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TheGecko

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LW (letter writer) sends a text to their faraway sibling "Pat" thanking them for the thoughtful gift they received and really liked. Turns out that Pat sent two gifts to two siblings and mixed up the mailing labels. Pat then insisted (according to the LW) that the LW trade gifts with the other sibling. Then called the other sibling's spouse to inform them of the mix up rather than trust the LW to handle the situation.

The LW feels that Pat should have left well enough alone since they had expressed appreciation for the gift and sent a similarly thoughtful gift to the other similar sibling to rectify things. The LW has never been in this situation and feels that they are getting the short end of the stick.


So I am in discussion with someone named Billie who has assumed that TheGecko is a man. I had responded to someone else saying that just because they liked what the received doesn't mean that they get to keep it...that it wasn't theirs and with no indication of what they were supposed to have received, they were being entitled. Their (Billie) response what that "if you send something to someone, you have indeed given them a gift. To take it back, from a sibling or good friend, can be done with some delicacy. But to create a national emergency about it, clumsily organizing that the other siblings spouse immediately come over after asking LW to make the exchange, is kind of bizarre."

I then asked where they were getting their information since there was no indication that the sibling's spouse went over. Billie's response was that she worked in tech hand had been man'splained to death and then assumed that I was male and that I was missing the subtext. And went on (paraphrased for brevity) about how this was like the chalkboard labels that she purchases to store her crap in and how they weren't talking about something that irreplaceable of expensive, that it was just something to give to other people. And that she knew that the Pat called the other spouse to have them come over because that is something that women do to one another and how she (Billie) having been raised the South and they were taught to put on a fake smile and be pleasant and had she been the one to make the mistake, she would have told the sibling that she was glad she like it, especially since she hadn't spent much on it.

Okay ya'll...you know me...I am all about the facts. So again, I point out that there is nothing to suggest that the other sibling's spouse went over to retrieve the gift. That there was no indication of the value of either gift. I relayed how I once received additional items in an order and how I called the company immediately because to do otherwise would be the same as stealing. And how my sister gave me an old coat of her and I found $20 in the pocket and gave it back to her because she gave me the coat, not the money.

Sorry this is so long, but it the next part that blew me away and hence why I decided to post this The below is the response copied exactly:

This is a type of woman thing, not an honesty thing. Human nature is such that when people get salty with us, we get salty back. Do you honestly see anyway that LW could keep (or as you infer steal) the useful, but cheap labels? She wrote a thank you note thanking Pat for them. Do me a favor and actually do some empirical research or poll every woman you know on this one. Then come back and we will discuss. This is one of the problems you run into with two XX chromosomes and every woman you talk to will have a story about the Pat's they have run into. That Pat is a sibling makes this more deliberate. LW's throwaway was because her sister hurt her feelings again. The fact that LW still sends thank you notes says a lot about her. This is not how people with manners act. To do this is a way of saying your sibling does not matter and quite honestly the "mixed up label" thing is in the repertoire of a Pat as a (you are not as important to me) put down. Sometimes it is because one sibling has done better than another.

I get that it's fairly easily to misread something (I've done it myself). I also understand that things in our personal lives can skew our point of view, color our judgement, that we can read/see things that aren't there. I also know that 'headlines' can predispose how we will interpret information. Often times when the err is pointed out the misunderstanding is corrected and you move forward. Sometimes you'll those like my friend Jill who will ignore the parts she is wrong about to pick up another bone. And sometimes you end up with my former friend Bob, bound and determined to die on the work of fiction that they have created (and why he is a former friend...he went too far).

Here is the link to the letter: Sibling Asks Recipients to Fix Gift-Giving Flub hence my reference to the work of fiction.

So here I am to do some "empirical research" and "poll" all the women here. Men, please feel free to express your opinion since Billie seems to think that I am a man (despite my hints that I am not).

Here is mine: With regards to the DA letter...mistakes happen. I get that the LW really liked the gift that they received and was disappointed that an error had occurred. They are supposed to be an adult, not a small child, but they acted like one. My response in a similar situation would have been "bummer", but I wouldn't have kept it because it wasn't meant for me. To do so would be the same thing as theft. I had speculated that the reason why the other sibling's spouse was called was because the other package hadn't arrived and/or been opened and they were supposed to intercept it. And I have been "Pat" because...mistakes happen. How I handled it depended on the emotional and financial value of the gift, the ages of the people involved and whether it could be easily resolved.

