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Forum > Miscellaneous > Etiquette question ( Moderated by Deepika, EleanorSews, CynthiaSue)

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Etiquette question
Strangers at a baby shower?
purplebouquet
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purplebouquet
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Date: 6/12/12 12:02 PM

I am puzzled by an invitation I received to a baby shower. It's for a woman I never met/don't know and hosted by people I am not familiar with either. After I had pondered the name of the mom-to-be for a while, I realized that she is the daughter-in-law of a former co-worker. I had a good working relationship with my colleague, but we haven't been in touch since I left that job in January. She is not one of the shower hostesses and the invitation didn't include a personal note from her.

Why was I, a perfect stranger to the guest of honor, invited to this shower? Showers are all about gifts--I can't help the uncharitable thought that this is fishing for gifts? I hope there is a kinder explanation. I had this happen before when a casual aquaintance invited me to a baby shower she hosted for her daughter whom I had never met. How common is this?

BTW, I declined both inviations (Thank you, unable to come, all the best to the mommy-to-be, sincerely. . . ). I don't feel obligated to do more at this point, such as sending a gift or a card, but I don't know.

Any thoughts?

Claudia

sewme47
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sewme47
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Date: 6/12/12 12:17 PM

Why think the worst? Some families hold showers that are huge events with virtually everyone they know being invited.

You handled the decline in a very kind and classy way and you have no further obligation.

a7yrstitch
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a7yrstitch  Friend of PR
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In reply to purplebouquet <<


Date: 6/12/12 12:59 PM

Perhaps your former workplace colleague is interested in an ongoing friendship.

Well done on handling the invitation.

Consider that when the wedding planning and excitement is over that, if you are interested, your former colleague may enjoy a call for getting together for coffee, dinner or lunch.

Some families are particularly embracing. If you are liked and welcomed by one, you are liked and welcomed by all. Consider the invitation to be a compliment from a friend, or potential friend, who may be to shy to blurt out that she would like for the two of you to be able to continue to spend time together.

No, you are not obligated to attend, or, to give a gift. Yes, do consider possibilities aside from the gift angle.

P.S. If it was me, I would send a note to my former coworker. If I was still working with her, I would certainly make a fuss over her daughter's wedding.

Hubbie and some of his 25+ year colleagues keep up with one another even when some have changed companies. They've all been excited to hear about our son's upcoming wedding just as we have followed their youngsters graduations and weddings and birthings. No gifts involved, just genuine interest.
-- Edited on 6/12/12 1:01 PM --

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I have no idea what Apple thought I was saying so be a Peach and credit anything bizarre to auto correct.

Canadian Jane
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Canadian Jane
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In reply to purplebouquet <<


Date: 6/12/12 1:24 PM

I think you are right on the money and handled it well.

Like the others have said - who knows why you got invited? I went to a baby shower one time out in the country for one of my neices. There was at least 150 people at this shower held at a community hall. I could not believe it!

Good Lord - that baby got an obscene amount of gifts. I guess the way they do things in that particular rural community is every body knows everybody so everybody gets invited and involved. It certainly is not that way at all for one of my other neices who also lives in a rural community. Why it would be different who knows?

The upside - we did not have to play any of the usual shower games. They drew for door prizes instead. Another good thing (IMHO) is that alot of those gifts were discretely and tactfully bundled up a few weeks after the "mega shower" and given to a charity that provides for unwed young Moms in our city.



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Date: 6/12/12 1:46 PM

My rural area goes overboard too if they know you.

We left the baby shower up to my MIL, at DH's request. She wanted it right at my due date, and I already had been told if I carried her to 35 weeks, we'd be lucky (I had her at 35 weeks).

Her list included around 65 people. I knew 4 of them. Luckily, I didn't have to mess with it though since I didn't really want a shower in the first place. (On the plus side, DH doesn't ask his mom to do anything else for the baby or me of that type; my mom and I do it because of it.)

Sometimes the people hosting it (as would have been my case) want to throw one heck of a shin dig and have a lot of attendees to make it feel like a success or for other reasons that may not be just about the stuff they get. Social standing even just the idea of whoever is running it loves babies and thinks everyone else does, too.


jadamo00
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Date: 6/12/12 2:43 PM


Perfect response. Itís possible they WERE fishing for gifts. Itís possible that the former co-worker thought this may be a fun way to reconnect with you. But the important thing is how YOU feel.

No gift or card necessary. Consider if you want to call this former co-worker and connect with her at lunch. Or not.

Wow, Canadian Jane: I SO love the mom-to-be donating most of her gifts to needy moms. So, so nice.

Mom to 5
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Mom to 5
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Date: 6/12/12 3:17 PM

ok, Im the cynic here but I think its classless & shows what the former co-worker thinks of you...not worth picking up the phone to call text or to even inquire if you were alive but your money is green so you are worth the cost of a stamp...

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khurtdvm
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Date: 6/12/12 4:29 PM

My sister-in-law is the daughter of missionaries. Her parents have sent out update/fundraising letters for years, that kept everyone updated on their kids as well as their ministries. And her mother was intending to use my SIL's baby shower as one means of offering hospitality to so many people who had supported their ministry for years. At one point, I heard that her list of invitees for the baby shower was over one hundred people. And she clearly overlooked the fact that my SIL - HER daughter - does NOT like to be the center of attention in large gatherings. I have no idea how many were ultimately invited or came - our side of the family was not invited, as DB said there were too many on the list as it was. But I sincerely hope that the guest list was ruthlessly culled....

At my former church, whoever was hosting the shower would get a list of family/friends to invite from the guest of honor, and then the shower would also be open to anyone from the church. Since our church was FULL of people who loved babies, there could be quite a crowd at a baby shower. But inviting the guest's mother's former coworker still seems a bit odd to me....

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khurtdvm
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lisalu
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lisalu
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Date: 6/12/12 6:15 PM

Quote:
I had this happen before when a casual aquaintance invited me to a baby shower she hosted for her daughter whom I had never met. How common is this?


This is the part I have a problem with. Where I come from (the South) it is considered a breach of etiquette for an immediate family member to host a shower. When my DIL "requested" that I give her a shower, I sidestepped the issue by asking my BFF to be the official hostess although I did most of the work. I still felt uncomfortable about it, but no way could I go so far as to issue the invitations in my name for a shower for my family member.

I still cringe when I get an invitation from an immediate relative to any shower - it is just plain bad manners! (And lest anyone jump all over me for this statement, Ms. Manners, aka Judith Martin, also maintains this stance)

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Jim (Singer 301), Margaret (Singer 201-2), Betty (Singer 15-91), Bud (Singer 503), Kathy (Singer 221), Liz (Singer 221 Centennial Edition)
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jadamo00
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In reply to Mom to 5 <<


Date: 6/12/12 6:17 PM

Quote: Mom to 5
ok, Im the cynic here but I think its classless & shows what the former co-worker thinks of you...not worth picking up the phone to call text or to even inquire if you were alive but your money is green so you are worth the cost of a stamp...

Hey, Mom, in actuality: I think the same thing you do. But maybe the co-worker is a little backward in this.
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