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Should she apologize to a princess?

My only first cousin had a baby shower a few weeks ago that was slated to begin at 2 p.m. I arrived a bit early and had made plans for 5:30 that evening. It was a long drive, which meant I would need to leave around 4:15. I was only the 3rd of about 40 people to leave because many people didn’t even arrive until 3 p.m.! We had just eaten and she had opened my present and a few others when I got up, gave her a hug, and congratulated her again. I have a feeling she is upset because she is easily offended and I haven’t heard from her since, despite my call to say “Happy Birthday” later that week. Should I write an apology for stepping out early, or just drop it? – Coco
Aunt Dandelion replies:

Coco, you do not owe an apology for leaving a bit early. A baby shower is not like a theatrical performance where a mistimed arrival or departure would greatly inconvenience others. As was demonstrated by the other invitees’ behavior, the timing of such an affair is widely considered to be approximate. In fact, arriving an hour late is a far worse offense than leaving a little early due to a long drive and a subsequent commitment.

Your cousin sounds like a spoiled princess. You went out of your way — with love, no doubt – to help celebrate her blessed event. Her attitude should be one of graciousness and gratitude towards all her guests. If your cousin feels grumpy, put it down to hormones and try not to think about it anymore.

A note to all recipients of shower gifts, baby gifts, wedding gifts, birthday gifts … you have a sacred obligation to write a timely thank-you note to each and every person who was thoughtful enough to give you something.

Saying thank you is a beautiful and necessary communication between people. It completes the circle of giving and receiving. — Aunt Dandelion

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