So it wasn’t the fanciest present in the history of nuptial gift bestowment, but the text message Kathy Mason received from one of the brides of a recent wedding she’d attended in Hamilton, Ont. still took her by surprise.
Mason, a “casual acquaintance” of the brides had put together a food basket for the newlyweds that contained, among other items, cookies, salsas, oil and a marshmallow spread. The card read: “Life is delicious – enjoy!”
Most of us learn the "grin and bear it" technique when it comes to dealing with gifts we don't like. By the time we’re adults, almost every one of us has a stack of hideous salad plates with chintzy squirrels that we keep stuffed at the back of the far cupboard and that we only bring out on the rare occasion when the great-great aunt who gave it to us comes by for dinner. We survive, as do the plates (although the plates usually survive for longer).
But the brides in question must have missed that important childhood lesson. One of the brides, named Laura (who declined to give her last name to the Toronto Star), decided to let Mason and her boyfriend know there would be no s’mores waiting for them when they came by for a visit. Which would be never, by the way.
“I’m not sure if it’s the first wedding you have been to,” Laura texted to Mason, “but for your next wedding … people give envelopes. I lost out on $200 covering you and your date's plate . … and got fluffy whip and sour patch kids in return. Just a heads-up for the future.”
The Star notes that Laura also asked Mason to see the receipt for the gift basket, as, in addition to food-filled gift baskets, one of the brides also has an intolerance to gluten.
Part of the email exchange that followed (sic), and has been re-transcribed by the paper, reads like the complete opposite of a joyous occasion.
Mason and boyfriend: “… to ask for a receipt is unfathomable. In fact it was incredibly disrespectful. It was the rudest gesture I have encountered, or even heard of.”
Brides: “Weddings are to make money for your future … not to pay for peoples meals. Do more research. People haven’t gave gifts since like 50 years ago! You ate steak, chicken, booze, and a beautiful venue.”
Mason and boyfriend: “It’s obvious you have the etiquette of a twig, I couldn’t care less of what you think about the gift you received, “normal” people would welcome anything given, you wanna have a party, you pay for it, DON’T expect me to.”
Brides: “You should have been cut from the list … I knew we were gunna get a bag of peanuts. I was right.”
Laura told the paper that her Italian tradition dictates guests give the newlyweds cash in order to help them start their new life. There’s an exchange of goods implied, she seems to suggest, that each guest should essentially cover the cost of their wedding libations.
Upset by the exchange, Mason crowd-sourced a few social media groups to find out if her gifting behaviour warranted such ire. Actually, it was Laura who tastefully suggested Mason ask “normal functioning people” what they thought. Though she is actually a normal functioning person already, Mason complied.
As you can imagine, the issue has racked up a veritable tulle-storm of reactions, most of which seem to suggest that, though the gift was perhaps more appropriate for a family barbecue, the bride should use some of her wedding cash to invest in a few manners.
What do you think? Did the gift warrant such a response or is the bride completely out of line? Leave your comments and suggestions below.