Thursday, June 18, 2015

In which Doris gets her knickers in a twist because Stephanie - not wisely, I will admit - called Doris an Indian Giver on facebook

1. "Indian giver" is not a nice thing to say, but as far as I can tell, it is not an insult to Native Americans. Isn't the giving referred to the giving that the US government did to the Native Americans that they later rescinded and rescinded? As in, "Oh sure you can have the Black Hills - but wait! No! You can't! That land is actually valuable! Have this crummy land instead. Oh - wait! Nope. We want that land, too." And so on.

2. Doris surely was not offended on principle for the use of the term or maybe she was, but considering the language I have heard her use about other people, I cannot think that she thinks it's so awful to call someone names.

What happened was is that Sly and Doris bought a (used, I expect) piano for Michael a few years ago because, I expect, he had expressed a wish in taking piano lessons.

When I expressed the same wish - although not to Sly and Doris, when I was in third grade, my mom said that she would rent a piano for me and pay for lessons as long as I practiced. Once I stopped practicing, she would not longer pay for anything and the piano would go back.

I lasted about ten months, long enough to learn to read music, which served me well in seventh grade when I joined the orchestra and taught myself how to play the violin and still serves me well kind of at church when I don't know the song but know enough to know that the next note is either a little bit higher or a lot higher or a little bit lower or a lot lower than the one we are singing now.

See the difference?

My mom made her commitment conditional on my commitment. I said I wanted it?

OK.

Prove it.

Sly and Doris, however, did not make their gift conditional.

Michael asked for a piano.

They bought one for him.

Not the smartest thing to do, especially considering they had already raised children and know what kids are like.

But they did. They bought a piano for Michael and gave it to him without any strings attached.

Michael went away to college.

He has not been playing the piano.

So Sly and Doris repossessed the piano. Had it repossessed.

I don't know the details of this - if they were able to sell it back to the store or what. I didn't think there was a big market for used pianos and it is pretty expensive to move a piano professionally. (It is cheap to have your friends put a piano in the back of a pickup.)(But I would not advise this.)

Stephanie was ticked off and took her frustrations to facebook, apparently forgetting that Doris is now on facebook. (Only she can't find me because I have her blocked.)

She made a comment about Sly and Doris being Indian givers.

Doris got ticked off and vowed there would be no more presents.

Which, if you know anything of Doris' present-giving history, could be seen as a blessing in disguise.

1. It was nice of Sly and Doris to buy a piano for Michael.
2. Teenagers change their minds about things. They also leave home to go to college.
3. Do you have a right to repossess a gift that the recipient is not longer using? If so, I want the Good Knives that Primo and I gave to his parents. They were determined not to actually use them because they had knives they'd had for over 40 years that had never been sharpened. Sharpening knives is for sissies.
4. Doris repossessed her mother's wedding ring from me.
5. Doris has a habit of repossessing gifts.
6. Sly and Doris might have done Stephanie a favor getting that piano out of her house. If nobody was playing it, Stephanie would have had to deal with it someday and, as I mentioned, moving a piano is not cheap.
7. Sly and Doris are tacky, but this is not the hill I would be dying on.

4 comments:

  1. Wait... she repossessed her mother's wedding ring from you? Was this story told earlier and I missed it?

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    Replies
    1. Yes, but I didn't make a big deal out of it, even though now I think, Yeah! That was pretty insulting! Here it is: http://diaryofagolddigger.blogspot.com/2011/01/in-which-doris-reaches-out-to-me-by.html

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  2. Totally amazing ...even for Doris. Am surprised that stephanie allowed the repossessers into her home.

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  3. Well, the term Indian Giver sadly wasn't used to refer to the US, but to tribes. (In a nutshell - whites often thought that they were buying land outright, but tribes often thought that they were setting up more of a rental situation. And then there were the times when white folks paid the wrong tribe, which may have been the case with Manhattan.)

    Regardless, though, I think you're right that the term wasn't what set Doris off. Someone who's got a history of regifting their own presents to people shouldn't be surprised at being called out on it, but emotions and logic often don't mix, sadly.

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