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by Abigail Van Buren

Friend Gets Criticism Instead of Thanks for Birthday Gift

DEAR ABBY: For a friend's birthday, I sent a $150 food delivery gift card, saying to put it toward meals when I visited for three days the following week. He called, told me I was "cheap" and said it was not a "gift" if it included money that would be spent on myself.

We are new friends and have never exchanged gifts. Please help me understand if I was inappropriate. -- MEANT WELL IN UTAH

DEAR MEANT WELL: You made an honest mistake. However, what you did was less inappropriate than your new friend's ungracious response, which was just plain insulting. On the next gift-giving occasion -- if you are still friends -- send him a book on etiquette, just for him.

Read more in: Holidays & Celebrations | Money