Accepting gifts gracefully


I had a wedding to go to recently and I was in a quandary. Do I buy new clothes since everything in my closet is too big , too small or woefully inappropriate. This close to Christmas, should I spend the money. I’m losing weight -due to my recent discovery of the joy of Zumba- so wouldn’t it be silly to buy clothes. On and on I went with reasons not to buy a dress. Then it was the day before the wedding and I still had nothing to wear. So, I called on my friends to let me browse their closets. They of course were happy to oblige. Unfortunately, while their clothes are definitely gorgeous, my very specific body issues (I HATE my upper arms) made it impossible to find anything. Stunning dress after stunning dress left me ready to drop kick the mirror. Why?! Why don’t they make dresses with sleeves anymore?!

One of my best friends called me that night and since we were both in town she suggested we meet at a nearby clothing store. There I tried on multiple items but unable to decide on anything I was going to leave empty handed. To my surprise and consternation my friend took it upon herself to buy me 3 items she felt looked good on me. I loved the clothes but having someone buy me gifts just for the sake of doing it is not something I am comfortable with. I, of course, handled it with grace and dignity. Uh, right! Embarrassed, I asked her not to, told her I wouldn’t take them and essentially acted like a petulant two year old. She, of course, was quietly gracious and understanding. Ha! She made a show of ripping the tags off the clothes so that the store would not take them back and when I “maturely” stated i just wouldn’t keep them, proclaimed, “Fine! Take them to Goodwill!”
All this right in the store in front of an amused/astonished cashier. Laughing at my discomfort my friend handed the bag over and proudly marched out of the store.

She then proceeded to lecture me on accepting gifts from people and listed examples of kind things people had done for her and how she was happy to accept the offerings, gratefully and with decorum.
It should be noted here that this friend is one of the sweetest, most giving people I know. She takes the time too boost people up when they are down, make them smile and feel cared for both in her professional and personal life. I have seen her spend time with elderly clients well beyond what could ever be expected of her, treating them like friends or even family simply because she knew they didn’t have anyone else. It’s kinda hard not to love and do nice things for someone like her.

After a narrowly non-violent fight over the dinner bill and a phone call later in the evening which included another round of admonishments about my inability to accept gifts. I think it would have been easier to just to quietly take what she offered but I just couldnt seem to do it. Yeesh! Why do I have such a hard time with it? No idea. Have I learned a lesson here? Uh……..yeah, that’s it.

So the clothes hang in my closet, a reminder to me that its ok to let someone do something nice for me once in a while and to accept it graciously. -I’m grimacing as I write this part. I guess it will have to be a work in progress.


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