A few weeks ago, I was invited to (and attended) a birthday party for one of O’s friends, L.
L and her family live down the street from us. Her mom and I have connected a few times—playing with the kids in my backyard and chatting on the street. She’s really cool, down-to-earth, and just chill. Her older daughter just turned two, she also has a three-month-old daughter, AND she works full-time. I get tired simply thinking about her, but she’s always smiling and happy. I’ve come to grips with the fact that she’s just way, way cooler a person than I. (Humph. Whatevs.) Despite that, I welcomed the chance to get to know her more by attending L’s party, but I think might have committed a major party faux pas.
Here’s how it went down:
I saw L’s mom in the grocery store a few weeks ago, and she told me she was having a party for L. She told me not to bring a present, and said she’d put an invite in my mailbox. When she said mentioned not getting a present, I immediately thought she said that to be nice and figured I’d get one anyway.
Then I got the invite. It said (in all caps) “NO PRESENTS PLEASE.” If it was one of my close friends, I would probably call him or her up and be like “Really? No presents? REALLY?!” or bring one anyway.
This was different. The request was in ALL CAPS. I didn’t want to offend by bringing a present. (Maybe there was a reason we weren’t supposed to bring presents?)
So, I went against my gut and didn’t bring a gift. My stomach dropped as I walked up to the house and saw two different sets of people entering the house with large, wrapped boxes.
I looked down at the card O and I had made for L. It was definitely cute, but not a present. We put an elephant on the front, and I later found out L loves elephants, so that was something, I guess. Still, I felt very awkward entering the party sans present, and the feeling grew during “present-opening” time. Luckily, O decided present-opening time was also potty-going time, so we missed a large chunk of it.
What do other WMAGs due when they get invites like this? Bring a present, or no?