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Author Topic: Advice Please: The Unwanted Major Present from the Spouse
SmirkDirk
I'm Dreaming of a White Sale


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I need advice. My SO, for my main Christmas present got me a DVD projector thingie. I'm a big movie buff, so it seemed to be a no-brainer for her. Except, that the projector she got me is really a toy made by Hasbro. I know it cost about $300, and I know that that's why she got so excited about it. A low-end "real" DLP projector starts at around $600. This thing is really not functional for my needs.

She always does really good on Christmas and Birthday presents. The 30 gig U2 Ipod she bought me in September for my birthday has changed the way I relate to music, and now I cannot picture being without it. The PS2 two years ago still gets mucho use. But this projector really, really sucks. It's really meant for kids who don't care about picture quality. The image is all pixel-ly. She's asked me twice already if I like my present, and I've lied and said yes, even though, back at my own place the thing is already re-boxed up and ready to go back to the retailer from whence it came.

I really don't want to hurt her feelings, but this thing is not something I'm going to use. We all get presents we don't want, shirts from an Aunt, some crap movie from an uncle, but this thing was expensive enough that I just don't feel that I can shrug it off. Plus, pretty soon she's gonna figure out that I'm not using it because, well, I'm not using it.

I don't even want a replacement present or the money. I just don't want the money to be wasted since it is quite a bit.

Let's face it. I'm going to have this conversation with her sometime in the next few days, I just want to soften the blow. I recall a few weeks ago she talked about getting my present and feeling so lucky because there were only 2 left and so on. Getting this thing meant a lot to her, and she really thought she was getting a deal, and she also thought I would absolutely flip out. (Which I would have if it wasn't a pixel-ridden kid's toy.)

I just hate to see that crest-fallen look upon her pretty face. Any suggestions on how to avoid it?

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SiKboy
Deck the Malls


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Ouch, thats a tough one. I guess you just keep stressing how it was the RIGHT idea, it was a GREAT thought etc (and it was, you would like a projector, she got you one), and that she couldnt have known that this one wasnt great.

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Hubert Cumberdale
We Wish You a Merry Giftmas


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You could tell her you've been doing some research about the projector online and you read that almost all of them break down after several months of use and the company has horrible customer service so rather than wait for that to happen you'd rather return it while you can so her money won't go to waste.

And how bad is the picture? I was considering getting one for myself, but for $300 I can probably just get a small flat panel TV.

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2ys4u
We Wish You a Merry Giftmas


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Jst tell her.

My bf has told me he hasn't liked a gift or two before.

She may seemed a little hurt, but she'll get over it.

I'd be more hurt about the wasted $300. Make sure you mention that you don't want her to waste her money, and that you appreciate the gesture and all the time and effort she put into making you happy.

Good luck!

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"Guns and butter."

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Cinnamon
The First USA Noel


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Maybe when you return it you can put the refunded money towards one that is actually of use to you? That way you can show your SO that you really did love the idea, because you're going to put some of your own money towards a suitable replacement, and always refer to the replacement as her Christmas present to you. In all honesty, she's probably going to be hurt whatever happens since she thinks she has done so well. Stress how great her ideas are, that you really appreciate her generosity (because $300 on one person? Eep! I probably spent about £300 on Christmas presents but that covered 16 people) and that you love the thought she puts into it.

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Tzarina
Xboxing Day


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Just tell her. She'll be more hurt to find out you returned it without talking to her about it. Just let her know that it's a cool gift, and that it's very cool that she knows your tastes so well.

But tell her the truth. While it's a cool gift, it's made for kids, and the quality of the picture isn't the greatest. And as a videophile you won't get as much enjoyment out of it as someone who's a little less into their films.

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Sara at home
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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Maybe she will realize it for herself when she watches a movie.

You won't be able to avoid the crest-fallen look, but better to have it while you can still return the item than when she realizes it isn't what she thought it was.

Edited because the first response was dumb.

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Assume that all my posts will be edited at least once. Dyslexic -- can't spell, can't type, can't proofread.

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Menolly
We Three Blings


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Yep, tough one indeed. I agree with using *all* the positive statements you can come up with, and you've got some great ones in your second paragraph.

The best scenario I can come up with is have the SO over for her favorite dinner *and a movie on the new projector.* Be honest--tell her you love the idea but have tried and can't get a decent picture. Then bring out all the compliments and hopefully she'll understand without being too embarassed.

ETA: then take it back. $300 is a lot of money.

