1. Anabelle

    If I go to a dinner at a coworker’s house, and my husband is invited to the dinner, but can’t come (he has class until late that night), is it polite for me to bring home a plate of food for him if there is extra food?

    • Elizabeth

      Only if they offer. Definitely do not ask. You both were invited to share a meal, and your hosts are under no obligation to feed your husband in his absence.

  2. AB123

    To preface my question: it is not my intention to sound like a spoiled brat, and if I do, I suppose that answers my question. I graduated this May from a top university with a double major, a prize for the highest GPA in my program, and a spot on the Dean’s Honour List. In spite of these achievements, my parents gave me neither a card nor a graduation gift. Instead, they took me to a chain steak house restaurant (they like steak – I don’t) because they already had gift certificate. Am I being presumptuous to expect a gift? I am holding quite a grudge and I’m not sure if my frustration is legitimate.

    • Winifred Rosenburg

      First of all, I do not think you are a brat. I do not believe your parents are required to give you a gift. They are required to express congratulations to you in some sort of genuine way that demonstrates pride (a gift is one way of doing this but not the only way). From your tone, I’m guessing they didn’t really do that either. Unfortunately you can’t correct your parents’ manners so there’s nothing you can do about their lack of acknowledgement.

    • Cyra

      I have felt similar frustration toward my parents, and please just let it go! You can’t change it, you certainly can’t say “why didn’t you get me a present?!”, and you will be much happier if you just gratefully accept what they have given you (dinner, attendance at your graduation) and love them for who they are. I know this is not easy, but it is the only way to maintain good relationships!

    • Elizabeth

      I’m sorry that your parents have disappointed you. I can imagine feeling like my accomplishments weren’t being adequately celebrated in your situation. I don’t know what your parents are like, so it’s hard to say whether this is an intentional snub, if they’ve had a moment of temporary insanity, whether they don’t put much stock in your accomplishments, or whether they’re financially and emotionally exhausted from putting you through school. Are gifts typical in your family for these kinds of events, is the lack of a gift normal or abnormal for them? In any case, I would advise not holding a grudge about the material signs of their pride or joy in your accomplishment. You have a double major from a good school, you were at the top of your class, and you worked hard to get there. Did you do it for your parents’ approval, or did you do it for yourself? I know that, during high school and college, you can go through something of a transition with respect to this question. When we’re little, we do do most things for our parents’ approval, but as we grow older we have to take satisfaction and pride in our achievements for our own sake. I honestly cannot remember if my parents gave me a gift for graduation, but I’m sure they took me to a restaurant we all liked and I know they celebrated my accomplishment (and their own, college isn’t cheap!) with all due enthusiasm. If this is not the case for you, you may want to have a conversation with them about it.

    • Vanna Keiler

      Hello. I would like to weigh in. I think as beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so too is receiving of gifts. Much as we would all like to receive gifts which we can genuinely use, we also want to feel our gifts to others are appreciated, in the spirit and joy in which they were given. Having said this, as others have commented, we do not know your current relationship with your parents. However, if you want to view your experience with your parents in a charitable light, consider if they indeed helped fund the education through savings for you or supported you in other ways. Also, realize that as you are now an adult, maybe your parents are now seeing you in this light, and perhaps treating you as someone who hopefully sometime soon will reciprocate for all their childrearing years, and treat them to dinner when you land that fabulous new career.

  3. Gertrude

    For a lot of parents, getting their child through college is not just an accomplishment for the student, but also for the parents as well. They worked very hard to raise a child this far, and to have someone as accomplished as you is something they too are proud of.

    First, if they paid for college, haven’t they given you enough already?

    And if they weren’t able to, perhaps you need to consider their financial situation, and realize that they may not be able to afford a gift. Either way, you should never “expect a gift”. To me, that is presumptuous. Having that sense of entitlement is not a good way to begin your post-collegiate life. Consider it from their standpoint: Are they expecting a gift from you for their hard work in getting you to this point?

    • Karen

      Presumptuous to expect a gift? Perhaps. Unreasonable for wishing that they’d be more considerate when celebrating your accomplishment? No. You accomplished a LOT. You certainly have earned all the congratulations you’re getting (including mine–huge congrats!). While I agree that the college process is a big deal for the parents too, especially on the financial front, there’s a reason that YOUR name is on the diploma: YOU EARNED THE DEGREE! I am so sorry that your parents couldn’t bring themselves to acknowledge your accomplishment at least with a card to say how proud they are of you.

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