If You Want to Give a Gift, Don't Expect a Thank You Note

You decide to give a friend a present, for no particular reason. Your generosity makes you giddy. You send the present, imagining your friend's delighted reaction. You know that she is going to love it and admire your good taste. You can't wait to hear from her.

The days proceed and no thank you note arrives. You imagine something must be wrong.  Perhaps the post office is to blame. More likely, your friend has had a terrible accident. You always did say she was foolish to rollerblade at her age. 

After three weeks without a word, you grow resentful. You begin to realize that this so called friend of yours isn't as great as everyone seems to think. She never returns your phone calls. She always has to be the one to decide where to go for drinks. And in those rare moments when she is not the center of attention, you can tell she really isn't listening to anything you are saying. What kind of person doesn't even have the decency to at least call and say the present arrived?  Even if she hates it, the least she can do is acknowledge it. After all, you spent an afternoon surfing the internet trying to find just the right thing. And it wasn't cheap either.  Of course, she expects the highest quality of everything. She always has. Good thing she married into wealth. 

No matter how badly it irks you, you refuse to call and ask about the gift.  After another week of thinking about it, you decide that since she doesn't appreciate the present, maybe you should just ask for it back. It really doesn't make sense for her to keep it if she isn't going to use it.  Even she would understand that.  She detests waste of any kind.  And you would actually use it. But when you finally call to ask for the present back, you are shocked when she gets offended and hangs up on you. Your friendship never fully recovers.

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