My Best Friend Doesn't Give the Best Birthday Gifts

3 years ago

Dear Mouthy Housewives,

My best friend always gives me turquoise jewelry for my birthday, which would be great except it's totally not my style. She's been doing it for about 10 years, so how am I supposed to now admit that I don't like it? I usually just regift it or give it to my daughter, but it would be nice to get something I actually like! Am I being ungrateful?!


Unturquoise Me!

Credit Image: Maegan Tintari on Flickr

Dear Unturquoise Me,

How can you not like turquoise jewelry? It’s so bluish and greenish and semi-precious. And it really makes my eyes pop! Please reconsider.

Unless it’s because you are a human being, with your own taste and likes and dislikes? That sounds a little “out there” to me, but I suppose anything is possible. Actually, what I find the most alarming about your question is that in 10 years your best friend has never once noticed that you don’t wear the jewelry that she gifted you. Unless you have been going through a routine of donning the turquoise whenever she is around, in which case I totally understand why she showers you with it.

For me the question about gifts (besides, “how do I get more?”) is – should it be something that the giftee wants or something that the gifter wants to introduce the giftee to? When I was a teenager, for years, every gift I gave my parents was soap on a rope, just because I thought it was an amazingly clever novelty item. At some point my dad had to gently tell me that he was all set in the soap on a rope department and no longer had storage space for the overflow. So it wasn’t about what I as a gifter wanted to give. On the other hand, if you know that I love Godiva chocolates (extra-large box, please), do you give me that, year after year, or do you try to expand my palate with some delicacies that you yourself enjoy? 

You are going to have to bring this up with your friend. If her birthday is coming up, ask her for suggestions of what she would like to receive and offer some as to what you would like for yours. And even if her birthday is nowhere close, you can say something casual, like “Hey, you know what I’d love for my birthday?” If she brings up the turquoise, let her know that you appreciate it, but that it is now more your daughter’s style than yours. Chances are she didn’t buy stock in turquoise and will be happy to get you a gift that you will enjoy.

Good luck,

Marinka, TMH

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