Birthday registries. They’re a thing. Because we can’t be expected to be surprised by what people get us or by the fact that people are giving us anything at all. We apparently deserve things and only things we actually register for. Not things other people give from the heart. Things we fantasize about in our materialistic, entitled brains. And ONLY THOSE THINGS.
First, let me say that I understand how birthday registries might be helpful for grandparents and other family, such as aunts and uncles, when it comes to purchasing presents for kids. Many times, these people are at a loss for what to get a kid, and worse, they don’t know if somebody’s already taken their one good idea. When a grandparent or other family member has requested a list of items a child might like, I think it’s appropriate to provide them with something, and registries do the trick.
HOWEVER, what I don’t think is appropriate is to provide them with a list of demands. A list like, say, this:
WHAT IN THE HELLS?
If you’re unable to get this item, let us know right away so we can purchase it?
Please include receipts going forward because it’s nice to be able to return items to purchase formula instead?
No personalized items because those are the number one reason for kidnapping?
My first thoughts are those of shock. Fucking seriously?! Is this a joke? This is a joke, right? Somebody made this up to cause a stir on the interwebs. I’m sure of it.
Then I think about how it’s possible that these parents have had a problem with family members spoiling their child, buying and giving presents when they aren’t deserved or warranted. So maybe a list is necessary for this family’s particular situation.
Ultimately, however, I come back to the idea that this is crazy. This is selfish. This is…completely inappropriate. I mean, if I received this list, I would be put off immediately. It’s like these parents are trying to control everybody else’s lives.
You are only allowed to buy this for our child.
If you choose not to follow our demands, you must provide a receipt so we can take it back for the money. Because your thoughtfulness and excitement is unimportant to us. It’s a burden to us. Your desire to bring joy to our child’s life, however overzealous it may be, is an annoyance.
There’s something just not right about that to me. There’s something inherently narcissistic about it. And it’s just plain rude.
I’m telling you what. If I received an email like this, I know how I would react, and it wouldn’t be kindly. I would see this as a personal affront, and I would dish back some of that same nastiness, however wrong it may be. I would purposely NOT get whatever it is the parents demand for the kid who, by the way, is only one and couldn’t give two shits anyway. I would purposely buy something I think the kid would enjoy regardless of what his parents say, and I would give it to him without a receipt to boot. Because who do they think they are, dictating what everybody else is allowed to do?
Is this childish? Yes. Do I care? No. Because they had the gall to even send this out in the first place.
If they don’t like something, they can politely accept it and then return it quietly, with or without a receipt. Or they can donate it to children in need. Whatever they choose. They don’t have to make a big deal out of it, even if they are burdened by the number and type of gifts their child receives from others. It’s simply not couth.
And contrary to what they may think, these parents are not the boss of everybody.
What is the matter with people? Where has basic gratitude gone? Sometimes I swear…I want to live on this planet less and less.