Gift Manners - or am I a whiny crybaby?

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by BuddyBoy, Oct 16, 2006.

  1. BuddyBoy

    BuddyBoy Member

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    Hey gang, I'm hoping I could get some perspective on a problem I had today, especially from people with no emotional investment in keeping me happy.

    First, to preface, I live with my Ex and we are still great friends. We're a bit of an odd couple with him being mr organized and me being a little more absent minded.

    Well, my birthday is coming up, and he asked me what I wanted, and I suggested my cologne which was running out - probably in part becuase we both use it. While we were out today, we passed the one shop in the city that sells it, so we decided to pop in. Becuase of the price ($130/bottle) I offered to pay half of it, but he wouldn't hear of it.

    So, we get to the car, he gives me the gift bag, and he start complaining about how much it cost. Then, he starts comparing it to what I gave him for his last birthday, which, becuase I was between contracts and financially tight at the time, wasn't up to our usual $100 par. Then I heard about how I'm not very good with money becuase when I was between contracts I was sometimes broke.

    At this point my Catholic guilt complex cuts in and I'm trying not to quiver my lip while trying to blink the tears out of my eyes so I don't crash while driving.

    When I say that I'd prefer to pay him back for the cologne and suggest we put a $20 limit on future gifts so that they can be about the thought, not the loot, he tells me I'm overreacting and I'm a whiny crybaby.

    Am I overreacting? Or was he being insensitive and rude? I'd appreciate any thoughts.

    Maybe its just me, but what's the point in a gift if it's all about the cost? This experienced has kind of spoiled my birthday for me, and every time I look at that damn cologne it's going to bring it back. :frown1:
     
  2. GoneA

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    Well, you did offer to pay half of it; so there really was no need for him to begin complaining about the price. Seems more to me like he's the whiny crybaby.
     
  3. Pecker

    Pecker Retired Moderator
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    It's obvious why he's you ex.
     
  4. GoneA

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    . . . and what the hell, he uses the cologne. So he has a bit of a stake in this purchase, too.

    I think the dude's just weird.
     
  5. CUBE

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    I think the birthday... and gift... and all of it ...has some emotional issue/bagage that feeds another agenda. You need to be on your own paths and in seperate spaces if the relationship is over.
     
  6. hypolimnas

    hypolimnas Well-Known Member

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    Am I overreacting?

    Well I'd say you are sensitive, and read significance into the small stuff. It's really important that you can be with people who understand your sensitivity. Your sensitivity is part of you, and is a great advantage in working with people. You know that you have an inner strength to think through what is really going on, and what is good for you. I'd be careful that you don't get caught in the "can't live with him/can't live without him" trap.

    From hearing your story it sounds as though you deserve some empathy, and support. Have you ever thought you might deserve better?

    It might be time to move on emotionally if you can. When I have been travelling, I've had great birthdays with perfect strangers, and I've been amazed at their generosity and kindness.

    I'd expect more from someone who I thought was a friend.


    Or was he being insensitive and rude?
    Well I would say he is not sensitive to your feelings, or may be getting something out of manipulating your emotions. He sounds pretty judgemental, essentially judgement is best applied to objects, and processes, rather than people.

    What to do now?
    a) Tell him you appreciate the gift but that he might like to use it as you don't feel it came with his best wishes, and you won't ever use it again.

    b)Tip it down the sink so that he can't use it either. Keep the bottle as a reminder of what might have been.

    c) Or fill it up with your piss and let him use it as aftershave.

    d) Take it back to the store, choose something else, or get the cash and go out for a nice birthday lunch with your real friends.

    e) Let him know how you feel, and ask him if he intended for you to feel bad. Perhaps there is unfinished stuff for you to sort out. Don't do it on your birthday though.

    Birthdays are cool, they are the day when your family and friends celebrate you in their lives.

    They are a good time for your to think about your life, and if you are happy. What would you like for yourself in the coming year?

    I really, really hope you have a beautiful day. I just turned 41.

    Hugs from the other side of the world.
     
  7. B_dxjnorto

    B_dxjnorto New Member

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    If you keep hanging out with mr ex you'll probably have to learn to be satisfied with a level of interaction lower than what you normally find satisfying.

    But yes, you are being a whiny crybaby. You're crying over cologne after all. Look for the good that must be there somewhere if you are still great friends. Be nice and share the cologne like before. You are grown up. Happy Birthday.

    Cologne is kind of a dumb birthday gift anyway. At least it's something you wear. I normally hate getting some kinda insect repellent or someone else's scent as a gift.
     
  8. D_Sheffield Thongbynder

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    Anyone who would even mention the cost of the gift doesn't deserve your attention. Ditch him.
     
  9. Gillette

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    He's being a ass. Point out to him that you did offer to pay for half and he refused your offer. Point out also that he will likely be using it himself.

    I think he is trying to manipulate you with feelings of guilt that you have no cause to feel. Don't be sad, be angry.

    The only cause to be upset here is that your ex hasn't matured to adulthood.
     
  10. Gillette

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    Curiosity piqued.

    What fragrance do you wear?
     
  11. DC_DEEP

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    I had a couple of similar events a while back. There are some good posts above, and they point out the two significant factors: You possibly are being just a little too sensitive, and he is being manipulative.

