Social Question

Coloma's avatar

How do you feel about,and do you know anyone that passes off their sloppy leftover food and second hand items as "gifts"?

Asked by Coloma (39345 points ) December 12th, 2012

I have this “friend”, ( I think she considers me more of a friend than I do her ) that has this weird habit of bringing me her crappy leftover food and presenting it as some sort of amazing “gift”. lol
She also gives old and defective items to others and it is SO obvious to me that really, her “gifts” are more about just unloading the crap she can’t bear to throw away. I was sick last week and this woman shows up with 4 day old tuna casserole, a bag of black bananas, top ramen and a can of canned Salmon. She then proceeds to dance around my kitchen all excited, telling my all the ways I can “enjoy” her bountiful harvest! Really? I find it so insulting, considering she has about 500k in the bank and while I am not as well off as her I am certainly not a charity case by any stretch of the imagination. Last year she “gifted” me her leftover ham carcass and gave my daughter and her boyfriend a filthy, dirty, ancient microwave for their new apartment. I am really starting to hate this woman. haha It is just so OBVIOUS that she is “giving” all of her unwanted crap. Infact, funny enough, she had just told me that she had cleaned out her fridge and freezer and then, passes off her black bananas to me, under the guise of bringing me some stuff when I was home sick. How would you handle this, just keep smiling and being polite or straight up start questioning her whenever she says “I have something for you!”
Personally I think I am going to start grilling her on just what she has in mind and then telling her,“No thanks, I don’t want that and won’t use it.”

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38 Answers

JenniferP's avatar

Once I went to this baby shower. I gave them a couple of beanie babies that I already had as gifts and a ten dollar bill. They were in good condition. I felt a little guilty but that’s what I did.

Coloma's avatar

@JenniferP I don’t consider that insulting, but we’re talking ham carcasses here and putrified Bananas that are even beyond the Banana bread phase. haha

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Hey, you just described my RIP grandmother. Giver of all things hideous.

Coloma's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe Dear Gawd….what are they thinkin’? 0-o

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@Coloma In her case, not much.

KNOWITALL's avatar

My auntie is like that, too. She means well she is just not materialistic and is very mindful of the state of our earth and planet, so she recycles a lot, including gifts and food. I’ve dumpster-dived with her when I was younger, and she truly does all that with a loving heart.

I’d be thankful your ‘friend’ thought of you and if you have to pitch the food or whatever, just consider that some people go to bed hungry.

Coloma's avatar

@KNOWITALL I agree that beggars can’t be choosers, but this is not the case.
If a “friend” is going to bring another sick friend a few items so they do not have to leave their house for a couple of days when they are sick, you should not bring them ridiculous crap and feel all proud of yourself.
Personally I find those that disguise their giving a bunch of crap to someone as a “gift”, to be insulting.
I believe in preserving peoples dignity and not adding insult to injury.

Sure, that chewed on half a sandwich and your half eaten apple might keep the poor homeless guy alive another day, but it is degrading to their dignity. I do have gratitude for the thought behind the giving, but there is also a line, where pawning off your unwanted crap on someone is an affront, which is how I feel with this woman.
I’d be embarrassed to give someone a can of Salmon and a bunch of rotten bananas.
When it comes to gift giving I think better to give nothing at all than an insultingly cheap gift. Especially when it’s coming from someone who has a boatload of cash.

Sorry…it’s insulting.

Like dressing developmentally disabled people in mismatched clown clothes. Really!

KNOWITALL's avatar

We can agree to disagree. You find it insulting, I find it thoughtful. It comes down to being judgemental or having an attitude of gratitude imo. :)

Coloma's avatar

@KNOWITALL IF I was starving and penniless yes, but that is not the case. Agreed to disagree.

McCool's avatar

I would be insulted. But, if she’s well-meaning then maybe you can just sit her down for a talk. Just tell her that while you appreciate her “gifts” you end up not using them and that she might want to consider giving them to someone who can. Hopefully she’ll take the hint. If she insists on bringing food still, be honest and tell her to stop.

Or, you can claim to be a vegan with many, MANY food allergies.

Coloma's avatar

@McCool My sentiments exactly. I am not an ungrateful person in the least, but, there is a line. Thanks for your sharing. :-)

KNOWITALL's avatar

Perhaps the situation itself reveals her thought processes aren’t the same as other people’s by the decisions she makes. Seems to me it’s like kicking a dog who’s giving you kisses. sad.