With regards to Billie...WOW. Even though I am not a man, I was offended with her "woman'splaining". I was even more offended with her assertion that all women steal, but it's 'okay' because we are women and it was just a cheap item anyways. HUH!?! Even allowing that her view is grossly tainted by something in her past since when is having a vagina a license to steal?
 

cerelife

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My thoughts after reading the link:
Pat was 100% in the wrong for pointing out her mistake. I mean really? Your sibling sends you a text thanking you for a "thoughtful gift that they really liked" and your'e all "Yeah, that wasn't meant for you." Personally I find that both cruel and incredibly tacky. The gracious thing for Pat to do would be to reply that she was pleased that her sibling loved her gift and then send another gift to the sibling for which it was intended. It wasn't the LW's fault that Pat screwed up and he/she should never been put in that position (or even been aware of Pat's mistake) in the first place. IMO Pat displayed horrible manners in this situation.
But since Pat DID behave as if she were raised by trolls and insisted on the LW exchanging gifts with the sibling, then yes I do agree that the LW should have done just that. Not send a 'similar gift', but the actual gift. It's the right think to do. I personally wouldn't want to keep the gift at this point anyway what with the negative association. That said, I certainly wouldn't consider it theft for her to keep the gift, but it would be in poor taste to do so.
As for Billie, she sounds like someone with issues that she hasn't addressed in a healthy manner.
For the record - I'm a 5th generation (on both sides of my family) southern woman. We've had polite manners drilled into our brains since birth!
 

TheGecko

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Pat was 100% in the wrong for pointing out her mistake. I mean really? Your sibling sends you a text thanking you for a "thoughtful gift that they really liked" and your'e all "Yeah, that wasn't meant for you." Personally I find that both cruel and incredibly tacky. The gracious thing for Pat to do would be to reply that she was pleased that her sibling loved her gift and then send another gift to the sibling for which it was intended. It wasn't the LW's fault that Pat screwed up and he/she should never been put in that position (or even been aware of Pat's mistake) in the first place. IMO Pat displayed horrible manners in this situation.

But since Pat DID behave as if she were raised by trolls and insisted on the LW exchanging gifts with the sibling, then yes I do agree that the LW should have done just that. Not send a 'similar gift', but the actual gift. It's the right think to do. I personally wouldn't want to keep the gift at this point anyway what with the negative association. That said, I certainly wouldn't consider it theft for her to keep the gift, but it would be in poor taste to do so.

But what about the other gift? Everyone seems to forget that there were TWO gifts...so now the other siblings gets two gifts? And what about the other sibling's...who also received the wrong gift? Maybe they like it, maybe they don't. So how many gifts does Pat have to buy now?

It's a suck situation to be sure, but I don't think that Pat's behavior was any worse than the LW's. But as I said, how I handled it would depend on the emotional and financial value of the gift, the ages of the people involved and whether it could be easily resolved.
 

cerelife

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But what about the other gift? Everyone seems to forget that there were TWO gifts...so now the other siblings gets two gifts? And what about the other sibling's...who also received the wrong gift? Maybe they like it, maybe they don't. So how many gifts does Pat have to buy now?

It's a suck situation to be sure, but I don't think that Pat's behavior was any worse than the LW's. But as I said, how I handled it would depend on the emotional and financial value of the gift, the ages of the people involved and whether it could be easily resolved.
In an ideal world the other sibling would have also returned the incorrect gift to the LW so that they each received their intended gifts, but there's no mention of that in the Abby letter. And as you said we have no idea of the emotional or financial value of either gift, nor of the disparity between them.
I stand behind my statement that Pat was 100% in the wrong. She created this emotional maelstrom with her siblings by pointing out HER mistake and insisting on an exchange of gifts. Or as you mentioned - the LW sending his/her gift to the other sibling with no mention of the LW getting his/her intended gift. One could easily infer from the letter that the gift intended for the LW was inferior to the gift they actually received, but we don't really know from the content of the letter to DA.
My only issues with the LW is that he/she should have returned the gift instead of sending "something similar", and that this person texted a 'Thank You' message instead of sending a handwritten 'Thank You' card.
 
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The person who sent the wrong gift should graciously accept the thanks then send the correct gift to the other sibling IF it makes that big of a difference. If it makes no difference to anyone other than the gift giver, then she should keep her mouth shut and act like she meant to do that all along. Then no one has to fret because the other sibling got two gifts.
 

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