I hate and avoid gifts. Its a problem.
Backstory: I know a very sweet girl, let's call her Sarah, that I have a friendship not quite relationship with. She's attractive, intelligent and exceptionally sweet... but perhaps a little naïve. She is seemingly selfless - and many of her qualities remind me of my ex before children. These set off red flags for me so I've never gotten too close to her, but I like her so I've kind of kept her in orbit as a friend and we've hooked up on occasion. Its very clear to me that she wants more.
She's a year out of college and back living with her parents, but she shows up at my place at random, uninvited, unannounced. I don't know if I like that or if I don't like it. I met her family and get along very well with her father. We talk about cars, sports, politics, economics and how women are crazy while drinking on his deck while the women come and go. I think I spend more time around him when I'm over there then I do her. He has no sons, and I feel this bizarre fatherly vibe from him. He gives advice to me like one would give advice to an elder son... and somehow he always puts me to work when we're there. At first it was a little odd, even bothersome, but now its just normal and I kind of like the way it goes and being useful/appreciated. I even took care of his lawn while he was recovering from back surgery awhile back.
So anyway, Sarah and I were hanging out this weekend and decided to go swimming at her place. I'm talking to her dad like always and I mention that I need to get a get a tool cabinet. I have a ton of tools in a variety of smaller tool boxes, even cardboard boxes, and while I don't really have a garage, I have a secure private parking garage with an extra space where I park my bikes that I also use as a workshop. Its around a corner kind of on its own, and my building is pretty upscale folks - mostly bmws and lexus' down there, so I've never worried about someone stealing my stuff. So anyway, Dave says that I can take his off his hands. He was planning on selling it anyway. He doesn't do the car work he used to and doesn't need such a large cabinet so he was going to downsize his tools and put in a deep freezer. So I ask him how much he's asking for it and it says, "don't worry about it, just take it".
Thus triggered my crazy. This is like a $1000 cabinet new. Now obviously he won't get that for it if he sells it, but he could still get several hundred dollars for it. So I said, "no, really, what do you want for it?" and I got the ol' "your money is no good here". This went back and forth and he became a little heated for a moment that I wouldn't take his cabinet but he wouldn't back off. So I basically declined and made up some bs about thinking it was too big for the space I had anyway, but he was still seemingly ticked off by my not taking it. It was all just very weird.
Sarah didn't understand why I didn't just take it and thought I made a happy gesture into a bad thing. I tried to explain how I hate gifts and she says its just stupid. It reminded my of a time my ex-father in law tried to give me a lawnmower and I declined. I don't really know why I declined, I needed one considering I had just bought a house at the time, but I didn't want his. I could get my own.
Anyone else out there hate gifts? Doesn't even matter if its a good gift, or exactly what I want, I get twitchy about it. I don't want them, I tend to shut down and not be enthusiastic when I get them, but still manage a "polite" kind of happy... while shifting the focus as quickly as possible. I also feel compelled to match any gift I've received. More than one person has told me I'm crazy.
I don't really know what to do about it though. I really really don't like gifts, and when I receive them, I'm totally OCD about returning the favor. Yet, when I give a gift, I have no desire or expectation to receive one in return. I still don't want one. It stresses me out and makes me twitchy.
Its been a point of contention in multiple relationships now; I hate gifts and refuse to ask for favors or help (sort of feels in the same vein as a gift). I don't really know why, I just can't stand these things. I even go out of town on my birthday, usually a solo motorcycle trip to Deal's Gap, to avoid my friends potentially arranging a birthday outing, or having cake/ice cream at work and avoiding any potential birthday presents.
Last edited by DvlsAdvc8; 07-15-2013 at 11:38 AM.