Author Topic: Replace a gift that someone else 'stole'?  (Read 9004 times)

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WillyNilly

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Re: Replace a gift that someone else 'stole'?
« Reply #30 on: February 05, 2013, 05:20:25 PM »
I'm thinking he saw/heard Janet give you the cake, and figured you put it away for "later" and to him "later" meant later in the party, like after halftime (putting it away because its dessert, but also its something that should be refrigerated until eaten), and he was asking if he could have some early, because he assumed it would at some later point it would be put out.  Meanwhile you and Janet knew "later" meant "later after everyone is gone."

Virg

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Re: Replace a gift that someone else 'stole'?
« Reply #31 on: February 05, 2013, 06:13:06 PM »
I tend to give everyone the benefit of doubt to start, but according to your description, Robert approached your DH and told him that Janet said he could have it.  Since you don't think Janet's lying when she says that she didn't tell him about the cake, the conclusion must follow that he did lie about getting her permission.  The clincher for me is that you asked him directly and he said that DH gave him permission, rather than saying it was Janet, which is strangely evasive and presents the problem that he lied to DH to get that permission.  Given these things, I feel it's safe to conclude that Robert pulled a fast one rather than fell into a misunderstanding.

Virg

doodlemor

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Re: Replace a gift that someone else 'stole'?
« Reply #32 on: February 05, 2013, 06:18:16 PM »

As for Janet, I really don't think she jumped to conclusions.  I entered the dining area, where the food was and she was staring at her empty cheesecake box and looking visibly upset........... 

I too was confused, because the cake was in the refrigerator and I didn't take it out.  DH walks in at that moment and I asked him if he took the cheesecake out of the refrigerator (thinking it was my fault for not telling him that Janet gave us one) and he said "what cheesecake?  Robert came up to me and told him that Janet said he could have a slice of her cake so he was going to take a slice and I said 'ok'.  I didn't understand why he was telling me this if Janet already gave him permission."  Then Janet says she didn't tell Robert anything about any cake.  So, I find Robert and ask him if Janet told him he could eat the cake in the refrigerator and he said "Your DH said I could take a slice."  I decided not to talk to him after that (outside of saying goodbye when he and his friend left after the game.)

As Dakota Fanning said to Joey on Friends, "What are you, eight?"

Robert obviously knew that he was in the wrong here.  If you give him another chance, keep an eye on him while he is in your house.  He is not a person to be trusted.

And I bet that he kept going back for more pieces and ate it all, or at least ate most of it.

crella

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Re: Replace a gift that someone else 'stole'?
« Reply #33 on: February 05, 2013, 06:50:00 PM »
We had a similar situation with a rum custard cake. It was bought for a birthday the next day. Cast of characters: Family members A, B (under the weather) , C (a sibling) and me.

Family member A said to me "I want to cut the cake, Family member B isn't feeling well enough to eat cake, no sense in saving it for tomorrow'.
I said 'No, let's wait until tomorrow, Family member B is now sleeping, hasn't seen the cake, and may feel like having some tomorrow'

A goes to Family member C and says that *I* am dying for cake and absolutely want some tonight, 'and B doesn't feel well enough anyway'. C doubts it and tells me. In the meantime, A takes the cake up the hall to B to show him, then cuts it "He saw it, I'm cutting it". A had a piece of cake, it was offered to C and I but we both declined.

Some people want their cake and they want it NOW, even if it's not theirs. Some people get really weird about food.

PeterM

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Re: Replace a gift that someone else 'stole'?
« Reply #34 on: February 05, 2013, 08:56:33 PM »
I tend to give everyone the benefit of doubt to start, but according to your description, Robert approached your DH and told him that Janet said he could have it.  Since you don't think Janet's lying when she says that she didn't tell him about the cake, the conclusion must follow that he did lie about getting her permission.  The clincher for me is that you asked him directly and he said that DH gave him permission, rather than saying it was Janet, which is strangely evasive and presents the problem that he lied to DH to get that permission.  Given these things, I feel it's safe to conclude that Robert pulled a fast one rather than fell into a misunderstanding.

This is where I stand, too. Either Robert essentially stole the cake out of the OP's refrigerator, or Janet lied to the OP when asked about what happened. I think the former is more likely.

