When it’s NOT a gift

I recently baked a lemon meringue pie for my in-laws.  While we were sitting down to eat it, the pie inspired a long-forgotten memory of theirs:

Many years ago, another family had borrowed their electric mixer.  It was not a fancy appliance, just a glorified egg-beater, really.  Two years went by, and the mixer was not returned. 

As time progressed they grew tired of always having to use a fork or manual egg-beater, while their mixer had apparently been adopted by their ‘friends’.  So eventually they asked for it back, and went around to collect it. 

The family who’d borrowed it were most definitely not happy to return it – nor even embarrased about the excessive length of time they’d borrowed it for.  Quite the opposite – they even made one last guilt trip as they handed the mixer over: “The family will miss their lemon meringue pies,” said the matriarch despondently.

I was spluttering with outrage when this was relayed to me.  These people had borrowed something for a huge length of time, hadn’t said thank-you for the use of it, and hadn’t given even a tiny thank-you gift?  (One of those lemon meringue pies, for example, would have been appropriate!)

It just goes to show.  Some people seem to think that a borrowed item is a gift – or at least wish it were so.  Not classy.

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