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Is there a worse wedding gift than 6 George Foreman grills?

Illustration for article titled Is there a worse wedding gift than 6 George Foreman grills?
Photo: CareyHope (iStock Photo)
Hot LinksHot LinksWe spend way too much time on the internet

Today a list has reaffirmed my commitment to shopping from a couple’s registry, as long as I both shall live. Stuff of New Zealand has shared a compendium, a real treasury, of terrible, terrible wedding gifts couples have received, and a surprising number of them are food-related. Give them a click, because it’s their list and there are gems on there that have nothing to do with mealtime, but below you’ll find some culinary highlights and a rich sheen of total befuddlement.

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Perishable

  • “We got a box of bacon and I’m talking like 20 pounds of bacon. This guest got it from a meat market and thought hey, bacon!! I divided it up with everyone I knew and their mother and yet we still have bacon left.” What? That is so much bacon. Our tip: Make Elvis sandwiches.
  • “So far the weirdest one has been a basket that held the movie It’s a Wonderful Life (best thing from the basket), a loaf of bread that was already expired before my wedding day, and a container of salt.” This would seem to be a reference to the film, only the gift given in the movie is of bread, salt, and wine, which means this person stiffed the happy couple of the best part of their gift.
  • “Used spices.” Why would you do this. You probably have at least one unopened container of cinnamon in your cupboard right now.
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Non-perishable

  • “Six George Foreman grills.” Are they all from the same source? Were these grills just exceedingly popular that year? Again, I’m stumped.
  • “My sister-in-law received re-gifted measuring cups. How did she know they were re-gifted? The newly wed [sic] couple who gave them to her forgot to take the original congrats card out of the box that was addressed to them.” At least they were unused.

Definitely from Tahani Al-Jamil

  • “A single saucer for a tea cup. Engraved on it were the names of the gifters.” They couldn’t spring for the tea cup, too?
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Forgo the registry, if you must. But if you do, it had better be because you’ve got the best gift idea in history (hint: not a George Foreman grill)—or because you’re giving cash. If you are, at this present moment at the height of wedding season, holding a used jar of spices and considering gifting it to a couple to celebrate their nuptials, slowly put it down. Back away. Now walk to your laptop. Go to the couple’s registry. Buy the mixing bowl set instead. There you go.

Contributor, The A.V. Club and The Takeout. Allison loves TV, bourbon, and overanalyzing social interactions. Please buy her book, How TV Can Make You Smarter (Chronicle, 2020). It’s short!

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DISCUSSION

gilgamesh0
ShanePrime

“My sister-in-law received re-gifted measuring cups. How did she know they were re-gifted? The newly wed [sic] couple who gave them to her forgot to take the original congrats card out of the box that was addressed to them.” At least they were unused.

So lets talk re-gifting. Starting with the obligatory disclaimers.

  • Yes, the above is bad.
  • Yes, re-gifting something that the next person doesn’t want either just because you’re too cheap to buy a gift is bad.
  • Yes, being poor/broke/unemployed is different from being cheap.
  • Yes I am sure there is a disclaimer I am forgetting that I will get comments on for having forgotten and therefore I must clearly have meant exactly that is acceptable.

But what is my obligation with gifts that I have no interest in and weren’t requested or on any registry? Am I required to keep them? Do I have to pretend I didn’t ebay them?

Lets say I got six George Foreman grills, and I have a wedding coming up for someone who did not give me any of them and who has a George Foreman grill on their registry. Is it acceptable to re-gift?

Or I have a housewarming party and get 14 bottles of wine because people give wine for housewarmings. But I rarely drink wine and a year later I have 13 bottles left, and now I have a housewarming to attend. Re-gift cool now or do I need to purchase a new bottle for them?

When, if ever, is re-gifting acceptable?