Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Mysterious vanishing gift

Last Sunday we hosted a Welcome and Blessing Ceremony for our dear baby August. It was the kind of event that left me beaming with joy for the rest of the day! The wonderful people who came to celebrate with us, the love that filled the space, delicious and beautiful refreshments, and our emotive, handcrafted ceremony made for a perfect afternoon.
At the conclusion of the blessing, I headed through the kitchen to bring dessert out of the freezer. On my way I ran into a couple of friends who had just arrived. Unfortunately, they missed the ceremony, but I was very happy to see this family who lived down the street from our old house. After exchanging hellos and hugs, the wife handed me a lovely gift bag emblazoned with the colorful word "BABY" on the side.

"Oh no, you weren't supposed to bring a gift!"

"I know, but we didn't go to any baby shower or anything and we wanted to give you something."

"That is really sweet, thank you so much! I'm on my way to get dessert ready, so I'll set it right here for now. Thank you!"

And I set the gift bag on the corner of my kitchen counter in order to be a proper hostess and serve the promised dessert to our patiently waiting guests.

The afternoon continued gloriously with visiting and laughter, and eventually people began to depart. This gift-giving couple was among the last few families to leave, and as I hadn't had a chance to talk with them much since they arrived, we spent a few more minutes happily visiting in the foyer before they headed home with their two children.

After the party was mostly cleaned up and bedtime routines underway, something reminded me that our thoughtful friends had brought a gift which we had yet to open.  But back in the kitchen, the gift was nowhere to be found. Not in the place on the counter where I left it, or anywhere else. I asked Gary if he moved it, and he didn't even remember seeing it. I called my mother, because she and my brother had been extremely helpful cleaning the kitchen, but neither of them recalled moving any gift.

The gift bag was not small, and it was obviously a baby gift--all poofed up with tissue paper. It could not have disappeared behind a counter appliance or slipped accidentally into someone's bag. After searching increasingly implausible places, I was at a loss. Now the issue was not so much about what was inside the gift bag as the mystery behind its disappearance!

I can come up with only two possible explanations, but would love to know if I've missed another:

1. A child became enamored with the brightly colored gift bag, stole away with it, opened it in secret and somehow destroyed all the evidence.
[But the empty bag and tissue paper would probably be somewhere, and once the child discovered what was presumably a baby item inside, wouldn't he/she abandon it? Or if not, wouldn't the child's parents notice an item coming home that they didn't have before?]

2. My friends were offended that I did not open the gift in their presence, and perhaps took this affront to mean I didn't care enough or want the gift, and so they took it home with them.
[But our friends departed in a very friendly and happy state, without any gift bag in their hand at the time. Could they have sneaked it out to the car earlier?]

I would want to express my gratitude to these friends for their generosity, but now I wondered how I could appropriately do so. And the possibility, even as ridiculous as it seems, that they could have un-gifted the item, made me worry that if I said nothing it would confirm the suspicions (which possibly did not exist) that I did not care about their gift enough to notice it was gone! So I texted the husband: "Am I going crazy? I went to peek at your gift and I can't find it! Did you happen to move it somewhere? So weird. Sure loved seeing you all today!"

No response. Even now, more than a week later.

My husband insists I'm  being paranoid to make the following connection, and he's probably right because these friends don't seem to be the grudge-holding type. But in the interest of full disclosure, I must share this: we attended this friend's 40th birthday party back in March, and Gary accidentally left the envelope I asked him to bring on the entryway table (we had to meet at the restaurant). I was embarrassed showing up to a birthday party empty-handed like that, so I apologized to my friend that his gift card had been left at home. Of course he brushed it off as no big deal.  The thing is, I never followed up and mailed it to him after the party. So I can't help but wonder if the bag's mysterious disappearance is their idea of retribution for my own gift-related gaffe.

What do you think? Foolishness? Perhaps, but how would you explain this bizarre phenomenon?

1 comment:

Bridget said...

What the??!? This is truly a mystery. I was all ready to say it was just something weird that happened until you mentioned the thing about the gift you forgot to give them. Hmm.

Is it possible the gift bag was very light and someone tossed it while they were cleaning up?


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