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SmirkDirk
I'm Dreaming of a White Sale


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Thanks for the great responses! I think as most of you seem to agree, that as gently as I phrase it, as great an idea it was, there is not going to be a way around the initial hurt, but still, the phrasing is the most important part. I do think that letting the return time slip away and letting her discover for herself that I don't actually use it and the wasting of the money will hurt more in the long run.

I certainly don't think it was her fault at all. A projector is a projector is a projector, or so you would think. Even the user reviews of the item on Amazon, are good, but most of them do point out that it is a toy intended for kids who don't care about picture quality. She bought it at Target so didn't really have access to the user opinions. Also, I don't know if she kept the receipt. Is Target good about returns on high-priced items such as this?

Here is a link to the item in case anyone is curious:

http://www.amazon.com/Hasbro-75052-Zoombox-Entertainment-Projector/dp/B000BO5UHI/ref=pd_rhf_p_1/102-3033667-6882525

BTW: This is the best messageboard ever in regards to just a helpful, smart, NORMAL community of people! I knew you all would steer me the right way!

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Lainie
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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I agree you need to be upfront about this, and as soon as possible. Be as positive as you can. She may still feel like a doofus (I would), but with time and the right attitude from you, she'll get over it.

Congratulations on having an SO who knows you well. FWIW, you sound like a very nice boyfriend.

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Sara at home
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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If she put it on a Target credit card, she doesn't need a receipt. Open electronics? That's dicey everywhere, I think. Hope she has the receipt or the gift receipt.

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Assume that all my posts will be edited at least once. Dyslexic -- can't spell, can't type, can't proofread.

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Barbara
Layaway in a Manger


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SmirkDirk, any chance of picking up the projector you want at a decent price in any of the after Christmas sales? If so, you and the wife could make a day of it, returning yours to Target, getting a far better one somewhere else for only a little bit more, and somewhere along the line hitting a food court for some fizzy drinks and a bit of teenage handholding under the tables.
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Nicki
Deck the Malls


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I've never had a problem returning items to Target but I haven't returned anything costing that much.

When you tell her that although this isn't exactly what you wanted maybe you could ask her to came along and help pick out a another one, or something different.

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Tzarina
Xboxing Day


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If it's from Target and she didn't use cash, they'll be able to track it using the credit card, whether it's a Target card or not. The only thing is, if she didn't keep the receipt, you'll only get store credit, most likely.

And I second Barbara's idea of making a day of it.

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SmirkDirk
I'm Dreaming of a White Sale


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quote:
Originally posted by Barbara:
SmirkDirk, any chance of picking up the projector you want at a decent price in any of the after Christmas sales? If so, you and the wife could make a day of it, returning yours to Target, getting a far better one somewhere else for only a little bit more, and somewhere along the line hitting a food court for some fizzy drinks and a bit of teenage handholding under the tables.

In a perfect world this is a great idea, but unfortunately I'm all tapped out, and the good ones are a minimum $600 even taking into consideration sales and things. I had first become interested in them last Spring after watching the Superbowl at a friends house. He had the picture taking up a whole 10' wide wall. His projector was crystal clear even at that extreme size. I was impressed. I researched and found out later that the bulbs have a relatively limited lifespan and cost $200 to $300 to replace when they burn out. I decided that until I was a rich man or the prices for the units and bulbs came waaaay down that I wouldn't be getting one.

SO knew all of this, but I guess when she saw this little $300 one, she thought maybe that the prices had dropped. Her heart was in the right place.

However, I think the handholding and fizzy drinks could still happen...

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Jocko's Jolly
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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Is there something else you'd like that would fall into the $300 range? If so, then you could suggest that as the replacement. If not, and if you can get the money back from Target (and not a store credit), then perhaps you could suggest that the two of you have a romantic weekend with the money -- book a night or two at a nice hotel or a B&B, have a nice dinner, etc. (you can take care of the etc., I'm sure!). That way, there's still something memorable that's been done with her money and any hurt feelings she has will be smoothed over by the happy romantic memories.

And I agree with Lainie -- you are very sweet to be so worried about how this will affect her.

