My sister-in-law gave my baby a crappy gift.

So right after my son was born, my sister-in-law gave us a small toy for him. She said it was just a little something and that she is getting something else for him, too. The baby is now over five months old, I’ve seen my sister-in-law a couple times since then, and she has never mentioned the other gift again. She’s not going to give him anything else, right? Isn’t this rude?

Sisters-in-law are tricky. If a real sister makes you mad, you can scream, “Shut up you dumb whore!” and hang up on her, and the next day call her up like nothing happened and discuss last night’s episode of Extreme Makeover: Brain Surgery Edition. Sisters-in-law are married to people who you like, so therefore you probably like them, too, but there’s no outlet for any tension. I’m blessed with three lovely, perfect sisters-in-law, with whom I have never had so much as an inkling of a quarrel, so I don’t even really know what I’m talking about here. And they’re all so pretty and smart and they smell good.

Anyway, you’re looking for a fight. You’re probably mad about something else, or peeved about some other gift-related snafu from Christmas in the year 1987. I suggest you grow up, stop looking for trouble, and write her a nice thank-you note for the toy. It’s entirely possible that she gave you the gift, you made a face, she felt inadequate, and in the pressure of the moment promised that there was something better to come.

Be nice to your sister-in-law.

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