I find myself in an unexpected position involving shower etiquette - I am the jerk.
Without calling me out-and-out rude, please weigh on in the following two situations.
First situation: I have a girlfriend I will call Kam. She and I met about six years ago, through a job neither of us work at any longer. We were never close friends, but talked on the phone at regular intervals (monthy to bi-monthly) and got together maybe a couple times a year. She knew about the miscarriage troubles (though not in great detail) and I knew about some problems that she was having in her marriage. About a week after Gummy Bear died, right before Christmas, I ran into at the grocery store. I remember feeling strange about the conversation - it seemed strained, but then again, I wasn't in the greatest mindframe. I should also add that it was the night of a huge storm, the power kept going off and on, and I was trying to buy batteries and some last minute supplies. It was just hectic.
So, after Christmas, maybe a month later, I called and left her a message. I told her that I had been glad to see her and wondered how she was doing. She never called back. I sent her an e-mail a few weeks after that, asking about her family, and received a brief reply that all was okay.
About six months later, I ran into her again at the same store. We talked, again briefly, but to me, everything seemed okay. I sent my usual Christmas card to her family this year, I am pretty sure that she sent one back. I have copied her on all of our baby updates and she has written back very nice responses.
I am gathering addresses for my upcoming baby shower and putting her name on the e-mail list was something that I debated about. I knew we hadn't talked in awhile, but I also felt that she was someone that I wanted to keep in touch with. Looking back, it was a mistake to add her, but I did.
She e-mailed me back, very hurt that I was asking her to come "just for a gift." She thought that I had been rude to her a year and a half ago, and no longer considered us friends. I sent back an e-mail, explaining my state of mind when I had seen her that time in the store, and asking forgiveness. She wrote back, again saying how rude it was to ask someone to a shower that you haven't seen for over a year. Reviewing the situation, I agree with her, I was out of line. How should I handle this situation without making it worse?
Second: This one is tricky in that I can still change it before too many people are offended. It has to do with registry length. I have a pretty long registry at two major stores, BRU and Tar.get. I like to give people a lot of different options in what to buy, in a lot of different price ranges. I find it frustrating when I look at a registry and there are only expensive things or a small amout of things available, especially if I procrastinated and it is close to the shower. With that thinking in mind, I have made my registries very "complete," including putting a lot of toys and books on them. I think I have around 140 items on each one. I am not sure how many pages it would be if I printed it out. I am going to try that at the store and see, but probably 10. I was thinking that it was good to give people options, but now I wonder if I look greedy. Will people print the registry out and think "Geesh, this girl is a gift grubber."?
The thing that is sad about both of these scenarios is that the last thing in the world that I want is to appear greedy or as if I am only after a gift from my friends. This is part of what makes me uncomfortable at showers for myself, I really feel badly when people bring me things.
Again, please don't make me feel worse than I already do. Just let me know what you think about these situations and how I can resolve them.
Edited: Thank you for your thoughtful responses. I can always count on you guys to show me the way. I will work on paring down my registry this weekend and I sent my friend this e-mail.
I have been thinking about the right way to phrase and handle this situation. I have been very upset over it, simply because I can easily see why you would be offended by being invited to a shower, and I feel awful. I never wanted to come across as a gift grubber or just wanting to see you for your wallet.
You are a person that I really enjoyed having in my life. Losing so many babies and dealing with the process that is infertility was a lonely and isolating thing. I lost touch with many friends during this time, and that is completely my fault. Please know that it was not a reflection on you. I was so depressed for so long that I couldn't even see family members for some time in there. I truly felt as if I was burdening people with my sadness, especially when in the past, I have been typically an upbeat person. This does not excuse rudeness in any way, I just want to make it clear that I realize the situation is my fault. I truly did not realize that I was brushing you off that night at the grocery store, if nothing else, please know that was unintentional.
Now that I finally have something wonderful to share, I really wanted to include you in what is a happy time for me again. When I put together the e-mail updates on our son and then the shower invite, I really was trying to make an overture of being back in your life when I included you. However, looking back, I realize that it was out of line and probably did not come across that way at all. I regret my decision, but there is no way that I can take it back now, I can just apologize for it.
Again, I am sorry for letting go of our friendship. I hope that you can still remember it fondly and forgive me for my lack of etiquette.
Take care of yourself and your family. I wish you only the best.