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Gift-giving etiqutte (Mother's Day)

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by WaylonJennings, May 11, 2008.

  1. OK, so Mom calls earlier this week.

    "Don't buy me or your grandmother anything for Mother's Day - you guys coming by is enough for us."

    So this morning, I call my younger brother, just to double check.

    "You're not bringing any gifts over today, are you?"

    "Yeah, I am."

    "But she told us not to."

    "Yeah, I know she did."

    "But you're stilling bringing gifts?"


    "OK, see you there."

    Am I wrong for being perturbed about this?

    I guess one of my pet peeves is the politics of gift-giving. It's why I dread Christmas every year, for example. I'm far from a selfish person, but I'm just not so good at navigating the gift-giving mine field.

    When someone says, "Don't buy a gift," are you really supposed to? And am I wrong for being a bit miffed at this little shadow dance - i.e., people say don't buy them anything, but they only say that because they're supposed to say that.

    Am I being an absolute dickhead because, "It's your mom! Of course you buy her something!" Or should this be the day when I make a stand and don't bring gifts over.

    Of course, I'm going to now. But I hate this shit. She said don't buy anything. Little bro pulls the trigger anyway, putting me in a predicament.
  2. You're a terrific writer.
    Write her something.
    It will be a wonderful gift, and because you're a writer, it won't be a "I went to Target" gift.

    The stuff my kids think about and make are the best ones. My 10 year old just made me a Power Point!!
  3. SixToe

    SixToe Active Member

    One year my father said, "Don't get me anything. I don't need anything else."

    So, I got him nothing. We sat at Christmas with the family opening gifts and he had a few things from other relatives. Our kids picked out a little something for him and he was cool with that.

    Told me later it was great. He didn't need anything, wanted us to keep our money for our kids and he was happy.

    Now, I do the same thing with my inlaws and wife. I don't need anything new. If I want a book or clothes, I go buy them.

    Heed the request, but take Michelle's advice and write a nice note.
  4. That's nice for most people, but I'm not sure I would be comfortable doing that for my mother. Hard to explain. As everyone knows, these relationships can be complicated.

    I just don't understand why people say, "Don't buy anything for me," when you're really supposed to still buy something. Why the dance? And am I the only one bothered by it - or fascinated by it, from a psychological/people-watching perspective.
  5. Cadet

    Cadet Guest

    Stop by the store and, if there's any left, get some flowers or a little plant.
  6. That's what I'm doing. But flowers feel like such a cop-out.

    But I seriously want some thoughts on this:

    Does anyone else dislike this gift dance that people go through? The ritualistic "Don't get me anything"?

    Or am I being a dunderhead male and just not seeing the forest for the trees?

    Someone explain it to me.

    I personally like when people say what they mean and mean what they say. But perhaps I'm in the minority.
  7. forever_town

    forever_town Active Member

    Don't you see? You're supposed to be able to read your mother's mind. After all, you are her son.

    This "game" you've been talking about has been going on for years. Only you know if your mother really means "don't get me a gift" when she says that. I'd still get her something to let her know you want to do something nice for her. Or you could always take her out to dinner/cook for her.

    I usually have people give me money or gift cards. Those are usually the best things because then I can do what I want with the money/gift cards.
  8. Why do people even say, "Don't get me anything," when really you're supposed to? I mean, what the hell does this accomplish other that ratcheting up the potential for embarrassing misunderstandings?

    (I'm thinking back, for example, to "The Office" episode where Pam told Roy not to get her anything for Valentine's Day, so he didn't, and the implication the viewer was supposed to come away with was what a tin-eared clod he was).
  9. EE94

    EE94 Guest

    Is your mother Irish?
    A nation of martyrs, don'tcha know

    and I'll be nice enough not to point out the misspelling of etiquette
  10. John

    John Well-Known Member

    My mom's in Italy for a month at this time every year, so she's gone for Mother's Day and her birthday. I always call and send her a nice e-mail because she won't let me get her anything. Then again, she and my dad are spending the month in Italy, so what could they possibly need?
  11. SixToe

    SixToe Active Member

    Don't get her anything.

    If she gets pissed, tell her you did what she said and she shouldn't tell you that.

    If she says thank you, then you're good.
  12. then hit your brother with the vase, take the gift from his unconscious hands and pass it off as your own.
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