Sunday, December 10, 2006

We have to be REMINDED to be considerate, now?

Posted by Kim (Braiding Mommy ).

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Yesterday I received an email from my BIL titled, "[SIL]'s Birthday!". His wife, my SIL's birthday is Saturday. I consider myself pretty close to SIL, so a few weeks ago, I got her a birthday card, a gift card, and got a birthday card for Pippi to send to her aunt. I was waiting to send them, because sometimes we see her around her birthday (though this year, I was doubting it due to some family circumstances,
etc). So when I got the email, my first response was that maybe BIL was having a party for her. Cool.

Not quite... he was, and I quote, soliciting me, and other friends he had emailed, to send her cards for her birthday. Something he said is called a "card shower" (an idea he credited to his mother... my MIL... oy).

I've never heard of such an idea, and frankly, it sounds absurd. I was so mystified that I googled it, and yep, I found links to people requesting "card showers". Ok, now, I understand for Aunt Bessie who is turning 99 in the nursing home. Or for a family member who is very ill... or something of the like. But for my SIL? Who is turning a rather uneventful age? I'm confused.

My main point of confusion is why people have to be asked, reminded, or even "solicited" to be considerate and thoughtful. Sure - people forget birthdays. They forget cards and they forget to call. My best bud has mixed up my birthday a time or two - but I would never want to think that my nearest and dearest have to be point blank asked to remember me.

I already had a card for her. I sent her a card when she went back to work after her baby came. I sent her a card for mother's day (ok, I guess I am a card person). I was tempted to hit reply and say "yeah, got it covered...". Because you don't have to ASK me to do what family SHOULD do. And... I almost get a little offended at that idea.

I know, this is trivial. But things like this make me concerned about things like human decency. Maybe it's the type of people they are (my SIL did send out a rather business-like email to me and her other various friends asking them to join them at a pumpkin patch on Saturday in Oct... surprise, no 'friends' turned up).

Call me casual. Call me not 'with-it'. Call me old-fashioned. I'm not rsvp'ing to the card shower. (And thanks for letting me vent in a safe place!)

8 comments:

Awesome Mom said...

I would have been tempted to not send the card after that, but then I am mean like that. I hate it when I get blatant requests for gifts or money.

T. said...

Kind of weird.

Not you; them.

Weird.

Anonymous said...

Men. That totally sounds like something my husband would do - trying to be nice of course - thinking it would be funny. (Although my mother-in-law would be as mortified as I would be at the thought of it.)

- toyfoto

Anonymous said...

Eh. Lots of people do find cards to be redundant if you've gotten someone a gift. It has the added perk of being cheap for the people involved. It was a group email, he probably included you -not because he thought you needed reminding -but because he didn't want you to be left out.

I think it's just a husband trying to do something kind & inexpensive for his wife. Not a giant foreshadowing of the end of civilization, not an attack on you . . . just a nice husband.

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Anonymous said...

Maybe she's feeling depressed for some reason? Maybe the lack of friends turning up at the pumpkin patch got her thinking that she doesn't have any friends?

I agree that the idea of card showers kind of sucks, but maybe her husband is just trying to make her feel better.

(I absolutely would have had the same response you did, though; perhaps being outside looking in gives one a different perspective.)

Carolie said...

Asking for gifts is RUDE. A card is a gift, even if it's inexpensive.

We invite people to weddings and birthday parties, and gifts are expected, but one does not ASK for gifts. And to ask for a gift (card) to be sent when there is to be no party, and the recipient is not very ill or very old? TACKY!

If BIL wants everyone to remember her birthday, he could have e-mailed each person individually (NOT one group e-mail--how hard is it to copy and paste?) "SIL's birthday is coming up, and she's a little down this year. If you have a minute, could you give her a call or drop her an e-mail on the day itself? I know she'd LOVE to hear from you and it would mean so much."