Long story short, I had it out with someone about six months ago. I’ve tried to mend fences, but he’s having none of it. A few months ago, I told him that it was up to him whether he still wanted to be my friend, and he has not gotten in contact since. So, as far as I’m concerned, he’s made his decision, and that’s that.
Over the course of our friendship, we have exchanged gifts like most friends do. One of the things he gave me is a very, very rare CD. He has several copies of it, and gave it to me on a whim just because I like the particular artist. Because I know how rare and valuable the CD is, I’ve never been able to bring myself to open it and listen to it. Now that we’ve ended our friendship, I can’t look at the damn CD without thinking of what an idiot he is.
So, I don’t want it around. Up to now, I’ve just had it put away and haven’t given it much thought. Lately, I’ve been feeling like nothing is ever going to be resolved between us, so I’m thinking of selling it despite the fact that it seems like a total dick move. We don’t have any friends in common that I could give it to so it would make it back to him. I’ve thought about dropping it in the mail to him, but I told him that I wouldn’t contact him any further. Besides (and I know this is a total rationalization), I’m going on this huge trip, and the extra money would be really nice.
So, here are my options as I see them:
Break my word and drop it back in the mail to him. I feel like this would probably be perceived as a slap in the face. Although he’s an idiot, I don’t want to be mean to him.
Put it away in the back of the closet and dig it back up in a year and see how I feel then. I think this is probably the wisest course of action.
Sell it. This has the advantage of well, let’s face it, giving me money while possibly making someone happy to have found this ultra-rare CD. However, I think this is pretty damn passive-agressive, and completely eliminates the possibility of us ever being friends again.
So, what do you do with stuff from friends who are no longer friends? What would you do in my situation?
Miss Manners always says that once a person gives you a gift, it’s yours to do with as you please (i.e. regift, sell, throw it out, use it, etc.). So if you want to sell it, there’s no reason manners-wise that you shouldn’t.
Since you are undecided about what to do it’s probably best to wait. Stick it in the back of the cupboard and return to the issue in a year when you have had time to put the issues into context and to take a step back.
I say get rid of it. My evil cousin gave me a set of dishes for Christmas and I passed them on to a friend who had just moved out of his parent house and desperately needed a set of dishes. I didn’t feel like it was a dick move to get rid of the dishes set, and it was just making me feel bad sitting in my closet.
Also, do not return it to him. The same cousin gave back my Christmas present to her with a mean little note about what an empty gesture my gift was. Returning a gift seems like a petty thing to do.
The status of ex-friend isn’t as formal as ex-bf/gf, IMO, and it’s a little weird to run around trying to give presents back. Where do you draw the line? If you move out of state, do you have to give everything back to everyone you know? What if you both get too busy to hang out and you just end up not calling each other anymore? You can see we’re sliding down a slippery slope here. FWIW, I don’t get too hung up over exchanging old presents with ex-girlfriends, either. I still have my last ex’s Tool CD and I used a big bag of TP that was technically hers, and she has or used my laundry detergent and my super-hardcore prescription Motrin bottle plus a couple of other things I can’t even really remember.
Gifts are gifts. Once they’re given, the giver shouldn’t expect to ever get them back. That goes for friendships, relationships, and even family. Of course, there are always exceptions to this rule, especially when things of great sentimental value are involved, but that doesn’t seem to be the case here.
Specific to the OP: He’s got several copies of this disc already. He gave you a copy as a gift. It’s yours, and you can do what you want with it. If you really need the money, go ahead and sell it… but if you’re just selling it because you know this is what would piss him off the most, then you’re just being mean, in my opinion. Of course, if it’s something you’d enjoy listening to, keep it. Just because it came from someone you’re no longer friends with doesn’t mean you aren’t allowed to like it!
One thing I don’t understand is why selling it would automatically eliminate the possibility of you ever being friends again. Why would he even find out? And if he does find out, well, you have the famous excuse “we were on a break” that you can use.
If I were you, I’d stash it in a drawer for a few years. You never know, he MAY have a change of heart (I once had a friend get back in touch with me after ignoring me for an entire year), or some kind of crazy circumstances might bring you together again.
And even if that doesn’t happen, in a few years you may no longer associate it so strongly with the hurt feelings it caused you.
I’d say do what you want with it, except don’t give it back. It’s yours now. That being said, I wouldn’t get rid of it right away, if ever. I have a bracelet that was a gift from an ex-boyfriend that I love so much I don’t care if he’s an ex, I’ve kept it and I’m going to wear it! If you’re not going to ever listen to it again then selling it would be an option, but if you love the music but want to get rid of the CD because of the associations with your ex-friend I’d hold on to it for awhile. Your feelings about getting rid of it may change.