Dear Prudence,
My husband and I have four nephews by his brother, and they live in another state. Two of them have graduated from high school, and when they did, we sent a nice-sized check. The oldest nephew never acknowledged the gift in any way. Neither did the second. When my brother-in-law, sister-in-law, and their sons came to visit us a while ago, I made a comment to the second son about his being able to use the gift to buy things on the trip. He was completely confused and said he never got anything from us. I knew the check had been cashed and I was concerned about it being pilfered. His mother finally admitted that she intercepted the graduation check, cashed it, and kept the money. She didn't even show him the card! Their third son will be graduating this year, and I have no idea what to do about his gift. We can't attend the graduation and I'm leery of sending another check. My parents-in-law live in the same town as my brother-in-law and his family, but sending it to their house will cause us some problems with my sister-in-law. What should I do?

—Baffled Aunt

Dear Aunt,
Thank you for solving the problem of why almost no relatives get thank you notes for the gifts they send the kids. It turns out larcenous moms are intercepting them. Now all we have to do is lock up the miscreant mothers and the epistolary gratitude will start pouring forth across the nation. But in case your case is unique, you have to make sure the check gets to the boy. So just before you mail it, your husband should contact his brother and tell him that a gift for his third son is coming. Say you want to make sure it actually gets into the hands of the graduate and you'd appreciate hearing that it arrived and went into your nephew's bank account. Who knows, this may even result in your getting a heartfelt note of thanks.

—Prudie

Seriously WHAT THE HELL MOM?? If I was Baffled Aunt I would tell my nephews that I sent them sizable checks for their graduation and that they were cashed and let them make their own damn conclusions.

Dear Prudence

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