1. John

    A few months ago I was unable to attend the shower for one of my coworkers who is a favorite of mine. I ordered a fairly expensive gift for her online and chose the registry option to have it delivered to her instead of me. Of course, I completed the section online where you add your gift message and identified who it was from. I followed up online to confirm that it had been delivered and it showed that it was “left on porch.” This was in early January.

    Well, the wedding has come and gone and I’ve heard nothing. I realize she has many things to do and often it takes months to get out thank you notes but I see her on a daily basis and she’s never mentioned it. My feelings are perhaps a little hurt but more importantly, I’m wondering if she might never have received the gift, or if the store forgot to include my gift message. I do want her to know that we acknowledged this milestone and wish her well.

    Is there any way I can tactfully bring this up or should I just let it go? I’d hate to put her in the position of having to say something like “We’ve just been so busy…” etc.

    I’d be grateful for any advice on how to handle this.


    • Elizabeth

      I don’t think there’s anything wrong with asking, either in person or via email (whatever is most comfortable and appropriate). First and foremost, you want to make sure she actually got the gift. If she needs to make an excuse about why the thankyous haven’t gotten out yet, it’s fine, everyone has had life get in the way of what one is supposed to do. (Maybe this will be the prompt she needs to get around to them, who knows?) However, there’s also the possibility that she did send you a thankyou note and that it was lost. It sounds like she’s a friend, so just go ahead and ask.

    • Winifred Rosenburg

      Because there is a legitimate reason to be concerned that she never got the gift, it’s perfectly fine to follow up and say something like “I just wanted to make sure you got the package I sent you. I know sometimes these places can be careless and the package ends up with a neighbor.”

    • Country Girl

      This seems to be a recurring problem I read about here often. A confirmation signature (if possible) would probably be a safe bet in the future to relieve you from this situation. A good way to approach this friend is simply “I was going over some of my files, and noticed that status from the wedding gift I’d sent you from Pottery Barn said it was left the gift on your porch. That always makes me nervous, so I wanted to double check and make sure you received it.” This way if the gift was not received you will know and can address the company for a replacement/refund. If the gift was received you are not accusing her of not sending a thank you, merely double checking to make sure there was no postal error or neighborhood theft. If she must apologize for not getting a thank you to you, as Elizabeth mentions, (and I would if I were her) that is her prerogative and you shouldn’t feel guilty.

  2. Jeff

    Gravestone inscription protocols for describing relatives of the deceased.

    I read that the protocol for denoting relatives on a gravestone is described from the deceased position, but I’ve read lots of inscriptions that do not follow any consistency with the description of each relative. In particular, the use of mother-in-law or son-in-law terminology, brother, sister, sister-in-law, grandmother or nanna etc and the ordering of names.

    Using the below names, are you please able to provide a couple of examples?

    Mary died and has 2 children Carol (oldest) and Tom. Carol’s husband is John
    Mary’s has a brother Bob (oldest), Brian, sister Sue, and sister-in-law Alice (married to Bob).
    Mary has a grand-daughter Sally.
    Mary has various nieces & nephews.

  3. Kate

    My family is friends with a few other families in our neighborhood, all of us with young children around the same age. We meet at the bus stop every day, go out together, have casual gatherings and parties at our houses, etc. Yesterday, I came home around 9:00 in the evening and heard a bunch of kids having fun on the trampoline at the house right behind us (this is the home of one of those friends we hang out with). I said to my husband that I wished we had a trampoline sometimes for our 6 and 8-year-old boys to burn off some energy, even at night. Then my husband tells me that our boys had walked up to the fence that separates our yards earlier in the evening to say hi to the kids on the trampoline. This happens all of the time, and our boys often get invited over to join them, but not always. But then my husband said he heard and saw the parents of the other kids cooking out in this neighbor’s yard. Turns out, it was the two other families who we hang out with the most. My husband didn’t go up to the fence like he usually does (to say hi) because he felt really awkward (since we obviously had not been invited to this little gathering…it was St. Patrick’s Day). I realize people have gatherings any time they want to and invite whomever they want, but we felt really hurt that here were the 3 families we socialize with the most having a party and we never got asked to come…no mention of it at the bus stop the day before, no email, no phone call or anything. It wouldn’t have been a big deal if had been at another house where it wasn’t in full view from our backyard to theirs, and in daylight. Should I just pretend I never noticed, or should I casually bring it up the next time I see any of them (the hosting family or the other two)? I certainly don’t want to make a big deal of it, but I just can’t stop wondering why we weren’t invited.

    • Alicia

      Mo you should not mention it nor should you worry about it. Most likely they wanted to build better relationships with the other couples as they already have a great one with you or well honestly doing a 4 family party gets large fast. Maybve they just were trying to do a smaller casual get together and will likely invite you next time. There is nothing you can say or do that does not just cause alkwardness and uncomfortableness and make you seem like a less desireable guest for the next time.

  4. Helen

    My sister was engaged two weeks ago. We are generally a close family, spending birthdays and holidays together. She and her fiance want a summer wedding, leaving justa few months for planning. At our family dinner celebration, I asked her to please avoid June 30, as my husband is already committed to standing up for a friend’s wedding. She called today to say that June 30 is the date – they found the location that they want and the only available day this summer is the 30th. I’m having a very hard time with this – so my husband can’t go? Or he has to cancel a committment to a dear friend? She didn’t approach me with any sort of ‘let’s talk about this’ – it was literally ‘if he can’t come, I understand’ – of course he would have to cancel on his friend – this is family – but how is it fair that she wants a wedding in three months and the date that she wants without any consideration for what has already been committed that truly can’t be changed??? help, this is causing a lot of angst as my husband and I are at odds with my family who think that my husband is just ‘more interested in spending time with his friends’

    • Alicia

      Actually Husband should not cancel on friend as that was the prior commitment. So husband should go to friends wedding. In theory if you have already RSVPed for friends wedding you should go to that as well but most likely the official invites have not gone out for friends wedding and you can attend your sisters wedding. Yes she made teh choice that the venue was more important then her brother in law attending her wedding and that is her choice to make but that is teh choice she made. It is not what you would have wanted but clearly that is her choice. Huisband should attend friends wedding if you have already RSVPed you should attend friends wedding if no RSVP yet you can attend whichever wedding you wish.

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