I'm proud to say that I've successfully dodged absolutely each and every wedding shower, bachelorette party and baby shower I have ever been invited to. So it's safe to say that I don't even know what goes on at those things, other than how they are portrayed on "Sex in the City" and "Gilmore Girls" (don't laugh - it's a good show). It's not even intentional: for whatever reason, I always happen to have something scheduled on the days that these things occur. So imagine my disappointment when I was invited to... oh, let's call her Jane... Jane's baby shower, and it conflicted with existing plans.
Jane isn't even really my friend. She's a friend of hubby. But since hubby is one of the world's most sociable guys, and his friends actually make an effort to get to know ME as a person (and not just as an extention of him), I was only somewhat surprised to be invited to her baby shower. As is customary of such events (or so I imagine), it wasn't even Jane who invited me to the shower, it was her friend Mary. I have absolutely no idea who Mary is, but I received an email from her one day asking me to "SAVE THE DATE!" for Jane's baby shower, and to expect snail mail invitations. After briefly consulting with my calendar, I sent off a reply letting her know I would be unable to attend.
Weeks pass, and I completely forgot about it until I received an invitation sent to hubby's office, but addressed to me. Sure enough, it's from Mary, giving directions to Jane's baby shower, along with a notice indicating where the baby registry is. I had already informed Mary of my prior plans, so why did she send me an invite anyway?
My theory: when my sister got married, my parents called their friends in advance to ask whether they would be able to attend. Only those who were coming received invitations: the ones who weren't never got one so they wouldn't feel obligated to buy a wedding present. Maybe only Chinese people do this (or maybe just my parents), but I like that practice and subscribe to that logic. Therefore, I automatically lept to the conclusion that the reverse is also true: you would only send an invite knowing that the person couldn't attend just so they would have to buy a gift! In my warped little mind, that's what I assumed: Mary sent me a superfluous invite just to solicit a gift for Jane. I know, I'm being way too petty, and for all I know Mary sent the unnecessary invite because she just plain forgot that I had already RSVP'd. But I was annoyed to enough to forward her a copy of my original email (the one that said I wasn't coming) along with the message, "In case you didn't get my first email, here it is again - I'm STILL not able to come". I'm paraphrasing, but you get the picture. Oh, and I'm not sending a gift out of principle.