Guilty and a little bit ashamed

I live in an "adult oriented" townhouse complex where at 65, seem to be the young one on the block. Furthermore, it appears at least in the area that I live, the ratio of men to woman here is 2 to 1. So, over the last 10 years I have become the first line of inquiry when a house-hold repair problem occurs. I also shovel snow. This is not the problem, actually I enjoy the repairs: the changing of light bulbs, furnace filters, smoke detectors and such. However, because of my disposition, I insist that only my costs be refunded. This is where the problem arises. Some of the recipients too insist something. Usually a gift in the forms of alcohol, flowers (?) and baked goods. But, I do not drink alcohol, have no need of flowers and only eat foods with no preservatives. Now, I have thought about this. When I am given these "tokens of appreciation" should I refuse them or gracefully say thank you and then later discard them. I must say, in the past I did refuse some alcohol with the explanation of "I don't drink alcohol", but then the look of disappointment on that woman’s face changed me. My confession: I graciously accept these gifts and then later, with guilt, discard them.


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Accept the Gift

Jan 15, 2022 at 8:03pm

It's not so much a gift as a way of showing appreciation. It allows them to do more than just say some nice words. Be gracious, accept the gift and then do what you wish with it.

11 1Rating: +10


Jan 15, 2022 at 8:49pm

Sometimes when asked how did it taste, I say, "It was good thank you".

6 2Rating: +4


Jan 15, 2022 at 9:07pm

It seems to me that the people so appreciate you helping them out and in their hearts they want to thank you for helping them because so few people help each other out these days.
So my advice accept the gifts and then give the sweet thoughts to others you know that might appreciate the gifts given to you. Nothing goes to waste and you don't have to see that sad look in their eyes by refusing their little gifts to say thank you.
It's a win win for you.
You sound like a very nice man for helping the ladies out, keep up the good work :)

15 3Rating: +12

Peace of advice

Jan 15, 2022 at 9:18pm

After ten years, a little more conversation should definitely influence what your neighbours give as a token of appreciation, if you let it be known what you require. If you don’t, you can’t blame them for trying. If you are offering these services for free, being expectant of payback is tacky.

2 6Rating: -4


Jan 15, 2022 at 9:23pm

I can see no need for you to feel guilt or shame. You are being very kind and helpful to folks who can’t do the job themselves. Perhaps a note under everyone’s door addressed to ‘Fellow Residents” clarifying your preferences will rectify the situation. Good luck!

5 6Rating: -1

I've been in this situation many times.

Jan 16, 2022 at 12:42pm

I've been given everything from bath salts to bibles to jam. It's sometimes an act of kindness to accept kindness. Smile & gratefully accept the tokens of appreciation. Instead of discarding the items, consider donating the food items to your local Food Bank & other items to a local charity thrift store. If they asked how you enjoyed the item, just smile through that white lie & say "Terrific! Thank you!" And good on ya for being a good neighbor!

16 2Rating: +14

My dude

Jan 17, 2022 at 8:40pm

It’s called donation! You get to regift and pay forward the cheer, go nuts accept everything with delight make peoples day and then pass it on! If someone asks how you liked it you can say it was great and not lie because you enjoyed giving it away :)

6 2Rating: +4


Jan 18, 2022 at 7:17am

In a polite preemptive stance, you could say tips are appreciated. They can donate to your favorite charity. To further wav off then say you sometimes you get gifts you cannot use like alcohol etc. then laugh to break the ice.

2 4Rating: -2

My advice

Jan 18, 2022 at 8:58am

Hold on to the booze because it'll be a hot commodity when everything else collapses and send the goodies my way if no food bank will take them.

2 5Rating: -3


Jan 19, 2022 at 3:28am

Not about the gifts because everyone else has covered that part. But you said that the ratio of men to women where you live is 2 to 1. That would mean that there’s twice as many men as there are women. So did you actually mean that the ratio of women to men is 2 to 1? Because that would make more sense in the context of what you’re talking about.

1 1Rating: 0

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