Author Topic: Returing gift: technically rude, but is it hurtful?  (Read 7969 times)

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veryfluffy

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Re: Returing gift: technically rude, but is it hurtful?
« Reply #15 on: November 28, 2012, 05:19:39 PM »
I thought about how I would feel if I had an object I thought was special, and had given it to someone who I believed would enjoy it and use it. If it turns out they didn't want it, I would rather they gave it back to me, and said that it didn't work for them,  than that they gave it to a charity shop or sold it for 10p at a car boot sale.

To me, that is different from a gift that was bought specifically for someone for an occasion.
   

MorgnsGrl

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Re: Returing gift: technically rude, but is it hurtful?
« Reply #16 on: November 28, 2012, 05:23:00 PM »
Could you use it as a delivery method for something you make her (pie or whatever) and then leave it at her house and hope she forgets to give it back?

Judah

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Re: Returing gift: technically rude, but is it hurtful?
« Reply #17 on: November 28, 2012, 05:52:12 PM »
I don't think this is a question strangers on a message board can answer.  Handled correctly, it would be fine according to etiquette to return the pie plate, but we couldn't possible know if this would be hurt your MIL.  I would be fine with it, but my SIL would be very hurt. Everyone is going to react with their own baggage and experience.
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Moray

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Re: Returing gift: technically rude, but is it hurtful?
« Reply #18 on: November 28, 2012, 05:54:11 PM »
It might be helpful for us to know what the "pie plate" is. There are many things that can be re-purposed, but it's difficult to give suggestions :D
Utah

Judah

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Re: Returing gift: technically rude, but is it hurtful?
« Reply #19 on: November 28, 2012, 05:55:07 PM »
It might be helpful for us to know what the "pie plate" is. There are many things that can be re-purposed, but it's difficult to give suggestions :D

Why would you think it's not a pie plate?
Ask for what you want. Let's be clear on this one:
Subtle hints don't work.
Strong hints don't work.
Really obvious hints don't work.
Just say it!

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Moray

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Re: Returing gift: technically rude, but is it hurtful?
« Reply #20 on: November 28, 2012, 05:59:16 PM »
It might be helpful for us to know what the "pie plate" is. There are many things that can be re-purposed, but it's difficult to give suggestions :D

Why would you think it's not a pie plate?

Because of the second sentence of the OP.

My MIL gave me a gift several years ago. Let's say it was a pie plate - but not just any pie plate. *snip*
Utah

Lynn2000

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Re: Returing gift: technically rude, but is it hurtful?
« Reply #21 on: November 28, 2012, 06:00:37 PM »
Could you start by mentioning the item to your MIL and saying that, sadly, you just don't use it much, and then see what her reaction is? She may offer to take it back from you, in which case, problem solved. If she insists that you will surely use it someday, it seems likely she would be hurt if you offered to give it back. In which case I think you could safely rid yourself of it some other way. Unless it's somehow personalized and thus totally unique, you should be able to give it to goodwill/church/etc. (perhaps in another city) and be able to say, "Wow, what a coincidence," in the unlikely event it finds its way back to her. (And now someone will post about just such an event occurring to them. :) )
~Lynn2000

Judah

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Re: Returing gift: technically rude, but is it hurtful?
« Reply #22 on: November 28, 2012, 06:12:50 PM »
It might be helpful for us to know what the "pie plate" is. There are many things that can be re-purposed, but it's difficult to give suggestions :D

Why would you think it's not a pie plate?

Because of the second sentence of the OP.

My MIL gave me a gift several years ago. Let's say it was a pie plate - but not just any pie plate. *snip*

Duh! Reading fail on my part.  ::)
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Just Lori

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Re: Returing gift: technically rude, but is it hurtful?
« Reply #23 on: November 28, 2012, 06:49:31 PM »
I think there's a way to do this without hurting MIL's feelings.  You want to throw in a lot of qualifiers like "I was so touched that you wanted to give me this pie plate, because I know how special it is to you, and that makes it special to me.  However, I don't seem to be able to show it the love it deserves, and I hate for it to be hiding in a cupboard.  Is there anyone else you know who might love and appreciate it, or would you like to hang onto it for now until you decide who should have it next?"

