Open Thread

by epi on May 1, 2012

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This open thread is your space to use as you like. We invite you to discuss current and traditional etiquette. Feel free to ask questions of each other and the community moderators here.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

CC May 1, 2012 at 2:14 pm

A friend who is a single woman in her early 30′s has purchased a home. Thrilled by this milestone, she is throwing a nice housewarming party. She asked my advice about whether she can register for housewarming gifts. I was happy to hear she was considering this, because I am so excited to buy her a nice gift and would appreciate the direction. Do others think it gauche to register? My advice was to register, but rely on word-of-mouth/ingenuity for friends to locate her registry (she’s going to register at Pottery Barn, which is an obvious place for any friend looking). I also recommended she register for lower-priced items (i.e., in the price range of a housewarming gift instead of a wedding gift). I was disappointed to see past advice here suggesting registries be left to brides and moms-to-be. (http://www.etiquettedaily.com/2009/10/housewarming-no-no-gift-registries/) It seems unfair to my single friend who has never been married, and has been to a gazillion weddings, showers, bachelorette parties, etc. What do my fellow etiquette enthusiasts think?

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Just Laura May 1, 2012 at 2:46 pm

While I understand one’s frustration at buying everyone else a shower gift, I must point out that not everyone is entitled to a showers and registries, nor are registries necessary for happiness. Certainly I never had a wedding shower, and plenty of new dads haven’t had baby showers or filled out registries (seems to be a woman-thing).

I think many times in American culture, retailers have created an expectation of pre-selected gifts for every occasion (I don’t blame these stores – registries really help their bottom line). From bridal registries to baby registries to graduation registries to housewarming registries, the expectation is always “more presents of my choosing, please! I have done something significant!” Certainly I’m not saying your friend has a “gimme complex,” and as a homeowner she should be proud, but not every single event needs a registry. If she has a housewarming party, friends/family will bring gifts. If they are like most friends/family, they’ll ask her what she needs. I don’t think she’ll have to worry about that.

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Zakafury May 2, 2012 at 9:33 am

She could create a registry, which gives some benefits related to returns without receipts at many stores, then only tell those who ask specifically about a registry.

If someone asks what she wants, she can give an item or two as a suggestion. If she gets duplicates, she’s covered, and no one will be the wiser.

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CC May 3, 2012 at 2:04 pm

Update: This morning I researched my questions in Emily Post’s Etiquette in hardcopy. Online wish lists are acknowledged as an acceptible part of modern life. However, EP advises that only very close friends and family be informed of our online wish lists, and only when we are asked. A special note is made that registry/wish list information should never be included in a housewarming party invitation, and I agree with that.

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