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Ask Anyone


I know summer can’t be far away because I’ve started to receive wedding invitations, three just this week. I’m going to one of these three. Am I supposed to send a gift or a check to the other folks who invited me, even though I’m not going?

Dining Out says: Wedding presents can be quite expensive so I think that gift giving should be optional. You can always choose to send a nice card with a personal message written inside. If they’re your true friends, they won’t need gifts.

The Practical Cogitator says: Yeah, you have to send a gift, to all of them. And later when they have a baby, you have to send a gift for that, too.

The Straight Perspective says: Try a gift donation, in the couple’s name, to the Lambda Legal Defense Fund or to Human Rights Campaign, which will use your money to work for marital rights for gays.

Dr Sigmund Fraud says: I believe my stance on weddings is widely known. They are blessed events, celebrating the union of two loving souls who have decided to stand before the eyes of their God, their state, their families and friends, to profess their love for, and committment to, one another until death do them part. In a world gone mad, the serenity surrounding the moment when each individual, feeling the enormity of time fading away with the solemn oath “I do,” is among the most beautiful ceremonies observed in all humanity. The tears common at weddings is but one physical manifestiation of the near-orgasmic release felt by witnesses of these blessed events. Nobody loves a wedding more than me. In fact, I met both my third and sixth wives at the wedding ceremonies of mutual friends.

But in answer to your question, I know what you mean. The invitations come in, and you have to prioritize. You can’t just say “yes” to every invite, or you’ll wind up spending your whole summer deciding between chicken, beef, or some awful vegetarian dish. And really, how many times is what’s-her-face going to tie the knot before she just gives up and realizes she’s not the marrying kind?

I say bring a gift to the ones you decide to attend. As for the rest, don’t worry about it. If you’re worried that they’ll think less of you, what do you care? You didn’t even like them enough to attend their wedding.

Then again, for every wedding I decline to attend, I realize I’m locking myself out of romantic adventures of my own. Don’t I like to be the one to first lock eyes with the young, single free-spirit the moment after she catches the bouquet?

Maybe this is what they mean when they say that marriage is a big decision.

The Wise Acre says: Think long and hard on these people and why it is you are not immediately overwhelmed by generous feelings toward them. Chances are your hesitation to spend money on them is argument enough against it. Maybe you don’t like them that much. Maybe you suspect they expect a gift, and that sticks in your craw.

I say one should never resist a generous impulse. But I don’t think one ought to manufacture generosity where it isn’t naturally occurring, either.

Whatever the reason, you’re under no obligation. If you eat their food and drink their booze, you must give a gift. Otherwise you’re scot-free.

Ruthless says: No presents if you don’t get the wine and dine.

If you can’t join ‘em, screw ‘em.

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