Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Madonna, hydrangeas, and "Thank you"

Madonna has made a career of being controversial or provocative, but she’s in the news right now for something a little less dazzling: bad manners.

Have you seen the video? At a recent press conference for her new film, W.E., a fan handed a bouquet of hydrangeas to Madonna, who accepted them graciously enough. She even said “Thank you” twice.

But then she grimaced and said — despite the fact that a microphone was right in front of her — “I absolutely loathe hydrangeas. He obviously doesn’t know that.”

Let’s use this unfortunate incidence as a reminder for all of us. All of us have received a less-than-desirable gift, which probably means that at some point you have given a less-than-desirable gift! Think about the effort and love behind the present. If you open a gift and it’s not what you want, all you need to say is two words.

“Thank you.”

Not “Thank you, but...” or anything else. Just “Thank you.” No need to elaborate. Leave it at that.

Madonna’s reaction makes us think of this little gem from Elsie de Wolfe: “Be pretty as you can, be witty if you must, but be gracious if it kills you!”

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