Should I have been offended? What would you have done?

United States
June 6, 2007 6:49pm CST
With two children, a plethora of students, and a wonderful hubby who never forgets a special occassion or event, I find myself with many beautiful gift bags. I do not throw them away! I fold them nicely and when I need to give a gift, I have a bag in which to place my gift! I see this practice as good for the environment as well as my pocketbook! My daughter and I wanted to give a little thank-you gift to her band director of four years at her recent graduation ceremony. When we approached him (the band director) one of my daughter's friends and her mother was talking to him. They finished talking but did not walk away so my daughter gave the gift to the director. The lady standing there said, "That is the bag that we gave B (my daugher) her birthday gift in last month!" What would you have said? Would you have been offended? For a split second I was mortified, then I quickly gained my composure and said, "Yes, we thought it was simply too pretty to throw away so we are reusing it. Besides, the motto at our house is 'save a tree.'"
15 people like this
43 responses
@villageanne (8554)
• United States
7 Jun 07
That was so rude. We do that also. Why would anyone ever throw away a bag when they cost so much. You know what... If she had not done it herself, she would not have had the thought that it was the same bag. Just a thought.
5 people like this
• United States
7 Jun 07
Well, in hindsight, I have also considered that I doubt it was the ONLY bag of its kind/color! I mean, there are usually a few of one style when one shops for bags!
4 people like this
• United States
7 Jun 07
That person was just plain mean that day. I think I would just stay away from her. LOL
1 person likes this
@brendalee (6083)
• United States
7 Jun 07
I would have been offended but your comeback was great. I don't think I would have thought of that. That was kind of rude for that other person to say. Its quite possible that you could have bought the exact same thing. I reuse those bags too. I see nothing wrong with it. In my family we have this one bag that we keep passing back and forth. Its kind of a family joke.
4 people like this
• United States
7 Jun 07
Yes!!! We have a 'family bag' too! It was used for my daughter-in-laws wedding shower and has 'reappeared' on many other occassions! We joke about it too, but then discuss how we have NOT bought bags and how much money and trees we have saved!
2 people like this
@4cuteboys (4102)
• United States
7 Jun 07
Wow, that seems pretty rude. But since I wasn't there it's hard to judge. Was she saying it like she was upset or joking? What makes it worse i nmy book is that she said it in front of the band director!! She could have at least done it in private!! I know I would have been embarassed, but it sounds like you had a good comeback, so good for you! I always reuse the bags too!
4 people like this
@urbangirl (1461)
• Australia
7 Jun 07
Wow - now this is a person whop doesn't think before she talks - that is all I would put it down to. Anyway, you could have bought the exact same gift bag. I would have said "what a coincidence" and left it at that - you don't have to explain.
• United States
7 Jun 07
Oh, I like that ..."what a coincidence" that would have been great! I was so taken aback that it was hard to think quickly about what to say!
• United States
7 Jun 07
The lady is an ignoramus. What difference does it make if you reuse the bag,everyone does that. I am glad you didn't loose your cool. You said the right thing at the right time, to someone so ignorant.
• United States
7 Jun 07
HAHAHAHHA. I hadn't heard 'ignoramus' since my grandmother passed away. She used that terminology often and I always found it so funny! Thanks for reminding me of her!
1 person likes this
@howard96h (11658)
• New York, New York
7 Jun 07
I also reuse those gift bags and that woman was very tacky to say that. You came out with a great response, good for you. Now in the future if you ever have to get that woman a gift, go staright to your kitchen and wrap it with silver foil. What a tacky nosey body she is.
3 people like this
@RenaeT (688)
• United States
7 Jun 07
I think you handled it excellently. That is what I would have done myself. Who DOESN'T recycle gift bags?? I mean, if they don't... they must have money to burn.
3 people like this
@jolenegreen (1209)
• United States
7 Jun 07
WOW! What a Snot! I would have been sooooo MAD! I dont know what I would have said to her. But it wouldnt have been very nice, LOL. You did a good thing (for the kids sake) and said something nice and very thoughtful. GREAT JOB! LOL. People can be soo rude nowadays! I save most my giftbags too just to reuse them! Saves me money...why throw out a perfectly nice bag?
3 people like this
@Debs_place (10525)
• United States
7 Jun 07
I do the same thing. those bags are way to nice and expensive to be used just once. I have used a bag to give someone a gift, I have seen the bag go on to someone else and then come back to me...and if it is in good condition, I will use it again. We need more of this mentality to save our planet. I would have given the teacher a compliment by saying something like 'Well I know Mr so and so, cares about our kids and their future and would appreciate the fact that I am trying to ensure a better world for everyone by re-using a bag. I would think that you should appreciate it too...and you did pick such a nice bag, so we did reuse it.' Make the other person feel stupid and then even worse by complimenting them, and let the teacher know you appreciate his work with your kids and feel that he cares about the environment as much as you do.
