I consider myself to be pretty etiquette illiterate, but even I know this is inappropriate! I generally don’t attend family functions because it causes anxiety issues, but I always appreciate being invited and send a gift (when appropriate) with my regrets.
Recently, my uncle sent an invitation for a river cruise party celebrating the adoption of a little girl. She has lived with him for two years, and they are finally able to finalize the adoption. Because of my own history with adoption, I decided I would like to attend. I sent in the RSVP and looked into the registry. A few days later, I received an e-mail from my uncle saying, “This is awkward, but you have put me in an uncomfortable position. We didn’t expect you to actually want to attend when we invited you. We figured you would just send a gift like usual. Unfortunately, there really isn’t enough space on the boat for people we didn’t expect to come. I know you’ll understand. We can get together in a couple of days for you to give her present. Thanks.”
So not only was I un-invited, and BLAMED for the situation (“You put me in an uncomfortable position…”), but he still expected me to give a gift. 0527-11
Ooo ho! Uncle got caught red-handed being a greedy gimme pig! The invitation really wasn’t meant for YOU. It was inviting your gift to come in your place.
Suck it up, Uncle. When invitees accept the kind invitations to join you at the event you are hosting, you say nothing and find some way to squeeze them in without calling attention to the fact that they are inconveniencing your plan to reap only gifts from them. Blameshifting your guilt at being a greedy, ungracious, guilt manipulative host-pig onto your unsuspecting guest is a serious faux pas qualifying you for an extended stay in Etiquette Hell in the far, deepest recesses where the flames are the hottest. Crispy, deep fried Uncle.