Author Topic: choosing same gift from one giver over same gift from another  (Read 964 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

snappylt

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 459
I read something today that brought to mind an old memory about a former girlfriend from decades ago.  This is truly water under the bridge long ago, but I'm nonetheless curious how the story strikes other people.  It may have more to do with hurt feelings than with etiquette (that's why I'm putting it in the Coffee Break folder) -then again, I guess I'm sort of asking if I was rude or if maybe the former girlfriend was rude.  Here's the story:

About six weeks before Christmas, many years ago (before Internet shopping) my then-girlfriend came right out and told me what she wanted for Christmas: a particular kind of then-popular jewelry that came in separate pieces that the wearer would put together to make the whole jewelry item.   The reason I mention all of those pieces here is that that is what made this a time-consuming present to buy.  I had to telephone around to stores throughout the big city we lived in to try to locate the several different pieces in the colors and sizes she wanted.  (None of the stores had all of the pieces in one place because it was so popular at the time.)

After finding the parts at three different stores on three different sides of the city, I bought all the parts, wrapped them nicely, and was happy with myself for having a present I knew my girlfriend would really like.

Then, a couple of weeks before that Christmas, my girlfriend telephoned to let me know about a phone call she had just had with her "difficult" sister-in-law.  GF's sister-in-law and GF's brother had suddenly decided to buy GF the same multi-part jewelry for Christmas that I had already bought for her.

GF's SIL telephoned GF to tell her what they had decided to buy her for Christmas, to be sure that she would like it and to be sure about the colors and sizes she wanted.  (Note that they had not yet bought it when SIL called GF.)

GF told me that she told her SIL that that would be a wonderful present and that she would really like to receive it for Christmas from SIL and brother.

GF did not tell SIL that I had already bought it for her.

I was deeply hurt at the time.  I couldn't understand why GF wouldn't tell her SIL the truth, that she had already asked me to buy her that present and that I had already bought it.  GF explained that her SIL was difficult to get along with, and she thought SIL might get in a big snit about it if GF said no, don't buy that.  GF told me that I, on the other hand, was easy to get along with and she just knew I wouldn't mind.  She said she would put SIL's gift away in a drawer and only wear the one I bought her, and while SIL would think GF was wearing jewelry SIL bought, GF and I would know the truth that it was really something I had secretly bought for GF.  (Part of this plan was that GF and I would not be able to tell anyone the present was from me, lest SIL hear about the lie.)

I ended up saying no, telling lies about a Christmas present was too complicated for me, that if my hurt feelings weren't important enough for her to tell SIL no, then I would just return the jewelry I had bought and I would select something different to be my Christmas present to her.

So, that's what I did.  It did not directly lead to our later breakup, but, looking back, I think it did give me the strong impression that SIL's feelings were much more important to former GF than my feelings were... and that wasn't good.


So, here's the question: How does that strike people?  Once GF had asked me for that present and I had bought it for her, was former GF being rude to me when she told her SIL to go ahead and buy her the same present I'd already bought?  Was I being rude when I returned the present to the stores and bought GF a different present, although GF asked me not to?


gramma dishes

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 8187
Re: choosing same gift from one giver over same gift from another
« Reply #1 on: March 10, 2013, 10:45:13 PM »
Did your friend know (at the time she talked to her SIL) that you had actually already gotten her that exact present she had requested and that now is being given to her by the SIL?  Or did she think you hadn't bought it yet when she told SIL that she'd love to have that -- from SIL?

snappylt

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 459
Re: choosing same gift from one giver over same gift from another
« Reply #2 on: March 10, 2013, 10:50:53 PM »
Did your friend know (at the time she talked to her SIL) that you had actually already gotten her that exact present she had requested and that now is being given to her by the SIL?  Or did she think you hadn't bought it yet when she told SIL that she'd love to have that -- from SIL?

Former GF knew that I'd already bought it for her.  This was a specific Christmas present she wanted that she asked me to buy for her, so I had told her when I finally found and bought all the parts.  (No surprises there.)

