July 4, 2010

Filed under: *This Can't Be For Real!?*

The NYTimes Social Q's column--special "Clear the Aisle" edition, on Wedding Etiquette--features a questioner who truly knows little, or closer to nothing about gifting, what a gift is, and why people ever thought to give a thing to another soul in the first place:
Reciprocity for Generosity
Eight years ago, my friend’s daughter received a $1,000 wedding gift. Now the gift-giver’s daughter is getting married. Is my friend obliged to reciprocate in kind, and does he have to account for inflation? -- J.O.
Ladies and gentlemen, we have a winner: the most mercenary wedding question of the year — and a sample of the tit-for-tat thinking that gives weddings a bad name. Rather than focusing on price point and adjustments for inflation, why not be guided by affection for the bridal couple, our ability to give — and whether there’s any way to make those crystal goblets tax deductible? -- by Philip Galanes, published 24 June 2010
What say you...besides, as Mr. Galanes also advises--somebody! get a grip on reality.

Yep, shouldn't be surprised, should we? Because it all started back with the very first gift. Cain was so angry that Abel had out-gifted him, the very first gifter actually murdered his own brother--jealousy, I believe it was. Jealousy that Abel's gift appeared better, nicer, bigger, brighter, and apparently, costlier to Cain. Well, costlier it was, for sure--not just the price of the gift, but it cost Abel his life.

Cain had arrived with a fruit and vegetable basket; Abel brought thick prime-cut slabs of gourmet steak.

The takeaway from this gift-wreaking-havoc? Genesis 4:6 "...If you do what is right, will you not be accepted [no matter how the gift compares with somebody else's]? My words added, cause that is the contextual implication.

Don't worry about what somebody else is bringing to the party. Bring your best. "Reciprocate in kind" should be a phrase banned from the lexicon--of bridal party /planning vocabularies, anyway.

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