Author Topic: The awkward duplicate gift-- did I do okay?  (Read 3062 times)

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kitchcat

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The awkward duplicate gift-- did I do okay?
« on: January 02, 2013, 12:37:54 PM »
This happened on Christmas, and I've been wondering if I handled this okay or if I was a baddie.

BG: I don't see my brother (DB) very often since he moved away from my city this past summer. He visited DH and I once shortly after he moved. During that visit, I showed him a book that I was reading. I even read him a short excerpt that was particularly funny. He asked to borrow it, but as I was not done reading it, I declined.

Also note, DB is very absent-minded and for lack of a better word...derpy. /BG

On Christmas, I unwrapped my gift from DB and  it was the same book I had showed him during his visit a few months prior! I couldn't help but laugh.

Me (laughing): DB, I have this book!
DB: Oh, well I guess I technically picked a good gift because I thought you'd like it.
Me (still laughing): Of course you knew I'd like it. I showed it to you this summer!
DB: I don't remember that.

I handed him back the book, figuring he'd just return it. Later he asked me what I wanted him to do with the book. I told him I don't need 2 copies of the same book, so he could keep it for himself or return it.  He told me he bought it more than a month ago so he could no longer return it, and that he'd already read it before he gave it to me. I told him I didn't mind what he did with it, but I don't need it, thanks.

I'm wondering now, was I rude to point out his mistake and refuse his gift?
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NyaChan

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Re: The awkward duplicate gift-- did I do okay?
« Reply #1 on: January 02, 2013, 12:48:25 PM »
I think you were kind of rude.  You didn't thank him for the gift & then you just handed it back to him.  I think the polite thing to have done (I don't think pointing out that you had showed it to him over the summer was bad since it is your brother and that isn't as formal of a relationship as say a coworker) was to say Thank you and find a way to either give it away or sell it yourself.  You basically threw whatever thought he had put into the book back at him.

Morticia

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Re: The awkward duplicate gift-- did I do okay?
« Reply #2 on: January 02, 2013, 12:51:24 PM »
Wait. He read it before he gave it to you? He used your gift before he gave it to you, and now he's upset because he can't return it? I know we are supposed to graciously accept gifts, but with family, I think it kind of depends upon what is the established norm. And, I think he was super-tacky to read your "gift" first.
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NyaChan

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Re: The awkward duplicate gift-- did I do okay?
« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2013, 12:56:57 PM »
I thought he'd read the book after it was recommended to him by OP and then bought her one for Christmas.  So as I read it, I've already read "it" was a reference to the story in general, but not that specific copy of the book.  OP was the book you received already used??

DaDancingPsych

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Re: The awkward duplicate gift-- did I do okay?
« Reply #4 on: January 02, 2013, 01:02:42 PM »
If the dynamic with your DB allows you to laugh at errors like that, then I think your conversation was fine. With someone who that relationship is less causal, then I think it best to not mention the previous conversation and assume that the person had forgotten that you owned it.

However, I do think it was a bit rude to give it back to him. Had he offered to return it, that's fine to accept, but he did not. The better route would have been to thank him for his thoughtfulness and later figure out how to return/sell/regift the book yourself.

m2kbug

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Re: The awkward duplicate gift-- did I do okay?
« Reply #5 on: January 02, 2013, 03:46:22 PM »
Honestly, I don't think I would have mentioned that you already had the book.  I would have just said thanks and plan on giving it away/exchanging it later.  I wouldn't have handed it back to them.  Given your rela-tionship with your brother, what you said is in all good humor and not at all horribly bad, but I wouldn't have shared that it was a duplicate at all.  I wouldn't have given it back either. 

If I duplicated a gift, I wouldn't expect that gift back, surely they can exchange it or do something with it.  Bummer, though, but these things happen. 

onyonryngs

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Re: The awkward duplicate gift-- did I do okay?
« Reply #6 on: January 02, 2013, 03:54:58 PM »
Honestly, I don't think I would have mentioned that you already had the book.  I would have just said thanks and plan on giving it away/exchanging it later.  I wouldn't have handed it back to them.  Given your rela-tionship with your brother, what you said is in all good humor and not at all horribly bad, but I wouldn't have shared that it was a duplicate at all.  I wouldn't have given it back either. 

