Jessica Gross

The Gift that Wasn’t

In musings on October 21, 2008 at 5:37 pm

A friend of mine just got an enormous shoe rack in the mail. The thing — at least 30 pounds in its unwieldy box — took 20 minutes to move from her living room to her bedroom. She spent four hours constructing it. She spent 10 minutes looking for six pieces the company didn’t include. She spent two hours deconstructing it, repacking it, and taping it up to return to the company.

Another friend’s aunt presented her with a couch from the ’70s that was both outdated and decomposing. Her mom insisted she keep the couch so as not to insult her aunt. Now she has to sit on a pile of mothballs that offends multiple senses.

How much do you have to put up with for gratitude’s sake? And what’s the threshold between a bestowal and a burden?

Share your thoughts and non-gift stories in the comments.

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