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VALuvsMKwan
05-21-2012, 04:24 AM
I appreciate and respect that a bride and groom might request no gifts. But they also need to appreciate that some people will feel uncomfortable if they don't give them something.

No. They. Don't. IMHO. :rolleyes:

kwanfan1818
05-21-2012, 06:41 AM
I don't think it's a problem if the bride and groom appreciate that some people will feel uncomfortable if they don't give them something, especially if the guests follow their wishes. They just don't have to act on it, since almost any party is based on a set of trade-offs.

genevieve
05-21-2012, 06:52 AM
I'm a bit surprised a question about social etiquette can spark such a long and "spiritied" discussion. Or perhaps not, since this is skating off season :)

Are you new here? :rofl: Etiquette questions ALWAYS result is lengthy and quite spirited discussions, even at the height of the season :P

cruisin
05-21-2012, 01:45 PM
ITA!

Before I read this thread, I thought I had it all worked out. Now, I'm not so sure. It never occurred to me that someone might be offended by the flowers and wine I took to a dinner party. You know what, I can't live that way. I can't second guess every invitation and worry that I might offend by taking or not taking something. I'm not interested in spending hours worrying about whether "no gifts" really means no gifts, just like I don't spend hours worrying about whether "black tie" means black tie, or "business casual" really means business casual. All I can do is treat people the way I want to be treated and then hope for the best. My dd recently returned from Japan with fabulous gifts for all of us from her host family. I didn't send those kinds of gifts to them when their daughter stayed with us. I'm not offended by their gifts, nor am I embarrassed that I didn't send that kind of gift to them. Their culture is obviously different from mine, and that's okay. We both did what we thought was the correct and polite thing to do - what more could I ask for?

I always take wine and flowers when I go to someone's house for dinner. Sometimes I take a small hostess gift if it is a more formal occasion. I don't consider that a "gift" like a birthday or wedding present. I see it as a thank you for the gift of dinner the receiver is giving me. If the hosts are terribly offended, they have the option of not inviting me back ;)

It seems to me that most people, most of the time, try to be considerate of others and try to do what they think is polite. Sometimes that means you will get a gift you don't want and sometimes that means you will be asked not to take a gift you would like to give. All this talk about whose feelings are more important is, IMHO, crazy. People don't give gifts to be offensive and people don't ask for no gifts to be offensive. There are a lot of things in this world to get worked up about and, again IMHO, this is not one of them.

I don't think reading comprehension comes into the equation at all. People just interpret invitations differently. Go to a black tie event and look at what people are wearing. Quite clearly there are many out there who feel invitation instructions are optional. I may not agree, but as Miss Manners once said, "the only people whose manners you should correct are your own children, and then only when they are children."

Well said.


I don't think it's a problem if the bride and groom appreciate that some people will feel uncomfortable if they don't give them something, especially if the guests follow their wishes. They just don't have to act on it, since almost any party is based on a set of trade-offs.

Then why does that very concept seem to be so foreign to some posters. Why do some posters seem to feel that if you feel uncomfortable not bringing a gift, even though you DO NOT bring one, you are somehow putting your feelings first? This is ludicrous. I guess we are not supposed to express our feelings (in a thread, on a skating board) about doing something that goes against the way we do things, even if we respect the wishes of the inviter. We should just suck it up and change our POV to whatever we're told to feel here.

michiruwater
05-21-2012, 04:02 PM
Why do some posters seem to feel that if you feel uncomfortable not bringing a gift, even though you DO NOT bring one, you are somehow putting your feelings first?

No one feels that way. No, seriously. No one feels that way.

What really bothers most of the posters here is that the way you are writing your posts, you have made it clear (again and again) that you do think your feelings should be put first. That is the impression that you have been giving, and that is why some people are so upset with you. With you, not with people who are uncomfortable with bringing gifts. You have done this by being overly defensive and posting so many times about the same subject and constantly reminding people how important gifts are and how much thought you put into them and blah blah blah. I know you did NOT intend it to come across that way, but you sound completely conceited about the whole concept and absolutely unable to understand why anyone would do things differently than you.

