I have a dilemma that I would appreciate your and the ehellions opinion of. First, a bit of back story:
In early December I was emailing a friend and she told me that she was going to have some significant surgery the following week. Ten days after the surgery she was going to her cousin’s wedding. I thought this was a little ambitious but didn’t say anything and wished her luck. After Christmas I was emailing again to see how she was recovering and did she get to the wedding. Recovery was slow and she was unable to make the wedding. Here is her dilemma.
She was intending to give her cousin a card with a gift of money. She didn’t go to the wedding and spent the money on some pampering for herself as she still felt lousy post surgery. I personally have no problem with this. Her money, her prerogative to use as she wishes. However, she is getting a hard time from her mother. She thinks her daughter is being very rude, should send a gift, I brought you up better than this, blah, blah. Friend asked me my opinion. I said that if she notified her cousin that she couldn’t make the wedding due to the surgery then a nice congratulatory card should be sufficient. If she rsvp’d yes and then no showed, then a card with the money would be better as her dinner would have already been paid for. She noted that she hardly sees her cousin, is not close to him and when she was married he was invited to the wedding, didn’t come or send any sort of acknowledgement let alone a gift.
So, have I unwittingly lead my friend into ehell or should her mother just pull her head in and let her daughter recuperate in peace? Also, I have no idea what amount of money we are talking about and I am not aware of my friends financial situation. But since this is no one’s business it shouldn’t be an issue in people’s advice.
I notice your friend did not answer the question of whether she had rsvped to the wedding or not. Perhaps she did and you did not convey this to Ehell readers.
I’m hard pressed to understand why your friend would make plans to attend a wedding of someone she hardly knows, is not close to and who has no reciprocal interest in her own life events. But she apparently did and intended to give her cousin a monetary gift at the wedding. Her explanation that she can no longer give him a wedding gift due to her hardly knowing him, is not close to him, etc. is just a convenient excuse to justify her decision. In other words, her level of relationship and closeness to him only becomes important to her when it benefits her.
My thought is, if she intended to go to the wedding and intended to give him a gift, there is nothing that has changed in her relationship with him in that interim between intending to go to the wedding and deciding not to go to the wedding to justify her changing her mind to not give a gift. This should prompt her to examine why she gives gifts in the first place to people she does not like or love.
And as an addendum to you, her friend, it’s stepping onto a slippery slope straight into Ehell when one equates the value of a wedding gift to the speculative cost of the reception meal. Hosts provide refreshment for their guests with no expectation of reimbursement and guests give gifts because they love and want to bless the newlyweds. There is no equitable exchange of goods, i.e. I give you dinner and you give me money, in the appropriately tasteful wedding.