We’ve all been there. A loved one or a friend hands you a gift, wrapped with care and watches as you open it. You carefully tear off the paper and realize that you have just gotten another totally useless gift. We’ve all gotten them at one time or the other: the orange sweater (you hate the color orange), the hand-knitted wool scarf (you’re allergic to wool) or the bottle of Tabu (you’ve always associated this fragrance with the smell of old socks).
You will smile and exclaim how this gift is just what you wanted! The gift giver thinks that they have won the day and you are thinking of the shelves in the closet that hold other gifts from the past and wonder if there’s room for just one more. At least, that’s what I do.
I have no wish to hurt the friend or a loved one’s feelings by acting less than thrilled with what they have taken the time, effort and thought put into choosing a gift that is meant to please me. It’s not their fault they failed, it’s mine. They can’t know all my likes and dislikes (although my SO seems to turn a deaf ear to my preferences every once in a while) and I always appreciate the gesture.
Now, I have received some really memorable gifts from my SO in the past years. I’ll never forget the new vacuum cleaner I received at Christmas; I’ll always treasure the pots and pans he presented me with on Mother’s Day, and who wouldn’t be happy to get a new leaf blower for their birthday!
I know that a popular practice for disposing of unwanted gifts today is to “Re-gift” those presents. I can’t do this because my memory is not what it should be and I fear returning the item to the original gift giver. I don’t think I could tap-dance my way around that embarrassing moment.
I’m afraid to exchange the gift for something I could really like. What if I’m asked why I’m not wearing that hideous sweater and I’m unable to whip it off the shelf to prove I still have it? And, there is always the danger of running into the gift giver at the return counter, just as I’m telling the clerk how much I hate Tabu. No, not worth the risk..it’s not worth the risk at all.
Some people don’t feel the need to hold back their displeasure though. I read a post from a fellow blogger that she bought her husband the wrong candy for Valentine’s Day. He loved chocolate covered cherries, so she thought Italian truffles would really thrill him. She was unaware that her man hated almonds and hazelnuts, which were used liberally in the truffles she had lovingly purchased. So, instead of pretending to appreciate this upgrade in confections, he circled the offending ingredients on the label and left it out for her to “learn” not to make the same mistake in the future. I’m sorry,
Peggy, but I’m afraid I would have put those truffles where the sun don’t shine.
Although I may not be able to use a gift or it’s not exactly my cup of tea or I just outright hate the item itself, I love any gift that someone gives me and I will treasure it. It could be an empty box and I would love it (sometimes I would even prefer it. The shelves in my closet are starting to overflow.)
So, I hope that the next time you receive a gift that you’ll never use or really dislike, you’ll dig deep and give the gift giver a warm smile and a big thank you. You’ll pretend that it is the Best. Gift. Ever! Remember, one of your gifts that you thought was the perfect present might just be sitting on someone’s closet shelf, hated with a passion but stored with love.