>My anonymous commenter felt compelled to comment again on my last post. He/she says:
“I am sorry if my prior post led to a misunderstanding. I totally agree that if you are invited to a wedding event, and most especially if you attend, you need to give whatever present your budget will allow. It is rude not to do so. But a scorecard has no place in social relationships, especially those with your closest friends and family. And I take exception to your using a public forum to air your dissatisfaction with the number of gifts that you have received. If invitees do not send a gift, that should be their private sin, and to bemoan in public the fact that your expectations of receiving a gift were not met seems, to me, to be an equal breach of etiquette. These are your closest friends. Be gracious in ignoring their lapse. It is, as you say, about mutual respect.”
A “scorecard.” I have been thinking about this for a couple hours now, and honestly, no, I don’t think I keep a scorecard based on what my friends and family have or have not given me in material gifts. I love my family and my husband’s family regardless of what they do or do not give me. And most of our closest friends have given gifts, and some sentimental ones at that. As for the ones who didn’t give? Well, as Anonymous says, it is their private sin. To me, it’s just vexing more than anything else that a good portion of our invited guests — I’m not sure of the total percentage — have not followed proper wedding etiquette.
Is it a generational thing? I think so. I think Generation Y and their parents are to blame. Most of our invited guests are in their 20s and I think a lot of them were not taught correctly by their parents on how to handle themselves when it comes to weddings and other social events. As for me, my mother taught me to always RSVP, to always give a gift, and in the case of receiving a gift, to promptly write a thank you note. “Promptly” to some might mean within a week, for others, within a month, to others, within six months. But I always try to follow those rules because it’s not only socially accepted, but it’s the right thing to do.
As for Anonymous’ claim that I am using this blog as a public forum to air my dissatisfaction, well I suppose that’s my prerogative, although I don’t really see it as a public airing. They say blogs are the finest form of navel-gazing, and as such, I can write about whatever I so choose. I certainly have not been walking around bemoaning and counting receipts. I just think the “rampant non gift-giving” (as one of my other commenters put it) is something worth discussing, especially among those in my age group. It seems to be a very common thing, and it is of course going to be something that every bride will notice.
I count my blessings every day, not my receipts and my wedding gifts. But it’s a fact that in this day and age, you cannot expect something from everyone. It’s sad that a lot of twentysomethings are too wrapped up in their own world (or simply don’t consider themselves to be a part of the real world) to follow proper etiquette. I’ve seen this illustrated not just with my wedding, but with many other situations over the past few years.
I don’t consider it bad etiquette to talk about this situation on my blog. “Be gracious in ignoring their lapse,” Anonymous says. If I individually named off non gift-givers, or contacted them and asked for a gift, well that would be a definite faux-pas and something I would never care to do.
But to start a discussion about a situation, to get feedback from others… that’s what having a blog is all about. Ignoring a situation will never yield any progress.
So, as Forrest Gump says, “That’s all I got to say about that.”