However, sometimes it backfires!
One of my daughter’s friends has a penchant for French themed decorating and has recently made over her bedroom in that style. Because I often trawl eBay for little random things, I happened to see a little wooden pencil case with a print of the Eiffel Tower on it. At about $2 including shipping, I thought it was a nice little RAK that I could afford.
So, purchase said item and input the friend’s name and address for delivery. Sorted.
Now, do I tell her, or avoid the feeling of obligation and leave it anonymous? I thought anonymous. Also, it’s likely to take 3-6 weeks coming by sea cucumber from China and I don’t want her to have to wait.
I’d forgotten all about it until I saw a few of her family’s Facebook posts over the recent holidays showing that they were away. I sent a brief message to her mum via a comment on one of her pictures that they should look out for a little parcel when they arrived home. Too easy.
It is now a new term and I have seen the young lady at school. She’s in my classes and kindly brought me a very sweet gift back from their travels. I was really grateful, but felt a tiny bit disappointed that the obligatory payback of gifts that I had been concerned about, had occurred. Nevertheless, I thanked her and enjoyed my tasty treat.
Today it struck me as odd that she had not mentioned the little pencil box, so I asked her about it in class today,
“G–, did you have to go to the Post Office to get that little parcel?”
I made a motion with my hands (as she was across the classroom) to indicate the general size and shape of the box and she looked at me in surprise.
“Was that from you? That little Eiffel Tower box?”
“Yes, I thought you knew that. I sent Mum a message when you were on holidays.”
“No, that came ages ago. Before we went away. I had no idea what it was or who it was from. Mum didn’t want me to open it in case it was like a bomb or something!”
At this point, I looked similar to a gaping goldfish, laughing and stunned at the same time.
“Really?! What happened?”
“Well, we didn’t recognise the address, but thought it might be from the exchange student we’d had here earlier. Then I googled the address and it was a pretty weird place we couldn’t connect to anything. Eventually, Mum let me open it and we bothe sniffed and shook it to see if it was ok. It’s sitting on my desk at home, unused, because we still didn’t know if it was ok.”
“I’m so sorry!” I gasped between laughing breaths, “It was meant to be a little treat and then I’d told Mum on one of her comments. I thought you knew. I certainly didn’t mean to cause you fear or stress about it! That’s actually hilarious!”
So, sometimes kindness (especially the unplanned, random kind) can backfire! 😕
She’s going to go home and relieve Mum of her stress…and use the box.