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