A Thank You Card To A Thank You Card, by Matt Payton

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Dear Ben and Liz,

Thank you so much for your delightful thank you note that you sent to Christine and me. It was our pleasure to attend your wedding and to share in the joy that came along with your nuptials. I really enjoyed eating your delicious food, meeting your elderly relatives and the musical stylings of Liz’s brother’s band The Wurst Brats.

I just wanted to let you know how much your thank you card meant to both Christine and myself, especially me since you took the time out of your day to reference my interest in architecture which is the one thing you know about me and are kind enough to bring up every single time we’ve had a conversation. Thanks for mailing it to Christine’s house and writing in my name to the left of her name in a different color of pen. I guess I must be really special to you guys, special enough for you to dispense with the formalities of last names even!

Some people just have a casual celebration on a Saturday evening so I thought it was awesome that the two of you went the extra mile to invite us down for the whole weekend. Since Christine was a bridesmaid and did a reading from 1 Corinthians chapter 13 I was lucky enough to take a half-day off from work on Friday, which was my last personal time for this year. Oh well – it was already June anyway! The only part that was better than the 5 hour drive to St. Louis with a bunch of well-caffeinated gals who went to college together was sleeping on a floor comprised of the finest 1993 DuPont Saxony fibers and discarded Apples To Apples cards.

The wedding itself was truly mesmerizing. I can’t remember the last time I saw such elegance. The bows on the ends of the pews really made the church look special and different from every other white Protestant church I’ve set my foot in for the last 20 years. And how cool was it that Ben’s dad performed the ceremony? That was a real treat for me as I was unaware that in 2011 it’s still a woman’s job to placate her husband above all else and defer to his will regardless of the fact that she is working on her doctorate in micro financing while the thing he’s the most proud of is his vintage Wendy’s t-shirt he wears on the weekends that says “Here’s The Beef” on the front.

The reception just blew me away. Not only was I so taken with all the tasteful centerpieces and place settings but the cards that said where we were supposed to sit looked like they were handcrafted by an old Italian calligrapher. The majestic look of the “G” on my card that said “And Guest” was simply beautiful. Liz, you looked absolutely radiant in your dress especially during the first dance when you faked us all out by slow dancing and then tearing into a highly choreographed dance routine set to “Don’t Phunk With My Heart” by The Black Eyed Peas. That was so funny! Where did you even get that idea?

My personal favorite part of the festivities was the speeches. Are you sure you just didn’t invite all the instructors from Toastmasters International to your wedding? Who would’ve thought that Ben’s college roommate knew that you were the one immediately after you two “got together”? I was happy to get some context provided by the bridesmaids who spent the majority of their mic time talking about their own relationships and clumsily making parallels to you two. And Liz, that Uncle Jerry of yours has a wicked sense of humor. I had forgotten the word “Polack” even existed!

It was really thoughtful of you to delay your honeymoon for a week so you could join us all at the wedding party brunch. Like I told you when we were there, it was no big deal that you kept us until 3:00PM. I don’t like to have a bunch of free time before the workweek starts up again anyway. It’s not like we stopped at every outlet mall in a 10-mile radius of us on the way home to look at “sassy” jewelry or anything! The brunch just made the whole weekend come full circle for me as we got to spend an hour and a half looking through pictures of an event that was younger than my most recent bowel movement.

Anyway, I just wanted to say thank you for the thank you card and how much I appreciated the personal touch you gave it. I’m glad both Christine and I could mean so much to you over the course of your relationship. I guess I didn’t realize the impact I had on you both all those times we spoke for five minute intervals about our opinions on the beers we were drinking before we settled back into our respective camps of people we were overtly familiar with. I, for one, am honored.

Thank you!

Phillip Miller

Matt Payton improvises, writes and podcasts in Chicago. The only wedding he ever felt truly comfortable at was his own.

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