Hi EH! My submission is a question about gift-giving and receiving. I received a gift from a family member that I don’t want: a gift certificate for a service I’m not interested in (short-term gym membership). Although I appreciate the effort of giving me a gift, I don’t know what to do with it. I can’t return it to a store. I’ve asked around among my acquaintance and no one wants it. Do I deep-six it? Bean dip when asked about it? This particular gift also raised some issues with me because I perceived it in a way that the giver probably didn’t think about – as an insult (as did all of my female friends when polled for their opinion). I’m fat and out-of-shape, and I felt that this relative was trying to push me into getting in shape in a way that doesn’t interest me. (She did not sound me out about it before purchasing the gift.) I don’t like gyms, don’t like exercising around other people, don’t like changing clothes in front of strangers. I enjoy other forms of exercise such as swimming, walking and bike riding. So, what would you do with this gift? And what can I say if the relative gives me another one of the same type or some other service I don’t want? She’s given me similar things in the past – like a certificate for a makeover, which I also did not want. I should also point out that this person is not very sensitive to others’ feelings, but gets her own feelings hurt extremely easily, which is why I’m asking for advice. It’s been bothering me for a while. 1217-13
Your obligation as the gift recipient is to express sincere gratitude for the gift…at least the thought that went into the gift. What you actually do with that gift is none of the giver’s business. Can you sell it on Craigslist or some other similar online classifieds? You are quite free to toss into the trash if you want.