Not to mention that you have outright implied numerous times that you are better than other people because of the way you put thought into your gifts and because, and I quote, there is 'something wrong with' people who are upset by receiving a gift after they've outright requested 'no gifts.'

Most people who are uncomfortable bringing gifts leave it at that. No one has an issue with that, I don't think. You, personally, have been offensive and rude. You don't seem to realize this. And that is why people are offended.

kwanfan1818
05-21-2012, 04:50 PM
Then why does that very concept seem to be so foreign to some posters.
The concept of feelings isn't foreign. The concept that the couple appreciates your discomfort isn't foreign. What's at issue is that the couple has an obligation to appreciate anyone's feelings -- they might be too busy fighting over the color of the mashed potatoes (see "True Love" with the young Anabella Sciorra) or other earth-shattering issues -- or with the behavior of ignoring what they say.

That isn't to say that there aren't ever consequences for not appreciating people's feelings: the guest might not come, the guest might ignore the couple's wishes, the guests might misbehave/sulk at the wedding, it could start a feud and hard feelings that last decades, or the guest might think the couple is a bunch of barbarians.

mag
05-21-2012, 06:15 PM
Dinner party etiquette is a different set of rules. The basic traditional etiquette is to bring a token of appreciation to the host, which usually is flowers, chocolate, or wine. What you're not supposed to bring is anything to be served at the party unless you are asked. (The wine and chocolates aren't meant to be served at the party unless the host wants to, as the host is presumed to have chosen the appropriate wine(s) for the meal.)

However, if you know the host is an observant Muslim or Mormon (or other "dry" religion), is alchoholic or diabetic, or is allergic to flowers, it's usually a good idea to take into consideration when choosing what to bring. Also, as a friend who worked for one of Prince Charles' charities told me, flowers work well for dinner parties in houses with servants, who can take the flowers, arrange them in one of many spare vases, and discretely display them in the fourth guest bathroom. They, too, are for the host's appreciation, not to be displayed in a prominent place only to see your delighted reaction.

Thanks for lesson ;). I never expect the wine to served at dinner just as I rarely serve the wine people bring to my house. I'm also not terribly insensitive. If you don't drink alcohol, I won't give you wine - assuming I know you don't drink. The flowers thing can be tricky. First off, I don't take highly scented flowers. I love the look of those great big pink star gazer lilies, but I wouldn't take them to someone's house unless I knew they were okay with that. I would prefer to send the flower either before the party or after the party. The problem here is I know it makes many people feel uncomfortable because they see it as a very grand and expensive gesture because it is so unusual. I don't want to make my hosts feel uncomfortable so, for the most part, I take the flowers with me. I do not, however, expect them to be displayed. The last thing a hostess needs when she is busy finishing dinner is to arrange flowers. So that is the tricky bit ...

As for food items, I am one of those strange people who, for the most part, doesn't like potluck dinners. If you invite me to dinner I don't generally ask what I can take. I assume you have it all under control. Conversely, if you come to my house for dinner, all I want is for you to bring is yourself, and hopefully some interesting conversation. Now, if someone invites me to a potluck I am more than happy to contribute and I will take whatever it is you require. I have a friend who just cannot show up to dinner without bringing food. No matter how many times I say I don't need anything, she always brings something with her. Thankfully, it is often a plate of cookies or squares so I can put them out after the dessert is finished and we are sitting around. I don't want to hurt her feelings, but I also don't want to serve something that will clash with the meal. I look at it sort of like the wine. If someone does happen to bring a wine that is perfect with what I am serving, I might ask them if they would like us to open in now - it really just depends on the situation. It is all a balancing act. Making guests feel comfortable and serving a lovely well planned, well coordinated meal.

