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Friday 10 February 2017

To Gift or not to Gift

"Tis the wedding season,
And if you're a lucky one,
You get invited to more than one!" 
Nina hummed merrily.
"Can you believe it Nik? We have three wedding invitations! Jolly good I say!" Nina couldn't hide her glee! "You know Nik, I am partial to winter weddings as they let you deck and doll up in heavy wedding-worthy gear without breaking into a sweat. The same affair becomes a Herculean task to pull of in hot, humid summers. And Monsoon weddings? Spare me the horror!"
Nik was frowning while reading the invitations. He said,"So here we are, with three wedding invites, spread across our absolutely travel-nightmarish Mumbai city! Did you notice, the invitation cards are getting jazzier, heavier? I mean its like you've got to throw your weight around, starting from the invites! It's all good with this wedding frenzy but I do wish the invites wouldn't impose rules on Dress codes or Gifting or RSVP! And guess what? Our invites have all three impositions"
"I see what you're saying" Nina replied peering over Nik's shoulder.
"A formal dress code in this invite along with a No Gifts please
The next one vehemently says: No Gifts, not even Bouquets
While the third one says: Only Blessings, Reply with no. of persons attending. How do I know how many, the event's a month away! Thoughtful no doubt, but it does confuse people," Nik complained.
"Take me for instance, if the invite said, 'No Gifts', obviously I'd be delighted that I was to be spared the expense and time of seeking out the perfect gift. All I need to do: Toss on a clean shirt, attend the event, stuff myself at the buffet and have a good time, right?" Catching Nina's glare, he added,"And yeah, wish the couple of course!"
"Gosh Nik! Do you remember that wedding gift fiasco we had, long back? Seriously, how could we be so gauche?"

At their first ever, 'No Gifts' event, Nina and Nik are happily standing in the queue to wish the couple after indulging in the buffet fare.  
Aunty 1 (standing in front of Nina): The food was really below standard no?
Aunty 2 (with a snide smile): Hmm, what did you expect? It's a 'No Gifts' affair!
Aunty1: I hope the 'Return Gift' will be decent.
Aunty2: Or at least forward-worthy you mean!
And they set off cackling! 
Nina (noticing Aunty 1 & 2 flaunting envelopes with the one rupee thingy stuck on it): Excuse me aunty, didn't the invitation say 'No Gifts'?
Aunty 1: The invite said 'No Gifts', obviously they'll accept envelopes! They are giving 'Return Gifts' you know? You didn't bring an Envelope
The last line delivered in a loud stage whisper, makes everyone in the queue throw looks at Nina ranging from incredulity to shock at her audacity to land empty-handed at the function! Looking around frantically, she sees everyone in the line clutching onto 'The Envelope'.
Nina (urgently whispering to Nik): You got cash?
Nik (smiling triumphantly) : You bet! I have 200 Rs in 10's and 20's, easy for the parking fees you know!
Nina: Go run out to the ATM and get 1000 bucks, then go to the nearest stationery shop and buy a bloody gift envelope. And don't forget a pen, a tape and scissors!
Nik: But the invite said 'No Gifts'.
And Nina is stuck explaining to that irate, unreasonable, ill-informed man, the ingenuity of the invitation card and their own simple-mindedness! 

"After that episode, I have always been wary of seemingly pocket-friendly invites!" Nik chuckled.
"You know what Nik, I have an idea, actually it's Varun's idea. He adamantly dismissed my suggestion to add a 'No Gifts' clause to his last birthday party invitation. He simply asked me, "What is the fun of a birthday without gifts?" He went on to say, lets add 'Yes Gifts' to the invite!! The innocence and childish glee of receiving gifts! I quite agree! 
Any event hosted by us shall carry a no confusion clause: 'Yes to all Gifts'! What say?
Sophistication take a walk!"
"You could also add,'Wear what you want'," Nik supplied.
"Come on hurry up guys, let's deck up and carry all our gifting ammunition and march on to wedding no. 1!"

Nina's Guide on To Gift or not to Gift?
If the invite says: No Gifts
What it means: Envelopes with cash, vouchers accepted. Anything except gifts of your choice or forwarded gifts for that matter!

If the invite says: No Gifts Or Envelopes
What it means: Tricky isn't it? No fear, just carry bouquets; preferably without name tags! They won't matter; the family probably has tie-ups with some florists to whom they ship all the stuff!

If the invite says: No Gifts, No Envelopes, not even Bouquets
What it means: Trickier. With my past experiences interacting with ingenious wedding guests, I have a solution for that too! You slip 'The Envelope' surreptitiously to that 'mausiji' or 'mamaji' standing off-stage waiting to collect the goods, just ensure your 'With best compliments from...' is clearly legible!

If the invite says: Present by Blessings only
What it means: I took a while to figure that out! They just want you to convey your blessings via email, SMS, WhatsApp, needn't land up in person!

Well, whatever the clause, be sure to carry all the gifting options on person or have 'em waiting in the safe custody of your vehicle. And keep a sharp eye open for the Return Gift counter will you or better still keep track of wedding savvy Auntyji's!
Nina's Fail-safe remedies to your No-Gifts wedding quandary!

Image source: Invitation cards

Read other stories from Nina's World:  Click on tag/label #NinasWorld

Disclaimer: All the characters in the Nina's  World series are fictional, any resemblance to anyone living or dead is purely coincidental and unintentional.
The author will not be held responsible for any untoward occurrences you may face after following the ideas suggested in this post!😜

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