Author Topic: The Re-Gifting Queen  (Read 10529 times)

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Rusty

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The Re-Gifting Queen
« on: November 18, 2012, 05:57:10 PM »
I have a very old friend who is also godmother to one of my children who always re-gifts presents.  She comes to our special family events and Xmas etc.  She is quite well off, has overseas holidays, designer clothes etc. I'm very fond of her but for one thing. She never buys me or my family anything, everything she gives for presents has been re-gifted.  I have seen things at her house, on shelves for example that she tires of and then decides to give as a present. Several times I have received hampers which when opened have a business card from the industry she works in.  Last year I received back a present I had given her two years before.  This has become a bit of a family joke, with everyone taking bets on what they'll receive that she has tired of.  Up till now I have taken this as a quirky weird thing she just does, except for one thing.  Just recently I went shopping with her after having lunch whereupon she bought a beautiful expensive scarf for another friend for her birthday.  I was astounded and mentioned how lovely it was. She replied that she always shopped at this store for presents for her special friends....and went on to mention several friends....   Now I have never received anything like this.  I can't help now questioning why its just me and our family.  We have always included her because her parents are dead and she's not married, but now I feel like telling her to go to one of her "special friends".   And by the way, I always choose a gift for her with care.

buvezdevin

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Re: The Re-Gifting Queen
« Reply #1 on: November 18, 2012, 06:25:09 PM »
The thing which seems most odd to me is that she seems to have made a point of clearly demonstrating, and then clarifying to you that she gifts others differently, and "better".  It is one thing to have gifting practices which vary by friend or group (A list, B list etc) - but to actively make the point of how one gives pricier items to one group, with a person to which one regularly gifts at a "lesser" level is strange.

As she is godmother to one of your children, and has - to date - frequently attended your family events, has anything between you seemed off recently?  Do your gifts to her, while chosen with care, have a retail value of like kind to the scarf?  I don't mean you should be gifting expensive items, but unless she was - very badly - referring to giving expensive gifts to her friend who give *her* expensive gifts, I can't fathom why a close friend would deliver a clear slight by effectively saying you are not a "special friend.".


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Rusty

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Re: The Re-Gifting Queen
« Reply #2 on: November 18, 2012, 06:37:06 PM »
No, I can't think of anything that might have happened between us, we meet for a regular lunch date and she always seems happy to see me.  We have always given two presents to her, one from me and DH and one from the children. I have asked her several times what she would like and have bought that, (not always).  The only thing I can think of is that most of her other friends still work and I know she put me in the "housewife" box when I decided to give up work when my son was born, and I never returned to work later as he had special needs.  I supported her though a very hard breakup with the only man she ever loved and always look after her dog when she goes on holiday.  I did think about jokingly referring to her "special friends" comment along the lines of "oh what, so I'm not special", but decided to let it slide. But to be honest I can't stop thinking about it.

otterwoman

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Re: The Re-Gifting Queen
« Reply #3 on: November 18, 2012, 06:49:09 PM »
Would you be happier if she gave you no gifts than re-gifts? If yes, then beg out of gift exchanges with her. Tell her that money is tight, and you'd like to stop exchanging gifts.

I pass along unwanted items to friends, but I always let them know it's used, and never as a "gift".

Winterlight

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Re: The Re-Gifting Queen
« Reply #4 on: November 18, 2012, 06:50:32 PM »
I think that ending the gift exchange might be best. I'd resent that too in your situation.
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Isisnin

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Re: The Re-Gifting Queen
« Reply #5 on: November 18, 2012, 06:52:53 PM »
...   Now I have never received anything like this.  I can't help now questioning why its just me and our family.  We have always included her because her parents are dead and she's not married, but now I feel like telling her to go to one of her "special friends".   And by the way, I always choose a gift for her with care.

Out of curiosity, have you received any  indication it truly is just you and your family she treats this way?  There could well be others.

Her "special friends" may be people that she feels insecure with and thus is trying to impress them.  However, that doesn't excuse her gifts to you and your family.

Just saw your post where:

... But to be honest I can't stop thinking about it.

You could just ask her about it, being ready to explain that's it not the cost of the gifts, but that casually regifting to you and your family while selecting carefully for "special friends" is hurtful to you.


QueenofAllThings

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Re: The Re-Gifting Queen
« Reply #6 on: November 18, 2012, 07:09:37 PM »
You had the perfect opportunity to call her on it when she gave you something you'd given her - in a joking, sweet manner, of course.

It may be that (and this is hurtful, so I hope I'm wrong) that she does this because she can. That you are seen as accepting of it and that she perceives you as being at a lower economic level so somehow OK with or even grateful for her castoffs.

buvezdevin

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Re: The Re-Gifting Queen
« Reply #7 on: November 18, 2012, 07:28:50 PM »
Her comment would stick in my thoughts, also.

Agreeing with others that it may be best to put an end to gift exchanges with this person.

