I was recently reminded of this story when I met an old friend, and decided to share my probably most shameful faux pas ever. I fully deserve Etiquette Hell, to this day I feel embarrassed about it.
From what I remember I was either 13 or 14 at the time this happened, which is old enough to know better. In my country secondary school starts at that age- so I was in a class of people who newly started a new school, a class of complete strangers to me and to each other. Around Christmas we had a secret Santa. Being a school, the spending limit was very low, and with no one knowing their giftee the gifts were bound to be rather impersonal and boring- notebooks, calendars, little stuffed animals.. after the gifts were handed out though, I felt that I got a particularly short end of the stick, as I received a pen. Later while chatting with a few classmates I started to complain what a lame gift I got, I mean, a pen.. cue one of my friends frantically making the shut up face.. and me ignoring her, come on this gift is terrible, everyone got so much better ones.. Only later I found out the girl who drew my name was one of the people I complained to, a sweet, quiet person from a rather impoverished family. I apologized the next day and she never let it slip once that she was angry with me- though I was way too embarrassed to hang out with her after that. 1021-10