A short bit of background. In 2000 my spouse’s grandmother passed away. At that time my spouse, along with 2 siblings, were sent a box or two each from her estate. Things their father, who had been caring for grandmother, thought should be passed down. There was no arguing, the boxes arrived and that was what you received from the estate. My spouse and I have no children. So we always intended to pass these items down to the siblings’ children, grandmother’s great-grandchildren.
Fast forward to 2017. The first of the great-grandchildren is about to be married. One of the items my spouse inherited was a set of silver with first letter of the family last name engraved on each. There are 2 boys among the great-grandkids and we thought we would send this as a wedding gift to the first of them to marry since they were most likely to be carrying on the family name.
We were not invited to the wedding. No hard feelings, spouse is not close with the sibling whose son is getting married and we live across the country from each other. I found out about the wedding on Facebook. When I found out about the wedding I contacted my SIL via Facebook messenger to congratulate her family and inform her about the silver. I began by asking if she wanted to ask her son if he would be interested in it, because it not, maybe it would be better suited to her other son.
She wrote back immediately saying she didn’t need to ask, she was sure her son would love to receive it as a wedding gift. I immediately replied, “Great! where can I send it?”. No response. At this time it’s about 6 weeks before wedding. I wait a few weeks. It is now less than 1 month before wedding. I write again and say, “Hey, if son is not interested in the silver no hard feelings, but if you could let me know I’d appreciate it”. Again, I get an immediate reply saying yes son is interested and she’ll have to “check” where to send it.
Huh? Check? It’s less than a month before the wedding and the mother of the groom doesn’t know where to send a gift? I know! How about her house? Or my MIL who I assume is going to the wedding since they live close by? Or the son’s new apartment? In the time it took her to type “let me check where to send it” she could have typed her address. True or not, the way this made me feel was that she didn’t want us to have her address. I’m 3000 miles away, it’s not like I’m going to drop by for a visit. I was angry enough to consider not sending the silver at all.
In the end, days later she sent me her address. I wrote her back immediately thanking her and letting her know I would be sending it. I also let her know that she hurt my feelings and that she needn’t worry we won’t be dropping by. (okay I didn’t write the part about dropping by, but I wanted to!) 0226-18
Lesson learned: never beg anyone to please accept your generosity. Once an offer is made and that offer “ball” is in the recipient’s court, don’t go running into their side of the court pointing to the ball insisting they return it back to you.
Make the offer of the gift and if the intended recipient cannot be bothered to inform you of an address to send it, wait an appropriate amount of time in silence and then set the gift aside for someone else, sell it, donate it, whatever. If ever asked what happened to the offered gift, reply, “I’m so sorry. When I did not hear from you for six months, I assumed you did not prefer to receive it so I gave it to XXXX.”