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Carolyn Hax: Forget about gifts, try to save friendship

Washington Post

Dear Carolyn: My son’s birthday was four months ago, and his godmother hasn’t yet gotten him a birthday or Christmas gift. The problem is, this is getting in the way of our socializing. Friday I sent them a text suggesting we meet up for dinner. They finally texted back days later (even though these are people who live by their cellphones) to say they were at the movies and missed my message but let’s try next weekend. This has been going on for four months! She’s always sorry she missed us and suggests the next weekend.

It’s because they don’t have my son’s gifts yet. She was “sick” for his birthday party and then admitted later it was because she didn’t have a gift. She rescheduled our Christmas gift exchange several times. I finally dropped off her children’s gifts.

Again she admitted she didn’t have any gifts for my son.

I just got another text asking what my son wanted for his birthday. Really? Just get him a gift card or forget about it. It’s getting to be a joke.

Their kids and my son are good friends. This nonsense is getting in the way of their friendship as well.

This has nothing to do with finances – I happen to know she splashed out on everyone else. What should I do? – Anonymous

Put this thing to rest, please: “Forget gifts! Son just misses your kids.” Clear and textably concise.

Revealing, too, I suspect: If you hold the no-presents-just-presence line, and (ahem) resist the urge to huff about their phone attachments or out-splashings or etc., even in eye-roll form, then I think you’ll clear the path to understanding whether this godmother will ever make time for your family. And whether you miss out on much if she won’t.

Email Carolyn at tellme@washpost.com, follow her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ carolyn.hax or chat with her online at noon Eastern time each Friday at www.washingtonpost.com.
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