Invitation to baby shower over 1,000 miles away

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by bad angel, Aug 18, 2010.

?

What do you think of this invitation and unspoken gift demand?

  1. It's no big deal, just send a gift

    30.8%
  2. It's a little tacky but send a gift anyway

    17.9%
  3. It's a bit tacky and rude but at least send a card

    38.5%
  4. It's totally tacky and rude – don't send them anything

    12.8%
  1. bad angel macrumors member

    bad angel

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2010
    Location:
    USA
    #1
    Here's the situation. We have family all over the country with most concentrated in a state over 1,000 miles away. We don't visit them often but exchange Christmas cards and generally stay in touch with them. We just received an invitation to a baby shower for one family member who is far away. We have not planned to take a trip to be anywhere near where the shower will be, nor have we ever told them we would be in the area around that time. Of course, the invitation includes the registry information for the shower.

    I feel like they sent the invitation knowing that we wouldn't be able to attend but they still want a gift from us. While I'm not mad about this, I think it's tacky and greedy. Am I being unreasonable in feeling this way? I have half a mind to respond with a card wishing them well and stating that we unfortunately won't be able to attend (and not including any gift). Would this be mean, passive-aggressive, appropriate, or something else?
     
  2. 184550 Guest

    Joined:
    May 8, 2008
    #2
    Unless they are immediate family, I would just send a congrats card or something along those lines.
     
  3. iJohnHenry macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2008
    Location:
    On tenterhooks
    #3
    First cousins or better, sure. Otherwise, no.
     
  4. Capt Underpants macrumors 68030

    Capt Underpants

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2003
    Location:
    Austin, Texas
    #4
    They probably sent you an invitation because they want you to come.

    I'd bet that there is some kind of tension in this relationship -- otherwise a baby shower invitation wouldn't have been met with such disdain.

    If you don't want to give them a gift, then don't. It's customary and polite (even if it's just some diapers or something). But ultimately it's up to you.
     
  5. samiwas macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2006
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    #5
    Yeah, I would say it depends on what level of family. You say "most" are concentrated about 1000 miles away. So that means that you are the "outsiders". If they are getting the rest of the family together for a baby shower, would you then feel like they were treating you differently by not inviting you because you are over 1000 miles away? A small part of me says that there would be a poll the other direction if so.

    Maybe they were just trying to include you in a family event, pending your desire to do so. I don't think it's tacky at all. I agree with Capt. Underpants...I think there's a bigger backstory to this.

    And NathanMuir posted a "just send a card" response but voted "tacky and rude"...hmmm
     
  6. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6

    ucfgrad93

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2007
    Location:
    Colorado
    #6
    You should definitely RSVP and let them know you won't be coming. I would also send a small gift. Pick something off of the registry ($20 or so) and have it sent there.

    Like Capt. Underpants said, I wonder if there is something else going on here.
     
  7. yg17 macrumors G5

    yg17

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2004
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    #7
    I don't think it's tacky for someone to invite you even if they know you won't come. My sister recently got married and they invited her husband's cousins who live in Australia, knowing full well that it was 99% certain that they would not come, and they didn't. I'm not sure if they sent a gift back to them or not, but I think it's considered a nice gesture.
     
  8. bad angel thread starter macrumors member

    bad angel

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2010
    Location:
    USA
    #8

    They are second cousins, actually. The mother-to-be is someone we've spent very little time with, to be honest.

    No tension at all. It's just that they *know* that we're not going to be able to come as we have never made it a practice to take time off work and fly out there for events like this. The last time we did fly out to see family in that area was for a huge 90th birthday party in early 2009 to which every family member everywhere was explicitly invited. This is the first time we've received a baby shower invitation (or any invitation for a "smaller" event like this) from anyone in these parts. These facts combined make this invitation feel like it's just a grab for a gift and nothing else.

    You're correct - we're the outsiders in that we're some of the furthest away from everyone else. I have not checked to see if it's meant to be a "big" family event to which everyone is invited like the one we attended early last year, but my gut says no. Had they not invited us, I would not feel left-out at all but only would have hoped to receive a newsletter and/or announcement about the baby's birth down the road so we could record the baby's birthday and send a gift or card at that time.
     
  9. eawmp1 macrumors 601

    eawmp1

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2008
    Location:
    FL
    #9
    There's probably a reason you moved 1000 miles away from your family. As an author from my hometown once wrote "you can't go home again."

    Send a note of congrats and RSVP "no".
    A token gift is optional.
     
  10. lewis82 macrumors 68000

    lewis82

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2009
    Location:
    Totalitarian Republic of Northlandia
    #10
    I wouldn't send them anything, but only a card as you stated.

    Anyways baby showers are amongst the most stupid things I've ever seen.

    (And where the heck does the "shower" in the name come from?)
     
