DEAR ABBY: If you give a birthday gift to a friend, isn't it proper for the friend to remember you with a gift on your birthday? I thought that was how it worked.
I always try to give my friends gifts for their birthdays. However, my birthday was a week ago and not one of the six good friends to whom I gave gifts gave me one. One gave me a card, another made cupcakes to share with everyone at lunch, and another friend decorated my locker. (I'm a high school student.) The other three did nothing.
Perhaps this is just my opinion, but I don't consider a card a gift. To me a gift is something material that someone has put some effort into making or buying -- not something that was put together at the last minute. The cupcakes and decorated locker were very nice and I appreciated them, but after having given them real gifts for their birthdays, I was disappointed not to receive any. I'm sure it wasn't a matter of money for any of them.
I don't intend to say anything to them about it, but when their birthdays come around again, should I still give them gifts, or should I just wish them happy birthday with a card?
I love to give gifts, but I find it offensive when people don't treat me the same way I treat them. -- DISAPPOINTED BIRTHDAY GIRL
DEAR DISAPPOINTED: A real gift (in my opinion) is something given from the heart in the spirit of generosity, with no thought of receiving anything in return.