When I was in high school I shared my locker with one my closest friends. One morning he was waiting for me outside first period class and look terrified. Before I could ask what his issue was, he began to rant about how our locker had been compromised and some stalkerish shit was going on. He was behaving like a character in a teenage horror flick. He told me he opened it up and found dead flowers, old notes, and jewelry in there. I got to my locker and he wasn’t lying. Inside was everything I had given to my then ex-girlfriend of 2 days. She broke up with me over the weekend due to unconsolidated issues of her own and decided to return everything. The dead flowers were a bit creepy, but fortunately the hallways were laced with trash cans. I collected the jewelry and stared at it wondering what the hell was I going to do with it. Then I had a light-bulb moment, well more like a flashing-sign moment, and the sign read “Jewelry Exchange.” As soon as school let out, my friend and I headed downtown and traded the items in. We walked out with our new bling feeling pretty jiggy I must say. That was a long time ago though, but still I wonder how people handle similar situations.
I don’t think my actions as a teenager were wrong. I bought the gifts with my own money and they were returned to me. I couldn’t wear them nor could I recycle and give to the next girl I pursued. Well I could, but if you think the world is small then high school didn’t give me much room to play. What else could I do with it? Back then her act of gift returning didn’t make much sense to me, but as I write this I realize she did the right thing , well excluding the dead flowers.* I didn’t do anything grimey and she ended it. Had she broke up with me and pawned all the jewelry, anyone I told the story to would call her all sorts of names under the sun. The real question is this; if someone buys you expensive gifts and you break up with that person for no good reason, should you return the items? If yes, do you factor in the type of gift?
Although equally expensive, I don’t believe electronic gifts are very symbolic. Certainly not as meaningful as jewelry. Some of you might disagree with that. Maybe it’s just me, but if I had money to burn I’d buy my homie a tv or something, but no chance in hell am I buying him a diamond-cut gold chain. If you still disagree that electronics and jewelry aren’t equally symbolic, then how come you have no issue watching the 50 inch flat-screen tv your mate’s ex bought, but you can’t stand the sight of them wearing the jewelry he or she received from the last person? In relationships, expensive jewelry is normally distributed as a sign of affection. Once the love and affection is out the window, what do you do with the merchandise? Do you keep it and never wear it, run to the nearest pawn shop, give it away, or return to sender? I can’t answer that for you, because it’s up to your morals and circumstance. I personally don’t expect anything** to be returned to me. I would just take it as a loss, perhaps a lesson learned and keep it moving. Correction, I do expect one thing to be returned.
There is one exception to returning policies and that is engagement rings. Recently I was informed that if a man proposes to a woman on Christmas or any gift-giving holiday, then legally she can keep the ring because it is considered a gift. It would take a new post for me to argue that horse shit, but bottom line a proposal is a proposal no matter what day of the year it falls on and the same rules apply. That being said, if a man proposes to a woman and gives her a huge rock to seal the deal, if for some reason they never make it to the altar I would expect the ring to be returned. That some reason may include but not limited to things like, he discovered she’s into bestiality, she has a deviated septum from cocaine use, or she makes Annie Wilkes look like a fairy. Why should the ring be returned you ask? For starters it’s the right thing to do (unless he gave you the clap or something). In addition, I’ve heard tales of women giving the engagement ring that their ex-fiance bought, to their new boyfriend and having him pawn it to put the money towards a new ring. That’s pretty foul if you ask me. What part of the game is that?
So, what would you do if your ex asked you for a gift(s) back?
Also, under what circumstances would you feel the need to return a gift?
– Vic Louis
* Returning dead flowers = Creepy
**Borrowed items are a different story…