This past Saturday I spent the morning helping my father out with his move a bit. He already had a garage full of boxes, and needed help moving most of them to the basement. He has already had one knee replacement surgery, and the exertion of descending and climbing steps (with additional weight) for that period of time would not have been good on his knees.

(Side note: Dad, if you read this, it’s time for a garage sale, buddy.)

I’m not sure how long it took, but we eventually had everything that was in the garage sorted and taken to where it needed to be. He then asked me if I wanted to grab a bite to eat, and I eagerly agreed as I had eaten nothing but a granola bar up to that point in the day. We waited for my step-mom to arrive, then left.

While we were eating, my dad mentioned that a hoodie he had gotten my youngest brother for Christmas was too small and that he had to return it. I had gotten the same hoodie for Christmas and it was small on me, too. Perhaps that particular company just makes their sizes small. Who knows? I hadn’t said anything to my dad about it because I’m not one to rock the boat, but when he brought it up I mentioned that mine was small, too.

“Why didn’t you say anything?” they both inquired simultaneously.

“Because I would have felt bad.” I felt stupid admitting that.

“Why? It’s not your fault. It’s not our fault,” my stepmother replied.

I had no answer for that. I couldn’t explain why I felt bad about telling them their Christmas gift didn’t fit.

We finished eating and went our separate ways, but I didn’t stop thinking about our conversation. Like a bug crawling across my skin, it irritated me until I finally identified the feeling which kept me silent after I first tried on the hoodie.


I felt ungrateful. How dare I go back to them after they spent their time looking for a gift I would like and tell them it didn’t fit? How dare I go back to them after they spent their hard-earned money on a gift they thought I would like and tell them I couldn’t wear it? So I didn’t. I didn’t want to seem ungrateful. I didn’t want to be that person.

I must have sounded like an idiot to them. “We want you to have something you’ll actually use,” my stepmother said. And then I thought about it from their point of view. Had I bought one of them a shirt that didn’t fit, I’d like to know so that I could exchange it for something that does fit. But I was afraid of hurting their feelings by telling them their gift didn’t fit me.

Sometimes, I don’t understand me.

It’s all sorted out now. They are going to return the hoodie and told me to pick something else out that I like. Of course, I should have known from the beginning that it would have been no big deal, but I guess my mind isn’t functioning properly if I’m not making things more complicated for myself.

Audience Participation Time!

Do you have trouble returning gifts? Do you feel ungrateful if you receive a gift that doesn’t fit or that you won’t use? Are you afraid to say so?

About Twindaddy (337 Articles)
Sometimes funny. Sometimes serious. Always genuine.

93 Comments on Ungrateful

  1. Oddly, I would have done the same thing you did at first – nothing. And for the same reasons.

    Twin Brothers From Different Mothers?


  2. “Me and Jenny was like peas and carrots…” You and me buddy are so alike it’s freaky cool 🙂


  3. Right? Sigh…


  4. I’m with you. I have a good friend who lives in another state. She sent me a set of really nice coffee glasses. Not only did she go to the store and buy the glasses, she also paid $15 to ship them to me. She said she thought I’d love them.

    I did love them. I loved them so much that a year ago I picked up 6 of them. I felt terrible telling her that I already had them. She assured me I could exchange them for something else. Since they are also great for drinks, not just coffee, I told her nope, I was keeping them.

    I wouldn’t have told her I already had them except she is coming out next week for a visit. She’s a bright girl. She knows she got me 4 and when she saw 10 of them I’m sure she’d figure something was up. It was the same thing for me though. I didn’t want to seem ungrateful.


  5. I feel a little bad in these situations. Mostly because I feel bad when I get someone something in the wrong size, and then they have to make extra effort to exchange it.


  6. People are so random and funny. It’s not an insult to have something not fit – then you exchange it for the next size. We spend so much time being over anxious about everything – when things are not good/bad – they just are. If you had said – I hate this, and it’s too small – well, that’s a different ball of fish or kettle of wax.

    Of course when someone buys you something in a 2X and you’re just a large – that can be awkward…


  7. Oh my, I can totally relate to this. I still do this, even though I should have learned from this scenario by now. Ugghhh


  8. I’ve known people who get offended when you have to return a gift for such reasons. I don’t understand that mentality though.


