The sheer volume of people Susan has hosted over the years has resulted in the receipt of tons of heartfelt thank-you notes, all deeply appreciated. While the major of guests you’re likely to entertain in your hosting career don’t bother to take the time to say thank you, it’s a lost art proven to pay dividends when it comes to making a positive, lasting impression. You know how refreshing a genuine expression of gratitude feels when you’re on the receiving end, it’s also a primary feature in defining both job and overall relationship satisfaction.

Author and UC Davis psychology professor Robert Emmons explained to Fast Company how expressing gratitude is a core building block of social reciprocity. “It is not only a response to kindnesses received, but it is also a motivator of future benevolent actions on the part of the recipient. Serving these functions, gratitude enhances our own well-being in that we are built for relationships. Gratitude is the high-octane fuel that, without which, we’d be in relational ruin.”

While there’s research to support that thank you notes make the recipient feel happier and more engaged while expanding the emotional quotient of the person writing it, there’s also evidence to support that people trip up on what to say when it comes to the art of the thank you. Psychological Science published a study finding that most of us are overestimating the awkwardness of expressing gratitude and underestimating its positive impact. This is a gentle nudge to send your thank you notes because not only does it make everyone involved feel great, socially it’s worth its weight in gold.

We’re sharing some the most memorable ones Susan has received below so you can get a feel for how meaningful these kinds of IRL connections. Losing connection to our respective communities has cut us off from a big part of what makes us human, let’s not forget to show

“What a brilliant evening – it’s like a buffet of intelligence – no small talk – straight to the meat. Real life will always seem dull now.” 

– Ruby Wax, London

Susan, Another wonderful evening! Perfectly imperfect or vice-versa, as you prefer. Another brilliant mixture of people, food, talk, music, decor, architecture and atmosphere. There should be a word for it, but someone needs to invent it. And what an amazing testimony to you some folks fly half way across the world to attend one of your salons. It was also interesting chatting to some first-timers, they were intrigued, excited, not quite sure what to expect, but delighted to have been invited.

– Peter Freedman, NYC

Thank you for today’s experience – didn’t know what to expect when Marvin invited me to your event. I am a big fan of Akhmatova, Gumilev, Mayakovsky, the progressives of 1930s-1940s and, for a moment, I felt like I am in the salon in 1930s surrounded by my favorite people…. the experience not to be missed so thank you.

– Leon Zilbner

Dear Susan, I so enjoyed meeting you, and your truly amazing friends. What an inspiring night. Projects and ideas are bubbling up with many different folks. Well done! I’d love to be a guest again.

Marcelo Gleiser

Thank you so much a lovely evening! It’s always such a treat to come over for dinner. I truly think that the world needs this. Your salons are an answer, on a social level, to our broken discourse and, on an individual level, to the profound loneliness and need for community we feel in our alienated digital age. You also embody a certain spirit and philosophy of life that I think audiences will find inspiring and liberating.

Amana Fontanella-Khan