I offer what I would say, not as a suggestion, but to share that - for me - I would find it easier to let go after clarifying my reasoning to the RGQ:

"RGQ, I think we should no longer get gifts for each other.  When you shared with me that you buy gifts for your special friends at a particular store, I had a moment of clarity.  As you have never gifted me from that store, it could only mean I was less or more special to you than others.  Since I certainly hope you value my friendship as I do yours, there is no need to demonstrate our regard for each other with material exchanges, so let's not do those."
Never refuse to do a kindness unless the act would work great injury to yourself, and never refuse to take a drink -- under any circumstances.
Mark Twain

otterwoman

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Re: The Re-Gifting Queen
« Reply #8 on: November 18, 2012, 07:38:03 PM »
See, I wouldn't call her out on the regifting as the reason. If I valued her as a friend otherwise, I wouldn't let on that regifting was the issue. But, that's me. YMMV.

buvezdevin

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Re: The Re-Gifting Queen
« Reply #9 on: November 18, 2012, 07:53:33 PM »
I may misunderstand the OP's concern, but - title aside - I don't think the re-gifting is what has her bothered.  Rather, it's that the friend made a point of explaining that she buys special gifts at special store for special friends, who she then named - knowing that OP is not on the list and has never received a gift from that store from RGQ.  The fact that the gifts RGQ has given OP are re-gifts is not the issue so much as the new-to-OP knowledge that RGQ makes a point of giving nicer gifts to others who are "special".
Never refuse to do a kindness unless the act would work great injury to yourself, and never refuse to take a drink -- under any circumstances.
Mark Twain

RegionMom

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Re: The Re-Gifting Queen
« Reply #10 on: November 18, 2012, 08:05:06 PM »
buvezdevin makes a good point.

I have friends that will tell me what a good time they had at an event that they know I did not attend, and vice verca, knowing that event was not the other person's "thing."  But gift-giving is a "thing" the OP and RGQ share, and to hear that OP is in "low status" by choosing from that one store, would linger in my thoughts, also. 

It is not a money thing, it seems, but the status level.
Fear is temporary...Regret is forever.

Rusty

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Re: The Re-Gifting Queen
« Reply #11 on: November 18, 2012, 08:35:42 PM »
Thanks to all who have replied.  Yes, its not the re-gifting especially, as I said we always laughed it off as her quirky behaviour and although I did think it odd at times I never got upset about it until the lunch incident.   I think I may be put in the "I don't have to impress" basket, which in a way is ok with me, but nonetheless a bit hurtful as I always assumed she did this to everyone else. And its not something I would ever ask anyone else about even though I know some of these other friends quite well.  I did think of discussing non-presents with her but she can be a bit sensitive (of her own feelings).

GrammarNerd

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Re: The Re-Gifting Queen
« Reply #12 on: November 18, 2012, 09:48:34 PM »
I would be hurt by that comment too, especially with her gifting history.  And, like you, I likely would have been stunned and wouldn't have said anything about it at the time, but it would continue to bug me.  And then no, I also would no longer feel like including her in my special events, because I'd just been hit over the head with the fact that apparently, I'm not special to her.

Frankly, the constant regifting would make it seem like I'm nothing more than an afterthought to her.  Especially when you learn she can take care (and go to a store) to select gifts, just not for you.

OP, what is she like otherwise? Does she seem to be a user/taker, or is it a pretty reciprocal friendship?  You mentioned that you include her in your family celebrations, console her when she's going through rough times, or take care of her pet(s) when she's away.  Take a step back....does she reciprocate any of this for you? 

Hard questions, I know.  But I suppose it's better to find out your status now rather than let even more time go by.

gramma dishes

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Re: The Re-Gifting Queen
« Reply #13 on: November 18, 2012, 10:13:31 PM »
It sounds like she considers you to be on a different level than her "other" (special) friends who probably have NOT help her through romantic break ups, pet sat for her dog or included her in their special 'family' events.  Yet, you, who do so many wonderful things for her, are second class?

Sorry to admit this, but this attitude that I was "lesser" would be terribly hurtful to me.  Although I'm glad you didn't say it out loud, I would certainly have been wondering the 'So I'm not special?' part myself. 

I realize you've been friends for a very long time and that you apparently really love her, but for me this new knowledge might have signaled the end of the friendship and most certainly would have been the end to including her in my family's holiday celebrations.

Iris

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Re: The Re-Gifting Queen
« Reply #14 on: November 19, 2012, 02:34:37 AM »
Wow. That's harsh. Honestly, that would cause me to reevaluate my friendship with someone. Actually receiving back a gift I had given her myself would have had me reevaluating my friendship. Regifting a holiday hamper is one thing. Passing off used household items as gifts another. Not bothering to even keep track of the present and giving it back to the same person takes it to a whole new level.

If you rethink things and genuinely feel that she is a good friend who is just rotten at gifting you then I would simply suggest forgoing presents from now on.
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