I received a comment from one of my readers last week who found herself in a tricky situation in regards to decluttering a certain object. Read the comment below to understand the dilemma. I have edited it so that the artist involved wouldn’t recognise it is about them if by some weird twist of fate they should happen to read it.
I have a tricky one for you and your readers! A very good friend who comes to my house regularly created a painting AT MY REQUEST for my birthday. That was 4 years ago, and to be perfectly honest, I didn’t really love the painting then, and I like it less now. It’s just too dark for my house, which I like to be light and airy. I’ve moved the painting from a prominent position to a sort of hidden spot in the another room, but I KNOW she would notice if it was gone, as it isn’t a big house. Maybe I could say one of the kids put their foot through the canvas?
The question is what should she do about the painting…
- Should she donate it and hope the friend never asks where it went.
- Should she be up-front and explain to the friend that the shade of it no longer suits her tastes and offer the painting back to her friend or perhaps ask if she can swap it for another piece that she likes better.
- Should she persevere with it in another room where she looks at it less and then if the person asks at least she can say she still has it but felt like she needed a change.
- Or is it alright to tell a little white lie (if the friend should ask about it’s whereabouts) that it somehow met its demise by way of a freak accident. Or perhaps say that another acquaintance simply loved it so much you re-gifted it to them because you were intending to buy a new one from her.
I asked my son the art student what he would feel/do as the artist who noticed it missing…
He said he would probably asked where it went out of curiosity but wouldn’t be upset if it had been passed on to someone else. He felt that four years was a reasonable amount of time to have had it displayed and would understand that a person may have changed taste and it no longer suited them. He said he would not be happy had it just been thrown away.
My husband tended to agree with my son but said he would prefer to have been offered the painting back.
Cindy suggested saying “I love this painting, but the longer I live with it, the more I wish it reflected me/my lifestyle/ my beliefs / something, and I am wondering if you might warm it up / lightening it up for me.”
Not knowing the artist makes it hard for a third party to come up with the best possible solution but it also gives a more detached logical twist as to how to resolve the problem. I personally like the idea of offering it back to the artist and asking if you can swap it for one that matches your new shade preference. That way the request in no way insults the painting or her/him as an artist but suggests that it is you the owner that has changed but would still love to own one of their pieces.
A true friend would understand and consider your feelings to be important so if this breaks the relationship then you have to ask yourself how strong was it in the first place. I know that I have given things to people and then have never seen them using the gift or displaying it, and I just chalk it up to me not choosing wisely in the first place. Unfortunately, not every one is this insensitive when it comes to giving.
I hope this has been a help to my commenter (who shall remain nameless) and to anyone facing the same situation.
Today’s Declutter Item
This was one of those foolish bargains too good to resist purchases before testing the product to see how well it worked. My guess is that they were a faulty batch and that was why they were selling them off cheap. Because they were crap and I am not sure why I thought 8 years was going to make a difference to their performance. Needless to say they went in the bin.
Things I am grateful for today
- Those odd little things you come across during your normal daily meandering that make you go “Interesting”. Everyday should be different in its own unique way.
- Lunch with a friend
- Cute moments when your kids say things that are quite wise for their age.
- Having a joke with my boy.
- My little girl is taking action instead of just sitting back waiting for life to happen.
Below are photos of the Christmas pudding that intrigued some of my readers during the lead up to Christmas. The first picture shows the pudding hanging after being boiled wrapped in cloth for 3 hours. The 2nd picture was taken right after the pudding was removed from the cloth after another 2 hours of boiling on Christmas day a week later (You can hang it for much longer than that). The 3rd picture is of my slice of pudding with custard and cream MMMM Yum. And the last one is of the pudding after everyone had a slice. If you would like a better look just click on one of the photos and it will take you the Steve’s Flickr photo stream.
It matters not how fast I go, I hurry faster when I’m slow.