On bathroom etiquette and thank-you notes

Dear Erin, When it was my turn in line, should I have waited until a non-handicap accessible spot opened?

Dear Erin,
I attended a recent event at the Kitsap Conference Center. During a break in the program, I headed to the bathroom. I waited my turn in line, and the next stall to become available was the handicap accessible one.

Although I’m not handicapped, I used the stall. Upon exiting, I noticed a woman in a wheelchair waiting for the very stall I had just occupied. When it was my turn in line, should I have waited until a non-handicap accessible spot opened? 
— Baffled in Bremerton

Dear Baffled,
Unlike a handicap parking space, you won’t be ticketed if you occupy the bathroom space without a permit. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be aware of those around you.

Next time before entering the handicap-accessible stall, ask the people in line behind you if anyone is waiting for that particular one, as not all disabilities are easily apparent. If no one chimes in, then it’s fine to use it in order to keep the line moving.

Dear Erin,
I want to thank people for my Christmas gifts. Is it proper to send thank-you notes by email? 
— Thankful in Tracyton

Dear Thankful,
Proper? No. Acceptable? Yes.

What gift-givers want to know: that you’ve received the gift — it’s especially important if the gift was mailed; what you enjoy about the gift; and that you appreciate the thought. This can all be easily expressed in an email.

It’s a bit more laborious to hand-write a note, look up the mailing address, find a stamp and drop it in the mail.

However, considering that the gift-giver took the time to purchase or make a gift for you, it’s nice to take the extra effort to honor the gift with a thoughtful note that arrives in the mail.

That being said, in this world of ever-changing technology, I was thrilled to receive a video via text message showing my nephews wearing the super-hero capes I sent them. Their smiles and squeals of delight far surpassed any thank-you note they could have sent. And, since it was practically in real-time, I felt as if I was celebrating with them.

No matter what form of media you pick, you are on the right track with the desire to express your gratitude.

— Ask Erin is a feature of Kitsap Week. Have a question? Write Ask Erin, Kitsap Week, P.O. Box 278, Poulsbo 98370 or e-mail ejennings@northkitsapherald.com.