Q: My granddaughter will graduate high school this month and will go away to college in the fall. I am at a loss for ideas for a graduation gift. She has tons of jewelry already, so I’d like to do something else. Her dorm space will be limited, but I wondered if there was a way I could delay the gift-giving a little and buy her something she might need for her dorm room. Or is that too impersonal? Can you give me any other ideas?
A: Yes, delaying your graduation gift for your college-bound granddaughter is a very good idea and not improper at all. As your granddaughter nears the time of getting her dorm space ready for occupancy, she will quickly realize many items that she will still need. What an ideal time for her loving grandmother to come to the rescue to get just the right gift for her. Whatever that gift may be, she will remember it fondly each time she uses it or looks at it in her room because of the special person who gave it to her.
I do suggest you give your granddaughter a graduation card at the time of her graduation. Add a note inside telling her how proud of her you are, and then explain your desire to get her just the right gift for her dorm room or whatever she needs as she gets closer to actually going to college.
Q: I am still learning all about this texting business, but I am told that if I don’t learn how to text my grandchildren, I won’t hear from them very often. While I would rather hear their voices on the phone and carry on an actual back-and-forth conversation, it does seem that I have to leave a voice mail most of the time because they don’t answer, and I rarely get a call back, or at least not very quickly. If I do get a return call, it’s as though they didn’t even listen to the message. My question is this: If I do text and ask a question requiring an answer, how long do I have to wait until I get a text answer before I text again? It seems to me if I give them 24 hours, that should be sufficient time to expect a reply. Am I wrong?
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A: No you are not wrong. Twenty-four hours is more than ample time to expect a text response. Actually, depending on the time of day you send your text message, you should receive a response within six to eight hours at the most. Having said that, however, sending a text message should follow the basic rules of courtesy and consideration of making a phone call which is: Texting after 9 p.m. is too late and before 8 a.m., too early, unless you have been advised you may call at any time or anytime there is an emergency.
Consideration of others should always be the rule to follow. If you text someone at 9 p.m., you must realize this person may already have gone to sleep and may not get up until after 7 a.m. The necessity of getting ready for school or work may mean a person may not be able to return a text until later in the morning, or perhaps even during the lunch hour. The six- to eight-hour expected response time in this situation may be unrealistic. Fifteen hours is thus more likely, but 24 hours should be the maximum. If no response has been received after that amount of time, by all means, you may retext.
Dianne Isbell is a local contributing writer. Send your etiquette questions to Lifestyle Editor Patrick Kuhl, Belleville News-Democrat, P.O. Box 427, 120 S. Illinois St., Belleville, IL 62222-0427, or email them to firstname.lastname@example.org.