Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Let's talk about being gifted stuff you never wanted in the first place.

I have been "gifted" some weird stuff in my time.

And by gifted I don't mean actual presents. I have been given some pretty amazing presents over the years, and usually they are things I have wanted. By gifted I mean being given stuff from someone else I never wanted, needed or asked for in the first place.

There have been a few moments when this has been helpful. I said no to my mum's 'rocking chair' when I first moved out of home, and it still sits  in my craft room today. I've been given a few fold out beds which have been actually helpful seeing as people keep coming to stay. But, for the most part, I have been given some pretty frustrating things.

A friend once gave me eight green bags of books (I love books), but with the premise that I couldn't give them away because she might want them back at some stage. It's been six years and she hasn't. Most of these have found their way to the op shop, or have been given to people who actually need those textbooks.

We have a 'rock collection' in two specially made tables that live in the study. I hate these rock tables, but they were given to Stephen and they are a family heirloom thing or something so we need to keep them. There are a lot of jokes about these tables being accidentally broken, but I don't think they are appreciated.

I have been given a really lovely blankety quilty withing with tiny mirrored glass that falls out, and I'm not sure if it is supposed to be a wallhanging or an actual useful thing, but it seems dangerous to have it around food. It's been at the bottom of the linen press for two years, and I really want to hang it up, but seeing as this isn't our house, we can't have hooks drilled in to support its weight.

We have sentimental bowls, cutlery, and plastic containers that we need to have Admittedly some of this is mine from our wedding, but what I really wanted to be gifted is actual Tupperware (not plastic other people called Tupperware), but who gives that away? Pretty much no one.

We have an incredible amount of stuff that people have entrusted to us to keep special and sacred, but they have decided they cannot be the keeper of such things. Because they didn't want them that much anyway.

And I write this post because we are now at the stage, and have been for ages, of looking at what we have and saying 'you know, I don't actually need a filing cabinet' (which I don't but Stephen does). And the hard thing is that a lot of this gifted stuff really needs to go, but we can't because feelings will be hurt.

Why do we get gifted so much stuff in the first place?
To be honest, it starts when you move out of home, and people are like 'poor you, here have something of mine I don't want anymore'. Which is great, but if they don't want it, why do you need to have it if you don't want it either?

It's all about obligation, and that's what makes life messy.

In fairness, we have done pretty well with getting rid of things like six mismatched chairs that belonged to a friend of a friend, or selling a couch a friend left in our garage for two years and didn't want back. Things that were never ours like a broken futon or leftover bits of antenna were collected by scrappers last year.

But people keep offering us things. We don't need things! Have you been to our house?! We have things coming out of our ears. As we have discovered, silence is the same as saying yes, and no also means maybe.

What makes me actually sad about this is that I worry that my treasures, like my ultra expensive day bed and my much less expensive but favourite piece of furniture (the bakers stand) is going to have to go to make way for a rock collection and another filing cabinet we don't need.

I'm just a bit grumpy and under the weather today, and my statements probably aren't called for, but sometimes, seriously, I would like to crawl under my non-covered-by-mirrors doona and have a really big sulk.