CrochetFanatic

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 875
Re: choosing same gift from one giver over same gift from another
« Reply #3 on: March 10, 2013, 10:53:26 PM »
I don't think you were rude.  I could understand her wanting to avoid drama, and possibly caving for that reason.  Preferring to look good in the eyes of SIL vs significant other?  Not so much.  Even if the relationship was only just starting out, or not super close yet, most people I know would have a harder time choosing who to look good for.  Both people's feelings should be important, and "I just knew you wouldn't mind" is an Interesting Assumption.  I would have returned it, too...and the vindictive part of me would be hoping that the SIL would change her mind about buying the necklace, leaving fickle then-girlfriend empty-handed.  >:D

Jocelyn

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3154
Re: choosing same gift from one giver over same gift from another
« Reply #4 on: March 10, 2013, 10:55:42 PM »
I think the error was your friend's- she should have kept her mouth shut, accepted your present and her SIL's present, and then returned one of them on her own time.

gramma dishes

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 8187
Re: choosing same gift from one giver over same gift from another
« Reply #5 on: March 10, 2013, 11:03:43 PM »
It sounds like she handled it in a very immature manner.  But were you in fact kids at the time?

She clearly really wanted that gift.  And in a way, I can see how she might be fearful of rocking the boat with a SIL she had found hard to get along with before.  IF she was a kid.

An adult would probably have said, "Oh, SIL!!  That would have been wonderful, but I just found out that Snappylt just got me that exact thing for Christmas!  Thank you so much for thinking of it!  The idea (obviously) would have been perfect, but I really can't use two of them.  But the idea was wonderful and I'm so appreciative that you thought of something so perfect.   How would you feel about maybe getting me a *whatever*?  That's the other thing I'd really like to have most this Christmas!  Would that be possible?" or something like that.   

But a kid sometimes can't think as fast on their feet and may fear repercussions at home for messing with that old "family harmony" stuff. 

If she was an adult at the time and wanted to tell people her SIL gave her your gift?  No.  Just no.  That's rude and hurtful.
« Last Edit: March 10, 2013, 11:05:38 PM by gramma dishes »

rose red

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 7732
Re: choosing same gift from one giver over same gift from another
« Reply #6 on: March 11, 2013, 10:57:18 AM »
I hate watching people bend over backwards to please difficult people, and then give no thought (and hurt) to those who actually care about them.

lowspark

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4035
Re: choosing same gift from one giver over same gift from another
« Reply #7 on: March 11, 2013, 03:28:21 PM »
I hate watching people bend over backwards to please difficult people, and then give no thought (and hurt) to those who actually care about them.

Yeah, that's pretty much what happened here. The trouble with trying to please "difficult" people (especially at the expense of the "easy" ones) is that the difficult ones are almost never pleased. And even if they are, they seldom appreciate the amount of bending over backwards that you have gone to to please them.

However, I think that this is something you usually learn from experience. I've tried very hard to please unpleasable people over and over again but I now know better and realize it's pretty much a lost cause.

The trouble here, is, of course, that she involved you in this situation, trying to coerce you to also bend over backwards for the sake of her rel@tionship with the difficult person. In addition to which she wanted to make you complicit in the deception. And that's where it all went wrong.

Quote
GF told me that I, on the other hand, was easy to get along with and she just knew I wouldn't mind. 
And this is where it really all falls down. For me, the blow might have been lessened if instead of her just assuming it would all be ok with you, she'd at least asked your understanding and forgiveness. Because putting it the way she did, it's more of a case of taking advantage of your being easy going and just assuming that you'd have no problem being totally inconvenienced for the sake of someone who pretty much didn't rate it.

gramma dishes

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 8187
Re: choosing same gift from one giver over same gift from another
« Reply #8 on: March 11, 2013, 03:53:43 PM »
I think the hurtful part is this:  If I really go way out of my way to put together the "perfect" gift for someone and then they ask me to say/go along with the statement that someone ELSE gave it to them instead, I'd be really upset.

I would want someone I gave such a special gift to to be proud of the fact that I gave it to her and hope that if asked, she would be equally proud to say I was the one who gave it to her.

In this case, Snappylt gave her the coveted gift, but she wanted to tell people that her SIL gave it to her and wanted Snappylt to cheerfully go along with that.