Sunday, May 27, 2018
Parenting & Relationships

Tell Me About It: Regifting a casserole

Friend upset that new mom regifted home-cooked meals

Q: Six months ago I gave birth to twins. Shortly after we got home from the hospital, our friend "Jane" brought over several meals she'd made for us to put in our freezer. About a week after that, our friend "Bill" lost his wife suddenly.

We wanted to get food to him ASAP, so I pulled from the freezer some of Jane's food and some things I'd made while still pregnant and sent my husband to drop them off. A few weeks later, Jane brought over a casserole and I mentioned to her how much we appreciated it since we'd given some of what she brought to Bill.

Fast-forward to last week. Jane admits to me that she was really (teed) off that we had done that. She said she'd made those meals for us with love, and was annoyed that we would just give it away like that. Said we could have gone to the store or had something delivered rather than sending her food.

As a result of our decision to help out our friend, she decided at that point to stop making food for us at all. I apologized for hurting her feelings but was too stunned to say much else. Am I being unreasonable in thinking that's a little insensitive?

Really?

A: To be fair, calling Jane's overreaction "insensitive" flirts with completing the circle of huffiness, because it implies that she wounded you by being wounded by you, when what this situation really needs is for someone to stop the madness. Better to greet Jane's harrumph with a "Gosh, we sure didn't mean to hurt your feelings, we were just trying to help a friend," and leave this whole stretch of social misfires in the past.

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