I was forced to consider this possibility last Friday when J who presented me with something from a project she’s involved in appeared to take offence when I asked, without opening what she handed me, if I could return it, if I didn’t like it.
“U don’t have to pay,” she replied, somewhat miffed. “It’s a gift.”
“I know it’s a gift but I don’t want anything decorative…”
“It’s not decorative. U can use it. It’s a mug.”
“Oh a mug!.” I replied, relieved. “Of cos i can use it. I thought u said it’s a plaque!”
Then I went to explain — perhaps even belabouring the point — that I preferred gifts which i could use, eat or drink, not something that’s left on the shelf and need to be dusted and cleaned every so often.
I don’t think she was convinced and neither was C who recently brought me two sets and necklaces and earrings + a bracelet fm BKK, p’raps out of gratitude for my not pestering her for another load of Naraya purselets.
Alas, bearing in mind MK’s comment that she didn’t see why anyone needed more than one pair of earrings or handbag at any one time (I concede on earrings but not on handbags), i accepted only one of the three gifts: the design of the necklace and earrings resonated more with me than the other two gifts.
Perhaps should have accepted everything and then later pass what I didn’t need to other frens — as LW suggested, when I recounted the story to her n MK.
The trouble with such a solution is that I would feel more obligated than I already am to C. Also, if I’m to give away C’s gifts to others, I might as well let her enjoy that privilege.
Which brings me to another “no” I gave to a replica of the Palms in Dubai, a post-Dubai present brought back by a friend who went on a Singapore delegation to the Middle East earlier this year.
But the thick-skinned me did ask if I could have some of the chocolate covered dates I had enjoyed and was duly rewarded with a packet. My excuse is that I like to be honest, upfront etc..
But some people might not like such honesty. That’s why gift shops continue to thrive even tho I won’t have most, probably all of the things they carry — yes, even if they were given to me!