Tuesday, June 12, 2007

I have the gift of gab, that's for sure

Remind me to tell you later about how we, you know, BOUGHT HBO. I know. Sue us.

I have another wedding to attend this weekend, one of three so far this year. This is the scariest one to not bring a present to, because the bride and I haven't talked that much in the past year -- probably starting with when she met whoever this guy is she's marrying.

When she got in touch with me, I told her what we were doing this year and sent her a link to this blog, and she wrote back, "You are the cutest thing ever" and then promptly sent me an invitation to her shower. I do not think she read the blog.

Anyway, I am going to her wedding, because she is my friend and I know how I felt when people didn't attend MY wedding. And I will enclose the card I have been enclosing, wishing them the best of luck and promising to send a gift on January 1.

But here is my question: when did gifts stop becoming gifts and start becoming obligations? I thought gifts were little surprises that one could CHOOSE to give or not. That is what made them special. But for instance, with weddings, a gift is your price of admission. I will feed you so you bring a nice gift. I mean, you wouldn't dream of going to a wedding and not giving a gift.

I do not like this. I have several friends who are just not birthday people. It is not their thing, they don't remember and they don't send gifts. And I don't care! They are good friends otherwise. Isn't solid, dependable friendship more important than someone remembering to put a scented candle in the mail on your birthday?

Anyway, I am in my robe with wet hair and I should have left for work four minutes ago. So I will end on that note. Your thoughts, please.

19 comments:

dcrmom said...

Well, wedding gifts have been pretty mandatory for ages. But. Etiquette says that you have one year from the day of the wedding to get the gift to the couple. Or wait. Is that a year to send a thank you note? Hm. I'm not sure. Oh well anyway. I'm sure your friends will understand, and it will be so much fun to get an unexpected gift on January 1, after the novelty of the wedding has long since past. Right? Right.

So. The birthday. That's another thing. I am the worst sort. I am a birthday person, in that I like to get attention on my birthday. But I forget everyone else's. I suck, I know. Well, I don't need my friends making a big to-do. And theirs are the ones I forget. I do enjoy making a big deal out of my husband's and used to have a party for him every year, and finally after throwing a party ever year for eight years and never once getting one in return (except when he ordered a cake to have at an after church social for my 30th because "that's a big one", um, okay, THAT'S your idea of a big celebration? and WHY did I marry you??") I finally stopped having parties for him. Of course, he couldn't care less. And I still have never had a party. HMPH.

Wow, I think I made that all about me. Amazing how quickly that can happen.

June Cutoff Cash said...

Oh, please, dcrmom. Every comment I leave on your blog is me-centric.

I recently heard about this book I'd like to read, about how we have different criteria for how we feel loved. For example, some people are gift/reward people. They will leave a job they like for one that pays more. And they would really feel unloved if they didn't get a gift on specail occasions.

Some people are 'time' people. If you spend a few hours with them, or call them for a long chat, that is what they need.

Others are touch people. They like to get all up in everyone's grille to feel loved. I wish those people would leave me alone.

Anyway, there are like five or seven different categories, and to me it sounds fascinating, and may help me understand those around me. Like your husband. He clearly doesn't need parties to feel loved, but you want parties. Maybe if he understood that was your thing, it would help. You see what I'm saying?

Stie said...

The thing that I would hate (if I were you) is the obligation you have come January 1. You are going to do a truckload of shopping for presents that by then will be long forgotten! Right now you are choosing not to spend money (admirable). There have been times in my married life, where we didn't have a choice - as poor grad students, there was no money for good wedding gifts. I know what the etiquette is, but I hate being obliged to do anything. Something about the rebel in me - if I am supposed to do it, I automatically don't want to.

I say, write a nice card now, best of luck and all that jazz, and not worry a second more about it. I mean, really, who sits there with their guest list and cross checks the presents? NOBODY.

P.S. What'd ya think of the Sopranos finale?

June Cutoff Cash said...

Thanks, stie, for not yelling at me about purchasing HBO for the month. And here is my brilliant Sopranos-ending theory. Tony is dead. First show of the season, he tells Bobby that when you die everything goes black. And he told the now-also-dead Bobby while they were sitting IN THE SAME BOAT. They're IN THE SAME BOAT. Are you seeing my brilliance?

That said, the ending pissed me off.

tarable said...

June, so you are not really escaping the spending for his year - just postponing it? How will that help you? I agree with stie, just send the card and forget about it. Not condemnation over the HBO thing, obviously you watched a lot of other quality programming too, so I'm sure it was a bargain.

