Why don't women shave their arms? Amy explains
If she refuses to repay (or simply can't), then you should assume that this money is gone forever. If you want the friendship to continue, then you should formally forgive the debt and move on.
Dear Amy: "Lost in L.A." described receiving an invitation to a baby shower from her stepgrandson, who lives on the other side of the country. She wondered why they were being invited to a baby shower of someone she barely knows.
This is an obvious gift-grab, Amy, and you seemed to endorse it! I saw through this immediately. What were you thinking? -- Disappointed
Dear Disappointed: A person receiving an invitation to an event is under no obligation to send a gift; they are only expected to respond to the invitation, itself.
"Lost" blamed her stepgrandson for including her and her husband in the list of people they had invited to their co-ed baby shower.
Maybe this invitation was a bid for a gift, or maybe it was a bid for connection. If the couple went through their pregnancy and didn't include this set of grandparents in any of their celebrations, I imagine they might feel left out.
Invitations and announcements (for babies, weddings, or graduations) should be received with gratitude and responded to with congratulations. No gift is necessary.
(You can contact Amy Dickinson via email: firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also follow her on Twitter @askingamy or "like" her on Facebook. Amy Dickinson's memoir, "The Mighty Queens of Freeville: A Mother, a Daughter and the Town that Raised Them" (Hyperion), is available in bookstores.)