Today's Dear Abby

secsteveApril 27, 2008

Today's Dear Abby about a person who attended a friend's daughter's shower took the cake in my opinion.

If you get a chance goggle Dear Abby and read it.

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Yes, pretty horrible. I experienced something similar, but not quite as bad. After everyone was seated at table, but before the bride arrived, we were told to take an envelope and pen from the basket in the middle of the table and address our own thank you note envelope. I (and everyone I was seated with) thought that was in very poor taste, and we weren't even asked to write out our own thank you note (as was the case in the Dear Abby column). I was mortified for the bride, but later realized she didn't object or she wouldn't have used the envelopes. It was odd to get the envelope in the mail, thinking "why did I mail myself something" until it dawned on me what it was. Priceless. And it is the thing we most remember from that shower/wedding.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2008 at 7:06PM
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Here it is, courtesy of the Columbus Dispatch web site:

Dear Abby: I attended a bridal shower for a friend's daughter.

After the young woman opened her gifts, we were escorted to another room where blank notecards were strewn on a coffee table, surrounded by envelopes and stamps. The hostess instructed us to write on these folded cards our names and what we had given the bride-to-be.

The hostess told us to write: "Dear Mary (using our own names, of course), Thank you for the nice afghan" (or whatever we had given), and place the card in one of the envelopes. We were told to address and stamp the envelopes but not to seal them so (I assume) the "too busy" bride-to-be could sign her name.

As I foolishly followed these ridiculous instructions, I was tempted to thank myself for the 30-minute drive I had made in each direction to buy a gift, and the 45-minute drive I made to attend the shower.

And do you want to know the "topper"? I asked the bride-to-be before leaving when her wedding was.

Get this: It was in two days. I wasn't invited.

What's wrong with this generation?

-- Feeling Used in Kansas

Dear Feeling: Nothing is wrong with "this generation."

What you have described is a family that never learned basic good manners. Rather than an "afghan" -- or whatever your gift was -- the bride-to-be would have been better served to have received a book on etiquette.


Amazing. I disagree with Abby's advice about the etiquette book as a gift, though. The bride didn't do this awful thing, the hostess did.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2008 at 11:11PM
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I have had a similar experience to Sue36, being asked to address my own thank you envelope upon entering the door at a shower. The pretense was that it was for a door prize type drawing. Uh huh.

And I have been invited to a shower and not invited to the wedding, once. In this case I'm convinced the bride didn't know any better for two reasons: she was from another culture where they most likely didn't have showers, and her wedding was in another state so they most likely limited their guest list to people they thought would fly in for it (I would not have). I'm sure she just didn't know the ettiquette of inviting wedding invitees to the shower only so it was easy for me to forgive this faux pas.

gellchom, You might be right about it being the hostess's idea for everyone to write out their own thank you notes, but I would be willing to bet the bride knew about it and agreed to it in advance. In any case, if "Feeling Used" was invited to the shower but not the wedding, this is definitely the bride and her mother's doing, they are the ones who set the guest lists for both shower and wedding.

Just another example of out-n-out asking for a gift, which seems to becoming more the norm than the exception.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2008 at 1:06PM
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Having a few minutes to think about this, I'm not sure I'd go along with the TY note writing of this kind at a shower. I'm sort of a rebellious type, and would rather just walk away knowing I wasn't going to get a TY note than write it out myself. It would depend on who the bride was as to how I'd react I guess. Most likely I'd just smile and politely decline and go back to the room where the party had started.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2008 at 1:15PM
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I wouldn't decline, I'd write the envelope, and even the note, if it went that far. I would be sitting there thinking it was about the tackiest thing I'd ever seen, but I would know it would be very rude to refuse to do it. Even doing so without comment would send the message of my disapproval loud and clear, and a good guest doesn't do that, no matter what mistakes the hosts make. It's insulting and mean.

Well, I suppose I would decline if they were doing something illegal, immoral, racist, or cruel -- but not just something tacky.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2008 at 9:47PM
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You're right, it would be rude of me to do that! I've been known to be rude in my time! LOL

So maybe I'd just address a blank note and leave it at that. I would just feel so uncomfortable and foolish, I just don't think I could sit there and write out
Dear Lowspark,
thank you for the ... etc.

Unless maybe I'd had a few glasses of wine first! OTOH if I'd had that wine, I might write out something like
Dear Lowspark
I'm too lazy to write out a Thank you note so I'm making you do it...

LOL, but only if I was sure no one would see it but me.

OK, I'll stop now. The whole thing is just so outrageous in some ways, but not at all surprising in others.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2008 at 10:24AM
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lowspark, you made me laugh!

I think maybe I'd make my note funny, or include check boxes or something -- especially if I loved the people involved and wanted to help salvage this awful moment.

"Dear Gellchom,

The can opener is surely the finest gift any person has ever given another in all of human history. Your selection shows not just taste, but artistry -- nay, genius. Cuthbert and I have decided that we shall build a shrine in which to store it during those moments we are not conducting can-opening demonstrations for our envious friends. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your unbelievable generosity!


    Bookmark   April 29, 2008 at 1:35PM
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Now you've made ME laugh!

    Bookmark   April 29, 2008 at 2:14PM
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A coworker got married last year. She supervises 6 people. the bride's boss threw her a shower and invited everyone from work (males and females). Her boss included on the shower invitations the places she was registered. The shower was held at an expensive restaurant and it was listed on the invitation that we were responsible for buying our own dinner. The kicker of the situation was that this girl did not invite anyone from work to her wedding except for her boss (who was throwing her shower) and our director!!. So we were expected to attend this shower, buy our own dinner and a gift for the bride even though none of us were invited to her wedding. I think four people attended (out of 60) and they were one of the women the bride supervises, her boss and MY boss (male- who was forced to go by HIS supervisor who was the woman throwing the shower). Afterwards those of us who did not attend (especially the females) were reprimanded (verbally) by the bride's supervisor. The bride was 25 and her supervisor was 30- arent' they old enough to know better!!!

    Bookmark   May 1, 2008 at 10:40AM
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Miss Manners always vocally opposes workplace celebrations beyond a card or a cake. I used to think she was being a spoilsport, though I generally love what she has to say. Now, though, I think she's absolutely right. Someone always ends up feeling pressured, and you shouldn't have to explain why you don't want to participate.

.. Joann

    Bookmark   May 1, 2008 at 11:53AM
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