In case it’s a regional thing, let me explain the event where this occurred. By some of the language and terminology I get the impression that many of the readers are in the UK, but I could be wrong. Diapers are what we call “nappies.” (please feel free to edit this part out if I am wrong)
Around these parts (rural Ohio, USA) instead of a baby shower, expecting parents opt to host what we call a “diaper party.” The attitude is very casual and it’s an all-family event as opposed to just the women at a shower. The understood message is “we don’t want or need gifts, but these are the brand of diapers & wipes we will use, so please bring a pack for us to use when the baby arrives.” No need to wrap since it’s not a surprise present, no guessing, no “will they like this,” and everyone wins.
I recently attended one of these parties hosted by a couple I know who is expecting. They are not “best friends” of mine, but we see each other often and they host many events where I am always invited and welcomed.
Seeing as they often host and I do not have the means to reciprocate (I live in an apartment with roommates) I try to compensate with my bringings to show my appreciation for the invitation. This party was no different. I was at our local warehouse store (Costco, Sams, BJ’s, that sort of thing) and picked up a box of diapers, about $45.00 USD for a box of 174. I found a cute card, taped it securely to the box, and attended the party.
When I arrived, there was the usual groups of guests – some were sitting in the family room watching a sporting event on TV, and the rest were outside playing yard games and enjoying the weather. I was told, “Go on and leave your gifts on the table over there, grab a bite to eat, and join the fun,” which I did. I met up with friends outside until it was time to go inside and open the gifts. I did mention before that it was all about the diapers, but some close friends did bring onesies, toys, and other personal things. Also the couple was able to thank everyone in a group setting as they saw who brought what. Again, very casual.
The gifts were opened, people ooh’ed and ahh’d over the outfits, and guests were thanked as their diaper boxes were seen. I heard my name called, and “Hey, thank you for bringing these! Good to see you again,” while the mother-to-be held up a 12-pack box with my card attached and waved at me. I smiled and responded appropriately, immediately realizing that someone had switched the cards on my box and a smaller one, and took credit for the very large package while leaving me with the smaller one. I did not see who was thanked for my box, so I don’t know who did the switch.
This was several months ago, and for some reason it bugged me again today. I realize that in the grand scheme of things, the family still has the same amount of diapers to use, I won’t be unfriended either in real life or on social media, and the world will continue to turn. I wasn’t expecting the family to pick me up and carry me around the room and cheer for my generosity. However, it was very irritating to know that I made a generous purchase for my friends and someone else took credit for it.
What should I have done in this situation to make things right? I didn’t want to make a scene or otherwise ruin the parents’ special day. Too much time has passed and it would be silly to ever bring it up. However, if I were to ever experience this sort of thing again, how should it be handled? Or do you just smile knowing that the recipient has a gift to enjoy regardless of who it was from, and go on enjoying the party? 0402-17
For all you know, your card fell off the package of diapers and someone reattached it to whatever box of diapers appeared to be cardless. I’m not sure there is any gracious way to point out that the diapers you are being thanked for are not the ones you bought. I suggest taping the card using a very distinctive tape or use duct tape which comes in all kinds of colors and patterns. Better yet, make a diaper “cake”!