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To keep expensive present from ex friend

(82 Posts)
Lucinda1989 Sat 10-Sep-16 16:34:15

I'm trying to ask this without giving away too much identifying information. I had a close friend I've known 5 years. We met at work. When I got pregnant after years of infertility she bought me the best present I've ever been given. New it is worth £900 but she bought it ex display for around £700. She originally bought it for herself but got given the newer model so gave me the original unused. At the time we were both in temporary full-time employment.

Recently I decided to end contact as while I do think she's essentially not a bad person, she is just so gossipy and I found out (admittedly from someone jealous of her) that she had repeated very private information about me to others. I know this woman who told me is only trying to cause trouble but at the same time, my 'friend' is known as a gossip and can't keep much private. I used to have quite a difficult past but I am now a respected professional and I cannot have private details passed around for others pleasure. The woman she told she barely knew and still spoke about me. It's nothing personal, she gossips about everyone. She's not nasty, just likes to talk too much about others.

I politely informed her I was aware she had been gossiping about me and no longer wished to stay friends. She replied saying she hadn't mentioned those things but she understood if I felt that way.
We both know she said it as she's the only one who I told that particular information to.

I've arranged to meet her to collect some of my things from hers as I stayed over at hers last week. I've also got some of her stuff at mine to give her.

I am absolutely sure I don't want to stay friends. But my husband thinks if I really don't want to stay friends I should also give her back the present she gave me as it is still worth around £400 second hand.

I am happy to give it back if that's the right thing to do. But would it be petty and bad mannered to do so?

What would be the reasonable thing to do?

I have given her presents over the years but nothing worth more than £20. She is on income support at the moment.
She has good qualifications and is applying for jobs in her field at the moment and has several interviews lined up. But she is still on income support and a single Parent at the moment.

Would I be unreasonable to keep the present?

ElsaAintAsColdAsMe Sat 10-Sep-16 16:42:19

A tricky one. I think I would maybe ask her if she would like the gift returned to her then there's going to be no resentment on her part.

Lucinda1989 Sat 10-Sep-16 16:45:34

Do you think the right thing to do is ask her? I would hope she would feel able to say what she actually thought rather than what she thinks I want her to say.

dudsville Sat 10-Sep-16 16:47:00

Is the item something you've really really wanted and had mentioned to her and she very thoughtfully and generously bought it for you? Or did she just give it to you as she had a spare and didn't fancy trying to sell it? I think these two positions are quite different. You mention the money a lot in your post. Do you feel guilty at the prospect of keeping it? As the question came originally from your partner, is this actually more to do with him?

ElsaAintAsColdAsMe Sat 10-Sep-16 16:48:30

If she is a gossip then you don't want to get into the scenario of "I bought this expensive gift then she dumped me" rumours.

I would hope she would tell you the truth too but it puts the ball in her court. I'd also do it over text just in case it does come back to bite you.

maybethedayafter Sat 10-Sep-16 16:50:20

How long ago did she give you the present? Is it still of any use to you?

CrotchetQuaverMinim Sat 10-Sep-16 16:52:32

Does it have to be such a clean-cut ending? If you were really good friends with her, perhaps you could just draw back a bit - don't tell her any more details about things, don't see her as much, stay friendly but not close, so that you avoid the awkwardness of a bit falling out, and then that way you can just keep the present as it won't be worth much by the time you sort of finally stop being friends much at all - more part of the memories of your friendship. Of course, it depends how strongly you feel about what she said; if it's a total and immediate deal breaker and you need to make sure she feels punished by you stopping all contact, then that's different. But if it's more that you still think she is pleasant or fine to chat to at things, but you just don't trust her, then you could do it all more gradually.

mrsfuzzy Sat 10-Sep-16 16:55:12

it's a moral thing, but you sound well rid of her tbh

dowhatnow Sat 10-Sep-16 16:56:57

I think it very much depends on what the actual item is.
Is it only me who is desperate to know what this present was

I think it's a good idea to ask her if she wants it back.

