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Submitted for your disapproval--

**All names have been changed to protect the criminally stupid**

My cousin (Jim) and his wife (Carrie) have two children, Amy (the birthday child) was turning three, and Max who is almost a year.  Carrie's sister (Amanda) and her husband (Eric) have a child, Emily who was turning two and another child on the way.

With me so far? Okay, here we go.

Carrie and Amanda thought it would be a great idea to have a dual birthday party for the two girls, they were both born in early December. Kill two birds with one stone, right? Well, not really.  I don't really care much for my cousin, but I always fulfilled my family obligation by showing up at these circuses. Amanda and Eric, however....I think I have met once. This leads up to the biggest case of the gimmies that I have ever seen.

The computer-generated invitation arrived two weeks before the party. (Actually this is a switch for these people...I usually only get the pleasure of a telephone call.)  The party was to take place at Jim's mothers house (my aunt) which is where Carrie and Jim are currently living. The invitation listed clothing sizes and favorite toys for BOTH girls. Then I read the rest of the invitation. Guests were asked to bring a gift for BOTH children, so as not to "cause jealousy".

Now, had I  actually known Amanda and Eric, I would not have had a problem with this. But as I stated before, I didn't know them. And there was no way I was going to pony up for two kids, when I could barely afford to purchase for one.

I wound up getting the flu and begging off, but I did send my gift for Amy with my mother, who actually went to this shindig. She said not only was most of our family there, but Carrie and Amanda's family (both sides) and Eric's family, too. Plus various other friends and co-workers. At least 60 people, in a very small house I might add. People were leaving to make room for others. There was a co-worker of Jim's that was actually asked to leave by Amanda, because he did not bring Emily a gift.

Someone tried to point out that most people did not bring two gifts, but Amanda's reply was that those people were "family" and that was okay. Eric took pity on his "poor" wife by trying to explain away her rudeness as "pregnancy hormones".

My mother was irate (she didn't want to go in the first place, but felt that old tug of "family obligation"), and she was surprised that guests were not asked to bring gifts for the new baby, too.

And of thank you cards.



In the last year or so, it's been the time when all my friends have started to have their 30th birthdays. A few of us were invited to attend a party for "Kate" whom we know but we aren't close and might only see her and her partner "Ben" once every couple of years. The invitation was a standard "Kate and Ben invite you to BlahBlah restaurant etc...". I RSVP-ed and also rang her to enquire about the catering arrangement (as I'm vegetarian and wanted to know if I needed to notify the restaurant in case this did not fit into their menu). Anyway Kate informed me there would be several choices for each course, and they would access to a private dining room in this restaurant. She also mentioned she would like a small handbag as a gift (which I totally disregarded- hey, I only see her once every 2 years or so, and have no idea as to her taste).

Anyway, FF to the party night. I did in fact bring a nice gift ( not a purse) equivalent to what I thought the dinner would cost for my partner and I. The waiter started off serving pre-dinner drinks and then we were asked to sit down for dinner. At this point, Kate went around to every table and announced "It's $30 for dinner each for 2 courses, and you have to pay extra if you want drinks or dessert". I was flabbergasted as there had been plenty of opportunity to bring this up before but no one had been told we would have to pay for our meals, and the initiation had also not mentioned this. The food was very average and at the end of the night, she came around again with the bill for each of the tables and told everyone to "round up" for the cost of the drink we'd each had on arrival. The group of friends I had come with were all appalled but we paid the bill anyway and left. However none of us have been returning her calls lately. Stranger then that, we each received a thank you card after the dinner- looks like she knew about etiquette but chose to disregard the parts that suited her.


My cousin and his wife recently purchased a house. We were very excited for them because they had been living with his wife's family for at least 3 years and they needed their space! We received a invitation to their housewarming party and as we opened it, a two page, HAND-WRITTEN list of "Gift Suggestions" fell out. This list included items such as coffee maker (in black and chrome), Martha Stewart muffin tins, and queen size sheets! Yikes! I was under the assumption that a housewarming gift was a bottle of wine or a plant. Apparently not! When they came to our housewarming party 2 years ago- they did not even bring a card! Now, we are expected to furnish their son's room (a fluffy rug in brown and creamy yellow). The topper on the whole invite was that my mother already gave them a housewarming gift but she still got the hand-written list!   Gimme0528-04

First off, thank you for such an entertaining site, although it often makes me evaluate my own actions.  My father, sister and brother were out of state for a friend’s wedding.  The night before the wedding, they decided to go to the local sports bar because our home basketball team was playing in the finals.  The opposing team was from a nearby state, so most of the bar was busy cheering them on.  However, one table was cheering for “our” team, so my father told the waitress that he would like to buy a round for that table.  All evening this group had been drinking from a pitcher of beer, and my father watched as the entire table ordered fancy shots and beer chasers!  No one even bothered to come over and thank him.  It wasn’t until the bill arrived that my father learned that the waitress hadn’t cut them off at just one round, there was a second also charged to the bill!  Unfortunately, that will be the last time my father buys a group of strangers a round in a strange bar.


Page Last Updated May 15, 2007