- 3 years ago
Sorry if this post is long!!! Please bear with me!!!
First, here’s the backstory:
My family is ethnically Chinese and my parents are quite superstituous.
I was (and still am) living in another country for work.
When my mom found out that I was trying to buy my cousin a wedding present and she INSISTED that I did not do that because of a superstition. Apparently, only married people give gifts so if single/unmarried people give gifts, it would be unlucky because you would be acting as if you are already married and therefore won’t ever get married (or something to that affect).
I am NOT superstitious but when I was young, I was kind of defiant (for example, washing your hair on an immediate family’s birthday is super unlucky and I did that many times before and my mom got so angry that she kicked me out of the house for a few hours one time) and after a minor argument with my mom I decided not to buy a present. Actually, the other reason was that since I was paying over $1,500 for a plane ticket and was going to drive over 6 hours, she said that it’s expected that I don’t need to get my cousin anything and in fact, my cousin might feel guilty about it. I am planning to get married in a couple of years in the country I’m living in and I know that she will come and I have the intention of telling her to not give me a gift or anything since the flight ticket would be expensive. So I thought my cousin would probably have the same sentiment.
When I met up with my family, I asked my mom what she got for my cousin and she showed me a ring. I WAS SO INCREDIBLY EMBARASSED. It was an old, Chinese-style, DIRTY gold ring. It was a flat and had a large width and the inside was SO DIRTY. I was so shocked. My mom said she cleaned it but I think it was just with soap. I asked her why a ring anyways??? My cousin is getting married, she’s got a ring!!! But apparently, my aunt-in-law (the cousin’s mother) got her a ring when she got married so it’s thier ‘tradition’. By the way, it wasn’t a heirloom or anything, but my mom said it was an expensive, real gold ring that she got a long time ago (and have obviously worn before). I was so upset and mortified during the car ride. I greatly regretted not giving my cousin a present as originally intended!!!!
At the wedding, my cousin was just glad I came from overseas to attend her wedding (I had to take a week off from work to attend and had MAJOR problems due to over-booking and ended up paying over $2,100 for my flight instead of $1,500 and almost didn’t make the wedding), but I have no idea if she was upset when she found out about my mom’s present which represented our whole family’s gift.
A year and a half later, my other cousin, (the first cousin’s younger sister) got married. I was going to buy her a big gift and also the first cousin a big gift to make up for the embarassment. However, my cousin had to change the date of her wedding and I was unable to attend due to that month being an important time at my job. So I was never able to make it up to the first cousin and I never got a gift for the second cousin.
*If you’re wondering why I didn’t send them a gift in the mail: not only is it extremely expensive to ship overseas but for some reason we NEVER get each other’s mail from the city they’re from!!! We have tried sending letters and small packets to each other and I never get their stuff and they never get my stuff. They live in a small city, and their postal system sucks when it comes to international mail. So I don’t want to risk sending something big and expensive over there.
Anyways, the first cousin is stopping over in my country for a few days before going to another country to attend a friend’s wedding and this is my chance!!! I can give her a big present and her sister a big present!!!
However, I don’t know if I should explain the situation to her… I RARELY get embarassed about things that happen to me, but I feel so embarassed about this for some reason. And she’s travelling with her husband so I don’t think I’ll get a chance to talk to her alone…
I don’t know if I should write it down in a letter and tell her to read it alone???
Or should I just completely not tell them and just say it’s a random gift for both her and her husband??? Or should I just give her a present??? Or should I give her and her husband two separate presents (I think it’s a little weird to give her husband a gift??? Or is it not? Is it rude to give JUST her a gift?)? I only met the first cousin’s husband 3-4 times and the second cousin’s husband twice.
I am just embarassed and confused and I feel so bad even though her wedding was almost 3 years ago and my other cousin’s wedding was more than a year ago.
ANY advice would be much appreciated. I haven’t even bought the presents yet because I am so confused as to if I should get them late wedding presents, or random expensive presents, or give just my cousins presents, or to give my cousins and their husbands presents. I feel horrible.
Thank you if you read this extremely long post!