Social Question

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

How do you respond to an extravagant gift?

Asked by WillWorkForChocolate (23098points) September 15th, 2012

One of my bffs showed up on Thursday with a brand new iPad as a gift for me. She apparently decided that since she loved hers so much, she wanted me to have one also.

At first, I told her I couldn’t accept it, but she was having none of that, so I said “thank you” a million times, and threatened her to not argue about me paying for our movie trips for about a year (at least)... but I felt like I couldn’t find the right words, and that my thank yous were inadequate.

Have you experienced receiving such an extravagant gift? If so, how did you respond? If not, how do you imagine you would respond?

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20 Answers

reijinni's avatar

Take it and let it become a dust collector and then sell it when she has forgotten all about it.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

@reijinni Oh, don’t get me wrong, I am in L-O-V-E with my new toy. I just felt so inadequate with my thanks/appreciation/promise of purchasing all movie tickets for a year… I’ve never had anyone buy me something so expensive just because they felt like it.

Coloma's avatar

Just say ” Wow, how nice, THANK YOU!”
She WANTED to do something extra special for you, and unless she is a manipulative type that “gives” to indebt others to her, just embrace the gift and don’t fall all over yourself with offers to reciprocate.
A gift does not mean you OWE her anything other than your usual contributions to the friendship. Enjoy! :-)

bkcunningham's avatar

You have a wonderful friend, @WillWorkForChocolate, who obviously feels that you are a wonderful friend. That’s all. It is full of love. Accept it. Enjoy it. Wallow in it. Dance and sing with the feeling. It is a great compliment to your character. Make sure you write her a beautiful heartfelt thank you note…and pay for the popcorn too.

bkcunningham's avatar

And stop focusing on the cost. She may have gotten a bargain. Don’t mention the price to your friend again. It is the thought of the gift; regardless of the cost.

ucme's avatar

I say something like “Oh you shouldn’t have.”
When really i’m thinking “Took you long enough.”

wonderingwhy's avatar

As a giver, the bug eye’d, jaw-dropped, face with occasional stagger is pretty much reward enough. I don’t admit it but deep down it’s also a small way I can thank them for being them and sharing that with me. So in a way there’s really nothing for them to thank me for in the first place. From my pov as a receiver, we’re sort of past the point where we need to do more than thank each other (profusely). Inevitably, we find some way to do more than just say thanks, even if it’s never acknowledged as such. But then that’s that’s one of the great things about having a best friend like that, there is no obligation or necessity, just love and sharing in each others happiness.

wonderingwhy's avatar

Oh and addressing your tag as to whether you owe her sex now? I wouldn’t say you “owe” her but that certainly sounds like a win-win all the way around to me.

marinelife's avatar

I think that you do not owe her movies for a year. Think about when you give gfits. You don’t do it in expectation of what you will get back, do you?

You should give her the gift of accepting that she did something that she wanted to do.

Sit down and writer her a nice note thanking her again for the gift. Tell her how you are using it or how it has made your life better. That will be all that’s necessary.

Pandora's avatar

I agree with @bkcunningham. I bought my daughter 300 dollar speakers that only cost me 80 because they were on sale and I had a coupon for extra off on any purchase in the store. Even the stuff that was on sale already.

Bellatrix's avatar

She can obviously afford to buy it and she loves you and values your friendship. Just accept it and love it. She will have received joy from being able to give you this thing.

Coloma's avatar

I LOVE being generous, it makes me just as happy as the person I am giving to!
Yes, I think it is important to SHARE, mutually, in the joy of giving AND receiving!
Being able to graciously receive is just as important as being able to give from a place of true genuineness. :-)

filmfann's avatar

A coworker and I talked privately about some terrible things that happened to him many years ago. A few days later, he handed me a letter, thanking me for always helping him with work problems, and also for listening to him bare his soul regarding the private issues. Inside the card was a gift certificate for $200 to a very nice restaurant.
I was stunned. I hadn’t done anything that I hadn’t done a thousand times before for anyone I work with.
I gave him back the gift certificate, over his strong objections, and stressed that the thank you card meant more to me than he could imagine.

JLeslie's avatar

It depends who it is from. From my parents I would accept it and thank them. I would tell them as days or weeks went by about how much I love it, or how it was useful, etc.

If it was a friend I might say it is too extravagant and try to refuse it, it would depend on the friend and the item. Most of the time probably not, most of the time I would probably graciously accept and thank them. I would hope to do something for them in the future, but not because I feel indebted, but because usually I feel like I want to do something back that they will appreciate also.

Furthermore, if they are much wealthier than me, an extravagance to me might not be very much money to them, so that changes the dynamic also sometimes. If I give something rather generous to someone who has very little means, I never ever would expect them to try to repay it somehow with some sort of gift themselves. I don’t expect reciprocal gifts at all anyway from anyone, but especially not if I was trying to do something very specific for someone who could not afford something they really wanted. If they worry about buying my lunch or paying for a movie, then now they have spent more money than they would have, so it works the opposite of what I wanted for them.

gailcalled's avatar

I would be thrilled and gracious and happy but not eternally rhapsodic.

If I gave someone an extravagant gift that I could afford, I would take pleasure in the giving and certainly not expect any quid pro quo.

Tell her you’ll pay it forward when your ship comes in.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

Thanks guys. I talked to her about it again today, and thanked her ever so much. She says she’s just tickled pink that I’m enjoying it, and wants to go see a movie this next week, complete with a large bag of butter with a little popcorn in it, LOL!

I will add that she only had the money to do this because she sold off her recently deceased father’s coin collection. We’re typically very even, money wise. The whole “who’s paying for the movie and food today” thing has been an ongoing joke between us. We always play fight over who can pay the ticket lady the quickest. I only threatened her with it because I knew it would make her laugh, and maybe she won’t feel guilty when I beat her to paying for a while.

@wonderingwhy I actually joked with her about that and she just laughed and said, “If you saw me naked, you’d run screaming.” God, how I love her.

6rant6's avatar

I think you should send her a card saying how much you are enjoying the gift. That’s the thing that I’d like as a gift giver.

cookieman's avatar

I’ll let you know if I ever get one, but I think you handled it well.


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