Coloma's avatar

Yes, I figure I will just say ” Oh, what do you have in mind” and then when she tells me I can politely say “Oh, well, I appreciate your thinking of me, but really, I don’t want, won’t use” whatever it is.

@KNOWITALL Not sure what you mean about “kicking a dog that’s giving you kisses.”
I would never do that, but, if the dog has 4 day old, dried out tuna casserole on their breath I might not kiss them. Yeah, true. lol
I do agree though, one persons idea of a gift, can be anothers insult.

McCool's avatar

@KNOWITALL maybe she does think she is being thoughtful, however I don’t see anything wrong with telling someone who insists on giving you things you don’t want the truth. If I were that lady I might be a little upset at first, but then I would be glad that this person, who I consider a friend by Coloma’s description, was honest with me and then use my gifts for someone else.

KNOWITALL's avatar

And if you make her cry and hurt her feelings, that’s okay? It’s so much better than just throwing the food away?
It all sounds unnecessarily hurtful for someone who may have other issues going on.

Coloma's avatar

@McCool Right! Plus….then I feel like I have to tell her how much I enjoyed the whatever crap it is, and I don’t like to lie, not even little white lies if I don’t have to. I agree, it is best to be honest and tell her “thanks, but no thanks, I just won’‘t use that.”

@KNOWITALL You’re projecting a LOT more here than is the reality. Nobody will end up crying let me assure you. Big girls don’t cry, they have adult discussions about uncomfortable things and she doesn’t have any issues going on. Where did all THAT come from? :-/

The only ISSUE is the OBVIOUS pawning off of weirdness because this person is an extremely frugal type and would rather “gift” her freaking hambone than toss it in the trash, without first ASKING…“Hey, do you want my leftover ham carcass to make something with?” It is disingenuous IMO.

KNOWITALL's avatar

Me projecting? You use the word friend in quotes in your Q and are truly making fun of this eccentric person in your life who gives you and your family things, obviously because she cares.

I feel we all have a responsiblity to each other as human beings not to be unnecessarily hurtful, even be kind to each other.

She’s trying to be nice to you, that’s all, what’s the big deal?
If she’s all there mentally then go for it, otherwise it’s cruel. I know you’re a business person and all that, Coloma, but Jeez….it all sounds so cold-hearted.

I think I’ll log out, I see no redeeming kindness on fluther today.

Coloma's avatar

@KNOWITALL Has nothing to do with kindness, I would never hurt this persons feelings, however, I do not want to have to LIE when she asks me if I enjoyed some weird thing that I actually threw away. It would be different IF the vibe was not disingenuous. I am kind but I think that it is better to “screen” what she has in mind rather than be dishonest when she asks me if I used the dead bananas or enjoyed the stale tuna casserole.
Again, we have to agree to disagree, but don’t paint me black because I prefer honesty to lying.

KNOWITALL's avatar

It has everything to do with kindness, Coloma, you are not getting where I’m coming from at all. Your entire post has mocked your friends kindness, seriously. Why can’t you keep it to yourself, or throw it away and move on?

Instead of lying, why don’t you say “oh, unfortunately I didn’t use them right away and they ended up being rotten by the time I got to it”...if you do that a few times, maybe she’ll realize what’s going on is that you’re not using her ‘gifts’ and will stop w/o any feelings being hurt.

As someone else mentioned, brutal honesty can be hurtful so use it wisely if you actually care about another person’s feelings.

Symbeline's avatar

LOL, ham carcass. You have a way with words that I like. XD

But I don’t know anybody like that, not anyone that gives near spoiled food or nasty ol microwaves. I don’t think I’d mind much if that happened to me, unless the food really was no good. I mean if someone brought me black bananas, I’d tell them I have no need for them and to please stop bringing me that stuff. But in your case, your best bet would be to ask her to stop this. Otherwise she won’t stop, and it will continue to annoy you.

McCool's avatar

@KNOWITALL You are assuming this person is not mentally stable enough to handle honesty, and I think that’s a bit insulting. It’s treating her like a naive child. She’s not, she’s an adult. I know you are coming from a good place and being considerate to another’s feelings, but I don’t see why Coloma has to accept something she doesn’t want.

