As I’ve mentioned, there is an upcoming family wedding. I’ve received broad hints from the bride’s mother that the Bride Does Not Approve of the gift I’ve selected for the couple. (The groom, however, does. I know this because he was so very enthusiastic when I asked if he’d like to get one.)
I am of the gift-giving philosophy (and Miss Manners backs me up) that I am not a delivery service. You may express your preferences, but I am in no way bound by them. (That is, after all, what makes it a gift, and not extortion.)
I specialize in choosing gifts that visibly disappoint the recipient upon opening, usually followed a month later by an enthusiastic “That was really great, I never would have thought of that!” To me, that’s a good gift – one you didn’t even know you wanted.
I pay a lot of attention to what people might like, and if I can’t come up with something good, I admit defeat and give generic gifts like flowers or chocolate.
Now, it’s not as if I want to give the bride a poke in the eye with a sharp stick. I really do think she will enjoy the gift once she has it. But there is the family peace to consider. I don’t care all that much about family peace anymore, but I would not like the parties involved to see my actions as intentionally hurtful. What to do?
I throw this out to the wisdom of the crowd. What do you think? Respond to familial pressure, or assert my own gift-giving prerogative? I’m inclined to do it my way, but I do have those High Autonomy Needs and I’m thus aware I might be overreacting.