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Help Settle An Etiquette Dispute

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by Webster, Oct 1, 2012.

  1. Webster

    Webster Well-Known Member

    So for about the 50th time, last night Mrs. W and I got into an argument about a wedding gift not given. Here is the scenario.

    About 13 years ago, one of my roommates from college was getting married about 2 hours outside of NYC. He was very reluctant to get married and told me a few times in the weeks before that he didn't want to go through with it.

    The day before the wedding, Mrs. W (who had not yet made the mistake of marrying me) got really sick and I ended up spending the night with her. She wasn't able to make the trip to the wedding and in the rush to drive there, I left the card (and enclosed check) at her place.

    Wedding takes place, everything seems happy. In apologizing to the bride and groom, I told them that Mrs. W and I would take them out to dinner when they returned and will give them their gift then. I leave a voicemail again apologizing while they are on their honeymoon.

    A couple of weeks pass and I don't hear from them. I leave a few more messages and after about 6 weeks, the bride calls me back and says that they split up a couple of days after the ceremony. My friend and I get together and he says that going through with the wedding was a mistake and that he doesn't want to talk about how it ended. We get together a couple of times in the next few months, but he basically doesn't want to discuss it and we really don't see each other.

    About a year later, out of the blue, we get a call from the two of them inviting us over for dinner in their new place. We go over and they act like nothing has happened. I raise the topic in private with him, but he says that they are happy now, and that's all that matters.

    I decided not to give them the wedding gift because I didn't want to open old wounds. After getting together a few more times, we sort of drift apart and they decline an invite to our wedding. Mrs. W thinks that I was completely wrong and that because they stayed married, we owed them the gift. Whenever the topic gets raised (including last night at a family dinner), it turns into a big fight. In fact, many years ago she made me donate the gift amount to charity to show that I wasn't just being cheap.

    So -- should I have given the gift or was I justified?
  2. Lugnuts

    Lugnuts Well-Known Member

    Justified. Really and truly, a wedding gift or no gift from you at this point should be the least of their concerns.

    If for some reason they are mad about not receiving a gift from you, they are insane, and do you really need insanity in your life?

    No. They had some major sorting out to do, which had nothing to do with goblets or wine racks.
  3. JC

    JC Well-Known Member

    You should have given them the gift. They got married, stayed married and you wnet to the wedding and iI assume ate and drank for free. For the amount of that cheque, was it really worth it to not just give them the money?
  4. Inky_Wretch

    Inky_Wretch Well-Known Member

    You made an honest mistake, no harm there.

    They split up after the wedding, so you certainly didn't owe it to them then.

    You go a year without hearing from them, you absolutely don't owe them a gift at that point either.
  5. dooley_womack1

    dooley_womack1 Well-Known Member

    As long as you kept your pinkies raised when sipping from the soup bowl at the reception, you're good etiquette-wise
  6. The Big Ragu

    The Big Ragu Moderator Staff Member

    Weird situation. No playbook for something like that. You shouldn't be second guessing it 13 years later. It should have been buried in the past long ago.
  7. cranberry

    cranberry Well-Known Member

    These things work themselves out over time.
  8. Dyno

    Dyno Well-Known Member

    It's definitely a weird situation. I guess my biggest question is why is your wife is so upset about it? If this happened 13 years ago and she's getting so mad it turns into a fight, I'm wondering if there isn't some other issue - related or unrelated - going on. When is the last time you saw these people? Did the wife say something to your wife? Are there mutual friends who might have said something to your wife?
  9. Webster

    Webster Well-Known Member

    We have no mutual friends and Mrs. W. didn't like my roommate at all -- he's a bit offputting. I'm not sure why this has stayed as a big thing as we are usually on the same page as a couple.
  10. LongTimeListener

    LongTimeListener Well-Known Member

    You gotta find out what happened on the honeymoon.
  11. JC

    JC Well-Known Member

    Your intention was to give them a gift, you should have made the effort to follow through on that regardless of what happened after. I would hope nobody would go to a wedding and intentionally not bring a gift, not following up is the same thing IMO.
  12. Double Down

    Double Down Well-Known Member

    You owed them nothing. Went to a wedding once that was called off the day of the event. My gift (which i sent early, at my wife's prompting) was politely returned. The bride was mortified to have to do it. There was a brief reconciliation but they called off the relationship soon after. Would have caused them less angst had I never got the gift.
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