(I kind of like the idea of it being a traveling pie plate, going from person to person to use when they need it and then passing it on to the next recipient.)
« Last Edit: November 28, 2012, 06:51:40 PM by Just Lori »

citadelle

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Re: Returing gift: technically rude, but is it hurtful?
« Reply #24 on: November 28, 2012, 09:11:50 PM »
Does this thing really take up that much room to store? Is it not possible to pull it out and use it when MIL visits and store it away under the sink or something the rest of the time?

I would be hurt in MIL's place, even if I didn't want to be/knew I shouldn't be.

JustEstelle

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Re: Returing gift: technically rude, but is it hurtful?
« Reply #25 on: November 28, 2012, 10:08:25 PM »
OP, when you said that this plate was specially made and decorated, I immediately thought of using it as wall decor.  How would that work for you?  Since this object meant a lot to the giver, but you don't use it for its intended purpose, how about getting a hanger that attaches to the back of it and displaying it in your kitchen?  Just a thought . . .

Momiitz

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Re: Returing gift: technically rude, but is it hurtful?
« Reply #26 on: November 29, 2012, 12:09:50 AM »
I thought about how I would feel if I had an object I thought was special, and had given it to someone who I believed would enjoy it and use it. If it turns out they didn't want it, I would rather they gave it back to me, and said that it didn't work for them,  than that they gave it to a charity shop or sold it for 10p at a car boot sale.

To me, that is different from a gift that was bought specifically for someone for an occasion.

I have to agree with this post. It's special to her so I would offer it back to her.

Miss Unleaded

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Re: Returing gift: technically rude, but is it hurtful?
« Reply #27 on: November 29, 2012, 06:33:28 AM »
Could you use it as a delivery method for something you make her (pie or whatever) and then leave it at her house and hope she forgets to give it back?

This is what I would do.

But like others have commented, it would be helpful if we knew what 'pie plate' was code for.  I think you'd get better responses if you were explicit about it.   :)

Elizabeth

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Re: Returing gift: technically rude, but is it hurtful?
« Reply #28 on: November 29, 2012, 10:04:46 AM »
Thank you for your replies! They've given me some food for thought.

The object is not a pie plate, but I'm really paranoid about internet anonymity, so I would rather not say exactly what it is. It is an item that has a specific purpose for which I will never use it, and an item that could be considered decorative but is not to my personal taste. A pie plate is a reasonable stand in. I know that without saying what it is, I'm not going to be able to benefit from people's ideas of how to repurpose it, and I'm okay with that. (As much as I appreciate your impulses to solve the problem for me! You guys are all so nice.)

I'd really hesitate to give it back to her, or even to donate it locally on the tiny chance that she'd come across the item in a Goodwill store or something.  Have you moved during the years that you've had the 'pie plate', or might you move anytime soon?  It may be virtually unbreakable, but pretty much anything can be "lost during the move"!

I have moved, and pretty recently. That's not a bad idea if I decide to quietly get rid of it.

Does this thing really take up that much room to store? Is it not possible to pull it out and use it when MIL visits and store it away under the sink or something the rest of the time?

I would be hurt in MIL's place, even if I didn't want to be/knew I shouldn't be.

It doesn't take that much space, but my house is pretty cluttered and I'm trying to clear things out. I'm actually getting rid of things that have more sentimental value to me personally but that I no longer use (ex. figurines that I had in my childhood bedroom that just aren't suitable for "grown up" decor), and I'm keeping a number of other things that MIL has given that I just don't like. She has a knack of giving decorative gifts (framed photos, lamps) that are not my style at all, and we do display/use several of them in the name of not hurting her feelings. Maybe it's silly, but I'm drawing the line at this pie plate. It may end up with MIL, it may end up in goodwill, but it's not going to be here any longer!



CharlieBraun

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Re: Returing gift: technically rude, but is it hurtful?
« Reply #29 on: November 29, 2012, 10:42:05 AM »
Do you have children?  The reason I ask is that these kinds of items often have sentimental value to the next generation down.  It might become a bonding touchpoint between grandparent and grandchild, and worth "hanging on to" for that reason.

My grandmother made pillowcake cookies and chicken paprika from family recipes handed down for generations.  There are a total of eight grandchildren: only one of us (me) makes the chicken paprika and another of us (my cousin Wendy) makes the pillowcakes.  None of the parents/aunts/uncles do any of the dishes.

Please don't give it back.  You may be surprised when you get as "old" as I am, how much your own tastes change, what your children discover about their history and where they fit into it, and what it means to an overall mosaic of family.
"We ate the pies."