Dear Abby: Sins of wedding presents past shouldn't tarnish the future

DEAR ABBY: I was recently invited to a second cousin's wedding shower and wedding. To be honest with you, if I saw the bride-to-be on the street, I wouldn't recognize her. Although I won't be going to her shower, I am sending a shower gift. I plan on attending the wedding because I don't see this side of the family often.

My question is, what gift should I give the happy couple for their wedding? When I got married, her parents gave me a pair of used vases. How could I tell they were used, you ask? Not only were they not in their original packaging, but they also were dirty. Abby, there were dead flies in them! Being a well-mannered bride, I didn't mention this to my parents, but to this day I still remember.

- Wants to Do the Right Thing

DEAR WANTS: Until I saw your signature, I was tempted to suggest you wash and polish the vases, then nicely wrap and send one to your cousin with a note of congratulations, closing with " . . . more to follow." But knowing you want to do the "right" thing, I'm asking you to please not blame her for the actions of her parents, who may have been financially strapped at the time of your wedding. Then find out where she and her fiancé are registered and send them something that's within your budget.