While rummaging through my desk recently I came across a portable MP3 player. It was just sitting there, shiny and all pretty like. I hadn’t used the thing since I got it. Being that it was just laying around collecting dust, it was the perfect candidate for an Ebay auction, I thought. So I posted it; bidding starts at $25, NO RESERVE. Oh yes, there was one detail that slipped my mind at the time. This spectacular piece of technology was actually a Christmas present from my girlfriend. She of course found out about this auction, and was not too happy about it. Actually that’s an understatement, she was extremely upset. She says she wants out of this relationship. Words like “I deserve better than a fucking piece of shit asshole like you” come to mind.

It’s not that I forgot that it was a gift. I just wasn’t consciously thinking about it, I had a lot on my mind. Where is the sentimental value in a piece of consumer electronics anyway? Shit, it’s not like I’m pawning a wedding ring for God’s sake. Anyway, I admit it was a thoughtless act. I did apologize and offer to halt the auction and keep the device simply as a symbol of remembrance. But that's not good enough for her. I’m certainly not perfect, but am I really that much of an asshole???

(Note: I am a guy, and therefore many girl posters may consider me insensitive for what I am about to say. But in real life I'm very sensitive.)

You are definitely not an asshole for selling off that present on eBay. Whether you are for noding about it depends on whether you get caught!

Seriously, though, it's like this: the gift was given out of love, right? Out of a sense that maybe this was something you would like and find useful. And, well, you would get more use out of something else, so you decided to sell it. Admittedly, it would have been courteous to let her know that you intended to sell it for something more appropriate to your needs, and that you still love her. But she should understand that anyway. She should also understand that you are much more likely to remember her gesture and the occasion if you have something you actually use than if you have something forgotten in a drawer.

She sounds pretty controlling. In fact, if she is taking issue with it, it sounds like she was trying to buy your love or manipulate you with it:

You can do what I want you to do, or nothing at all. But don't do something that makes you happy with what I have given you.

Now that you are selling it she feels less in control. That sucks for her, but she didn't give it in the right spirit. That kinda sucks for you, because you found this out, but now you know what spirit she gave it in, and you can think about the relationship.

One final note: If she claims that you don't appreciate her effort in trying to find something for you, that pretty much proves what I said: she is trying to buy your love. You will know this for sure if she tries to break up and says anything about presents either of you have given each other, either that she wants to trade them back, or conversely if she makes a point of saying you don't have to. If they are tokens of love, freely given, then they shouldn't come up. If she does, she's pulling a Cartman.

As soon as I saw this node title I remembered two very different songs.
If I gave you present / would you try to exchange it?
- Ben Lee - Don't Leave
They call her name at 7:30
I pace around the parking lot
Then I walk down to buy her flowers
And sell some gifts that I got

- Brick by Ben Folds Five:

The latter song has always had the power, whatever my mood, to make me feel instantly sad. The guy in the song is in a bad situation, feeling crappy and obviously a bit low on funds.

Ketaset, your situation is probably different. For one thing it doesn't make me feel morose and no one is playing sweet slow melancholic piano music in the background. For another, selling your gift was (hopefully) not something you did because you needed the money. Although you say you'd never used the MP3 player I can understand why your girlfriend was upset. Admit it, it was a bit insensitive. What I don't understand is the huge reaction she had. This is really looking like it's going to break up your relationship? Blimey. That's a serious reaction to a rather minor offence. It's not like you were shagging her mum.

Perhaps you should have cleared it with her first. Your situation does have a bright side, by noding it you've brought the matter to the attention of your fellow nodes, who (myself included) will probably now think twice about selling gifts from loved ones.

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