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  • November 22, 2017, 09:58:24 PM

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Author Topic: Uh-oh ... two cards, one gift. Help me finesse this!  (Read 1663 times)

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gellchom

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Uh-oh ... two cards, one gift. Help me finesse this!
« on: July 26, 2017, 01:57:58 PM »
[This is not wedding-related, but I couldn't think which other board would be appropriate, and this could easily happen at a wedding or shower, too.  But, mods, please move if you want to.]

Last night my wonderful husband gave me a surprise birthday party!  It was great.  But I have a tiny but tricky problem for which I immediately knew I would turn to the ehellions.

Several of the guests brought small gifts, mostly in gift bags, and there were a stack of cards, too.  When we got home and I opened them, I discovered that one gift bag contained a scarf and two birthday cards -- from people who I am certain do not know each other (so I know it wasn't from both of them).  I'm guessing someone put whichever was the non-gift-related card in there to make things easier to carry or thought it dropped out from that bag -- it doesn't matter.

Of course, my problem is whom to thank for the scarf.  It really could have been either of them; C would be more likely to bring a little gift, but this scarf looks more like something A would have picked out.  All I can think of to do is to call C, explain what happened and ask.  If I'm lucky, it will be the giver.  But if it's not, it will be a bit awkward -- I sure don't want to make them feel embarrassed that they didn't give a gift, and I certainly don't want it to sound like I'm fishing for one.

So, wise ehellions, how would you word this to avoid making them uncomfortable?  Or can you think of another solution?

Thanks in advance for your advice!


Cali.in.UK

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Re: Uh-oh ... two cards, one gift. Help me finesse this!
« Reply #1 on: July 26, 2017, 02:09:15 PM »
I think I would send identical cards to the two people:

"Hi Friend,

Thank you so much for coming to my party last night, it was great to see you. When we got home last night, all of the lovely birthday cards were somehow jumbled together and I found a couple of them stuck to a scarf. Thank you so much for your lovely card, and also if the scarf was from you, thanks for that as well!
-gellchom"

Outdoor Girl

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Re: Uh-oh ... two cards, one gift. Help me finesse this!
« Reply #2 on: July 26, 2017, 02:10:06 PM »
I'd send a thank you note to both of them, thanking them for attending and for their warm wishes in their cards.

Then I'd either leave the scarf totally off of it or I'd try to come up with something slightly humourous that says, effectively, 'I ended up with a gift of a lovely scarf but it had both your card and another guest's in the bag so I'm not sure who to thank for it.  If it was you, I'll think of you when I wear it.  If it wasn't, I'll think of the other person and you when I wear it.'

(And this is why I always use the little tag on the gift bag to write to and from, even if I'm also enclosing a card.  If there isn't a tag on it, I'll attach the card to the bag.)
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gramma dishes

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Re: Uh-oh ... two cards, one gift. Help me finesse this!
« Reply #3 on: July 26, 2017, 02:59:11 PM »
This is not a dilemma of your own making.  I think I'd figure out which of the two guests you feel closest to and just tell them the truth.

"This is so incredibly embarrassing.  Last night someone gave me a beautiful scarf, but it got somehow placed inside a bag with two different cards.  So I'm not sure whether the scarf itself is from you or from the other person.  Love you both and am thrilled that you came, but don't want to thank the wrong person or even worse, fail to thank the right one.  Can you help me out here?"

This is the kind of thing that happens.  If the person is a good friend (or relative) and really cares about you they won't think less of you.  They'll think more of you for trying to be sure you do it right.  And they'll be okay with it even if it turns out that the other person was the one that gave you the scarf because you've made clear it's not the gift that's important. It's that they came to your party. 

It's the kind of thing most people can empathize with because it either has happened or they realize it could happen to them too.

lowspark

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Re: Uh-oh ... two cards, one gift. Help me finesse this!
« Reply #4 on: July 26, 2017, 03:28:11 PM »
Here's an idea. Worth what you paid for it. ;)

Whoever you choose to call, instead of asking if she is the one who gave you the gift, describe the dilemma and ask her advice. You got a gift with two cards, you don't know who the giver is but you want to find out without potential embarrassment if you ask the non-giver. Then tell her what the gift is.

Now, if she's the one who gave you the scarf, she'll step up and say it was her. If she wasn't she'll never know that she was one of the people whose card was involved and she'll just give you her advice on how to handle it.

Maybe it's a little bit coy, I don't know. But it is a sort of way to find out without her being embarrassed if she isn't the one who gave it.
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gramma dishes

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Re: Uh-oh ... two cards, one gift. Help me finesse this!
« Reply #5 on: July 26, 2017, 04:02:39 PM »
Here's an idea. Worth what you paid for it. ;)

Whoever you choose to call, instead of asking if she is the one who gave you the gift, describe the dilemma and ask her advice. You got a gift with two cards, you don't know who the giver is but you want to find out without potential embarrassment if you ask the non-giver. Then tell her what the gift is.

Now, if she's the one who gave you the scarf, she'll step up and say it was her. If she wasn't she'll never know that she was one of the people whose card was involved and she'll just give you her advice on how to handle it.

Maybe it's a little bit coy, I don't know. But it is a sort of way to find out without her being embarrassed if she isn't the one who gave it.

