Q: On an invitation to a friend’s baby shower the hostess scribbled, “Remember, Sally needs practical baby clothes.” I have another gift in mind, a lovely collection of nursery rhymes that I know my friend would like. Can’t I buy what I want?
A: Think of these notes-and gift registries, for that matter-as suggestions, not commands. Some people are stumped when faced with an invitation for a baby or bridal shower and are grateful for any guidance. Also, such hints help avoid duplication, so newly married couples don’t end up with six sets of steak knives, and first-time parents aren’t buried under a mountain of diaper bags. But you should feel free to go ahead and select whatever gift you think is best.