Stage 1: DenialA set of Polynesian steak knives from Claire? Huh? I mean, I’ve already got some perfectly good steak knives, but these are Polynesian. Is there such a thing as decorative steak knives? That’s it! I’ll keep them on the credenza, in their lacquered, limited-edition case.
Stage 2: AngerSeriously? Even if steak knives could be decorative, what exactly goes with cold steel and a floral pastel handle? Not a Georgian-style mahogany credenza, that’s for darn sure. Now I’m going to have to trot these out every time Claire comes over. Forget hosting book club.
Stage 3: BargainingOK. It’s OK. Maybe there’s a gift receipt I missed somewhere. Or wait―maybe I can sell them online. No, that’s selfish. I could donate them. There must be some soup kitchen out there that needs knives. Would it be wrong to give them to Margie?
Stage 4: DepressionIt’s my own fault. I should have distributed a wish list. Now I’m stuck with gaudy credenza cutlery. The only option I have left is to give them to someone else. But I’d risk diminishing my relationship with Claire and being labeled an ungrateful friend.
Stage 5: AcceptanceDear Margie,
I hope you enjoy these limited-edition Polynesian steak knives. Saw them and thought of you immediately. See you at book club!