Q: A friend from several jobs ago invited me to her wedding. I don’t feel nearly close enough to her – we see each other over lunch only once or twice a year – to want to go. Am I really obligated to buy her a present just because I was invited?
A: You won’t like the answer, but “best wishes” and a gift are in order when you receive a wedding invitation, even if you plan to skip the big day. There are exceptions, such as if you haven’t seen the person for years. But you are breaking bread with this woman periodically, which means that however one-sided the friendship (I suspect that she’s initiating most of these get-togethers), it does qualify as a friendship nonetheless. You needn’t go broke or scour every store looking for the perfect offering, but do send something.