Knitters, we have arrived. This is from today’s Miss Manners column:
Dear Miss Manners:
I am a knitter. I took up the hobby a few years ago as a remembrance of a relative who was an avid knitter, and I found that it satisfied me in unexpected ways. It reminds me of my relative, relaxes me and provides a creative outlet.
Naturally, one of the most enjoyable aspects is giving the items I produce to friends and relatives and seeing them in use. Last year I made a little sweater in my niece's favorite color and sent it to her "just because." She liked it and wore it, and I saw pictures of her in it, which was all very gratifying. Recently I saw that my sister had listed it for sale on eBay as part of a large batch of used clothes for sale. It sold for a pittance. I feel kind of hurt and upset over this.
I haven't confronted her because I'm not sure what I really expected her to do with it when it no longer fit. This just makes me very uncomfortable and concerned about the disposition of future gifts. They take a lot of time and money to create. Each one is made with a specific person in mind, and to me that makes it priceless, in a way. Still, I understand that a gift is a gift and it would be improper to request it back. What do you think?
That you had hoped that the sweater would be kept as an heirloom to be passed to your niece's children and grandchildren. You have, Miss Manners observes, a charmingly sentimental nature, as evidenced by your continued association of your hobby with your relative.
But you cannot require this of others. A present is a present to be used as the recipient chooses. True, the giver should be spared pain, but the chances of your finding this on eBay -- please tell Miss Manners you weren't looking for it -- are so small as to be considered an accident.