Excellent!

lmyrs

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Re: Uh-oh ... two cards, one gift. Help me finesse this!
« Reply #6 on: July 26, 2017, 04:04:07 PM »
Except that if she's going to feel bad that she didn't give a gift, I'm not sure that being coy about it is going to make her feel less bad.

I'd just be honest and I'd do it right in the thank you card like Cali or Outdoor Girl laid out. There's no point in calling to say, "Did you send it so I know whether to thank you." You're going to send a thank you, regardless.

EllenS

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Re: Uh-oh ... two cards, one gift. Help me finesse this!
« Reply #7 on: July 26, 2017, 07:08:19 PM »
If you, A, and C are all on Facebook, I think this an ideal use, and have seen similar posts before.

Send a group message to all the invitees saying something like,

"Help, friends! Thank you all for coming to the party last night. Some of the cards and gifts got mixed up. If you brought the lovely scarf, would you please PM me?"

gellchom

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Re: Uh-oh ... two cards, one gift. Help me finesse this!
« Reply #8 on: July 26, 2017, 10:00:55 PM »
Except that if she's going to feel bad that she didn't give a gift, I'm not sure that being coy about it is going to make her feel less bad.

I'd just be honest and I'd do it right in the thank you card like Cali or Outdoor Girl laid out. There's no point in calling to say, "Did you send it so I know whether to thank you." You're going to send a thank you, regardless.

But should I be sending a thank you note for their attending the party?  For a greeting card?  Wouldn't that risk coming across as a prompt for a gift?

C is a close enough friend that I think I can ask her without her feeling bad if she and her husband were not the givers.  I like the suggestions you all have given for wording. 

gellchom

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Re: Uh-oh ... two cards, one gift. Help me finesse this!
« Reply #9 on: July 27, 2017, 12:05:23 AM »
I caught a major break!

C happened to send me an email asking about plans we have with them for Sunday evening.  So that gave me an excuse to be writing to her anyway, and I could oh-by-the-way it about the gift.  Here's what I wrote (after the initial paragraph answering her question):

"I am so glad you and N were there last night.  It meant a lot to me.  I hope you had a nice time. 

I have an embarrassing thing to ask you!  A few people last night brought small gifts.  One gift bag had a pretty white scarf -- and two lovely cards, including yours; one must have gotten dropped in there by mistake.  Can you help me solve the mystery?  Thanks!"

How did I do?   :)

Thank you for helping me. 

gellchom

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Re: Uh-oh ... two cards, one gift. Help me finesse this!
« Reply #10 on: July 27, 2017, 09:08:25 AM »
Here's the answer I got from C:

"Our card was a stand alone- no credit for the scarf. Please let me know to which organization we can contribute in honor of your big 6-0."

 I hope she didn't feel like she needed to offer to make a gift of a donation because of my email. I'm sure she knows that my email was not a push for it, though.  It's a popular thing to do among our circle anyway. I will answer that they need not do anything, I was just so happy that they were there to celebrate with me, but if they would like to do so, the XYZ Fund and ABC Society are favorites that could really use some help right now, and I'd be delighted by a gift in my honor that would help their work. And of course I will choose organizations that I know that they support, too (perhaps even the museum where C works!).  How does that sound?

Easter Hat

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Re: Uh-oh ... two cards, one gift. Help me finesse this!
« Reply #11 on: July 28, 2017, 11:20:34 AM »
I  think you handled it perfectly.  It does sound like her offer to contribute to a charity is a bit forced but you know your friend best.

I wished she would have said something like, "Our card was a stand alone- no credit for the scarf.  We had a blast at the party and look forward to seeing you Sunday."

But she didn't. 

I think I'd reply with something like, "Having you there to celebrate was gift enough! I'm looking forward to Sunday and seeing you again."

If she presses you could mention the organizations but I think it would be better to first focus on your enjoyment of your company to reinforce that you weren't looking for a gift - just clarification.

gramma dishes

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Re: Uh-oh ... two cards, one gift. Help me finesse this!
« Reply #12 on: July 28, 2017, 12:10:52 PM »
I  think you handled it perfectly.  It does sound like her offer to contribute to a charity is a bit forced but you know your friend best.

I wished she would have said something like, "Our card was a stand alone- no credit for the scarf.  We had a blast at the party and look forward to seeing you Sunday."

But she didn't. 

I think I'd reply with something like, "Having you there to celebrate was gift enough! I'm looking forward to Sunday and seeing you again."

If she presses you could mention the organizations but I think it would be better to first focus on your enjoyment of your company to reinforce that you weren't looking for a gift - just clarification.

I agree with this.  I do think she hadn't intended to make a charitable donation or she would have mentioned it at the time.  Just thank her, reassure her you were happy and excited she came and how much you appreciated her presence.  (Not presents.)

gellchom

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Re: Uh-oh ... two cards, one gift. Help me finesse this!
« Reply #13 on: July 28, 2017, 01:41:32 PM »
Yeah, that sounds good.  In fact, I'm not even going to respond about this at all unless they mention it again on Sunday, and, if so, focusing on their presence as the important thing, as Easter Hat suggests.  They already know what charities I would like anyway, so if they really are inclined to make a donation in honor of my birthday (and they might have been; we do that a lot in my community), then they can just do it.

Thank you all for helping me and for understanding why this was kind of tricky!