Dear Snarky – There Was Gift Card Thievery At a Grad Party

Dear Snarky,

I’m in a situation that has gone from bad to worse and I need some guidance. My daughter recently had a large joint high school graduation party (it was come and go) with three other girls. The party was not at my house but all the parents split the cost.

Each girl had a tri-fold board that they made with a bunch of pictures from their time in high school on the dining room table. In the front of each board was a small basket where people could put cards and gift cards for the graduates. 

During the party my husband was in the dining room and noticed the older sister of the grad, who’s house the party was at, taking what he said were handfuls of cards out of our daughter’s basket. He said he didn’t say anything because it would “seem awkward.”

After the grad party we noticed that my daughter had only two cards in her basket. This is when my husband told me about the older sister. I went to the mom and told her what my husband had witnessed and asked for her to check in with her daughter about my daughter’s grad cards.

The mother refused, got really angry, told me I had ruined a perfect day and rushed us out of the house.

This infuriated me and I was also worried that since my daughter’s cards and gift cards were stolen, she wouldn’t even know who to write thank you notes to. So, I went on Facebook and Instagram and thanked everyone who attended the party. I also mentioned that my daughter’s cards and gift cards had been stolen at the party and apologized that since that had happened she wouldn’t know who to thank.

The mother of the daughter last seen with all the gift cards got on Facebook and went off on me and made everything worse. It’s not like I mentioned her daughter or anyone I just said the cards had been stolen. 

Now people have taken sides and I’ve been told I “better get a lawyer because I’m going to be sued for slander.” Is there any way I can make this go away?

Signed, Panicked

Dear Panicked, 

First relax about being sued. It’s not going to happen. You didn’t accuse anyone specifically on social media about taking the cards. What you’re hearing now is just a lot of sound and fury.

BUT you did screw up. Admit it, Miss Manners, you didn’t go on social media because of a great fear about not being able to know who to thank for their gift cards. You could have handled that by going to your grad party invitation mailing list and having your daughter drop each of the people a note. (And she could just have done a generic thank you and not mentioned the grad party theft at all.)

You went on social media to stir things up and congrats it seems like you did that very well. What you’re experiencing now is the fall out. 

One thing that really blows is that if your husband had just said something like, “I see you’re looking at my daughter’s cards. It’s great how generous people are isn’t it?” Then that would have probably stopped this whole unfortunate event. But that’s water under the bridge now. 

Does it absolutely suck that this happened? Yes, but I don’t think you’re going to call in law enforcement over the theft of graduation gift cards. And since the owners of the home where the theft took place refuse to do even the most basic level of parental due diligence and have a little Q & A with their older daughter or even look in her room then you’re out of luck.

So, since you asked me how to “make this go away?”  I suggest letting go. I know this does seem unfair since your daughter’s grad cards did disappear and you feel like you’ve also been robbed of any justice. But you need to move your focus to getting your daughter ready for her next step into adulthood and quit revisiting the grad gift card theft. As in don’t mention it again.

Oh, and I also strongly suggest taking a social media sabbatical for the rest of the summer.

Please don’t stop reading just yet. My newest book Empty is now out and I would love for you to take a little lookie loo. 💙 All you have to do is click on the link. Thanks! 😘