3 people like this
• United States
7 Jun 07
You know, its not like you are re-gifting the gift they bought. It is the right thing to do save them and reuse them, I do the same. I just feel it was rude and tackless, to have mentioned it. I mean would you rather the gift bag be thrown away? Or be honored that someone thought so much of the bag to save it and reuse it. We are such a throw away society, man my grandmother saved every little scrap of ribbon and lace, wrapping paper was used over and over again making our gifts unique every year. Don't let it bother you,,,, you did the right thing.
3 people like this
@deebomb (15322)
• United States
7 Jun 07
Boy thee is nothing wrong with use gift bags over again. I'll bet that that lady does. You gave a perfect come bact to a very rude lady. she should never have said any thing about having given your daughte a gift in the gift bag. Her manners were out the window. My hat is off to you for handleing the situation so smoothly.
3 people like this
@Grandmaof2 (7603)
• Canada
7 Jun 07
You know I almost think you'd have to be in this situation to know what you would say. I think the lady that said the bag was a used once already is a little wacked. Who does that? No kidding you did regain your composure. I'm sorry but I think it would be unfair for me to even guess what I would have said, but I know one thing for positive, you are excellent with words and it does take a talented person to cover their bases that quickly. Good Save crazynurse.
2 people like this
• Canada
7 Jun 07
Oh yes and for the record I reuse my bags too. Honest.
• United States
7 Jun 07
The lady who said it is quite a busy body. I have to work hard to like her. (not to sound arrogant, but she just rubs me the wrong way.) In hindsight, it is a wonder I didn't smart off to her, because I do have quite the red-headed temper to go with my red hair! Ha!
7 Jun 07
Embarrassed - When faced with an embarrassing situation, RUN!!!
What a great response you gave crazynurse!!!! I don't think I would have come up with such a good reply. I most probably would have said *with rosy cheeks* it is the same bag but I bought it because I liked this design so much, and then rushed off cursing the woman for putting me in this situation.
2 people like this
• United States
7 Jun 07
HaHa, Love the picture you posted!!! That is EXACTLY how I was feeling on the inside when the lady blurted out the bag comment. (notice I didn't say 'the old bag blurted out the comment ' *wink*).
@mjgarcia (725)
• United States
7 Jun 07
I'd say that the mother was extremely rude. There are more than one bag that comes off the assembly line that look the same. How did she know that you didn't simply buy one that looked like that? I do the same thing with bags. Why pay $2.00 or more for a bag thats only going to be used once? At my work we celebrate birthdays. One time I actually left the note inside from the previous giver. Now that was a bit embarrassing, but every laughed and said that they reuse their bags too.
2 people like this
• United States
7 Jun 07
HeHe, yeah, I did make sure that there was no tell-tell signs from the previous giver of teh bag!
1 person likes this
@nicolec (2673)
• United States
7 Jun 07
Was she trying to be rude or just simply pointing it out? I think you handled it right. I probably would have said something along the same lines. A hidden compliment. By saying that you told her she had great taste in gift bags while letting her know your families policy. Good for you.
2 people like this
• United States
7 Jun 07
I would have told her to get a life. It is only a bag. I wouldn't have been offended.I would have thought the woman was tacky for blurting that out. That was really imature of her.
2 people like this
@JoyfulOne (6242)
• United States
7 Jun 07
Geez! Some people! I think that was kind of rude, for sure. If it was me my take on it would be that she wished to show me as being cheap or something. Although, there ARE people who are clueless and just speak without thinking...period. I think you handled it in a most gracious way! And it's true, so much of that kind of thing gets thrown away when it's still in perfect condition. I re-gift gift bags all the time, I think it makes perfect sense to do so. I'm sure the band director didn't think anything bad about it, if anything he appreciated the gift as well as the recycling effort!
@MsTickle (24994)
• Australia
10 Jun 07
The rude so and so. I would have said, "Yes, we received several the same....they must have been on sale somewhere." Then gone on to say what you said. Well done.
@amyann16 (414)
• United States
9 Jun 07
I think you handled this beatifully. It certainly was tacky of this other mother to comment like this. The only motivation I can see for why she would do this is to be mean spirited, or she is one of those people that can not filter their thoughts before they are out of their mouths! We also reuse gift bags, rarely does a gift bag get used so rough that they shouldn't be used again.
1 person likes this
@TerryZ (22083)
• United States
7 Jun 07
Oh geez well I do the same thing. But you have to watch who give it back to.LOL I wouldnt worry about it. They will get over it. And if not just say oh well. I havent bought a gift bag in years. And by the way I would have said the same thing.LOL