Wedding Gift

Who didn’t experience the usual dilemma: “What is the amount that we fill in a check as a wedding gift?” How can we weigh the difference between a close uncle, a not so close auntie or a friend? As you all know it’s inconvenient to ask for advice…

So listen to this true story that happened to us:

In the mid 90’s, after being expats for few years in the US, we returned to Israel, and while not yet familiar with updated common ‘tariffs’ for wedding gifts in Israel, we were invited to a wedding of the daughter of a very close friend of ours.

While we were, both, still trying our best cloths and my wife still drawing the last lines with her eyeliner, I’m throwing to the air the usual question: “well, my dear, what should I fill in on the check?” (In Israel you don’t necessarily use a banker’s check and you can use your personal check). She, like always: “feel free to fill in whatever you feel is proper.”  The ‘monkey’ is back on my shoulder and I need to decide by myself. They are good friends, I say to myself, I think for a moment and then fill in the amount, put it in the envelope and we are done and ready.

In the car, on our way to the wedding I hesitantly ask my wife – as I’m not very decisive – “Do you think it is OK…I mean the amount?”

So we talk and a new decision is being taken – to change the amount. I’m still driving while my wife pulls out the check book, writes a new check with a new amount, swaps the checks and then leans back on the seat relaxed and satisfied.

The young couple was married that day. The envelope was handed over with “Mazal Tov” blessing (“good luck” in Hebrew) and everything went nicely.

Few days passed by.

In one of the evenings the phone rings in our house. My good friend Avri, the father of the bride, is on the other side of the line. There is a kind of hesitant tone in his voice, very unusual with him. “Shuka,” he says,”we love you very much and thanks for the generous gift….but….” and I can hear his embarrassment “which of the two checks you want us to deposit?”

What an embarrassment. Well, I’m sure you understood. My dear wife forgot to take out the first check, so two checks were there in the envelope from the Dinur’s.

What would you answer to Avri??

While I was embarrassed at that time the whole story is now a nice anecdote that we tell on weekends’ evenings. Since the young couple lives happily ever after we believe that 2 checks in an envelope are the right formula for happiness. So always put in 2 checks and let the receiver chose which one to deposit. It seems to be a guarantee for living in harmony…

 And you know, life is full with embarrassments; just don’t take it too seriously…

Fireworks (11)
Shuka, Thursday, August 21, 2008

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