June Cutoff Cash said...

Well, yeah, I am postponing spending when it comes to gifts. I mean, the point was to see what it was like to not spend, but not at the expense of my friends.

So I guess what I will learn from this portion of the experiment is how it feels to not give a gift, how people react to it, that sort of thing. But I will feel awful if I NEVER give a gift. ...Or maybe I won't. Who knows what I will learn this year?

June Cutoff Cash said...

Oh, and P.S. This is ONLY for wedding gifts. My friends know there will be no birthday or Christmas gifts this year. But as I said, you kind of have to pay the price of admission for a wedding.

Stie said...

I love your summation - HE HAS TO BE DEAD! Great comparison and memory!

That show just rocks. I will forevah love it, capice?

sabrina duncan said...

Ok, first, and I do mean, FIRST, I heard that Heart was a selection on the jukebox in the Sopranos!

Now, the gift giving thing: I agree that you should NOT have to send gifts on January 1. That's just postponing the spending. (By the way, you could make a gift.)

And yes, I know you and I BOTH were cross-checking our wedding guests/gifts, but that's us and this is now and that doesn't make sense, but you get my general idea with this GI-normous run-on sentence.

What's the name of that book?

June Cutoff Cash said...

I really didn't cross-check my wedding gifts.

In fact, I had one friend who said she couldn't afford to get me a gift and I absolutely mean it when I say I didn't care. Having her there was so much more important.

And have you met me? What gift could I possibly make?

Anonymous said...

here is the gift you make:
you write a funny "what to do" and "what not to do" as a married woman type thing. a funny advice-type laugh out loud gift. the gift of laughter is the best. and you really have that gift to give.

Kelly Garrett said...

June Cut-Off Cash, I am in agreement with Sabrina, and not because I accidently got her orange pinto blown up last week and need to get back in her good graces.

You should not postpone your gift until January 1st, otherwise you are truly not feeling what it's like to not give gifts this year, you are feeling what it's like to postpone giving a gift. If you've ever had to send a belated birthday card, you already understand this feeling.

You say that you cannot make something, but indeed you can. Beyond the gift of gab, you have the gift of the pen. I'd like to suggest that you write the couple a short story for their wedding. Perhaps you can make up some adventure they will have on their honeymoon in Hawaii -- they may even need to hire the angels to help with a kidnapping or theft and since we opened an office in Honolulu in 1980, its not even that much of a stretch. (And if they're going to Europe, Jill is still racing cars there and does freelance work from time to time.)

Anyway, a short story will be hilarious, grammatically perfect, and something they will treasure forever as a gift that only you could give.

Anonymous said...

Or you could give a baby bird

Frankie said...

JUNE!

That's exactly the same conclusion I had about Tony. Yay, someone saw it the same way I did!

June Cutoff Cash said...

Hah! Frankie, we are of similar, and clearly great, minds.

Adeline Dimond said...

I feel pretty resentful about wedding gifts, because it's never just ONE gift. It's the shower gift, the engagement gift, and don't get me started on the obligations surrounding "girls' weekends" etc. Indeed, this year I tried to get out of one of those weekends, pleading financial issues, and THE BRIDE GOT MAD. She's over it now, but it was dicey there for a moment.

Anyway, this is what I have been doing for wedding gifts. I DOES cost a little $$, but it might work in the spirit of what you've been doing. I bring a camera to to the wedding. Granted, I have a really nice camera, but I'm sure you can do this with any type. I take photos of things that the "real" photographers never seem to catch. For instance, last wedding I got three really beautiful photos of the centerpieces at different angles, and a photo of the bride whispering something to the groom. Blow the photos up to 8 x 10, go to Aaron Brothers and use the do-it-yourself framing table. (This whole idea DOES NOT work if you have Aaron Bros. actually frame the photos). Present framed 8 x 10 photos to the bride, and she usually freaks out. Granted, the developing the photos and the stuff at Aaron Bros. does cost $$, but it's not exactly a consumer purchase . . . ya dig?

June Cutoff Cash said...

A. Diamond! That is a GREAT idea. I have to ask Marvin where the grownup camera is -- I am forever taking photos with my cell phone.

Jenn said...

In case anyone is still wondering about the book June mentioned I believe it is called The Five Love Languages. There's a website for it too.

http://www.fivelovelanguages.com/

amy said...

PS the book you're talking about is the 5 love languages. I am "quality time" and "words of affirmation." my mom is acts of service... she doesn't want presents, she just wants me to clean her house. interesting, huh?