DEAR ABBY: A few weeks ago, my partner and I received an invitation to a friend's 50th birthday party. The invitation stated, "No gag gifts."
A few hours before the party, my partner came home with a bag full of gag gifts, including Preparation H, Depends, etc. That's when the argument started. I told him I would not go to the party if he brought those gifts. I feel they are insulting, and those kinds of gifts are not funny anymore -- especially when the invitation specifies no gag gifts. I have seen those kinds of gifts a hundred times.
As a result, we did not attend the party. How do you feel about gag gifts? Who's right and who's wrong? -- TOO SENSITIVE IN RENO
DEAR TOO SENSITIVE: While I do not condone mentioning gifts -- gag gifts or otherwise -- on an invitation, the host, and presumably the honoree, had made their wishes known. You are not "too sensitive"; you were socially appropriate. For your partner to have ignored the invitation would have been rude and insensitive.
I have nothing against gag gifts if they are original, funny and tasteful. Frankly, I think in this case, by not attending, you spared yourself embarrassment and did the honoree a favor.