Should You Still Accept Gifts From Men Even If You’re Not Interested?
“He lost his sh**!” my friend Tattyana said, putting emphasis on each word to illustrate her brother’s explosive reaction.
What triggered her brother to flip the f*** out was, back in grade school, a classmate crush gave Tattyana an inexpensive ring. As a young girl, being swept up by Disney movies of cartoonish knights professing their love to fair maidens, she was enamored by the gesture. She couldn’t wait to tell her older brother, who was about 10 years her senior, about her new little gift.
“Look what a boy gave me at school today!” a young Tattyana boasted, showing off the ring.
Her brother’s eyebrows furrowed as his eyes squinted at the ring. He looked back up at her and lost his temper. “Don’t you ever,” he said, enunciating each word angrily, “ever, ever, ever accept anything from another boy again. Do you understand me?”
“You’re going to return that ring to that boy tomorrow. Do we understand each other?”
Her brother’s face twisted into the frightening look as if to say, “Say one more thing and I’m whooping that a–.”
Tattyana, a naïve little girl, saw the gift as an innocuous gesture. But her brother, far more experienced when it comes to a man’s perspective, saw it as anything but – in his early 20’s at the time, though he knew it was harmless childhood puppy love, he wanted to teach her that gifts are never as innocent as they seem.
“Nothing in life is free,” he warned her.
Fast forward to 2017 and Tattyana’s brother’s words echoed menacingly in the back of my mind when my girlfriend, Jennifer, bragged about how her new boy toy was getting her everything she asked for – designer bags and shoes. “I don’t really want him like that, though,” she said nonchalantly.
Let’s be honest here. Most men would never waste their hard-earned money on a Louis Vuitton bag without expecting a little somethin’ somethin’ in return, you know what I mean? In the worst case scenario, they want the receiver to be indebted to them.
“I don’t owe him a damn thing,” she said. “I’m going to keep accepting his gifts as long as he keeps handing them my way.”
She may not owe him any “favors,” but she does owe him the truth, doesn’t she? Not only for his sake, but for hers, too. All that gift-giving comes with strings attached to ‘em, and the more you take, the more you get tied up in a situation that’ll leave you feeling strangled and shackled.
That man may be an idiot by splurging on a woman in attempts to manipulate her psyche into feeling indebted to him, but in my eyes, she’s just as wrong for leading him on and accepting his bribes. “Plus,” she added, “He’s just doing it because he’s a nice guy!”
And Amazon gives away free 30-day Prime memberships because they’re – er – such “nice guys,” right?
I didn’t bother knocking any sense into her – if you’ve read a previous piece of mine, you’d know that I allow my friends to make their own mistakes in order for them to learn their lesson.
I waited for sh** to hit the fan – it took only three weeks.
“This guy is going nuts on me! He’s demanding that I give everything back to him!” Jennifer said in complete shock.
I hate to say “I told you so,” but if she knew good darn and well that this man had absolutely no chance with her, it was only a matter of time before her sugar daddy morphed into a debt collector.
The guy has no choice but to take the L – those gifts only turned into loans when he realized he was getting the short end of the stick. And Jennifer may think she got a W with her “free” stuff, but I don’t see anything appealing about being harassed and feeling like a debtor.
What do y’all think? Is it wrong to accept gifts from men despite being uninterested? Should she give the gifts back?
Kimberly Gedeon, founder of The Melody of Melanin, is a content creator and illustrator with nearly 2,000 professional articles published online. You can say hello to her on Instagram or Twitter – she doesn’t bite!