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Handle This: You Don’t Have a Gift in Return

You and a friend each recently had a birthday, and although you were out of town for yours, she’s having a party to celebrate hers with a group of your mutual friends. You consider hunting for a gift before you go, but since it’s a large group party you opt not to and assume that it won't be a big deal.

Much to your dismay, when you arrive at the party the birthday girl hands you a huge present. You watch her eyes take you in and realize that she’s noticed you don’t have anything in return. It's completely awkward and you feel like you have to say something. How would you handle this?


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jessy777 jessy777 9 years
I guess I would make up a story and get it to her the next day. However, I would never go to a birthday party without a gift for the birthday girl, big or small party.
JaimeLeah526 JaimeLeah526 9 years
I'd just say I was sorry and that I didn't know we were exchanging gifts and I didn't bring her anything. I'd tell her to hold onto the gift she got for me and I'd get something for her and we'd get together to exchange them later. That would work out well for me.
lindholmka lindholmka 9 years
This exact thing happened to me 3 weeks ago!!! Except I was the one who bought the friend the really nice gift!! lol To be honest, I wasn't that upset that she didn't get me anything. It was my decision to put together the birthday gift for her so I didn't expect anything in return. We just went out on the town and she bought me a couple drinks! We still had fun!
Ster Ster 9 years
luthien tinuviel: I've often been treated to "an activity" by friends, rather than a present and I always loved that because you get to spend quality time with your friends while doing something fun. A lot more valuable than some stuff I could buy myself if I wanted to ... What I usually do if I don't come bearing gifts for some reason, is frame a nice picture of the two of us and write something sweet on the frame or the back. It shows you care without being hugely expensive, and they're sure not to hate it.
sparklestar sparklestar 9 years
I would never turn up for a present-giving friends birthday party without a present. How rude!
luthien-tinuviel luthien-tinuviel 9 years
I don't know, being in my mid-twenties I feel sort of over the gift-giving thing--I'd rather put time and money towards being together. I like buying random, unexpected presents better than bday ones that feel obligatory. Recently I went out to dinner for a friend's bday and I was one of two that didn't bring a gift--but I had treated her to ice cream earlier that day, and I guess I think that hanging out is more fun than buying trinkets. Plus, I knew we'd be splitting dinner and it was a bit spendy for my poor budget. Is it bad not to bear gifts if you plan on treating the bday girl to her dinner? Honestly, I don't expect presents at my bday--hanging out with my friends means much more to me.
blooditsnotfunny blooditsnotfunny 9 years
I want honest friends too but also if I got my friend a gift I would be pissed if I didn't get one back! That's rude. Honestly I wouldn't mind if my friend told a white lie just to spare my feelings. It's not a big deal. It's not like she's going to be like "omg you're lying.. you didn't get me a gift did you? you know what I don't even think we should be friends anymore if you're going to lie about getting me gifts when you really didn't get it yet." lol!
jillerin457 jillerin457 9 years
I would rather have honest friends than friends who felt obligated to give me gifts.
emalove emalove 9 years
Sorry, I would never go to a birthday party without some kind of small gift or at least a CARD for the birthday girl/guy.
cubadog cubadog 9 years
I would totally lie and either say I forgot it in my rush to get there on time or say that Fed Ex never showed up that day. To be honest I love to buy gifts for people so I have never been in this position.
Kazagirl Kazagirl 9 years
I would lie lie lie. I would be like "I got you a present online and it hasn't arrived yet. I am so mad, I really wanted to give it to you tonight".
Hootie Hootie 9 years
I with GlowingMoon.
jasmint jasmint 9 years
Something maybe similar has happened to me with friends at Christmas.. once I got a gift from my college roommate, which I wasn't expecting. Rather than admit I had nothing for her, I blamed it on the postal service and told her that her gift had unfortunately not arrived yet! I immediately bought something after that and gave it to her. Once though, one of my close (?) friends used this excuse on me, and she just kept saying it was in the mail.. Eventually I suppose she assumed that I forgot about it entirely, because nothing ever came and she never mentioned it again! Ha!
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 9 years
Goodness, I wouldn't be in this situation. Going to a birthday party empty-handed?? That's rude. Personally, I don't attend any social event empty-handed, much less a birthday party. Minimally, I would come bearing a hostess gift.
nikodarling nikodarling 9 years
I always think the best thing to do in this situation is to say - I am taking you out to dinner/drinks/movie/shopping my treat. That makes it sound like you haven't forgtten. And you can both walk away feeling good.
lawchick lawchick 9 years
I agree with jillerin457 too -- partially b/c I am a horrible liar. surely your friend wouldn't REALLY stare at your empty arms! I wouldn't say anything, and then plan a lunch date and give her her gift (that I bought after the party) then.
Indigo4320 Indigo4320 9 years
Yeah this always sucks, but if you're going to a bday party you'd probably have a gift to take. It's kinda rude to show up empty handed, even if it is a large group of people. I always get gifts just to avoid embarrassment...but never expect one in return.
allinavhcnerf allinavhcnerf 9 years
i agree with jillerin457
jillerin457 jillerin457 9 years
I wouldn't lie - it would be so obvious! Imagine if you were the friend who DID remember. You would totally know if the other person were lying!!! I'd thank her graciously for the gift, but not make a big deal out of the fact that I didn't get her one. If she's a good friend anyway, it *shouldn't* be a big deal. Then I could get her one later, or pay for her drinks and dinner, but not have to keep up some ruse of already having gotten her something.
Asia84 Asia84 9 years
Yep, I'd lie too Blair! LOL in reality, i would never not get my friend a gift. I love giving gifts and wrapping them, so this isn't something that would happen to me. But in this situation, I would tell her that her gift is in the mail ( I ordered it online ). I'll tell her that she'll LOVE IT. No hints! It's a surprise. Then when I go home that night, I would be up trying to find her a gift and have it shipped ASAP!
BlairBear BlairBear 9 years
If it were me? I would lie, lie like there's no tomorrow! I would be like, "I'm such a spaz, I was in a rush and walked right out the door without your present, I'm so sorry, maybe we can have lunch later on this week and I can give you your present." Then I would rush out the next day and get a big extravagant gift. Yes, it's a lie and lying is bad but it's better than telling her that you didn't buy a gift.
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