  9. Yes to all of the questions. If someone makes something especially for me and I don’t like it, I won’t say anything. Same with gifts; so what if I don’t like it? They did their best, and it would make them unhappy if I said anything.
    Conversely, I’d rather be told if something isn’t to their liking. This just makes me feel worse, and I end up feeling bad no matter what I do.


  10. We’re the same. I’d never say shit. BTW, WalMart has hoodie stretchers. You’ll be able to tell by the Spandex.


  11. I don’t know what I would do. Hopefully, if anyone gives me clothing, it will fit. If they are thinking ahead, they will put a gift receipt in the box. Then, I won’t have to say anything.

    I am a fan of gift cards!


  12. Oh crap… my wife got me a sweet little PA speaker to sing through for Christmas, and I took it back to get something better… more suited, I should say… and now I feel like a jerk… thanks…


  13. My mother KNOWS. I can say, Ooooh! I love it! (Knowing I’d never wear/use/hang the gift) and she would keep asking questions until I have to finally give up, hand it over while hanging my head, and admit defeat.


  14. It feels…dirty to do that.


  15. Happens to me all the time. I guess I need to see it from the giver’s perspective and let them know it doesn’t fit, or wasn’t quite what I wanted, but… meh, it’s the thought that counts, right? So, why should I spoil that?


  16. Sometimes, I don’t understand you either.


  17. I would have done exactly the same thing coupled with going on a crash diet because the hoodie didn’t fit. PS damn time zones. All the stuph happens while I’m asleep :-/


  18. i think your reaction is totally normal and i probably would have done the same. it just seems more polite and it’s not a big deal. but of course, it’s your father and step mom so it’s family and those rules don’t necessarily apply. with them you can just be honest. 🙂


  19. My Muted Voice // January 15, 2014 at 9:03 am // Reply

    I am the same way with gifts! It’s even harder the closer I am with the person which you would think would be the opposite. I’m just thankful my husband always buys perfect gifts. 😉


  20. My parents just send me money now, so I can choose something I like. Plus, they don’t have to mail anything! It works for us!


  21. This seared me. I couldn’t have spoken up either. No way. It’s sad.


  22. I don’t think I would have told them either.. But being ungrateful seems so… selfish. And I don’t want to admit it. But I think you’re right. Yeah no, you are right. Damnit.


  23. In 41 years of life, I have never returned a gift for any reason, even if I absolutely loathe it. Couldn’t handle the guilt of returning something that someone took the time to find and thought I might like. I guess I’d rather let it hang in my closet or gather dust in a cabinet somewhere until years later, when I can finally take it to goodwill where someone might actually get some enjoyment out of it.

    I guess I’ve always felt that the gift is more important than whether or not I actually like it…

    But then again, I’m kind of an idiot.


  24. That’s why I give gift receipts with everything!! I don’t want the person to feel awkward if it doesn’t fit or hell, if they don’t even like it!


  25. I have told my mother-in-law 4,724 times that I do not want another Willow Tree angel, EVER. And it’s as if I never said a single word. So the pendulum sometimes swings back the other way. Most of the time, I just accept the gift and move on. It’s easier.


  26. It might be easier with something I liked but that didn’t fit — you can just ask for a different size. If you hate it, though, oh it is awful.

    For our 10th wedding anniversary, John gave me the ugliest ring I have ever seen. Ever. It was a grandma ring. Huge. Gaudy, Uncomfortable. Thankfully it was too small. I had to take it back to get it sized. When I went to pick it up, I found that they had cracked the stone (a hefty emerald). I stood at the jewelry counter, stunned, trying not to laugh in relief. Trying so hard that tears streamed down my face. The jewelers thought I was heartbroken and they fell all over themselves offering me everything in the store at an absurd discount. I ended up getting something small, simple, pretty and returning a hefty amount of $ to our credit card. I could never tell my husband that I hated that ring. I would have worn it for the rest of my life if the jeweler hadn’t broken it. Thank god they did!

    A few years ago, John casually mentioned that I never really liked that ring, did I. I still couldn’t admit it!


  27. Some stores here in the UK will give a gift receipt so that if the wrong size has been purchased, the item can be exchanged with no embarrassment for any of the parties involved. I understand where you were coming from, and it’s good to know you can see both views of the situation.


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