This column is in answer to a reader’s request for another run at writing thank-you notes. If you already write and send them, you may be excused, there is no homework for you today.

The rest of you are staying after school.

Like the song says, there are two little magic words that will open any door with ease. One little word is thanks, and the other little word is please. You’re no longer 12. Society expects you to fulfill its obligations, and one of the ways it keeps from killing you off outright is a properly proffered “thank you” when required. Ingratitude incenses people at all levels of human existence, from the driver who doesn’t give the “thanks” traffic salute when allowed to merge, to the no-notes bride and groom with the “we’re too sexy for our gifts” attitude.

As for levels of thank you, an email is the minimum, and handwritten notes are maximum strength. In between are texts containing pictures of you wreathed in smiles with your new present or posts to social media. Special treatment requires special acknowledgment, and for want of a thank-you a job can be lost. You can take that to the bank — or maybe not, if you didn’t write a thank-you note to your interviewer.

Thank-you notes should be written promptly, newlyweds get time to return from their honeymoon, but job applicants need to send as soon as they get off the phone. And while thank-you notes aren’t necessarily complicated, neither should they be boring. Say the person’s name, say the words “Thank you,” include a specific detail or two, reiterate your gratitude and include your regards.

Thank you. You are free to go.

Patricia Gannon covers society for The Acadiana Advocate. She can be reached at

LBA Holiday Party

The Lafayette Bar Association ushered in the holidays with an office party at their Amaryllis address. We have it on good authority that Greg Moroux wrote a “Night before Christmas” for lawyers; Kaitlyn Guidry channeled her inner Brittany for karaoke; and donations went to the Family Tree. Enjoying a little Christmas cheer were Dwazendra Smith, sharp-dressed Blake David, Susan Theall, David Blanchet, Maggie Simar and Doug Truxillo. And, yes, the Grinch stole The Advocate’s pictures. Our gratitude to Guidry for her rescue.

Maestro Circle

The holidays brought everyone to the Heymann for carols, choirs and more as the Acadiana Symphony Orchestra put on its Christmas best. Not only did Santa Claus come to town, but Grammy winners Lost Bayou Ramblers as well, all with aperitifs and some iMonelli hors d’oeuvres upstairs prior to the performance. “Tony Cutrera provided all the instruments for the Symphony years ago, and tonight is his farewell performance,” said ASO Executive Director Dana Baker. In the Maestro’s mix were new director of development Sheree Prince, Veronica Rodrigue and son Andre, and Penny Edwards in a pair of glitter sneakers. That’s one way to sparkle.

FOH Social

Joe and Nanette Heggie hosted Friends of the Humanities for holiday fun and a view of the Vermilion. There was everything from ham to homemade sweets, and a particularly lovely pinot noir imported by Linda Alesi from Sicily, plus some very lucky scholarship recipients. Making merry were visual arts professor Kevin Hagan, liberal arts Dean Jordan Kellman, Dennis Vitrella and a very thoughtful Ann Fadaol, who embodied the spirit of the season for sure.

Ladies Tea

The Petroleum Club put on an old-fashioned formal tea in honor of the holidays, complete with hats and a young women's choir. Known simply as “The Bell Choir,” the group comprises of home-schoolers who softly sang carols, while Carol Trosclair went home with the hat prize. What we loved: Marguerite Bordelon and her gold stilettos. “I’ll be wearing them in my wheelchair,” she said.

Happy Anniversary

The Zeta Xi chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha held a gala to honor their 50 years on the University of Louisiana at Lafayette’s campus. Guests and Scholarship Committee members George Sonnier and Clyde Semien made their way to the Atchafalaya Ballroom for tributes to the chapter’s founding sons and the announcement of seven scholarship recipients. The fraternity vowed to continue its legacy of scholarship and community involvement.