A recent newspaper column featured the complaint of a frustrated gift giving aunt. It was hard to have empathy for her due to the whiny nature of her query. The columnist’s response was equally aggravating and snarky.
It seems the aunt sends gifts for birthdays and holidays to siblings, nieces and nephews, but never receives a “thank you”. To add to her sense of outrage she and her family always came up empty handed on their special occasions. Aunt did not want to punish children by withholding gifts if they had never been taught proper manners. (An insinuation her in-laws were raised by wolves?) The gift recipients have pages on Face book so they are old enough to comprehend and execute the written word.
The columnist acknowledged poor etiquette, but made a big deal analyzing the aunt; i.e. what was the family history and had there been previous displays of dysfunction? Did she feel she should set the standards for gift giving? Did she get a feeling of superiority by giving the gifts? I think the columnist went off the deep end.
It is common courtesy to acknowledge the safe arrival of a gift. Parents (even poorly raised in-laws) have a statute of limitations on being held responsible.
If the kid is old enough to get email, he is old enough to acknowledge a gift.
As for poor auntie, the solution is obvious and simple—- STOP SENDING STUFF AND GET A LIFE.
You can start a nice wine/vodka/tequila collection. You will forget that you have relatives after a couple of drinks.
Time spent on shopping for gifts can be spent on a spa day getting a facial and pedicure.
Take a nice vacation and send the family postcards and snapshots.
You can’t choose your relatives but you can select which issues you choose to get in a snit over.
Categories: Biased, Unbalanced and Politically Incorrect
I am a lifelong Southerner, short story author, and essayist. Home is Dallas, Texas.
My essays have appeared in Flash Fiction Magazine, The Dead Mule School of Southern Writing.