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by Abigail Van Buren

Couple Encounters Rough Seas Over Gift of Cruise Vacation

DEAR ABBY: I represented my daughter "Stacy" and her husband as their real estate agent. When any of my children purchase a home, I waive my commission. My daughter knew I had been trying to finance a trip to South America for my husband so he could complete his "bucket list." She gave me a cruise on one of the most expensive cruise lines and airfare to South America as a gift for helping with their home purchase.

After my husband reviewed the itinerary, he said it wasn't the trip he had in mind and wanted to know if my daughter could change it. I was embarrassed to ask her after receiving such a gracious gift. He became indignant and said if she really wanted to give him something he wanted, she wouldn't mind changing the trip.

I told Stacy I couldn't accept her gift because it was too much money. My husband is now angry with me because he feels I am the person at fault for the loss of the trip. Is my husband right that we should request a gift exchange from the giver, or was I justified for not accepting it in light of the fact that it was too much money? -- JUST WANTS PEACE

DEAR JUST WANTS PEACE: Your husband sounds like a handful. He was at fault. Your mistake was allowing him to put you in the middle.

I'm sorry you fibbed to your daughter about why you refused her generosity, because the expense had nothing to do with it. Your husband's ingratitude had everything to do with it. Because the cruise didn't suit him, he should have spoken to her and asked if the itinerary could be adjusted. That way nothing could have been lost in translation, and he might have gotten his wish.

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