“a gift isn’t really a gift if you expect one in return.”

Perhaps that is true.  It is rather a sad reflection on humanity to think that it’s considered acceptable to take a gift, but never give back.  But such is the way of life sometimes.

For me, every time I take a gift, I am also taking on a small debt.  Not tit for tat.  But I am saying, “I consider you someone who I am okay with taking from, because I know I will give you something one day.  I am not leeching off you, we are, rather, exchanging tokens of affection between us.  I could buy my own dress, yes, and you could buy your own set of books.  But maybe it’s nice if I give you the books and you get me the dress.  Monetarily there may not be much of a difference, or perhaps there is…but especially when the dollar amount is the same, it really doesn’t make a difference who buys the item.  But…it is still nice to get something from you.  Because it’s just one of the love languages we can express.”

Which is why I am careful not to accept gifts from those I do not like.  And I educate those around me similarly.  My munchkins were talking the other day about how their stepfather wanted to buy them houses, cars (or at least pass off his old ones to them).  I asked them if it was very nice to take something that big from someone they told me they hated.  To use him for what he can get him, and then talk badly about him behind his back.  The things they told me were fair complaints (violating their consent, even their own bodies), but still.  Is it okay to accept a gift like that from someone you intend to use and then abandon?  And they thought about it.

 Perhaps they hate him enough to deliberately take advantage, but when the time comes I will be clear that I don’t want to accept anything from a person like that.  Because I don’t want to owe that son of a bitch anything.  And taking a gift?  Means we owe him something.  When he calls and wants to spend time with them, for example.  When he needs a favor.

I don’t want to put myself in that position.

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