So last year my friend invited me to her 30th birthday party to be held the weekend before she turned 30. I wouldn’t say we are close friends so I rather agonized over what to get her as a gift. I settled on a nice silver picture frame.
When I went to the party I handed her the wrapped gift and card – the card was not attached to the gift in anyway. She opened the card, said thank you and gave me a hug. She then said she wasn’t opening any of her presents until her actual birthday. I did rather wonder at the time how on earth she was going to know which gift was from which person since she had opened all the cards that came with the gifts, and they didn’t say to and from on them.
Well, it is now February of the following year. I have no idea if she did open the present on her birthday, if she liked or disliked it or anything because I never heard another word about it. No thank you or anything. Am I wrong to think the verbal thank you she gave me when she opened the card isn’t sufficient? Especially since she hadn’t even opened the present yet and therefore had no idea what I had gotten her? 0219-15
I am of the opinion that people who host their own birthday parties are giving everyone a significant clue as to the status of their understanding of good etiquette. Why is it surprising that someone does not express gratitude for a gift when they had already crossed the etiquette line by acting as host of a celebratory party in which they are also the guest of honor? Particularly a party for a life event that definitely has gift giving as a major component?
Hosting your own birthday party is a hot button topic on this blog despite the fact that the etiquette regarding it has been clear and unanimous for a very long time. One does not engage in hospitality that is specifically planned to honor your own self as the guest of honor. But modern Western culture is predominated by a belief that the individual is owed recognition, accolades, respect, honor and gifts for reaching certain life milestones and if friends and family won’t do it, then they feel justified in taking matters into their own hands to make sure they are sufficiently and deservedly honored. Humility is a dying character trait.
So the stage was already set for your friend to not acknowledge the gifts she received by virtue of the fact that she planned her own birthday party. Entitled people feel no obligation to express gratitude for things they feel are owed to them. Should you be offended by this lack of courtesy by your friend? No. The warning signs were there from the beginning and you, possibly inadvertently, enabled it by bringing a gift. Move on.