DEAR ABBY: We sent a check to our niece a month before her marriage as a wedding gift to her and her fiance. The amount was generous, and we felt any young couple would be delighted to receive it. We also attended their out-of-state wedding.
Four months after we sent the check, it had neither been cashed nor had we received any acknowledgment that it had been received. I contacted my sister to verify that it hadn't been lost only to be told that my niece was "embarrassed by the large amount of the check and could not accept it"! Have you ever heard of such a thing? We think it is rude on multiple counts: First, evaluating the gift; second, rejecting the gift; and finally, not feeling obligated to even acknowledge it.
I'm boiling mad. My sister was the one who suggested "money" when we asked what the bride could use as a gift. We always felt that any gift -- large or small, liked or not -- should be graciously accepted and acknowledged. Have you any thoughts on this? -- FURIOUS IN ARIZONA
DEAR FURIOUS: Yes -- and congratulations. Your letter is a first. I have heard of brides complaining that a gift of money wasn't large enough -- but never that it was "too large." Could there be some additional tensions in the family that prevented your niece from telling you that your generosity was more than she could comfortably accept? If so, she could have returned it with a note thanking you and explaining the reason why.
Your thoughts regarding etiquette are absolutely correct. Any gift -- or kind deed -- should be graciously acknowledged.