When someone gives you a gift do they still have right to ask or judge how you use it?
The back story: This weekend my kinfolks were in town to celebrate my cousin’s debut entrance into society via a cotillion. Mom came bearing gifts for me, some where requested, some where things only a mom would pick out for their child and of course my personal favorite…a monetary gift! So cut to Sunday the family has gone to a brunch buffet and my uncle has paid for us all to gorge ourselves on crab legs, waffles, shrimp, omelets, etc. At the end of our feast it’s tipping time, everyone is throwing is money on the table, I throw in a $10 bill… End scene.
So I am talking with Mom yesterday about the weekend and other things and during a lull in the conversation my mom says “It really disappointed me that you threw in a $10 bill for a tip yesterday.” Saaaaaaaay what? Are you seriously coming at me like that? I mean I didn’t know which way to go in response to her statement because, despite us both being grown women living in separate houses...she is my mom. I couldn’t give her the snarky response I would have lobed at a peer...like "Well if you are going to be all up in my business then you should have known that I didn’t leave a $10 because I got change from the money in the center." *Sucks Teeth*
But even if I had lost my mind and felt like leaving a $10 tip for a buffet in these lean economic times what business is it of hers? Is it because I tipped using some of the money that she had given me? Was she entitled to form an oversight committee to watch how I used it? Do gift givers have the right, especially when the recipient didn't solicit the gift, to expect it to be used in a specific way?
The whole exchange got me to thinking about a homeless person holds a sign that states that they’ll work for food, should I be mad if they choose to use the money I bestowed to them on liquor? When a church has a food pantry, can the lady with no money and four hungry children really state that she and her kids don’t like eating generic foods? That they eat Honey Nut Cheerios not A&P’s Sweetened Oats? My first instint is to state "how dare they?!" But just because a person is in need, does that mean that they have to accept everything people want to give them? Does that mean they have to do everything their benefactors tell them to do?
What are reasonable expectations when giving and receiving gifts? Does the giver have the right to comment on how the gift is being used? Did I have the right to be offended by my mom’s disappointment?
Please care and share your two cents…
See You In Seven
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