For those coming up with theories about how Robert might not be in the wrong, can I ask why you're making what seems to me to be quite an effort? Given the sheer number of stories about boorish behavior on this site - including more food thief stories than you can shake a very large stick at - what is it that makes you think "Robert went into a stranger's fridge and stole their cheesecake" is so implausible?

LifeOnPluto

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Re: Replace a gift that someone else 'stole'?
« Reply #35 on: February 05, 2013, 09:22:33 PM »
Here's a wild theory:

As Robert was a friend-of-a-friend, he probably didn't know many people at the party, right? Is it possible he got Janet confused with someone else? Maybe he heard from other guests that "Janet had baked a cheesecake", then went up to a random female guest whom he thought was Janet, and asked "Can I have some of that cheesecake?" and she (not realising the full story and figuring that if cheesecake was present at the party, it was for everyone) replied "Um, yes, I don't see why not" or something.

Of course, that don't explain his later failure to tell the OP that Janet had given him permission to have the cake.

Outdoor Girl

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Re: Replace a gift that someone else 'stole'?
« Reply #36 on: February 05, 2013, 09:34:47 PM »
Talk to Janet and work out a date when you can invite her over for dinner, and ask her if she'd like to bring a cheesecake for dessert.

And don't invite Robert.   ;D

As for future events, if someone brings a hostess gift that isn't meant to be served, I'd put it in the back of the fridge and write in Sharpie on the box:  This is not up for grabs.  If some boor ignores the note or gets indignant about it, then you know who not to invite the next time.
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Re: Replace a gift that someone else 'stole'?
« Reply #37 on: February 05, 2013, 10:08:28 PM »
I think you need to allow Janet to make a do-over cake and be very grateful, as that will make her happy and resolve, for her, the pain of having the cake misappropriated.

As for the intentions of Robert? I know that in my house for a party, if my DH said what yours said, my friend said what Janet said and my FOAF said what Robert said...the most likely story would be that DH misheard. That Robert actually said "Hey, can I have a slice of that cake Janet brought? It looks delicious...do you think she would mind?" My DH, having no idea what he was talking about, might very well remember that later as Robert having said Janet said it was OK. Because either way, his request was utter nonsense to DH, who didn't know the cake existed.

Now, this scenario wouldn't absolve Robert. Because it was rude to ask DH for a slice of the cake. It wasn't part of the party offering displayed. He doesn't even know the hosts. He was rude to request the cake, no matter where the mixup came in.

gramma dishes

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Re: Replace a gift that someone else 'stole'?
« Reply #38 on: February 05, 2013, 10:20:33 PM »

...   For those coming up with theories about how Robert might not be in the wrong, can I ask why you're making what seems to me to be quite an effort? ...

Because basically we're all "nice" people and we try not to automatically assume the worst in others.  Robert was a stranger.  He was not invited to the party.  He was a 'guest of a guest'. 

He wouldn't necessarily know the specific rules of this particular household and how they give parties.  Maybe parties he's been to at other homes in the past were free-for-alls where everyone just dove into the refrigerator and got whatever they wanted.  We don't know. 

We were not making excuses for him at all.  Just trying to figure out if maybe it just might have been an honest mistake caused by differing experiences and expectations or a genuine confusion on Robert's part as to the purpose of the cheesecake. 

I think it has been clarified well enough by the OP to lead us to the probability that Robert did or should have known better and behaved badly.  She and her husband will need to decide whether in the future  they want to tell whoever invited him this time not to invite him next time or whether they'd be willing to give him one more chance to redeem himself.

JenJay

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Re: Replace a gift that someone else 'stole'?
« Reply #39 on: February 05, 2013, 10:23:03 PM »
I think Robert knew the cake was not meant for the party, wanted it anyway, and finagled a piece. I cannot imagine behaving that way in a good friend's house let alone the home of an acquaintance whose party I hadn't even been directly invited to. I might give him one more chance IF he was otherwise a nice guy, just in case it was an honest misunderstanding.

The two bolded sentences seem to contradict each other.  You (1) can't imagine anyone doing that, but you (2) think that that is what Robert did.

I like your last sentence best.  I agree, this seems so strange that I would assume that it was a misunderstanding of some kind.  Who knows, he might have thought he was helping out by putting it out.  And maybe he was in the fridge because he mistakenly thought that that's where the beer was (maybe that's how he does it at his house when he is entertaining).