One thing for sure is that I don't think my friend has a comprehension problem. She was brought up to ALWAYS take something to a dinner party. I was brought up to ALWAYS have the entire meal organized and to NEVER take food for dinner unless asked. There is no way to reconcile the situation except that the rule that trumps both, IMHO, is the one that says you should make your guests comfortable. She never says anything about the fact that I don't offer to take anything to her house, and I don't worry about the fact that she always brings something I don't want to my house. It really isn't that difficult. I'm sure she is the type who would give a gift even if the invitation said "no gifts." She just can't get her head around it. But she has a good heart and is a lovely person. Who am I to judge? Does making her feel badly about that make me a better person? I don't take a gift when the invitation says "no gifts." If people want a donation in lieu of flowers, that is what I do. But that is me and other people may have another set of rules they live by.

I'll end my long post by saying that I do realize that just because someone posts that it bugs them when someone takes a gift to a no gift party, that doesn't mean they would actually do or say anything at the party, just as when someone posts that they feel uncomfortable not taking a gift, it doesn't mean they would act on that feeling either. FSU, a great place to vent!

cruisin
05-21-2012, 06:15 PM
No one feels that way. No, seriously. No one feels that way.

What really bothers most of the posters here is that the way you are writing your posts, you have made it clear (again and again) that you do think your feelings should be put first. That is the impression that you have been giving, and that is why some people are so upset with you. With you, not with people who are uncomfortable with bringing gifts. You have done this by being overly defensive and posting so many times about the same subject and constantly reminding people how important gifts are and how much thought you put into them and blah blah blah. I know you did NOT intend it to come across that way, but you sound completely conceited about the whole concept and absolutely unable to understand why anyone would do things differently than you.

Not to mention that you have outright implied numerous times that you are better than other people because of the way you put thought into your gifts and because, and I quote, there is 'something wrong with' people who are upset by receiving a gift after they've outright requested 'no gifts.'

Most people who are uncomfortable bringing gifts leave it at that. No one has an issue with that, I don't think. You, personally, have been offensive and rude. You don't seem to realize this. And that is why people are offended.

Well, then it's really about how others interpret things, isn't it? I repeated myself because every time I said that following the wishes of the inviter was the right thing to do, but for some people that is uncomfortable, posters accused me of putting my feelings first. Several posters said that they didn't want a bunch of junk they didn't want from someone who just went out and bought something because they felt they had to. I said that I don't do that. I can't speak for anyone else, I can only say what I do. I don't think I'm special, I think the vast majority of people give gifts because they want to do something nice for another person. If you took the things I said the way you did, that your interpretation, not what I said.

millyskate
05-21-2012, 06:48 PM
No one feels that way. No, seriously. No one feels that way.
.

Well, to be honest, reading this thread you'd think so. Cruisin may not express herself well or wisely and she may repeat herself. But people have been lending her emotions and intentions that simply were not expressed. And been pretty harsh about it too.

The "there is something wrong with" comments have not been coming exclusively from cruisin's side. In fact, they've been harsher (and not always more appropriately used) coming from the other side.

There's one of cruisin. If people tried to steer the conversation in a more interesting direction, they could do quite easily. It seems that "convincing cruisin she is wrong" is the main preoccupation of many here, and that's not going to happen, whether it's true or not. And it's probably not 100% true anyway.

nubka
05-21-2012, 08:25 PM
Well, to be honest, reading this thread you'd think so. Cruisin may not express herself well or wisely and she may repeat herself. But people have been lending her emotions and intentions that simply were not expressed. And been pretty harsh about it too.

The "there is something wrong with" comments have not been coming exclusively from cruisin's side. In fact, they've been harsher (and not always more appropriately used) coming from the other side.

There's one of cruisin. If people tried to steer the conversation in a more interesting direction, they could do quite easily. It seems that "convincing cruisin she is wrong" is the main preoccupation of many here, and that's not going to happen, whether it's true or not. And it's probably not 100% true anyway.

:respec: :respec:

numbers123
05-21-2012, 10:05 PM
And btw, if someone says no gifts & you show up with wine & chocolates, that is a gift. I would be gracious & thank the person but I would also wonder if they had a comprehension problem.


Before I read this thread, I thought I had it all worked out. Now, I'm not so sure. It never occurred to me that someone might be offended by the flowers and wine I took to a dinner party. You know what, I can't live that way.

