NYT, Social Q’s, 24 May 2013:
Our group of close friends has spent the last few years attending one another’s weddings. We all give gifts to the newlyweds, except for one couple who hasn’t given gifts to anyone. Now the nongivers are getting married. Some of us do not want to gift them at all, whereas others think a more modest than normal gift is in order. What do you think? – Anonymous
It sounds to me like these non-givers are completely missing the point of getting married, which is to receive household items and cash. They may be misguided, believing that marriages are about celebrating a couple committing their lives to each other, or they may be malevolent, dooming their friends’ unions to sure destruction by depriving them of tea towels, the literal fabric that holds marriages together.
Or, it may be that the cost of attending several weddings in a short time period makes it financially difficult for this couple to buy a gift on top of funding their attendance, but I don’t see how a little electricity, or dinner or diapers, is more important than the sterling silver Crate & Barrel salt shakers you’ve all earned by falling in love with another human being and declaring it publicly.
Healthy friendships are built on well orchestrated passive aggressive punishments tailored specially for the people you care about most. Whatever you decide to do, make sure that everyone does it in a way that your friends will sort of notice but that you can all sort of deny doing later, that way you can all quietly judge-and-jury each other for the rest of your incredibly fulfilled lives.
Someone made a Tumblr of the best (read: most sarcastic) Dear Abby-type advice column responses. It is just really fantastic. The wedding etiquette ones are my favorites, perhaps because they’re making me feel extra sane and good about myself. Some gems: 1, 2, 3, 4
UPDATE: Turns out this is better than I thought. The creator of said Tumblr actually rewrites ordinary advice column responses to give the moronic submitters the snark they truly deserve. Well done.