Monday, December 14, 2009

A Matter Of Manners

Here are my shoes. Put them on for a minute and tell me what you would do.

Several months ago, the daughter of dear friends of ours got married.
Before the wedding (which was wonderful) I went on-line to the bridal registry and ordered a gift to be sent.

The store charged the item to our credit card. However, I have yet to hear from the bridal couple that they received the gift.

In my scale of social misdemeanors, neglecting to send thank you notes ranks just about at the bottom. I'm sure I've forgotten a few in my day. Nevertheless, I worry that something went wrong and the (not inconsequential) gift was never sent, or lost in the mail, or something.

Is there a statute of limitations for gift acknowledgments after a wedding? How long should one wait to hear—six months, a year? The couple are full-grown adults, which makes me think they know what to do, which makes me think they never got the gift.

Which is less bad: to take the chance that they think we forgot to give them a gift, or to make some clumsy inquiry of the couple or (even worse) their parents that will make them feel bad every time the use the object we got for them?

I'm terribly tempted to just close my eyes and get on with my life. What would you do?

12 comments :

  1. I didn't hear from them either! so I trust that the acknowledgements are just late in coming. My eyes are closed.

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  2. I understand the statute of limitations on gift acknowledgement is one year. But I have noticed that many times these days gifts are acknowledged quite late or never at all. The store may have some record of the actual delivery but otherwise, just blink and get on with potty-training. Your animals and fans adore you and enjoy acknowledging your gifts of time and wit.

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  3. Oh, you lovely people. Thanks. I'll definitely go on to more interesting things.

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  4. I hear that it is a year also...which seems so long, I'm sure it was not always so. But I also say move on, until and unless you happen to see them...then I would bring it up, saying, "I just wanted to make sure the post got it to you!" Of course they will blush for embarrassment at not getting out their thank you notes sooner. As well they should.

    I am also upset that these days no one understands what an R.S.V.P. means!
    jaimie in IL

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  5. Jaimie, I agree. I get a LOT more upset about people who don't answer invitations than about people who don't send thank-you notes.

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  6. I thought that one had a year after the wedding to GIVE a gift. I have never heard that the couple has a year to acknowledge the gift.

    But if Alison hasn't heard either, I bet they got it.

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  7. oh lord i'd ask. i'd ask the store, first. and if they couldn't help i'd just boldly ask the couple. make it clear your concern is with the arrival of the gift, not the fact that they haven't formally thanked you.

    i always ask. Miss Manners would shudder around me.

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  8. I may eventually ask. But given the relaxed statue of limitations on thank you notes, I'll give it a year or so. And by then I will probably have forgotten the whole thing.

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  9. I agree with IB -- I think you have a year to send a gift, not a thank you card.

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  10. As a former newlywed, my co-teacher called and asked. It was 4 weeks post-wedding, she hadn't been able to attend, she sent a gift...and she called and asked to be sure it got there. I mean, dang, I'd only been home from the honeymoon for 2 weeks! But it lit a fire under my rear and I got a bunch done right away.

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  11. I'd ask - in one of your patented diplomatic ways. After all you are just asking if it arrived. I had the same thing happen to me once. I stewed and fumed and tried to rise above it; finally I just inquired. They never received the gift. The store had mailed it quite late and then there was a UPS mix up with the delivery. The thing was sitting in a warehouse in Rutland. Had I not inquired they would never have received the (also not inconsequential gift and - not being a particularly enlightened person - I would probably still be carrying the shadow of that annoyance around. Laurie, I think Miss Manners would also say to ask - though no doubt she would have a lovely elegant way of doing so. Miss Manners is no push over.

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  12. Oh boy, now I'm really torn. Maybe I'll wait until after the holidays to decide. If in the meantime any of you come up with "lovely, elegant" ways of doing this, please share them!

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