  11. yg17 macrumors G5

    yg17

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2004
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    #11
    I disagree with that, people move away from their families for many reasons, it doesn't mean there's a negative reason for it. Work took my sister around 1,000 miles away from our parents and me. It wasn't because of any dislike for us, that's just life.
     
  12. bobr1952 macrumors 68020

    bobr1952

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2008
    Location:
    Melbourne, FL
    #12
    Since I really don't get along with anyone in my family, the last choice was easy. :D
     
  13. iJohnHenry macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2008
    Location:
    On tenterhooks
    #13
    :confused: Shower the expectant Mother with baby things???
     
  14. bad angel thread starter macrumors member

    bad angel

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2010
    Location:
    USA
    #14
    Actually, we'd have stayed in that area if a good job offer for my husband hadn't pulled us away.

    To be frank, I also think baby showers are a bit silly. I hate the games you have to play and oohing and aahing over presents given. I think their general purpose is to focus on the mother-to-be and wish her well as a group and I wish that the other silliness didn't get in the way of that. And I have no idea (without resorting to Googling it) why it's called a "shower" either. :D
     
  15. chrmjenkins macrumors 603

    chrmjenkins

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2007
    Location:
    CA
    #15
    Does that mean the 50th anniversary of the baby shower is a golden shower?
     
  16. OutThere macrumors 603

    OutThere

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2002
    Location:
    NYC
    #16
    Generally when inviting people/being invited to events where there's little expectation that they might be able to actually come I think consider two reasons for the invitation—either 1) It's a way of making someone feel included in the lives of distant friends or 2) It's a way of not-so-subtly requesting gifts. My geographically distant family seems to be big on spamming out graduation invitations which are really just a way of requesting a $50 check. :p

    I'd RSVP with a nice card saying you can't come and wishing them the best. Write out a note. No gift required.
     
  17. bad angel thread starter macrumors member

    bad angel

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2010
    Location:
    USA
    #17
    I view weddings as an entirely different ballgame and have been invited to weddings far away before. I would definitely make an effort to travel for a close friend's or family member's wedding and have no trouble sending a gift if I can't make it (and have done so before without even thinking about it).

    That would be my guess as well.

    That is so wrong. :eek:

    This is the first invitation we've received like this in years, if ever. We don't even get the graduation party announcements from family far away, which makes this one stand out even more as a potential gift grab. We don't think it's more of an effort to include us since we haven't spend a lot of time with this second cousin at all (in fact, we don't even know who the father is and would need to ask other family members for the scoop).
     
  18. fireshot91 macrumors 601

    fireshot91

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2008
    Location:
    Northern VA
    #18
    I don't really think they're being greedy for gifts. I think it's just a matter of etiquette. Maybe they don't know that you folks aren't invited to other stuff, and are taking a chance that you are? I mean..on the chance that you are invited to other events, but not invited to this, you'd be pretty angry, right? They're just taking the safe road. I know I have relatives living on the other side of the country, and they're constantly being invited to most events. Even for graduations, births, baby showers, etc.

    I'd get a cheap gift, and send it their way.
     
  19. abijnk macrumors 68040

    abijnk

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2007
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #19
    Standard etiquette says you should send an invitation to everyone, even if you know they can't come. There isn't a reason to read into it more than that.
     
  20. cantthinkofone macrumors 65816

    cantthinkofone

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2004
    Location:
    Missouri, USA
    #20
    Send them some diapers

    You....CANNOT....have enough newborn diapers. ;)
     
  21. Grey Beard macrumors 65816

    Grey Beard

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2005
    Location:
    The Antipodes.
    #21
    You'll be the urination of this thread.
    KGB
     
  22. Rt&Dzine macrumors 6502a

    Rt&Dzine

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2008
    #22
    Which would go nicely with this . . .

    iPoo.jpg
     
  23. spaceboots06 macrumors 6502a

    spaceboots06

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2009
    Location:
    The Rotten Apple
    #23
    1,000 mi. isn't that much tbh... if you really like them you'll know deep in your heart that you should be there. here's my take though.

    [​IMG]
     
  24. bad angel thread starter macrumors member

    bad angel

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2010
    Location:
    USA
    #24
    Standard etiquette? Who is "everyone"? They should send invitations to over 100 extended family members around the country? That makes no sense and is not something I've ever heard of.

    True - I'm sure diapers are one of the best practical presents for anyone expecting a baby.

    1,000 miles still requires a plane trip or a day-long drive plus time off work for 2 working adults and a pet-sitter hired to take care of the dogs we leave behind. Like I said, we've spent maybe a total of an hour with this second-cousin ever and don't even know the name of the baby's father. There's no question that we're not going (and this is not even close to being a decision made with our "hearts") – the question is how to respond to the invitation per my poll/first post above.
     

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