding it difficult to use words other than thank, you and note so forgive my lack of creativity.)

As the Facebook chatter continued, I noticed that some of the well seasoned posters, (nice way of saying older people who contributed to the conversation), were in favor of the handwritten notes, while the younger generation saw no problem with either blowing it off entirely or sending a quick text of appreciation.

What in the world is happening? I can't believe that some people in this society cannot take the time to loan the personal touch by actually WRITING or printing words on a paper or card. Maybe placing the card in the mailbox is troubling for them? I am now reaching that level of “appalledhood” usually reserved for TYNE.

The following might illustrate my reasons for landing in the senior citizen camp in terms of this topic.

I could be recovering from a gunshot wound to the head and barely be able to maneuver, due to my recent comatose state. TYNE would dramatically sweep into the intensive care section of the hospital. She would thrust a paper and pen in my direction, guide my feeble hand toward the writing materials and insist that I begin notes of gratitude to the doctors who saved my life.

We have always been a thank you note clan—quite possibly out of fear. Nonetheless, we were taught to pen letters of thanks or suffer the consequences. Believe it or not, I'm grateful to TYNE for drilling—I mean instilling me with social skills and proper etiquette. They do come in handy from time to time when I have to fake being pleasant.

I do not think it harms those otherwise delicate creatures known as children if they are forced, at gunpoint even, to pen a personal note.

In closing, (yes, yes, we all know it's time and stop with the ticker-tape parade), it boils down to this. Have a little respect. Simply take the time to scratch out a little statement with real writing implements, (you know, those things from the Stone Age). After a wedding or some other celebratory gig, it might be quite time consuming to do so. However, it is still the socially acceptable and appropriate thing to do. (As I've said before, I am defined by my socially acceptable and appropriate behavior. There is your daily dose of heavy sarcasm with a side of eye rolling thrown in for good measure.)

If you do not heed my advice or warning, you may just encounter TYNE in your nightmares—and I would not wish that fate on anyone.


P.S. FREE kittens are available. Email me for details. These are not my kittens but I'm the middle man. Email address is above along with my picture, which is also known as rodent control.