Miss Manners by Judith Martin, Nicholas Ivor Martin and Jacobina Martin

On Rules ‘Protecting’ Ladies

DEAR MISS MANNERS: A good friend of mine, who is having a baby, received a gift today off her baby registry. However, it's from a person she doesn't know.

We looked, and there is another woman with a baby registry with the same name as my friend, but my friend's name populates first in the list. We think this person may have purchased from my friend's list accidentally.

But now she isn't sure how to play this. Does she contact the stranger and thank them? Contact them to see if they made a mistake? What would you recommend?

GENTLE READER: Could it be any clearer that this was a mistake? Strangers do not look up registries in order to send presents to unknown recipients.

That you have the least doubt about this worries Miss Manners. Your friend should immediately contact the store, which will contact the buyer. If she is then informed that, indeed, it was a random gesture to a stranger, Miss Manners will apologize for suspecting you both. If your friend is hesitating, you might point out that the other expectant mother may be receiving her presents.