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Suggestions/etiquettes Of Meeting Long-long Distanced Relations In The Usa

Discussion in 'General Discussions - USA & Canada' started by nuss, Apr 20, 2021.

  1. nuss

    nuss Platinum IL'ite

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    Please advice....

    This is a really long relation here (not even a relation, really!). My second cousin's friend lives in my city. He and his wife had their first baby last year. I have never met this couple, mostly because of the ongoing pandemic. I have talked to the wife a few times and helped her get into the journalism program earlier this program.

    She calls me Bua ji and has been nice during our conversations. I have never talked to my cousin's friend- her husband! Anyways, she just sent me an evite for their son's first birthday. I don't mind going and I told her that because it is during the middle of the week during work hours I will come by myself. Now my question is- what is the etiquette of meeting this family for the first time? I will get a present for the birthday boy. Should I get something for the couple too? I was thinking to get a gift card (I don't know what---William Sonoma?) but wasn't sure if that's okay. I would like to hear from the experienced ILites. Please help me out!
     
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  2. anika987

    anika987 IL Hall of Fame

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    You can just get a nice gift card from Amazon or something like that..something common.There is no need to get separate gifts actually
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2021
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  3. MalStrom

    MalStrom IL Hall of Fame

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    Birthday present for the child and a regular hostess gift will be fine. We usually take flowers/orchid, chocolate or a bottle of wine. I don't think a gift card for the couple is necessary.
     
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  4. Rihana

    Rihana IL Hall of Fame

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    To her, you are husband's friend's second cousin. So, nevermind the difference in age, you guys fall in the same "generation." Then, why are you Bua ji? That means aunt, right?

    Just wondering. : )
     
  5. Hopikrishnan

    Hopikrishnan Gold IL'ite

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    :grin: A never met professor, married with children (child?), tenured as well, will conjure an image of a tall, well-fed :p, school headmistress sort of apparition. Bua ji is a good bet.

    This connection is a notch above meeting a brown skin in a costco line, and xchaning smiles, nods, hello's. Card and gift to baby would be sufficient; gift to couple would be a bit too much/thick.
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2021
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  6. nuss

    nuss Platinum IL'ite

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    Thank you all! @Rihana- because my second cousin calls me Bua ji even though the age difference is not much so all his friends call me Bua ji as well . Now, my nephews call me by name (the three older ones) so I don’t really mind who calls me what.

    Thank you @anika987 i like the idea of an Amazon card for the couple and a separate gift for the baby!

    @MalStrom - for an American acquaintance or my friends- I do the same- flowers, chocolates, wine, etc. but I don’t really know this couple other than that they are my cousin’s friends. The party is at a restaurant at 3 pm so I will just stop by to wish the baby happy birthday. I am not ready to mingle with people yet and it being in the middle of the day is a good excuse to make it short.

    @Hopikrishnan - well, well, I am not that old (yet) . We haven’t met in person but I have talked to the wife (new mom) a couple of times while helping her with the admission and stuff. We do exchange greetings during festivals.
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2021
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  7. nuss

    nuss Platinum IL'ite

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    @Rihana I am sorry I should have mentioned the reason for giving that little detail. I just wanted to say that we are not friends and don’t consider each other friends either. It’s more of a older- younger generation dynamic regardless of the age difference.

    @Hopikrishnan is right. People do change their address after learning that I am a professor. I guess Professor doesn’t sound like a fashion forward cool woman in early 40s, rather conjures an image of a white haired old woman in baggy pants .
     
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  8. Rihana

    Rihana IL Hall of Fame

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    Hmmm..... you provided information and help about a journalism program. Never met. Never talked with your cousin's friend.

    I would say give a nice birthday gift. But the party is a birthday party and at a restaurant. No need to take a hostess gift. In fact, a hostess gift might catch them off-guard and result in them offering (valid) excuses for not yet inviting you home or why the guy hasn't yet talked with you.

    Caveat: If the evite birthday invite is followed up with a phone conversation initiated by them, in which they say they are looking forward to finally meeting you, and the guy joins the conversation ... then, maybe a small gift for them would be OK to take.

    Overall, a hostess gift at a birthday party sounds odd to me. Even your being invited to it is rather odd given that your kids are older and we are still in a pandemic.
     
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  9. MalStrom

    MalStrom IL Hall of Fame

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    Yeah, I didn’t realize the party was outside the home. I’d just do the birthday present in that case. You can take a gift for them if you ever visit their home.
     
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  10. nuss

    nuss Platinum IL'ite

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    Thank you all! My wise sister also suggested the same- gift for the birthday boy would be enough!

    @Rihana - She did send me a message after the evite and called in the evening. I am sure the pressure comes from back home. You know how in India all parents have so much time to ask why you haven’t met/ invited this “relative” yet . The guy has been out of picture. I’ve never talked to him. When I first talked to the wife about two years ago, my cousin had called me to let me know that this person is going to call because they want to meet us. They did invite us then but we were busy and couldn’t make it. The wife is American born desi and husband came from India so I don’t know if she feels more comfortable talking to me.
    Yes, my kids are 5 and 8, much older than a year old.

    @MalStrom-
    If we ever visit their house we will definitely take something. I was unsure if I should take a present while meeting them in person for the first time!

    Thank you all again! I never know what the desi etiquette dictates!
     

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