Mildred Fennstein to Gloria DuPont, April 1999

A little kindness can go too far you know

Dear Gloria,

Thank you so much for your last letter thanking me greatly for thanking you for sending me that thank you card for the thank you bouquet I sent you for thanking me. I cannot possibly express my gratitude for such a thoughtful and thankful thank-you.

Also, thank you for the pen and paper I am writing this thank you note on. And thank you for this bathroom I’m writing it in. Alas! You thought I was merely nipping in here to powder my nose, but I have been planning to write you this thank you note all along. You thought you were going to be more thankful than me this time, but long after I leave you’ll find this thank you note and realize it has been me who has been more thankful.

So let me again thank you for that card you sent me in 1961 congratulating me on my engagement. Though Howard has been dead for seven years, I’m sure his spirit is glad that I have proven more grateful than you for good. Do not try to send another thank you card, or teddy bear, or cute electronic internet webcard or whatever, because I’m moving someplace where the mail will never reach me. Thank you, and don’t ever say thank you to me again.

A million thank yous,

Mildred

P.S. I had to sneak back and write this part because you gave me a thank you note for passing you the bread at dinner. Thank you for helping me move that table at Wally’s birthday party in 1981. Now never speak to me again.

Analysis:

This letter symbolizes the longest-running exchange of thank you cards in history. Before this letter was written, that honor belonged to a young 13th century Japanese couple, who wrote formal cards expressing everlasting gratitude each time the other one offered so much as a “God bless you.” But with this letter, the 504th exchanged between Mildred Fennstein and Gloria DuPont, the two American women became the world record holders.

Naturally, upon receiving the award, Ms. Fennstein and Ms. DuPont immediately sent a beautifully embellished thank you card and a cookie cake to our offices. We recognized the dangers and pretended not to receive it.

As of this morning, when Ms. DuPont sent Ms. Fennstein a letter thanking her for a cereal recommendation made in 1977, the two women have sent each other 658 letters.

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Mildred Fennstein to Gloria DuPont, April 1999

  1. Marc

    What else can I say but thank you.

  2. Julie

    Definitely will steal (with attribution) for my stand-up routine on Purim.

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