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Like every good third-in-a-series it contains a whole load of ewoks, ‘Clubber’ Lang, whey-faced Sophia Coppola, Sean Connery as the Pirate Captain’s estranged dad, a crappy CGI alien, and Richard Pryor on a donkey. -- Gideon Defoe

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The Vanilla Gorilla
I'm Dreaming of a White Sale


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I have had a projector for about 2 years now(an Infocus 4805 Screenplay), and picked it up for about $600. So far I haven't had to replace the bulb though I don't use it all the time(especially during the day when all the ambient light coming in). But when I bought it I had looked at www.projectorcentral.com for reviews and have been pretty happy with it. Was even teased about it by my fianci's mom and sister until her mom came over and saw what it looked like and said, "Wow this is like being at the movies." and has never made fun of me again. Anyways, this has been OT, but what I was getting at is that I really doubt this projector you were given would be to your liking and would probably disapoint bouth of you. My fiance has given me a few things that I don't particulary care for but I end up being honest with her about it. I mean if you keep the projector but never use it that may hurt her more then just saying that it was designed for kids. But as mentioned above, just make a day of it going out and returning the gift and buying something else. Hopefully you can get her money back, but if not I am sure you can find something of equal value at Target. Or if you do get the money back maybe put it into a fund to buy a projector later on. Either way I have found with my fiance that she can tell if I am being honest with her about not liking or not-liking something, best to get it out now.

Good luck!

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Mad Jay
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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I would keep it till I find a better one at the price I can afford. I think she has been giving you great gifts uptill now. One bad gift after 2 really great ones is better than par. You can't afford to buy a good one anyways. Why not use this one till you can? When you do buy a new one, you will be able to justify the purchase by comparing the features.

DO you really hate it? Does looking at it give you the creeps? If you are ambivalent about it, why not keep it? It's not like you have anything better!!

Is there is something else that you desperately need and you could use the $300 towards? (and by desperate need I mean a need that is more towards food-on-the-table-need than a got-to-have-that-game need) If yes, then you can try explaining the need for that other thing, and hope that she understands. Otherwise, keep it and use it occasionally.

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Nico Sasha
In between my father's fields;And the citadels of the rule; Lies a no-man's land which I must cross; To find my stolen jewel.

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SmirkDirk
I'm Dreaming of a White Sale


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quote:
Originally posted by The Vanilla Gorilla:
Was even teased about it by my fianci's mom and sister until her mom came over and saw what it looked like and said, "Wow this is like being at the movies." and has never made fun of me again.

This just cracked me up!! It does seem pretty geeky, but once you really watch a good one they blow you away.

A later poster said that I could just keep it 'til I get a better one, but I can't explain how bad the picture is. Basically, I prefer my current 22" television to this projector. In fact, watched Clerks II last night on the television.

I think I'll just be honest with her and return it. We want to take a trip with the kids this Spring and we can put the money towards those plane tickets...

(The other thing is, I haven't actually been alone with her yet since the present opening ceremonies, the kids have been there the whole time, and I really think I want to have this conversation with her when I have her complete attention.

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Troberg
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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My god, you are a bunch of lousy liars! You need to practice...

Assuming you have the money to make up the difference, return it, put your money in and get the one you want. Tell her that there was some technical problem with it and you got this one instead because they were out of that model (she told you she was lucky to get one). If there is a huge price difference, tell her that you chipped in a little to make up for it.

If you don't have the reciept, don't worry. As long as you are buying something more expensive instead, most stores won't be picky about such details, especially not after Christmas.

You get what you want, no feelings hurt (except perhaps the manufacturer who get a reputation for making stuff that breaks down that they don't deserve) and everybody is happy.

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/Troberg

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AdmiralDinty
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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I just went through the same thing with my wife. She bought me a massaging seat pad (it goes on top of your chair and vibrates. While I certainly appreciated the thought (I have been getting a sharp pain between my shoulder blade and spine), the thing did nothing for me and is bulkey. I didn't think that I would really use it.

So, although I felt bad about telling her, I was honest, and she understood. We're going to return it today, and maybe I'll get something else instead.

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"I wanna bite the hand that feeds me. I wanna bite that hand so badly. I wanna make them wish they'd never seen me." - Elvis Costello

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LyndaD
Jingle Bell Hock


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I think honesty is the best policy, espcecially for something like this. She's sure to notice you not using it, and having said that you like it not using it will make that a lie.
I agree, she'll probably be a bit hurt at firdt. But I know I'd appreciate the honesty in the long run, and I think either putting the refunded money away until you can get one you ewant, or choosing something else that you really want in that price category is a good idea, especially if you include her in the exchanging expedition.
I second other, you do sound like a really nice boyfriend, and she sounds like a sweet, thoughtful lady.