I always take wine and flowers when I go to someone's house for dinner. Sometimes I take a small hostess gift if it is a more formal occasion. I don't consider that a "gift" like a birthday or wedding present. I see it as a thank you for the gift of dinner the receiver is giving me. If the hosts are terribly offended, they have the option of not inviting me back ;)

I can not understand the need to bring a hostess gift. I invite you to my house for a dinner or event, I am content to be verbally thanked. If you really feel the need to do a hostess gift ask me if you can bring something (like a dessert or something)

I never know what to do with the hostess gifts I am given. I don't expect people to know my wine tastes, nor my taste flowers or plants (I can kill a plant as soon as you bring it into my entryway) in fact I really only want flowers from my husband and children. I have enough candles to last a lifetime plus you don't know what scents set off my asthma.

I have one friend who consistently brings a hostess gift when coming to my house. I have quit inviting her to my house for dinner or other occasions and plan events with her at places outside of my home.

danceronice
05-21-2012, 10:25 PM
Well, to be honest, reading this thread you'd think so. Cruisin may not express herself well or wisely and she may repeat herself. But people have been lending her emotions and intentions that simply were not expressed. And been pretty harsh about it too.

The "there is something wrong with" comments have not been coming exclusively from cruisin's side. In fact, they've been harsher (and not always more appropriately used) coming from the other side.

There's one of cruisin. If people tried to steer the conversation in a more interesting direction, they could do quite easily. It seems that "convincing cruisin she is wrong" is the main preoccupation of many here, and that's not going to happen, whether it's true or not. And it's probably not 100% true anyway.

I second nubka's :respec:

Rob
05-21-2012, 10:26 PM
I never get insulted by a gift. I accept in the manner in which it was intended -- as something nice.

cruisin
05-21-2012, 10:32 PM
Well, to be honest, reading this thread you'd think so. Cruisin may not express herself well or wisely and she may repeat herself. But people have been lending her emotions and intentions that simply were not expressed. And been pretty harsh about it too.

The "there is something wrong with" comments have not been coming exclusively from cruisin's side. In fact, they've been harsher (and not always more appropriately used) coming from the other side.

There's one of cruisin. If people tried to steer the conversation in a more interesting direction, they could do quite easily. It seems that "convincing cruisin she is wrong" is the main preoccupation of many here, and that's not going to happen, whether it's true or not. And it's probably not 100% true anyway.

+ Nubka and Danceronice. Thank you :)

mag
05-22-2012, 04:24 AM
I can not understand the need to bring a hostess gift. I invite you to my house for a dinner or event, I am content to be verbally thanked. If you really feel the need to do a hostess gift ask me if you can bring something (like a dessert or something)

I never know what to do with the hostess gifts I am given. I don't expect people to know my wine tastes, nor my taste flowers or plants (I can kill a plant as soon as you bring it into my entryway) in fact I really only want flowers from my husband and children. I have enough candles to last a lifetime plus you don't know what scents set off my asthma.

I have one friend who consistently brings a hostess gift when coming to my house. I have quit inviting her to my house for dinner or other occasions and plan events with her at places outside of my home.

Well, if you read my other post you would know that I am very careful with scents. When this thread started I really understood that people didn't want to be burdened with a lot of stuff they don't want. But you what, I get the impression that some people would be offended by a thank you card because they would have to take 30 seconds out of their very busy life to read it and put it in the recycling. I am amazed that you would be offended by a bouquet of daffodils and a bottle of wine that, given what I know about you, I think you will really enjoy! And excuse me for assuming that when you invite me to dinner you actually plan to feed me dinner. I didn't realize I was also providing part of the catering.

As far as I am concerned, gifts are chosen by the giver, not the recipient. Yes, you may get some stuff you don't want, but, seriously, you would think some people are so popular they are overwhelmed with unwanted gifts the producers of Hoarders are knocking on their door.

Dramatic, yes, but seriously, how many unwanted hostess gifts do you really get in a year?