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Ooopsie Thank You Note

Many years ago, two friends of mine were married in another state. I received a wedding invitation, but couldn’t attend. However, I wanted to send them a gift. Money was very tight, so when I went to the store where they were registered, I chose one of the less expensive items on the registry: a set of matching oven mitts and dish towels. I brought them home to wrap them for mailing and chose a box from the recycling that was the right size; it happened to be a trash bag box.

Three weeks after mailing it off to them, I received a thank-you note from the bride. It began, “Thank you so much for the trash bags. What a practical gift! It is so thoughtful of you. We are moving to a new house and really have a lot of trash to throw away, so they will come in handy…” That’s right, they hadn’t opened the box! I was horrified.
What kind of message must they have thought I was trying to send?!! I asked my husband if he thought I should call them and he said, “No — they’ll figure it out when they need the trash bags and open the box.”

Sure enough, about a month later I got an e-mail from the bride saying, “I have never laughed so hard as when I opened that box!!!” So all was well.

I couldn’t resist sending this story. Talk about perfect etiquette — the poor bride, who was faced with a friend apparently sending trash bags as a wedding present, responded promptly with a gracious thank-you note! 1117-09

{ 8 comments… add one }
  • crashn2me November 24, 2009, 9:49 am

    This friend is a keeper! What an absolutely lovely person.

  • Robin November 29, 2009, 10:04 pm

    This happened at my bridal shower. I opened one gift which happened to be a garbage can for the kitchen. The next gift I unwrapped appeared to be a box of trash bags. Seemed to go well. And I thanked the giver. She then told me to open the box.. inside were candles. oopsie on me!

  • lilyme November 30, 2009, 9:48 am

    What a great story. She’s a charming friend.

    One question though, why would you expect someone to open a box of trash bags to take a look at them? Was it obvious that the box was a reused box? Just asking because I would never have thought to open a box of trash bags to look inside!

  • Fanboy Wife January 25, 2010, 7:40 pm

    This is a wonderful story!

  • Bea March 30, 2010, 1:21 am

    Cute story. Maybe next time you should sent it in a plain box =) to avoid confusion !

  • Jasmine May 1, 2010, 11:55 am

    I too have had issues with this…

    My dad is infamous for giving strange gifts, so I considered it relatively normal when I received a box of kleenex for my birthday (i had had a cold) I did my best to seem grateful, though i was a bit confused.

    It turns out he had carefully opened the box, put money between the sheets of kleenex, then carefully resealed it. Needless to say, later that day when i decided to use my present, i had a nice surprise. 🙂

  • CyanideButterflies May 21, 2010, 7:28 pm

    That’s delightful.

    How sweet! I’ve got a cold at the moment, I’ll be hoping to find some money in my hanky tomorrow haha.

  • Lenera August 20, 2010, 10:33 am

    Bautifully handled by the bride. Cherish her friendship! And I completely understand using whatever box you have that fits the gift.

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