This has nothing to do with religion or anything pertaining to why we are here. But it's a safe place to ask a question. 


My wife loves to buy me gifts. It's a nice thing. I'm thankful for her. But there is a rub. If I buy something for myself that I like, she will buy me a carbon copy of it. Or when she's being original, there is a reason that I don't have what she bought me. A couple of examples...


Electric Razor. $150. Nice. She didn't have that kind of money when she bought it for me. I've used it once because they tear up my face. But I felt guilty so I said "I can't let her waste money on gifts in the future."

I buy a North Face Black Shell Windproof coat. Has some style and I start to wear it everywhere. Next birthday I get a Arcteryx jacket that is virtually identical and frankly not as functional. So now I have $370 worth of nearly identical coats. But I can't wear the one I like best because the second one was a gift.

Years ago I get a MP3 player. Cool. On/Off, Play, Next or previous song. It's small and only 256MB. Perfect. I have 100 songs or so on it and it's in the closet. I haven't listened to it in years. She gave me her old 8MB I-Pod because she wanted a touch (which never comes out of the glove box by the way). I put it in my truck and I've had it out maybe twice in three years. I have an Android Phone as well. She bought me a I-Pod Touch with the Nike running thing. So now I have a I-Pod that I'm expected to run with, when the ear buds don't stay in, I don't like anything in my pockets when I run, it doesn't work out on hikes where I would use it, and I still only have 200 songs on a 32 GB I-Pod. I tried to move towards returning it... She had an inscription put on it. FUCK! 


Am I alone in that I would really rather never receive another gift? If people buy you something similar to what you like, you can't use what you like anymore. How can I redirect people from buying me things politely? 


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Maybe you could find a way to tell her the next time she buys you a gift you would like to be an experiential one. Suggest that she take you out to nice restaurant and treat you to dinner or pay for a couple nights in a cool little town on the coast or up in the mountains or get tickets to a concert or a show or to some other event you two can enjoy together.

I had the same problem, I finally just told her how I felt. For me the breaking point was a digital picture frame.


It caused a huge fight and her feelings were hurt but guess what else. No more lame gifts. Just be careful because its probably going to upset her at least a little. That was a few years ago and now she even jokes about it.

I have this same problem with my mom. She used to get me crazy stuff I never used--a cup for holding change in the car--I never KEEP change in the car, of any type, a tiny vacuum that I knew would have no sucking power that was supposed to be for my car--it just sat in my closet for a year, until she needed gifts for someone, and I was able to re-gift it, in a sense.

She also got me a digital photo frame. It was like $40, which I understand isn't a lot, but I am a miserly person. If I don't need it, I don't get it. Especially if it's worth multiple notebooks or a night out.

What helped, I think, is me moving away, but I also got beaten and yelled at for saying "...why would you get me a digital picture frame?". For being "unthankful". When of course, there is some actual stuff I would have LOVED for christmas, she got me cheap crap that would break after a few months or not work well to begin with. Do you see my problem here? My indulgence is PENS. I would be happy with $25-35 worth of them for christmas, and some notebooks. It's a cheap indulgence. But when I see things like a $8 change-counting mug, a $25 crappy car vacuum, and a $40 digital photo frame, all of which I'll never use....mrrr....just say something, or at least, take the more understanding parent aside, or choose them on a good day, when they complain about not having enough money--outright volunteer this: "Well you don't need to get me any more gifts, really, that will help." Or something like that. I'm bad with being blunt with people who expect their gifts to always be taken with a smile and hearty thank you.

The good news is this translates into the boyfriend knowing exactly what to get me. He got me the first season of Stargate SG-1 a while back(oh man this show is so atheist--near the end the main villains are the Ori, ascended beings who demand to be worshipped because it makes them a little more powerful--the religion is the exact same as christianity. SCORE!), for valentine's day he has suggested picadilly notebooks(I've wanted some for a while but have put it off) or a new mouse--since my old one is kinda crappy.

-so be open about what you DO want and what you already have, and what you actually need, should you want something. Don't be afraid to outright send them links to stuff or show them what you want. Sometimes, waving it in their face is the only reason the brain cells connect to "oh, I should get this for them."

-the ipod one is so true. Retire it, sell it on ebay(someone will buy it, even with the inscription),  and use your little 256 mb one or find another one that's only 1gb--I had a 4gb one for the longest time, and for some people, that's ALL THEY NEED. My sister has had an 8gb for YEARS and still hasn't managed to fill it up. I, on the other hand, am a prolific album collector and have something like 60-70gb in my 80gb video ipod(which I still use on long trips because it's just...better than listening to country/rap the entire way). So different for everyone--no one in my family besides me needs more than an 8gb ipod. My phone is a 16gb iphone, and I am constantly teetering on the edge of filling it up. I hate having to make choices but I try to keep the most recent music in there plus some serious favorites. My sister's identical iphone? Barely anything.

---Seriously, just sell it. Tell her it's way too much for you, it's like getting an Alienware(souped-up gaming computer and several thousand $$$) when you only need a basic toshiba. It's a nice gift, but your needs are not met by it. I will compare it to the people I see who use really really nice Macbookpros for word processing--that's it. No gaming, no video cutting, just going online, and typing up papers. When there are a bajillion other, much cheaper laptops out there that will do the same thing, just as well. Try to explain this to her.



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