    Regardless of your living situation, starting today, you have to prevent another similar situation from happening. Do not even allow the opportunity for him to "chip in more than you" to occur.

    If he asks "what do you want for Christmas?" you simply, flatly, say "nothing at all." Whether or not you want a gift from him is beside the point, you still have to make it clear before any "gifting event" that you do not want a gift. If he gets you one anyway, do not even open it, hand it back to him and say "I really appreciate the thought, but I cannot possibly accept this." And be firm. If he wants you to go out to dinner, tell him you will only go if you pay your own share. When you get there, ask the server for your own check, and pay it. If he insists on paying for your dinner, leave before you even order.

    If you do not allow him to pay for anything for you, then he cannot hold it over you. Just pay your portions of the living expenses, and keep the rest of your finances completely apart.
     
  12. Sklar

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    Listen very carefully to what I am saying:

    My Jewish Guilt trumps your Catholic Guilt.

    YOU DID NOTHING WRONG!!!

    It's a birthday gift. He even asked you what you wanted, it was then that he could have thought about it and get you something else. He CHOSE to get that gift for you. Add in the fact that he uses it, too, and then comlains about the price:

    you aren't the whiny crybaby: HE IS.


    DITCH THE S.O.B.

    If you are both on the lease you can't do much for that, but if only one of you is on the lease, the other needs to go. NOW.

    There's a reason he's the ex. You need to move on. FAST.

    Go have rebound sex many times while wearing the cologne that he bought for you.

    AND DO NOT FEEL GUILTY ABOUT IT!
     
  13. DaveyR

    DaveyR Retired Moderator
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    No your are not being whiny. If he had said to me what he said to you, especially after offering to pay half he would have been wearing the whole lot - over his head.

    As others have said too it's obvious why he is your ex.

    The price of a gift should never be important. I know it's a cliche but it's the thought that counts.

    Ditch him and get a place on your own then you will have a better chance of meeting someone who can appreciate your sensitive side.
     
  14. SoFla8

    SoFla8 New Member

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    You offered, he refused. End of story. After that point he's being a jerk. He knows where your "buttons" are and he obviously enjoys pushing them. I'd agree with the other posts....If anyone is being a whining baby it's him!
     
  15. BuddyBoy

    BuddyBoy Member

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    Wow, thanks everyone for lots of useful advice.

    Now that I'm calmed down I do think I overreacted a bit, but just because I'm oversensitive doesn't mean he isn't insensitive. I tried to raise the issue with him and he says I misinterpreted what he meant when he was just commenting on the price as a reflection of value and not that it was too much for a gift, but I can't understand where bringing up the value of the last birthday gift I bought for him fits into that, but oh well.

    He's not a bad guy, but he's always been too blunt without much in the way of tact. Usually I can just tune it out, but when it hits one of my hot buttons, it's hard to ignore. I'm glad that I'm not just imagining that this isn't the best behaviour - I'm not always sure how much of what troubles me is a valid complaint and how much is just a conflict with my old fashioned manners mindset.
     
  16. BuddyBoy

    BuddyBoy Member

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    Jo Malone's Amber and Lavender. She created it as an anniversary present for her husband. It's a nice, light, clean fragrance.
     
  17. joyboytoy79

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    Buddy -

    Just because he is "not a bad guy" doesn't mean he isn't manipulating you. I would understand him being upset if he got you this cologne, and then next year you got him a trinket from the dollar store (and had the means to get him more). That doesn't sound like the case at all.

    What your ex appears to be doing is bullying you into submission. My ex used to do the same. The general goal is to make you feel like you wouldn't be able make it (on your own) without his generosity. That way, he can keep you around, under his thumb, where he likes you.

    YOU ARE NOT OVERSENSITIVE. Not by any means. You are sensitive, and as has been stated before, that's a possitive attribute. If anything, he's the one being oversensitive, complaining about a gift he received from you. Remember: you didn't make the complaint, he did. He is the one displaying hypersensitivity (to dollar signs). Please, do not fall for his ploy. Even if you share a mortgage or share a lease, find a way to move out. He isn't healthy for you.
     
  18. DaveyR

    DaveyR Retired Moderator
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    What he said. :You_Rock_Emoticon:
     
  19. curiouscat9

    curiouscat9 New Member

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    Wow!

    Catholic guilt aside, I think you should be pissed of at the whole situation.

    A gift is given from the heart. The price tag should never factor into the equation. And never, never, never, should a person feel their gift to another person is/was inadequate. (Unless you are my sister-in-law, who is truly tasteless and clueless. She doesn't even realize she is why we don't do the gift name draw at Christmas anymore.)

    Mr. Ex is wrong to complain about your gift to him, wrong to complain of the price of the "gift" to you, and is an ass to ruin your birthday.

    I personally would have taken the gift back and made sure he got the money back along with a note telling him to loose my number, my address, and the fact he ever knew me. How's that for over-reacting? Though I'm serious.

    Don't ever let someone have that kind of power over you. What a big old jerk (not you -- him.)
     
  20. Shelby

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    I always buy my wife the same thing. A sweater and a dildo.

    If she doesn't like the sweater she can go fuck herself.
     
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