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Thread: Gifts...

  1. #1
    Senior Member Ultralight's Avatar
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    Gifts...

    So I ended up getting a gift from my dad. It is some kind of gadget to track the lunar cycles for fishing.

    The problems:

    -He knows I am a minimalist. Why did he get me something I don't need?
    -He ought to know I do not fish with gadgets; I fish only with "native intelligence." So why would he give me this gadget?
    -He also ought to know I profoundly dislike gadgets -- especially electronic ones. So again -- why?


    I sort of oscillate between being annoyed that he would get me something I do not like or want and feeling like an ingrate and feeling like I am a stranger to my father (and vice versa).


    The thing that bothers me is that now I have to figure a way for this thing to exit my life.

  2. #2
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    coming from the meditation practice angle, I can say that often gifts are a way for people to try and connect. I was pretty hard on my mom around gifts for many years but now as my kids are grown it is harder to get gifts just right, and hard that I don't see them all the time even though that is totally appropriate for their ages. very honestly, I forget these things about my own kids. I realized that I can recall my kids over the 18, 22, or 25 years of their lives meanwhile they are clearly paying attention to the 3 years or 5 years that they had something very specific like not using sugar in coffee. Something I probably should have known, but I am recalling 25 years and not just the adult years.

    Does that make sense? I have realized that the things I think my mom or my kids or someone else 'should' know about me are not necessarily what they remember when they go to buy a gift. And maybe he is just not paying attention, but I would pay more attention to how that makes you feel connected or dis-connected to him than what he should do.

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    Interesting thoughts.

    The thing that really bothers me is that now I have to get rid of this thing in a way that will be acceptable if (no... when!) he asks me about it.


    And I know people use gifts to try to connect. Most of the time I find this troubling and even saddening.

    Fishing is something one does, not something one has. I'd rather he just go fishing with me.

  4. #4
    Senior Member herbgeek's Avatar
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    Our culture really encourages giving things over shared experience/spending time with people. If you don't give a gift, what do you do instead? (that's rhetorical- my supposition of how most people feel about this) . He DID give you something in your field of interest, which does show he is at least listening to some degree. He likely doesn't really know how to share your passion with you. Yes, you'll have to get rid of the gadget, maybe some young person you meet while fishing would be just delighted to have such a gadget, but I bet your dad's heart was in the right place.

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    Quote Originally Posted by herbgeek View Post
    Our culture really encourages giving things over shared experience/spending time with people. If you don't give a gift, what do you do instead? (that's rhetorical- my supposition of how most people feel about this) . He DID give you something in your field of interest, which does show he is at least listening to some degree. He likely doesn't really know how to share your passion with you. Yes, you'll have to get rid of the gadget, maybe some young person you meet while fishing would be just delighted to have such a gadget, but I bet your dad's heart was in the right place.
    He probably did mean well.

    But still...

    My sis and I got Ancestry DNA tests for my mom and dad. Though this was partly for selfish reasons. haha

    My mom thinks she is Irish. But we know of no one in our family is was from Ireland. Granted, there is a lot of fog in my parents' backgrounds though. My mom's dad was a doorstep baby -- just dropped off at a nunnery. And my dad's dad was not really his bio-dad -- he was the product of an affair.

    My sis and I are banking on my mom not being Irish at all. Then we can finally get her to drop the obsession with Irish stuff.


    But back to the fishing gadget. I might tell a white lie. I could just say: "Dad, I was out in the canoe in rough weather and I flipped. The device was lost in the murky depths."

    Another option is to give it to my BIL (he also likes fishing). He is a hoarder and will take almost anything. lol

  6. #6
    Moderator Float On's Avatar
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    or you could try (if he asks), "Dad, thanks for the thoughtful gift. I tried it and found it didn't work for me. I found someone who wanted to give it a try and I bought some hooks, bait, or my 2016 license or whatever. I will think of you every time I fish this year. Thank you." Using "Thank you" and "Thoughtful" several times are key.
    Float On: My "Happy Place" is on my little kayak in the coves of Table Rock Lake.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Float On View Post
    or you could try (if he asks), "Dad, thanks for the thoughtful gift. I tried it and found it didn't work for me. I found someone who wanted to give it a try and I bought some bait or this year's license or whatever. I will think of you every time I fish this year. Thank you." Using "Thank you" and "Thoughtful" several times are key.
    Not bad... not bad at all. I will strongly consider this new option.

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    I was gonna say - sell it.

    I've learned to keep things in their original package, unopened if possible, for selling or regifting.

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    Senior Member ctg492's Avatar
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    Oh saying thank you or using it when he is around may mean a great deal to him. That old phrase, he won't be around forever. I just took the China set after 1 1/2 years of mom passing and Dad saying Take the China! I hate that China, I don't want the clutter, but if it made the man feel good and I just dumped it in a cardboard box, what difference did it make really.

    Going a step farther after the event of getting rid of mom's things. I have decided when the day comes that I have to liquidate the home, NOT happening , I will call brother (lazy, mooch man) and say take it all. I want nothing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ctg492 View Post
    Oh saying thank you or using it when he is around may mean a great deal to him. That old phrase, he won't be around forever. I just took the China set after 1 1/2 years of mom passing and Dad saying Take the China! I hate that China, I don't want the clutter, but if it made the man feel good and I just dumped it in a cardboard box, what difference did it make really.

    Going a step farther after the event of getting rid of mom's things. I have decided when the day comes that I have to liquidate the home, NOT happening , I will call brother (lazy, mooch man) and say take it all. I want nothing.
    Here is my issue with this strategy: It creates a monster I'll have to continuously feed with my space, money, mental energy, and time.

    He used to mail me boxes of miscellany every month or two for several years. I'd have to sell or give away stuff or store it some place in my apartment.

    I know he won't be around forever. And having that stuff he gave me won't change that.

    I also think that he is in charge of his own emotions. His emotions are in his charge.
    So I don't want to just let him hoard up my life to make him feel good (temporarily!).

    What different does it make if I store all the stuff he gives me in cardbord boxes? It means the difference between a cluttered living space and clean living space. It means the difference between renting a studio apartment and a one or two bedroom place with a garage. So it means real money. It also means dividing my attention between the things I want to do and cleaning, organizing, moving, maintaining the stuff he gives me.

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