She who shall not be named re-gifted me this year. (We had our Hannukah party early – so sue me.)
Know how I know? She gave me something I gave her just a few years back.
“It’s unusual,” she said, as she gave me the box. “As soon as I saw it, I thought of you.”
Look, everybody regifts now and then. There’s no shame in that. You get something that’s perfectly nice — just not “you,” and you give it to someone else. It’s like that mythical fruitcake: some say there is only one in the entire world, and just keeps getting regifted and regifted…. And even Miss Manners says that’s OK with her.
The thing is, though, you’re not supposed to get caught.
There are even RULES and a proper protocol for re-gifting!
And again – the basic tenet of all of it is: don’t get caught. (though the above article says otherwise…she thinks we should all fess up, lose the stigma. Yeah, and lose my hard-earned good relationship with oh, way too many people!)
I’m sure there is NO WAY she did it on purpose. If she knew what she had done, she’d be mortified. But when I opened the box I was, quite literally, speechless. I don’t even think I said thank you. What could I have said? “Well, of course this made you think of me — I gave it to you?” Or “why, it’s lovely, I’ve never seen anything like it….since I wrapped it three years ago.” Or maybe, “hellloooooooo? Anybody in there?”
I don’t think I mind being regifted so much as knowing it. As realizing that she doesn’t like the things I pick out for her any better than I like the things she picks out for me. As confronting the truth about regifting: that it comes to no good.
Because the thing is, when I gave what I now refer to as “the offending item” to her in the first place, it was a re-gift.