Dear Urban Diplomat: My friends moved twice in a year. Do I have to buy them two house-warming presents?

Dear Urban Diplomat: My friends moved twice in a year. Do I have to buy them two house-warming presents?

Dear Urban Diplomat: When people move twice in one year, do I have to buy them two house-warming presents? (Image: Robin Kaspar)
 

Dear Urban Diplomat,
I showed up to my friends’ housewarming without a gift, and they were pissy about it all night. At one point they even suggested­—semi-facetiously, but still—that I run out and get them a Tim ­Hortons gift card! But it’s their second apartment this calendar year, and I got them a $60 cutting board from Bergo last time. What’s your ruling on house re-­warming presents?

—Overheated, Moss Park

Housewarming parties are a transaction: guests enjoy cocktails, canapés and gossiping about the prescriptions they spied in the medicine cabinet, while the hosts score IKEA dishes, cacti and other items they’ll eventually sell at a yard sale. The whole point is to fill a new, empty shell of a house with stuff. Unless everything from your friends’ last apartment washed away in The Flood, they shouldn’t expect, let alone require, a second round of booty. Go easy on the free food and drink so as not to draw your hosts’ attention to the ­perceived gift deficit—unless, of course, you’ve had enough of this burdensome couple, in which case, bring a Tupperware and take your canapés to go.