In the late ’90s, I’d been having a rough time, so my friends Dia and Nikol planned a whole day to spoil me. They gave me a lovely lunch and a couple of CDs. Dia had started making jewelry, so they took me to a bead store, where I picked out beads for a necklace for me. We had a wonderful time. Shortly after, the necklace arrived in the mail. I was getting ready to visit my family in New Mexico, so I didn’t have time to write a thank-you note, figuring I would when I got back.

This was when the Internet was really taking hold, and of course we all had shiny new e-mail addresses. At my parents’ house, I discovered a great e-card site, and decided I’d be hip and modern, and send an e-card thank-you note. I chose a pretty “card,” complete with music, wrote a couple of paragraphs of thanks, and sent it off. I didn’t hear anything from them, but that wasn’t unusual, since it was often many months between contacts.

After a while, I e-mailed them to say hi, and Nikol wrote back saying that Dia had been very hurt by my not acknowledging their kindness at all. I protested that I’d sent an e-card, but the damage was done, and the relationship never recovered. I learned that if you use new technology to contact someone and they don’t respond, use old technology and call.

Caryn Wesner-Early,


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