Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Dissuasive Fire

I love this work by Matthew Deleget. It's called Dissuasive Fire, a term used by the military that means fire first and ask questions later.
. . .

I was recently in the position to help someone I had never met before. She thanked me and then a week later came by with a gift that she had made. She said she was going to buy a bottle of wine but then thought that I might prefer some artwork. As I don't drink wine and as I have a penchant for handmade things, she was right.

It was incredibly thoughtful and generous and I don't want to sound unappreciative, but I didn't like her gift. It was creative and technically proficient and so so kind of her, but not something that I would ever hang on my wall.

She has never set foot inside our house before, she doesn't know anything about me or PJ or Z or how we live, which means the gift she gave us, although well-meaning, is presumptuous and has nothing to do with us and everything to do with her taste and her style.

I feel so terrible writing this, but I am doing so because I want to voice my neighbourly dilemma. Do I keep the gift in a cupboard and if she comes to my door again, quickly put it up on a wall? Or do I give it away to someone who will appreciate its value that is absolutely lost on me?


Glen Dunn said...

Hi Meg,

The gesture was the gift, as yours was to her. Loose the object but keep the gift. Let her know this if it comes up.

G. X

Umatji said...

Hmm, I think that is about it too. The thought was the gesture. If you are able to give it to someone who will enjoy it then the gift gives on. Alternatively you could trade it for something you really like and keep that in her honour!

Doctor Plog said...

Those are both really wise responses.

I was going to write:

"You can send it to me."

I do have a strange ability to make use of everything. That's why the notion of a gift registry is so reprehensible to me.

WriterBee said...

I reckon it's a good idea to hand the gift on to someone who'll really appreciate it. Seems worse somehow to hide it away, or pretend, when the gesture was so well meant; gift choosing can be so difficult. Maybe then you need to be honest upfront and let her know what you've done, even though that's difficult and embarrassing, so then you can relax and forget it instead of having it hang over you. Good luck. Let us know what you decide.

farmdoc said...

Two things:
1. A usual I agree with WriterBee.
2. Next time take the wine.

daylesford organics said...

When you were little and b and z used to bring you back gifts from their overseas travels, you used to throw them at them. XX

Meg said...

Thank you so much everyone for your thoughtful comments. The gift has now gone to a good home where it will be much appreciated, though we haven't given away the sentiment of the gesture.

Anonymous said...

you don't feel terrible - you're an incredibly self righteous cunt who cloaks your "honesty" in environmental and socially 'just' bullshit. you've found the perfect way to be perfectly selfish

Meg said...

It's true, Anonymous, I am all those terrible things you say. Lucky there are considerate people like you on this planet to steer me in the right direction.