Coloma's avatar

@McCool Thank you for understanding where I am coming from.
@KNOWITALL YOU might be hurt and offended, but don’t assume another would be.
I don’t like to lie and I don’t like to make up excuses. I consider those traits to be kind and if a relationship is worth having at all it should be based on honesty not phoney pretense.
I can easily offer something to another and if they decline I take no offense at all. I do this with my daughter all the time and she can honestly say ” No, honestly I/we ( her boyfriend and she) don’t want/ can’t use XYZ.
Give me a little more credit than blatantly blurting out some unkind or offensive words, that would never happen, I am EXTREMELY diplomatic in my realtionships.

@Symbeline LOL…yes, well…I am a descriptive type and you know my sense of humor.

Lord….methinks the collective vibe is really outta whack this week, and a helluva a lot of HYPERSENSITIVITY is getting slung around.
I should have known this would go to hell in a hand basket in a nano second.

FutureMemory's avatar

That story is just priceless, Coloma. I think I’ll take a screen shot.

“I know you’re a business person..” LOL

Coloma's avatar

@FutureMemory LOL….and just WHAT does that have to do with being the recipient of rotten fucking bananas? Haha Thanks, I know I can always count on you to see the irony in something. :-P

Coloma's avatar

Sadly I am out of happy brownies, I sure could use one right now, might make those rotten bananas a little more palatable. hahaha

Seek's avatar

I’d make banana bread anyway, then drop by her house to share your bounty. Let her eat her own rotten bananas.

Coloma's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr ZING! perfect! lol

Coloma's avatar

Except I am afraid they might be full of ecoli or some other hideous black banana bacteria.
I mean there are banana bread bananas and then there are compost bananas,big. dif.
I will keep that in mind for next time. haha

Coloma's avatar

Everybody sing…..

Deck the halls with black bananas,fa la la la lala la la laaaaa
Tis the season to get botulism, fa la la la lala la la laaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

Seek's avatar

Ham bones dripping with bacteria, fa la la, la la la, la la la
Ain’t you glad for neighbors near ya’? Fa la la la laaa, la la. la. la.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Coloma Okay, you’re right, I should give you credit….it all just smacks of rudeness to me but I’m not in your world. peace.

Coloma's avatar

Dip into that old canned salmon fa la la la la la la la laaaaa
whip it up with crushed top ramen fa la la la la la la la la laaaaaa

@KNOWITALL No problem, no hard feelings, it is what it is and what it is, is, icky stuff. :-)

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Fact from fiction, truth from diction. First thing is to get pride out of the way. It seem slightly more about your pride, ”not being a charity case” then what she is doing. She might in many instances actually believe she is extending the life of a product or meal. You said she had 500k +/- in the bank; she did not get that being foolish with money unless her family has so much they could burn a dump truck full everyday and not think of it.

If you don’t want to get stuck with it, find ways she can still use it to help; find her people who really need that help. I am sure there are homeless in your town. If there are it is not too hard to know where they hang out. Tell her she can take that ham carcass and make same an noodle soup and take them down to the down trodden and fed them! Believe me, they are not going to quibble if it is 5 days old; if it is eatable and doesn’t smell rancid or foul, they will be glad to eat what is left over. The items she can store up then one afternoon just place “free stuff” on a sign and most of it will disappear. That ancient micro wave might be too ancient for you, but to someone who has none, it beats a zero. You can suggest she take it to a local hospice; get creative you can give her some targets that really need it other than you, and you do not have to sit around feeling insulted. Just something to think of, I know it would seem annoying because it seem she is giving you 2nd hand stuff, but there is more than one way to Rome; the road she is on my not be the same but she believes she is going to the same place.

Seek's avatar

HOLYCRAP! He broke out “Fact from fiction”. I haven’t heard that in FOREVER!

Coloma's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central I hear ya, and you have a good point, I guess you can call it “pride”, but I really don’t, I just think it is WEIRD!
Not that the intentions might not be good, but, since I consider us “equals” and it would never occur to me to give someone that has plenty some bizarre stuff like that. If I was going to take a sick friend some extra food it would be some really QUALITY stuff.
The last time my daughter was sick I took her $40 worth of juices and popcicles and fruits and soups and cold medicine, not rotten bananas and canned salmon. lol

Brian1946's avatar

Apparently some people consider a garbage truck to be “meals on wheels”. ;-)

Coloma's avatar

@Brian1946 Haha…it’s just so bizarre what some people consider to be “gifts.”
I mean, I can’t be the only one that thinks it’s just plain, strange.

Shippy's avatar

When life gives you black bananas make banana bread!

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