DEAR ABBY: I recently sent a wedding gift to a relative and his new bride. I received a thank-you note that made no mention of what the gift was. Both my mother and sister received thank-you notes describing their gifts in detail. I'm wondering if what I got was the code for "we're exchanging it," or if the cards might have gotten mixed up or lost.
Abby, would it be OK to ask the relative's mother what happened? I don't want to sound as if I'm complaining about the poorly written thank-you notes. How do I ask without offending anyone? -- WONDERING IN WATERLOO
DEAR WONDERING: I doubt that the note you received was in "code." Most likely, the gift cards got mixed up or lost -- a very common occurrence. Do not ask your relative's mother. Instead, telephone the couple and say, "I was delighted to get your thank-you note, but I just had to ask: Did the towels match your decor?" That way you will clue them in about what you gave them, in case they don't know, and they will have the opportunity to be more specific in their thanks.