There is something to be said about a man (or woman) who will give you gifts as a way of showing you that they care about, or love you. Let me preface that I in no way feel gifts are the way to a woman’s heart, because I’d rather travel together then receive a diamond bracelet. No, seriously I have a diamond bracelet and don’t need another one. Let’s take that money and fly off the grid and just lay on the beach all day. And if a man does choose to buy me a gift; I am more of an collection of books by my favorite authors, vintage dress, or art piece type of girl, but I digress. In one of my previous relationships I met a man who literally only bought me used gifts.
It was a relationship that started and moved pretty quickly. I have written about him before (see the Break-Up Text edition) and we dated for two years, and lived together for the last year of our relationship. We met in August and became a couple in September…Yup, that fast. By the time December rolled around I wasn’t expecting anything major, and had been looking for a new beach cruiser for myself online. Well he saw this and pretty much hinted at him buying me that for Christmas so I was super excited! Christmas Eve came and we exchanged gifts. I had gotten him digital camera, and excitedly awaited to see my new-and pink-beach cruiser. He handed me a little white box in a Tiffany bag and my heart literally sank.
Most women would see this and squeal for joy, but as I said I am just not that type of girl which I expressed to him, and thought he understood. Anyway I open the box and there is a silver heart shaped bracelet. Of course I thought-and still do-it was beautiful and genuinely liked the gift he gave me. I proudly wore it to my parents and grandparents houses the next day and showed it off. But I also wondered how he decided upon the gift since in all honesty he was very stingy…okay he was cheap as hell! Turns out his friends girlfriend worked at the store and bought it on discount. That my friends was gift number one, and the only new gift he gave me.
My birthday came around a few months later and I got a discounted beach cruiser…I was happy. My ex worked for a clothing company and would bring me clothes. A man after my own heart right? I remember going to work wearing my exclusive shirts, and even an amazing jacket that everyone would compliment me on. I honestly felt so special…until I found out that he was bringing me discarded samples. Yes he would gather up the unwanted shirts, sweaters or jackets…you know the rejected clothes that were not good enough to make it to production? That’s what I was given.
Then there was the iPod nano or whatever it’s called. I walk for a few hours a day for exercise, and had gone to Target and bought myself a small mp3 player to listen to tunes while I work out. One day my ex came home with an ipod music player. But when he gave it to me it was kind of dirty and already had music on it. I didn’t even question it, but of course he let me know that his co-worker was selling it for his sister, so he bought it cheap.
Let me also say that my ex made very, very, very good money at his job, and never bought himself anything used…ever. While he was busy giving me used music players, rejected samples, or second hand everything else, he was busy buying himself a $1,000 bike, $3,000 computer system, and countless new outfits, shoes, jackets, records etc. Never once did I ask him for anything, nor did I expect to be lavished by his work earnings.
During our relationship I lost my job and did not work for six months, and in that entire period he never helped, or offered to help me in anyway. We were living together at the time and my parents were helping me to pay my bills, and I was on unemployment. He still made me pay half the rent and utilities using my unemployment checks to do so. This ruined my credit because I was using my unemployment to pay rent instead of paying down bills like my school loan. Here is the issue: I allowed myself to be treated like a second hand gift. I allowed him to look at me as not good enough. I was not worth the shiny new bike, or a shirt that did not have the word ‘SAMPLE’ written in permanent marker across the back of it to him.
And I was not loved enough by this man to make him even want to, or at least offer to help me when I faced a serious, and major life changing event such as losing my job. It is not about the gifts, because the gifts represented how he viewed me. I knew I deserved better, but I allowed the way he subconsciously viewed me to become the way I saw myself. That was my mistake. Hey, I love shopping at thrift stores, vintage shops and getting great deals. I also do not mind receiving a second hand gift (see first paragraph) but what I cannot accept is being seen as just ‘good enough’ by a man I am sharing my life with. Knowing your worth is your responsibility, and that relationship taught me to recognize mine.
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