Baby shower invitee appalled by greedy requests

Dear Annie: I just received a baby shower invitation that makes me feel more like a fundraising target than a loving family member.

I have hosted or attended at least 20 baby showers. There have always been games and prizes. This shower will include a diaper raffle, so that means an "entry fee." Attendees are excluded from the game if they don't pony up a package of diapers. They have also asked for a book instead of a card. I am an artist. I always create personal drawings on handmade paper tags as my card, but now I have to get a book. And then, of course, a gift from the baby registry is expected.

This mother-to-be is financially better off than my husband and I, so it's not as though they can't afford diapers. It just seems greedy, rude and tacky. If I choose not to participate in the pay-per-play events, I will not only feel left out, but will be viewed as a cheapskate.

I might add that we never received a thank-you note for the $400 wedding gift we sent several years ago. When did it become acceptable for a celebration of new life to become a crowdfunding event? -- Appalled Invitee

Dear Appalled: It has never been acceptable, but it hasn't stopped people from trying. And this one seems particularly demanding -- books, diapers and gifts. Diaper showers have become popular as a way to help the new parents stock up on this particular necessity, especially since the cost is minimal and often considered the shower gift, as well. You are not obligated to do everything that is asked of you. And should you decide to bring a book and diapers, consider the cost of those items to be part of your overall budget for the shower and choose the gift accordingly.

Not receiving a thank-you note for your wedding gift is, sad to say, not uncommon for those brides and grooms who lack consideration for others.

Dear Annie: I read the letter from "Save Your Feet for the Beach," whose co-worker likes to walk around the office barefoot and the managers don't comment. You said the reader should point out that she could pick up all kinds of germs or step on a staple.

The managers would likely have something to say if their workers' compensation insurance or liability insurance company was aware that anyone, at any time, was without shoes in the office. This is an avoidable hazard and if the co-worker were injured due to being barefoot, the managers would care plenty.

Of course, the reason she goes barefoot is a separate subject. If she needs a second pair of comfortable shoes at the office, she should keep them there and stop putting herself at risk. -- V.

Dear V. Thanks for the input. Other readers pointed out that this could be a board of health violation, leading to fines. When you hit the owners or managers in the pocketbook, they tend to pay more attention. No matter how uncomfortable your shoes may be, it is completely inappropriate, unprofessional and dangerous to walk around barefoot in the office. It is not your home. Bring something else to put on your feet.

Annie's Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please email your questions to or write to Annie's Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 737 3rd Street, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254. You can also find Annie on Facebook at