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WWYD - accidentally bought inappropriate gift

(9 Posts)
MjolnirDilemma Tue 03-Dec-19 08:20:51

I've name-changed for this because I feel like a bit of an idiot, frankly.

I was doing a bit of Christmas shopping yesterday. I always struggle with what to get my brother because he doesn't really have a lot of interests apart from gaming, and I know nothing about that so I don't try to buy him game stuff. I saw a shop that was selling Viking-related gifts and they had these pewter pendants with various symbols from Norse mythology on them. We have Viking blood in the family and my brother has always been into history, so I thought he might like a Thor's hammer pendant, so I got one.

It wasn't until afterwards that I started getting a vague idea that there was some problem with the symbol that I'd read or heard about. Sure enough, when I looked online I found out it has apparently been adopted by neo-Nazis as a symbol of white supremacy. It is officially listed as a hate symbol on a par with the swastika!

I think this is mostly in America, and I'm not sure how well-known it is in the UK. This shop had loads of different hammers so hopefully they're oblivious too. I doubt if my brother would know, but I still feel like I can't give this pendant to him now! What if he wears it at work and somebody gets the wrong idea?

I'm too embarrassed to take it back to the shop or sell it on Ebay. I will probably just put it away somewhere and buy him something else. What do people think? Am I overreacting? I do feel annoyed that a bunch of racist dickheads have appropriated a symbol that had nothing to do with racial "purity" and spoiled it for people with a genuine interest in history.

EskewedBeef Tue 03-Dec-19 08:26:03

Why would it be embarrassing to exchange it for something else? The shop is selling them, they're not going to judge you.

BestOption Tue 03-Dec-19 08:28:04

Just exchange it, if you feel you have to say something, just say ‘mum has bought him one the same 🙄’. They really do not care

foodiefil Tue 03-Dec-19 08:33:30

Yes you're over-reacting. It was an accident. You were being thoughtful really. And at least you've figured it out now. I'd just take it back. See if you can exchange it for an actual swastica. I'm kidding!

Greenglassteacup Tue 03-Dec-19 08:37:17

I don’t understand why you can’t return to the shop and exchange it for something else? Why is that embarrassing?

MjolnirDilemma Tue 03-Dec-19 08:40:31

BestOption that might be a good idea. The other pendants they had were rather more feminine, iyswim - lots of pretty knotwork. I got the hammer because it was obviously blokey! They did have bits of Game of Thrones memorabilia as well. Maybe I could exchange for that.

MjolnirDilemma Tue 03-Dec-19 08:49:21

Greenglassteacup it's a small independent gift shop. I suppose I was thinking that they might ask if there was something wrong with the pendant before they'd take it back, and it would have been awkward trying to explain that they were stocking a wide range of attractively presented white supremacist symbols. I could just use the "someone else has already got him one" line though, which I hadn't thought of.

Surely the shop must know, though?

Greenglassteacup Tue 03-Dec-19 08:54:58

You don’t need to offer any explanation or justification. You changed your mind and would like to exchange it for something else. either that or you could tell them why, maybe they’re unaware of the adoption of the symbol or maybe they’re white supremacists

EskewedBeef Tue 03-Dec-19 08:55:20

Surely the shop must know, though?

Unlikely. Most people would see Thor's hammer necklaces as nerdy rather than Nazi, particularly in a fantasy fiction gift shop.

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