I agree, don't jump to the most negative conclusion.  Give people, including Robert, the benefit of the doubt.  It's unfortunate, but it's not the end of the world, and it really could have been an honest mistake.  It's not like he took a 5 pound roast out of the freezer and started cooking it or something!

Do let your friend make you another cake if she wants.  If you think she is too busy, suggest that she make one for another evening for just you two couples, and make it a month or so away.

I meant in a "I can't believe he did that, who does that?!" kind of way. In other words, he's either a total snowflake OR it was a completely unintentional misunderstanding. I usually err on the side of giving people the benefit of doubt so I'd probably include him one more time, if asked, but I'd keep my eyes and ears open.

johelenc1

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Re: Replace a gift that someone else 'stole'?
« Reply #40 on: February 05, 2013, 10:56:04 PM »
I actually find it a little rude that a guest would bring a food item to a party - especially something like a Superbowl party where everyone often brings a little something - and then insists the host hide it in the fridge from the other guests.

I don't understand that at all.  If you were providing all the food for the party, I find it odd she would bring a food item for a hostess gift.  Actually, I find it odd anyone would bring a "hostess gift" to a Superbowl party at all. 

I don't think Janet needs to replace the cake.  Personally, I would assure her that although you are sorry you didn't get a slice of her excellent cheese cake, but you were happy to share with your guests and you will look forward to having some another time.

sammycat

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Re: Replace a gift that someone else 'stole'?
« Reply #41 on: February 05, 2013, 11:12:55 PM »
I tend to give everyone the benefit of doubt to start, but according to your description, Robert approached your DH and told him that Janet said he could have it.  Since you don't think Janet's lying when she says that she didn't tell him about the cake, the conclusion must follow that he did lie about getting her permission.  The clincher for me is that you asked him directly and he said that DH gave him permission, rather than saying it was Janet, which is strangely evasive and presents the problem that he lied to DH to get that permission.  Given these things, I feel it's safe to conclude that Robert pulled a fast one rather than fell into a misunderstanding.

Virg

This what I was thinking too.  At this point the cake is almost a red herring. Robert lied to/about one person to cover his backside when he was caught.

baglady

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Re: Replace a gift that someone else 'stole'?
« Reply #42 on: February 05, 2013, 11:30:41 PM »
A hostess gift, rude? I don't see how such a gracious gesture could possibly be rude ... unless it's a dinner party and the giver insists it must be served right then, right now, despite how it might disrupt the hostess's carefully planned menu. We've certainly had our share of threads about that scenario, but that isn't what happened here -- Janet made it clear to the OP that this was a gift for her and her husband, not a party contribution.

But I can totally see what the OP describes happening, as Super Bowl and similar parties are often potluck or semi-potluck -- i.e., the host provides a core selection of foods/drinks, and guests are welcome but not required to bring more. It's not a huge stretch for someone to assume that something edible brought by a guest to such a party is *for the party*.

I don't think it's *rude* to bring a hostess gift to a Super Bowl party, but it is a recipe for awkwardness ... like wearing a suit to a backyard barbecue. A bit too formal for the setting.
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Re: Replace a gift that someone else 'stole'?
« Reply #43 on: February 06, 2013, 10:03:20 AM »

...   For those coming up with theories about how Robert might not be in the wrong, can I ask why you're making what seems to me to be quite an effort? ...

Because basically we're all "nice" people and we try not to automatically assume the worst in others.

And also, people do sometimes make mistakes that appear boorish, but were the result of not understanding something, or thinking it through. I've found that lack of thinking is more common than malice (although malice may hide as lack of thinking at times).
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TurtleDove

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Re: Replace a gift that someone else 'stole'?
« Reply #44 on: February 06, 2013, 10:12:58 AM »
I actually find it a little rude that a guest would bring a food item to a party - especially something like a Superbowl party where everyone often brings a little something - and then insists the host hide it in the fridge from the other guests.

I don't understand that at all.  If you were providing all the food for the party, I find it odd she would bring a food item for a hostess gift.  Actually, I find it odd anyone would bring a "hostess gift" to a Superbowl party at all. 


POD. This whole situation is so odd to me, perhaps because I just cannot see getting bent out of shape over a cheesecake, either from Robert's perspective of wanting to eat it or from Janet's perspective of wanting the OP and her DH to eat it.  It's a cheesecake!   8)  I also think it is quite strange to bring food to this type of party and then expect it not to be shared at the party.