A lovely couple invited me and my husband to dinner. The wife had cooked interesting and tasty dishes. The conversation was so lively that we found ourselves crying with laughter (and no alcohol had been served/consumes). They even gave us a present from their latest trip to their homeland abroad. Shortly thereafter, my hubby and I traveled and returned about 2 weeks later. Another week passed as we settled back into our routine. Suddenly, I realized that I’d not formally thanked her. I feel awful. A failure at hospitality–a value that I dearly prize. But, most importantly, I want to sincerely convey how much I appreciate their generosity and company. Should I send them flowers? Write a belated thank-you? Satisfy myself that my husband’s verbal thanks at the tennis courts sufficed?
We’ve all been there. Sadly, though, thinking we’re too busy to be grateful just means that we think we’re too important (meaning, more important) to be grateful. But don’t beat yourself up any more than you have. Write that thank-you note, acknowledging your negligence without excusing it because of your travels, and send it off swiftly. Thereafter, follow it up with the most casually-construed (oxymoron?) return invitation that you can devise. Like movies and coffee/tea afterward at your place. Then move on and shoulder the responsibility for keeping the friendship alive.
And if you find yourself traveling again soon, be sure to bring them back a little treasure.