Ask Amy: ‘Regift’ box might be baited with bad fruit
- January 16, 2024
Dear Amy: My son is a well-educated guy with a great job. My husband and I both have college degrees and come from good families. We are not by any means “poor.”
My son is in a very serious relationship with “Anne.” Anne is lovely, and they seem to have a great relationship after three years.
The issue is her parents.
From the start, Anne noted that her parents were upset about her relationship with our son. The gist of it seems to be that we don’t share their social status.
They seem to think we are rural bumpkins.
We listened and offered very kind advice and did not put down her folks. As their relationship has continued, I sense the parents are adjusting.
This year our son came home from a Christmas Eve visit with them carrying a large box from a high-end fruit company – a gift to us from her parents.
This seemed like a nice gesture until I looked in the box to discover it was a regift. The box included a card from the people who had originally sent it to them.
Half of the fruit had been replaced with smaller supermarket fruit.
I can be an adult, but I am secretly thinking of holding on to the box and gift card and filling it with fruit and having my son deliver it to the parents from us.
I feel like we are being baited so they see how we react to prove that we are beneath them.
Do you advocate regifting next year? Should I send a thank you card and not mention what they did?
It seems like a way for them to have a cruel laugh at our expense.
– Mad in Minnesota
Dear Mad: “Anne’s” choice to share her folks’ status-conscious attitude toward you is questionable. (Perhaps she regrets it, now.)
But let’s go back to the part of your narrative where you describe yourself as an “adult.”
Yes, adults do fantasize about refilling a gift box with cheap fruit and regifting it a year later, but you should let this idea stay a fantasy, because doing so would likely bewilder the recipients – or confirm your “lower” status in their minds.
Furthermore, I believe you may be overreacting by describing this thoughtless “regift” as some sort of cruel joke.
The most socially sly response would be to include the original card that you discovered in the regift box along with your thank you note: “… this card was included in the box, and we thought you might need to have it.”
However, I need to point out that “classy” people do not highlight the mistakes or retaliate against the petty and tacky slights of others.
I believe the best response is to move on with your head held high.
Dear Amy: My guy “Wesley” and I have been together for two years. We’re both in our mid-20’s and have had previous relationships.
Wesley and I were spending a few days with my folks. This was our mutual vacation time from our jobs, and we had a good time going skiing, seeing friends, and spending time with family.
Wesley has maintained a friendly relationship with his ex, “Steven,” and that’s completely fine with me, but Steven has a habit of pushing their relationship right up to the boundary of what I find acceptable.
During our holiday, Wesley got a call from Steven at around 2 a.m. Wesley told me that Steven was upset about something his boyfriend said. Wesley took his phone into the other room and talked with Steven for two hours. The next day, Wesley was exhausted.
Steven knew that we were on vacation. I found this disruptive and disrespectful.
– Not Happy
Dear Not Happy: Here is a partial list of what I consider acceptable reasons for a friend to call at 2 a.m.: “I’m in the hospital.” “A family member just passed away.” “I need to make bail.” “I’m considering hurting myself or someone else.”
“I’m mad at my boyfriend” can wait.
“Wesley” should recognize that his own choice to take this time with Steven has an impact on you.
Dear Amy: I assume I’m not the only reader to contact you saying how much I appreciate the recent “Updates” you have been running in your column.
I am often so curious about how things turn out for people I read about – and it’s great to find out.
Dear Grateful: I enjoy these “Updates,” too! I hope readers will continue to keep them coming.
©2024 Amy Dickinson. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
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