Ask Amy: Weddings and baby showers are out of control! Can I unsubscribe?

Ask Amy: Weddings and baby showers are out of control!  Can I unsubscribe?


Dear Amy: How should I respond to some confusing requests for gifts and money when I’m invited to bridal showers, weddings and baby showers?

I just received an invitation to my niece’s baby shower (my sister is her mom). The first request was for a book instead of a map. Okay, fine, but she’s asking people to give that, along with a gift. She then offered guests the chance to enter a drawing if they brought a pack of diapers. This is in addition to the gift and the book. She then said not to wrap the gift and have it sent directly to their home, so she could visit her guests instead of opening these gifts in front of them (not, of course, because opening the gifts and recognizing the people who gave them is tedious or bringing the gifts home is boring.)

At a baby shower for a friend’s daughter, I felt I broke the rules by giving a gift that wasn’t on the registry. This was in addition to giving a bridal shower gift and a wedding gift to someone I barely know.

Am I too sensitive because I got married in the courthouse and have no children? Can I opt out of some of these events and send a not-so-extravagant gift? Should I indulge, even though I think this trend continues to bring out sky-high expectations that have very little to do with connecting with others?

Little?: Remember this: anyone can ask anything. It’s a free country! But receiving a request doesn’t require you to do anything except respond politely to an invitation.

Back in the Stone Age, when I was pregnant, baby showers were held in someone’s living room; gifts were opened in front of the guests and a parade of little combinations was organized for everyone to enjoy. Guests were thanked and acknowledged at this time and, if the mother-to-be was thoughtful and polite, a note would then be sent to each guest.

My insight into modern baby showers comes from a few I’ve attended more recently that are held in banquet halls and attended by dozens of women. Unwrapped gifts are placed on a table and guests collect their pre-printed thank you note as they leave the room. (I like the trend of not wrapping gifts at these big events, because of the waste.)

Registries can be extremely helpful (they tell you what the recipient wants or needs), but you don’t have to buy a gift from a registry.

Dear Amy: I need a gut check. I have been with my girlfriend, “Stella,” for three years. We are in our late twenties. Stella is awesome. She is beautiful, loving and very kind. Everyone loves him. Me too.

The problem I have is that she is extremely gullible. She believes all the conspiracy nonsense has been circulating on her social media feed recently. Most of this misinformation concerns health-related issues, and because she follows and comments on them, she is fed more of them. Her latest claim is that she believes cell phones cause brain cancer.

She can believe whatever she wants, but now it’s starting to interfere with my own life because she’s trying to influence me. I’m sick of this and thinking about breaking up with her, but that seems like a trivial reason to break up with someone who is so great in every other way.

Bored: What a person thinks – and how they think – is not a trivial matter. According to you, your girlfriend is also trying to control you. Do you want to go through life having to defend your own rational choices? Would you possibly start a family with someone whose views on health and wellness are so radically different from yours?

Dear Amy: Deceived in Illinois» thought their mother was manipulating them by asking them to take them to church.

My late mother wanted to go to church on Christmas Eve and I was too busy and selfish to notice. She was taken with my brother-in-law, who was divorced from my sister. He understood! I will always regret this day.

Wanda: “Tricked in Illinois” depicts a story of manipulation, but I hope she makes her choice based on your point of view.

© 2024 by Amy Dickinson. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency.




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