A friend told me about a dilemma the other and got me thinking about gift reciprocity.
The background story:
There is a CAO that is family. When this CAO attended 3 weddings of my friend and his siblings, the gifts were very very cheap. How cheap? Not the cheapest-thing-on-the-registry cheap. It's the not-even-on-the-registry-I-know-you-got-it-for-$10-and-it's-not-something-I would-use-or-want kind of cheap. Worse thing? The CAO is okay financially.
The CAO is now inviting my friend and siblings to the CAO's wedding. What gift to give? The friend's wife wants to give the usual they give to others for wedding: $100. My friend disagrees. He think he should give $10. His wife thinks that's stooping to their level.
I know the idea of gift giving is not about getting equal in return. However, when someone is consistantly cheaping out, it seems that they don't deserve alot in return. I can understand that if there is a financial difficulty, the gifts given may not have a high retail value. I can total fine with that. Maybe that person could offer something that does not cost them a lot financially, like helping to move or paint or babysit. However, when you can afford nice things for yourself and are not willing to put a little more thought or money into a wedding gift, then maybe you don't deserve the same from others.
In the end, I told my friend what I thought would be the middle ground. If he's upset bout giving so much more, and his wife thinks they should not stoop so low, they should give $40-60. It's more than what the CAO would give, but it's not as much the friend would give.
What would you do?