General Etiquette > Life...in general

Sort-of gift mix up...what would have been correct?

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SamiHami:
This is something that happened a few years ago. I just thought of it and wondered what you all would think.

B/G At the time I was very close to my then-BF Lisa. Another friend of ours, Mary, went to another country for a semester to study abroad. Upon her return, the three of us got together and had a great evening hearing her stories about her trip, etc. Then Mary pulled out some souvenirs that she had very kindly gotten for us!  :)  Nice girl.

Well, among other things, she got each of us very pretty necklaces. Lisa opened hers and we oohed and ahhed over it. Then I opened mine and Mary commented that she got that one, with the purple stones in it because she knows I like purple. So, on to the dilemma...

I loved the necklace, and I do love the color purple. But Lisa is the one who essentially claims to own the color. She loves anything purple and if you have something purple she wants it. In her mind, she has a "right" to it because she loves it so very, very much, regardless of whether or not you also really, really like it. Of course I graciously thanked Mary for her gifts, as did Lisa. Lisa never said anything to me but she gave me a couple of expectant looks that I took to mean that she fully expected me to trade necklaces with her when Mary wasn't around.

The thing is that I liked the one I was given and didn't want to trade. I liked the style and I liked the pretty purple stones as well. So I ignored the expectant looks and kept the one I was given.

My question is should I have offered to trade with Lisa? Again, I know she loves purple to the point where she felt entitled to the necklace. But does that mean I should have given it up even though I much preferred it to the one she received? Was it mean of me to keep it? Thoughts?

siamesecat2965:
No. The gift was given to you, and I assume Mary was also aware of Lisa's "claim" to the color purple, which is fine, but not when you think you're entitled to other peoples things beacuse they're you're favorite color!

If Mary had wanted Lisa to have the purple necklace, I'm guessing she would have bought it for her. And, had she mistakenly given your gift to Lisa, and vice versa, i'm sure she would have said somehting.

Yes, you could have switched with Lisa, but you were under absolutley no obligation to do so.

shhh its me:
  No it was yours no matter how much she liked it.

 Secondly even though gifts are yours to do with as you please I would think its a bit tacky to trade a one of a kind gift from a really good friend who is likely to see that it was traded.  I think there is a caveat you can do with a gift what you like as long as you don't make it obvious to the giver you are in some way disposing of it.

GlitterIsMyDrug:
I love sports cars! I think they're great. So anyone who gets a sports car should hand the keys over to me!

Yeah, doesn't really fly and neither does Lisa's I love purple plan. If Mary had giving Lisa say a blue necklace and you a purple one and gee blue is your favorite color and purple is her's, so privately, away from Mary, you two decide to swap, that could be ok. But no one gets to own a color.

sunnygirl:
Absolutely not. And unless Lisa is a preschooler it's rude and ludicrous for her to act like purple belongs to her.

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