Post # 1
So FI’s cousin (we’ll call her C) recently sent me a message on facebook (well it was from her account but the message said it was written by her partner). Basically it said that they have been informed that their attendance is not welcome at the ceremony and reception, but they want to send us a perfect gift to welcome me to the family and to mend any bridges. She wanted to know if we had any suggestions on what she could get us.
Most of FI’s family is wonderful. Except C. Her and I oddly enough went to school together and she was trouble even back then. FI’s parents (who have generously contributed to our wedding) as well as L’s family (parents and brother) have specifically asked that L NOT be invited due to all the drama she’s caused with the family, L’s father and brother want nothing to do with her. Because the family specifically requested that she not be invited, we left her off the list.
I’m not going to go into the things that she’s done to the family, to friends of mine and to me. And well just the horrible things she’s done in general. She lies, cheats, steals, manipulates, took drugs while pregnant with all of her children. She is not the sort of person FI or I want in our lives.
If it were anyone else, I’d just block and ignore, but she is FI’s family, even if the family wants nothing to do with her. FI and I are certain that this is just another one of her manipulations. I really don’t want to accept a gift from her because I know it will come with all sorts of strings and manipulations, but I’m not sure how to tell her that without sounding like a total witch with a B. I have no desire to communicate with her, and FI as well as his family support this decision.
Any advice on how to convey all this without sounding terrible? I know I should be greatful that she wants to reach out and send a gift, but I’m positive the sentiments behind it are sinister. FI and his parents feel the same, and they know here better than I. Is there any way to tactfully decline?
Post # 3
@futuremrste: Sorry, just to check – are C and L the same person? I got a little confused reading your post.
Post # 4
@futuremrste: I would just reply that you really appreciate the thought but that there isn’t anything you need. Short and simple. Either way, you’re going to decline and it’s going to feel slightly awkward.
Post # 5
If you decline, you’ll only increase the drama. No one likes to be told that their gift isn’t welcome. She might become much more drama than you imagine. You can say that the gesture is appreciated, and that you certainly don’t mean for her to go out of her way, but if she’s still considering a gift, (insert 2 r 3 smaller items from your registry here) would be most welcome.
Post # 6
@JulietFoxtrot: Sorry I changed her letter partway through to further conceal her identity. C and L are one and the same I guess I need to proofread better! My apologies!
Post # 7
She sounds a lot like my sister! I have nothing to do with her anymore, and I know where the family is coming from in their choices.
I would respectfully decline her offer to buy a gift for you. I know that if she wanted to buy you a gift with no strings attached, she would not ask you about it first. Stay along the lines of “I appreciate your offer for a wedding gift, but it is unnecessary. In lieu of a gift, SO and I would really appreciate your best wishes instead.” If you accept a gift from this woman, expect her to bring up in every conversation in the future or if she ever needs anything, it will be used to summon guilt trips!
Post # 8
“That’s so sweet of you! Thank you so much for the thought, but there isn’t really anything I can think of that we need. Hope you’re well, thanks again for thinking of us!”
Post # 9
Respond graciously but briefly, and leave it at that. If she honestly wants to get you a gift, she’ll think of something, and this keeps you from asking for anything specific, which could be twisted around to make you look rude.
Post # 10
@futuremrste: Avoid the drama.
Write back that it was nice of her to write. Tell her that you are having a small wedding and simply couldn’t invite everyone you would have liked. Tell her their support and well wishes are all the gift you could ask for And wish her well.