Thanks But No Thanks

Last month, Melanie’s neighbor, Alexis, gave birth to a beautiful baby boy.  Having just had her first son a few months prior, Melanie decided to buy Alexis her favorite baby sling that she couldn’t imagine any on-the-go New York City mom living without.   She picked out a sling made from a beautiful, organic, robin’s egg blue fabric, slipped it into a bright green gift bag and buzzed Alexis door.

The bleary eyed Alexis was thrilled to see another new mom, and invited Melanie in for tea.  Mel handed Alexis the gift, stating what a godsend the contents had been to her the past few months.  But when Alexis opened the package, she exclaimed – “I was afraid this is what you got me.  I’ve seen you walking the down the halls with Calvin all swaddled and happy.  I love it, but my sister already got me the exact same sling.  I really don’t think I need two but thank you for thinking of us.”  And with that, Alexis handed the gift back to Melanie.

In a bit taken back, Melanie didn’t really know what to say “…I’m so sorry.  I guess I should have checked your registry.”  Of course, Alexis told Mel not to give it a second thought.  Awkwardly, Melanie changed the topic to breast feeding, gulped the last of her tea and said that she needed to go relieve her husband from baby duty.

Now in a quandary, Melanie doesn’t know what to do next.  Should she return the sling and buy Alexis something else, or just forget about getting her another baby gift all together?  Was Alexis wrong to be honest and not accept the gift, or was she just trying to be thoughtful and save Melanie some cash on a gift that would never be used.  Tell us what you think!

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10 Responses to “Thanks But No Thanks”

  1. Caroline says:

    I wouldn’t spend too much time worrying about it, but of course gift registries exist for a reason. And, as a new mom, Melanie herself should realize how quickly “stuff” accumulates after you have kids. I’m with Alexis on this!

  2. Wendy says:

    Just receive the gift graciously and say thank you. If it’s a duplicate, then give it to someone else who can use it or donate it. The response was rude.

  3. SA says:

    This is a little pet peeve of mine. Gift registries exist for a reason, after all, and although Mel was being very considerate, she should have checked beforehand. When you give a gift you take a risk that the other won’t like or doesn’t need what you’ve given. You have to accept either outcome and realize that once you give the gift, what the person decides to do with it is their business.

    On the other hand, when you receive a gift, you should kindly thank the person and accept it, even if you don’t like it or need it. You don’t have to mention that you already have one, just accept it and hope to exchange, donate or regift it. Alexis should have said nothing, kept the gift and decided later on what to do with it. Who knows, she might have found it beneficial to keep one sling at home and one in her car.

  4. louie says:

    What ever happened to good old graciousness? With Gifts, it’s as important to give one as to receive one. There was a bit of thought that went into giving this particular gift, which should have been recognized by the receiver and most graciously received.
    Are we all now dependent on “Gift Registry’s”? Telling people what to buy you? Good marketing idea but a bit self serving and selfish, NO? I thought gifts came from the heart, but who am I to say?
    As for returning the gift and giving her another one, forget it.

    • SA says:

      This article is about baby gear for a newborn. When it comes to baby gear, yes, gift registries are important. It’s not selfish at all when you’re doing all the research and putting together a list that will not only benefit you as the parent, but more importantly offer the best in safety and comfort for your child. Thinking of what’s best for your child is hardly selfish or self-serving. Suppose Alexis didn’t think slings were safe, or specifically the one Melanie purchased? It turns out she did like it, but Melanie took that chance. Not every mother chooses to use a sling for their child. Should we have gift registries for everything? Absolutely not, but as this article pertains to baby gear for a newborn, then it is absolutely the right of the parent(s) to tell others what to purchase. Not every gift from the heart might be considered safe.

  5. Simone says:

    I think it was rude of Alexis to be so flippant about a thoughtful gift. She could have just said, “thank you” and let Melanie think it was her gift being used when she saw Alexis using it. Melanie could have then exchanged it for something else. No one needed to have their feelings hurt, especially a friend who put some thought into buying you a nice gift.

    As far as gift registries: While I agree they’re good, who’s to say that a baby sling was on there?

    Melanie should just return the gift and forget about buying Alexis something else. Trust me, they’ll be something Alexis doesn’t like about it.

  6. Stephanie says:

    Oh, come on! New parents should be gracefully allowed to be completely ridiculous and irrational – without judgement. The combination of new baby stress plus sleep deprivation is extremely difficult. It’s not about you or the gift.

  7. Liz says:

    I personally love giving gifts like Melanie did- personally useful and like a piece of advice that I feel can benefit my new-mommy friend. If, by accident, I gave a duplicate, I would want to know and wouldn’t feel badly at all about returning it and buying something else. After all, if I’m giving a gift, it’s because I want to give something to someone I care about that they will use and enjoy. It’s about them, not me and my feelings. It sounds like Alexis was gracious and grateful. What more can you ask for?

    I feel like registries are for the gift givers who don’t have a clue what to buy. New parents don’t know what they need, and half of the registry stuff often gets returned or goes unused anyway.

  8. Jess says:

    I think Alexis was extremely rude. Receiving a gift is now considered by some to be a form of income. I think if a person is kind enough to think about me and my child, they should choose the gift and the I should shut their mouth and be grateful. If you don’t like what someone chose for you, go buy what you want yourself….

Any Thoughts?