The mystery gift

So I have a bit of a mystery to share with you.  It’s more of a “who gave it?” rather than a “who done it?” type of mystery.

Here are a few elements of the story that are important to know:

  • Our wedding was wayyyyy back in February.  And I opted not to have a bridal shower (although I ended up having a small one with just a small circle of ex-WaMu ladies). 
  • We registered at Macy’s

Here is the mystery.  In late June, a box from Macy’s was waiting on our doorstep.  Sure, not a big deal – perhaps a late wedding gift.  When we opened it, we found this:

oval bowl

The Rosenthal Oval bowl from Macy’s.  Yes, something that was on our registry.  Such a pretty, big, serving bowl.


We obviously wanted to know who this generous gift came from so that we could send the appropriate “thank you” card.  So we read the little note that came with the bowl. 


Hmmm.  We don’t know a Julie and Tim.  We even Googled them.  Tried to find them on Facebook.  Nothing.


In addition to this note, there was the gift receipt that showed the full name and address of “Julie and Tim.”  Even with a last name, we don’t know them.  And we certainly don’t know anyone living in the city that was listed as their address. 

Our first thought was that there must be another Lisa or Micah (or some combination of our last names) registered at Macy’s.  Well, the answer is no. 

And upon further investigation, the card reads” “Sorry to miss the shower!”  We didn’t have a shower – or certainly one that anyone named “Julie and Tim” would have been invited to.  Additionally, the language on the card suggests that the shower is in the future – otherwise, it would have read “Sorry we missed the shower.” 

Here’s the best couple of theories we have as to what the heck happened:

1. "Julie and Tim” really do know a Lisa and Micah getting married.  They assumed Lisa and Micah were registered at Macy’s.  So they look at Macy’ – find a Lisa and Micah registered there and quickly click on the link without double checking to make sure it’s the “right” couple.  They see the Rosenthal Oval Bowl – still left to be fulfilled – on the registry.  Cool…it’s on sale.  What a perfect shower gift.  Add to cart, ship to couple (the address remains hidden to the buyer), and add a nice note.  Done and done.

2. “Julie and Tim” are two funny people who just LOVE sending registry gifts to random couples they don’t know.  We just happened to be the lucky recipients of their latest hijinks. 

Obviously, this raised a dilemma for Micah and me.

Do we send “Julie and Tim” a thank you card?

  • If we do send one – do we acknowledge that we don’t know them…but thank them anyway?  Do we run the chance of them actually knowing us and being offended that we are saying we don’t know them?  (Could we possibly know a “Julie and Tim” – and they have merely slipped through the cracks of our brain and we have forgotten these long lost friends?)
  • Or, do we not send a thank you card and just return the gift to Macy’s, as to keep our consciences clear?  The problem with this choice is that the real intended recipients of “Julie and Tim’s” gift – they may never know that “Julie and Tim” had sent them something.  And then in turn, they never send “Julie and Tim” a thank you card.  And in turn, “Julie and Tim” become a little upset that their generosity was not appreciated.  And in turn, “Julie and Tim” decide they don’t want to attend the wedding either.  Thus, a potential friendship is destroyed.  Ack…no thanks.  That just feels like a karma-mishap in the making.

What did we do?

We ended up talking to a person at Macy’s and explaining our situation.  She had said she’s never heard of such a thing happening before.  But she recommended we send “Julie and Tim” a thank you note anyway, but acknowledge in there that perhaps they sent the gift accidentally to the wrong people.  In the meantime, she told us to keep the bowl.  Woo hoo!  (It’s not like the “other” Micah and Lisa actually wanted this bowl).

So that is precisely what we did.  Micah crafted a nice thank you message that showed appreciation for the wonderful gift…and then at the bottom of the card – that’s where we included the point of “uh…we don’t know you.  Please contact Macy’s to get this sorted out.”  (Not written so bluntly of course).  The bowl has been sitting on  our countertop – doing a wonderful job of looking pretty and holding our Costco bag of onions.

It’s been a good six weeks, and still no return word from “Julie and Tim” Sad smile There was this small part of me thinking – maybe “Julie and Tim” are super cool people who will write us back – and we’ll become pen pals, and then friends, and then laugh at the hilarious circumstances of our friendship.  Okay…that’s a stretch.  But still – we were hoping for some type of response. 

Part of me is considering “paying it forward” – or a quasi-version of it.  Maybe we’ll randomly find a couple’s wedding registry – send the couple a gift, and then see what they do. 

So my super-sleuth readers – is there another more plausible theory out there for me to consider?  What would you have done?

3 Responses to “The mystery gift”

  1. 1 Katie Fingeroot August 15, 2011 at 3:30 pm

    Haha- “never happened before”??? This has happened to EVERY single couple I know who registered at Macy’s. I got towels for my bridal shower (from my registry) with a note from some lady I didnt know. We got a roasting pan (not on our registry) from a couple who we actually did know. The shipping dept of Macy’s screws up registry gifts all the time. What probably happened was that whoever bought you YOUR bowl probably had their note put in the box with the one that went to the couple that “Julie and Tim” knows by the person who packed the order. Did you sign up for the Thank You card manager? It might say who bought your bowl for you on there…

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