Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Thank-you Notes

I have always been expected to write thank-you notes for gifts from family, and carried that on to engagement and wedding gifts. Thankfully, my husband helped me with the myriad of notes from our wedding gifts as we did a system of 3 per day.
I have passed that obligation of a written thank-you on to my daughter. Incentives have been varied: only open the gift if you write the note that day; not able to use/play with the gift until the note is written, and, of course, there has been bribery. It seemed to be a good way for her to learn to write notes, in complete sentences with coherent thoughts. My sister and cousin have been sticklers with their sons to do notes.
Sadly, others have not continued the courtesy of a note. Often I don't even know if the gift was even received. I have sworn many times that I wouldn't send a gift if I had not heard from that person on a previous gift. But then, on Dr. Laura one day, I heard her ask a caller, "Do you send the gift just to get a note or because it is the right thing to do?" I thought I may be petty.
But, I am now, several years later, invoking a new rule: if I don't get a note (or call even, or an email) from the recipient, there will be no more gifts. Simple as that; if you are so rude as to not express gratitude, I am not sending another one. I am not a schmuck.

The following article is such a perfect description of why a note is done, and how to do it right.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Why Do Women Feel Colder Than Men?

Thank you, Dr. Weil. Your "Weekly Bulletin" in my email on 12/18/08 resolved an issue that has continued through our 25-year marriage. It explains why I am always complaining about the cold in our bedroom -- home, and on the road.

Why Do Women Feel Cold More Than Men Do?

The proper setting for the thermostat can spark fierce disputes among couples, and while there are exceptions, typically, women complain of cold temperatures more often than men do.

Ironically, this is probably because women are better at surviving extreme cold than are men. Mark Newton, a clothing-industry consultant and researcher at the University of Portsmouth, explains that women have a more evenly distributed fat layer and can more effectively pull all their blood back to their core organs in cold temperatures. While this fosters survival in sub-freezing conditions, it also means less blood flows to their hands and feet, and as a result they feel cold at higher temperatures than men typically do.

There is no simple answer to this disparity; it simply suggests that in cold weather, men and women should be more willing to compromise in the thermostat battle, as their differences are determined genetically - a fact no amount of arguing will alter.