If I duplicated a gift, I wouldn't expect that gift back, surely they can exchange it or do something with it.  Bummer, though, but these things happen.

POD.  Even with family I just accept gifts graciously and then quietly dispose of them later.

Perfect Circle

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Re: The awkward duplicate gift-- did I do okay?
« Reply #7 on: January 02, 2013, 03:58:20 PM »
I agree with just receiving the gift graciously and returning it/giving it to someone else later.

I believe it to be quite a basic rule of etiquette but of course those don't always apply to very close relationships.
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MariaE

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Re: The awkward duplicate gift-- did I do okay?
« Reply #8 on: January 03, 2013, 02:45:38 AM »
I think you were fine to say that you already had it, but I also think that it's on you to accept the book anyway, and exchange/regift/dispose of it as you see fit. That is not your brother's responsibility, and the only place where I think you were really rude.
 
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Margo

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Re: The awkward duplicate gift-- did I do okay?
« Reply #9 on: January 03, 2013, 06:05:01 AM »
I think this is a 'know your audience' situation. If it was my brother, or one of my sisters, then there would be no issue at all with one of us telling another that the book they had bought was a duplicate, and then discussing whether it was possible to return or exchange it, although of course I would thank them first.

If it wasn't possible to return or exchange it, then as the recipient I would thank them and would keep the book, and then re-gift it or donate it to the library or a charity shop. I would not give it back to them (even if it was no use to me) unless they wanted it or offered to exchange it.

With anyone other than my immediate family I would simply thank the giver  and not mention the duplication.

Penguin_ar

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Re: The awkward duplicate gift-- did I do okay?
« Reply #10 on: January 03, 2013, 06:31:57 AM »
I think  with family/ close friends, it is fine to say you already have the book, especially since you had a conversation about it before, it isn't just hidden in your night table or something.

However, I think the way you refused the book was a bit rude, just saying  you didn't need it- surely we often get gifts we don't need?   You could have said "oh this is a different edition, I really like this cover!" (if it is), or "Thanks, I do love the book and now I won't feel so bad lending my copy to friends as I know I have another one."

bopper

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Re: The awkward duplicate gift-- did I do okay?
« Reply #11 on: January 03, 2013, 08:42:11 AM »
It is okay to say you already have it, but the burden should be on you to exchange it.

TootsNYC

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Re: The awkward duplicate gift-- did I do okay?
« Reply #12 on: January 03, 2013, 10:00:53 AM »
I think you should have kept the book by you instead of handing it back to him, especially right away!

And I know I wouldn't have said, in the moment of opening, that I already had it. Of course he forgot you'd read him stuff from that book! That's pretty obvious. So I wouldn't have rubbed his nose in it.

Later I might have said, "Actually, I have that book already--should we try to return it? Do you still have the receipt?"

And I would also have figured that *I* could return it after Christmas without a receipt far more easily than he could, and it would be on me to return it. and then I could pick out a different book that I hadn't read.


White Lotus

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Re: The awkward duplicate gift-- did I do okay?
« Reply #13 on: January 04, 2013, 11:48:32 AM »
What you did would be perfectly normal in my family -- as is reading a book (very carefully so it stays pristine) before giving it.  Sorry it can't be returned, but oh, well.  The library has a new book.

singingserpent

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Re: The awkward duplicate gift-- did I do okay?
« Reply #14 on: January 04, 2013, 12:19:02 PM »
I gave my aunt-in-law a book this Christmas. As soon as I saw the book and its subject matter I knew it would be perfect for her.  When we did our gift exchange at her house she opened the book and was polite about it, but not as enthusiastic as I had hoped.  A few minutes later my husband nudged me and pointed at her "to be read" stack of books in her living room and guess what book was in the middle of the pile?  The very same book.  While she was in the other room, we had a hurriedly whispered discussion of whether or not to mention we saw the duplicate, and just decide to bite the bullet and tell her we saw the duplicate.
In the end, we all had a good laugh, and she said that it *was* a good choice of book for her, and we knew her pretty well because when she saw the book she had to have it right away.  I ended up taking the book back and promised her another book I had just heard about with related subject matter and gave her the new book the next time we saw her.
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