StressedNHSemployee Sat 10-Sep-16 16:59:46

I'm thinking pram set or some other type of furniture.

Lucinda1989 Sat 10-Sep-16 16:59:50

She knew I really wanted this item but wouldn't have bought it for me herself. The gave it me only as she no longer needed it.

But it was very generous as the could have easily sold it for hundreds of pounds.

She gave it me to be generous.

If you tell her not to say something she won't. She is definetly not someone who intentionally causes trouble. But once she's had a drink she tells all. And will repeat interesting/private things about people.

Lucinda1989 Sat 10-Sep-16 17:00:57

If I tell you what it was and she was reading this she would know it was about her so I can't say. You can private message me if you want to know desperately. Lol.

Sunshineonacloudyday Sat 10-Sep-16 17:01:12

I would give it back to her but you don't want to do you. If she is on income support she could pawn it and get extra cash. I think it would be selfish to keep it. Put it under her stuff so she don't see it and question it.

Floralnomad Sat 10-Sep-16 17:04:27

I don't see why you are cutting contact ,surely all you need to do is just not discuss anything with her that you wouldn't want spread about , going NC seems a massive over reaction .

MelanieCheeks Sat 10-Sep-16 17:04:42

I wouldn't feel obliged to return a present.

rollonthesummer Sat 10-Sep-16 17:06:05

What is it-a pram? Do you still use it?

Sunshineonacloudyday Sat 10-Sep-16 17:06:15

Why does you're DH want you to give it back doesn't he like it. Its up to you if you want to keep it she did give it to you. I understand you're feeling.

followTheyellowbrickRoad Sat 10-Sep-16 17:07:52

I would ask her if she would like it back.

SabineUndine Sat 10-Sep-16 17:08:48

As it was a gift, I wouldn't return it. It sounds as though she can afford it anyway.

2kids2dogsnosense Sat 10-Sep-16 17:09:58

I was thinking along the same lines s Crotchet. Stay friends, but don't reveal any further personal information.

And don't be too sure it was her who revealed the info. Something similar happened to me (I was in your ex-friend's position). A good friend had shared very personal information about herself and asked me to keep it confidential, which I did. It was regarding her finances.

A third individual was "fishing" for details about her (no particular reason, I think - she was just a nosey cow) and when she said something like :Where does she get her money from? She never seems to want for anything." I answered "No idea - I've never thought about it." and ignored any further hints.

Later it transpired that this third person found out about my friend's finances and made some details public (btw - there was nothing dishonest about her income; it was private information that's all). My friend naturally thought it was me and understandably became very upset. I was also upset as I knew I hadn't said anything to anyone, and ws hurt that she disbelieved me.

It transpired that an exP had made a nasty FB comment which mentioned it, Nosey Cow had got wind of it and that was how word got round. Fortunately our friendship survived, but for some months we were really strained with one another and only met in company - none of our customary coffees and natters, and it was only by chance that the truth came to light and we were able to resume our previous closeness.

I'm still hurt that she thought I could have betrayed a confidence, but I can see why she thought that.

You seem to have been very close to your friend - could you ask her for reassurance that she told no-one, and then just proceed in future by telling her nothing you want kept private?

e1y1 Sat 10-Sep-16 17:11:25

A gift is given unconditionally, so therefore if you wanted to bin it, that is your choice. However, if you personally feel it would be the right thing to do, then ask her if she would like it returned.

ThroughThickAndThin01 Sat 10-Sep-16 17:11:39

Flora - the voice of reason.

Why all the playground drama confused

2kids2dogsnosense Sat 10-Sep-16 17:11:56


No - I'm dying to know as well (I'm not much better than Nosey Cow, am i?)

I'd also forgotten that the question was Should I give it back?

McBassyPants Sat 10-Sep-16 17:13:09

I'd be hurt offended if you tried to give it back to me. It was a gift. I GAVE it to you. I didn't want to sell it even though I knew how much it was worth

ThroughThickAndThin01 Sat 10-Sep-16 17:14:52

I've got to say, you sound awful OP. Some 'friend'.

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