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BeachLife
The Bills of St. Mary's


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I would say that if you can't talk to her about this gift, you might want think some more about your relationship. I am sure she would rather know the truth.

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Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
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Nonny Mouse, on Santa's laptop
Once in Royal Circuit City


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I think the most important thing is to make sure she knows how much you appreciate the thought, and that you're disappointed for her that her carefully chosen gift didn't work out. Tell her that the knowledge that you have someone in your life who'd go to that much trouble and expense for you is a wonderful gift all by itself. Then, as others have suggested, take her with you to help pick out a replacement gift, because that will show her you still trust her (usually impeccable!) taste and judgement.

One cool thing about returning a single, $300 present is that you can, if you wish, go on a spree and get lots of less expensive things!

Nonny

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erwins
Deck the Malls


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I agree with Nonny, but would ask you this: Was the $300 likely a stretch for her? If so, then when you return the gift, you probably should either offer her the $ back, or make the replacement gift shopping be for something a little less.

If it was a big stretch for her to spend that money on you, she likely felt okay about it because she thought she was getting you the perfect gift. When she finds out it wasn't perfect, she may regret the amount she spent. (I mean, would she wish she had bought you 20 DVDs instead? Or just a different, still extravagant $150 gift?

erwins

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ChelleGame
We Wish You a Merry Giftmas


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Put it off on the manufacturer making a substandard product -- her idea was terrific, but that lousy Hasbro... (Sorry Hasbro!) You're blown away that she knows you so well though! [Wink]

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Michelle

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Loyhargil
We Three Blings


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Smirkdirk, I support what everyone's said about being gracious while being honest.

If it's any encouragement, I had something very similar happen this weekend. Mom got us kids something for "helping out," as she put it, while Dad was dying of cancer (we don't consider it "helping," we considered it "being family," but there ya go). She wanted us all to have something meaningful that would always make us think of Dad.

My present was a very beautiful pair of gold and pearl earrings, and it was particularly sweet because the pearl is my birthstone. But I almost never wear yellow gold, and over 10 years ago, I had already bought what I consider my perfect pair of gold and pearl earrings for those rare occasions I wear yellow gold. I felt horrible that Mom got me something she wanted to serve a particular purpose, but that I'd likely never use.

When she asked if I liked them, I was honest. I told her they were beautiful, and I love pearls, but I probably wouldn't wear them often, and they didn't immediately call Dad to mind. Her response? "I'm so glad you told me that. I want you to have something that will always remind you of Dad. Let's pick out something else.". Mom liked the earrings so much, she kept them herself. And together we picked out a sterling silver "lace butterfly" pendant from jamesavery.com. Dad and I watched a certain butterfly together through the window the day before he died, so I will remember that moment every time I wear that pendant. Mom is happy, because the butterfly is meaningful, and something I'll wear often. Okay, I'll also admit I said a lot of, "I'm so sorry, they're so pretty, I just fear I'd rarely wear them" and similar things. Because I did feel bad, her intentions were so good.

But the point is, don't be afraid to say something. The person you love wants you to have something meaningful and useful. In the same situation, I'd personally want my SO to have something he'd use and love rather than something he'd end up putting in the closet. And as I found out this weekend, the gift-giver generally wants you to have what YOU want, so don't be afraid to gently, gracefully, and gratefully bring up any concerns.

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Neffti Noel
We Three Blings


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Hey I've been on the other end of this one - I bought DH a (piano) keyboard that I thought could do a whizz-bangy thing for about £200 less than I thought it would be.

Turned out it was £200 less because it wasn't actually as whizz-bangy as I thought. DH opened it, he said "Wow, you've put such a lot of thought into this! You've spent a fortune! I can't believe you remembered how much I wanted a whizz-bangy keyboard!" and so on. Then, he tried it out while I watched and it plainly didn't do the whizz-bang thing he wanted it to. "Never mind" he said, "Maybe we could take it back to the shop and get one next year when the price comes down?"

Best of all, when we got back to the shop and I produced the receipt, he hugged me so hard he lifted me off the floor saying stuff like "I can't believe you spent that much on me!"

So at first, I was a little crestfallen, but mostly because I thought I'd found a bargain result for my husband when in fact I hadn't. All the compliments made up for it, and very quickly I was glad that I hadn't wasted £250 on something that was destined for the loft.

So my advice is, just demonstrate to her why her money could be put to better use, and thank her often and genuinely for her thought and her cash!

Posts: 1157 | From: Westcountry UK "It's Bootiful" | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
   

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