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by Abigail Van Buren

Hospital Room Is No Place to Conduct a Family Feud

DEAR ABBY: I'm so angry I'm seeing red! When my nephew recently married, relatives gave his future bride and him a shower. We live 1,100 miles away, so I assumed the invitation we received had been sent as a polite gesture. We can't afford to travel that distance for either the wedding or the shower.

My husband and I decided to send an expensive gift for the wedding instead of two smaller gifts for each occasion. We explained this to our sister-in-law. She was so offended that she dug out two unused gifts she had received, wrapped them, signed our names, and presented them to the bridal couple at the shower!

When I learned of this, I was livid. I felt like a fool being thanked for the gifts. Abby, don't you think I have the right to determine which gifts I give and to whom? Was that tacky? We're not kids -- my husband and I are both in our 40s. -- DUMBFOUNDED IN TEXAS

DEAR DUMBFOUNDED: Yes, it was tacky and I don't blame you for being peeved. Since you were unable to attend either the wedding or the shower, you were very generous to have sent a wedding gift. Your sister-in-law's gesture may have been well-meant, but it was out of line.