Gift for parent who eloped? Yes, no, maybe?
June 3, 2013 6:36 PM   Subscribe

My 74-year old father just eloped, and I have no idea if I should get a gift for him, and if so, what it should be. More dysfunctional family details inside.

This is his third marriage, and it's known that the new wife is a gold digger and has been aiming for this (marrying my father) for awhile. He and I aren't on the best of terms ever since I started dating the man who became my husband (it's been fifteen years). On average I talk with my father 1-2x a year, and by "talk" I mean "he calls me when he's drunk, then brags or whines about his life, doesn't ask me about my life, and I spend the phone call making filler noises (uh huh, really, mmm)".

My father's way of informing me that he had eloped was with a voicemail, and then he followed that up with an email to his sister (BCC'g me, my sister, and presumably some other folks) that included a link to the wedding photos. For an elopement that he described as spur of the moment, it was clear from the professional photos that they had done some planning (more than what I did for my own wedding).

I'm not impressed with the wife, and definitely not with him. He doesn't need any household goods, and has no money problems. I'm inclined to send a congratulations card (as much as I don't really want to acknowledge any of this), but am torn about sending anything else.

While this question is somewhat close, my situation has less marriage foreknowledge and less warmth/love.

posted by sazanka to Human Relations (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
A nice card wishing them all the best should suffice.
posted by xingcat at 6:38 PM on June 3, 2013 [8 favorites]

My father's way of informing me that he had eloped was with a voicemail

Send him an e-card.
posted by flabdablet at 6:50 PM on June 3, 2013 [13 favorites]

I'm going to go against the grain here and suggest that you take them out for a celebration dinner, perhaps with your sister. You don't have to like your father or his bride, but you'll only be spending a few hours in their company. Moreover, this evening may pay dividends down the road when the inevitable health or other family crisis rears its head and communication becomes essential.
posted by carmicha at 6:54 PM on June 3, 2013 [3 favorites]

Card is way too nice, so definitely acceptable! No gift required, as is expected with an elopement anyway.
posted by Youremyworld at 6:55 PM on June 3, 2013

Best answer: Buy him a card, I'd go for a real snail mail one and just write a traditional sort of congratulations, don't bother faking an emotion you don't feel, but just the usual social niceties. I wouldn't worry about presents, in my mind I only buy presents if I am invited to the wedding, or know about it before hand.
posted by wwax at 7:12 PM on June 3, 2013 [2 favorites]

I've always wanted to give a wedding gift of pre-payed legal services.
posted by wrnealis at 7:32 PM on June 3, 2013 [11 favorites]

Leave him a voice mail.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 7:33 PM on June 3, 2013

Best answer: A voicemail saying "congratulations, let me take you out to dinner next time you and wife are in town".
posted by Kololo at 10:01 PM on June 3, 2013

Well that's shitty. I'm sorry, you must be pretty fed up.

Send a nice card, and if you're inclined a gift card to a restaurant he and his wife might enjoy.

I wouldn't go out of my way to be honest.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 9:09 AM on June 4, 2013

Response by poster: Thanks, everyone. I think he'll be getting a card with a dinner invite for the next time they are in town. (Although I really like the idea of the e-card and prepaid legal services . . .)
posted by sazanka at 3:17 PM on June 4, 2013 [2 favorites]

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