Dear Amy: My husband and I finally bought a new home after 20 years of marriage. All of the items Id received from my bridal shower 20 years ago were either worn out or broken.
We put most of our money into purchasing the house and cant afford new things, so we hosted a housewarming party for ourselves.
When people called to R.S.V.P. and asked me what I needed, I politely told them that gifts were not expected. If pressured, I said that most of our possessions were worn out.
We invited 20 couples to the party. In return, we received 18 bottles of booze, a clock and a set of towels.
My husband didnt mind receiving the booze, but the clock and towels were the only things I could use!
Now we dont have much to show for the money we spent.
I dont want to complain, but I dont think liquor is an appropriate housewarming gift.
I think its a husband-warming gift, and the wife is left out in the cold!
What do you think is appropriate?
Worn and Torn
Dear Worn: You threw a party for yourselves that was intended as an opportunity to furnish your new home, but then you refused to give people a clear directive concerning your expectations.
If you wanted to receive specific items, you should have told your prospective guests when they inquired, We have registered at Smith Hardware store and would love to receive any of the items on our list or anything else for the kitchen or bathrooms.
When you denied that you expected gifts, you werent being polite, you were being obscure.
Bringing a bottle for the household to consume and/or share is the polite refuge of people who dont quite know what else to do.
Houseplants also work for this purpose.
Dear Amy: I loved the letter from Peter, who was grousing about graduation invitations from obscure acquaintances.
I can go Peter one better! We got an invitation this week, and we have no idea who the graduate is!
We cant even figure out who the parents are, if Pat (the graduate) is male or female or if the graduation is from grammar school, high school or college. I refuse to respond; what would I say?
Dear Christine: You should consider attending this graduation, if only to put the mystery to rest.
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