Is it an indian gift or a rip off?
April 29, 2015 2:41 PM   Subscribe

What would you do? My friend Ted and I have a disagreement about a pool cue that has fractured our relationship. Ted says I broke an agreement to trade with him for a cue case. He said I screwed him because when he showed up on Monday with the case I told him another friend, Dan had bought the cue over the weekend. I'll return to this in a moment but there is an element to this dispute regarding Gene giving me the disputed cue back in 2012 three years ago.

What happened was this.... my custom made cue was stolen after I left it at the billiards room in our 55+ community. In looking for a replacement I saw a style of custom cues that appealed to me. Ted told me that Gene, whom he had introduced me to when he took me to meet him in the nursing home he lived in after a bad stroke had a cue of this style. We went to visit him and inquire about the cue. Gene said he didn't think he wanted to sell it, perhaps he would give it to his son. He did have another cue in the room, a generic off brand that he had used for casual play. I do recall that initially Tom asked for it and Gene said you can have it I can't use it anymore. I said "how about giving it to me, I'm the one here looking for a cue". So he gave it to me.

I used it until I bought another cue that came highly recommended for serious players. I don't think it was then but sometime after that in 2013 Ted asked me to give him the disputed cue. I declined then and at least one other time. My social understanding is that when someone gives you something it is your choice to do with it what you decide. It becomes your property. I experienced the giver side shortly before this dispute arose. A former player, Dean, confined to a powered wheel chair from his stroke sold his custom cue to another friend of Ted's. The day he did I asked if he wanted to give the case I gave him for that cue back to me. Dean said no. And gave the case to the player he sold his cue to as part of that deal. Dissapointed, it was still my view that I had no claim that he should give it back to me and not profit from selling it to someone else. Once I gave it to him it was his to do with as he wanted.

Back to the current situation. Last Thursday Ted once again asked me to give him the cue. He said he wanted it for his son who can't afford to buy. I felt pressured by this. Ted has always given the impression that I owed giving the cue to him. I think I said I did not want to give it up for nothing. I know I did not name a price. He told me he had a cue case that he would trade me for it. He said he had two and I could choose. I replied that he should bring them on Monday and I would look at it. A while later he made a remark about this trade and I said "better to get something than nothing". Now I did not feel good about this. I knew that if I rejected the trade because I did not want either case that Ted would be angry with me and likely pressure me to take the deal.

On Saturday I took the cue to the billiards room where I was meeting Dan to play. I wanted to check it's level or straightness. I thought that perhaps I had noticed a warp in it the last time I used it. I told Dan about the impending trade and he asked if I wanted to sell, what did I want for it. I said $30.00. He replied that he would buy it. When I remarked that he had a cue (he is the least financial secure of all of us) he said he liked to have an extra cue. We then began to play and he put $40.00 on the table and asked for change. I gave him a ten.

As noted in the first paragraph when Ted asked if I had the cue I informed him that I had sold it. He was clearly angry and said that I had "screwed" him, that I had broken our agreement to trade. This was while I was looking at the case and thinking that there was no way I would trade the cue for the case. It would be like exchanging an as new condition coffee pot for chipped and stained mugs. Ted stormed out of the room. Shortly he came back and nothing more was said for the whole time we played (there were four others in the room with us).

Later on Monday he called me and told me that I was ostracized from the billiards room. (I no longer live in this community and play there as the guest of the residents). He went on to say that he would no longer "sponsor" me but that if I were there with another resident he would not bother me or try to make me leave. The effects of this are deeper tho. I am a player on this communities team in a league. This past season Ted pushed me off the captain ship after first asking me to take it over when the former captain got upset with him and left. He has no sanctioned authority there. He takes it on. He is the long term resident assuming leadership. He claimed he asked the players who live there to vote as I am not a resident. However none of the voting players are on the league team. It's only a small leap to presume that I will no longer be able to play on the team. These are the perks I am losing. In this rift I feel like I lose lose. If I give him the cue and he comes back with "all is forgiven" I will feel like I have been manipulated. I keep the cue and of course this friendship such as it is is gone (we don't socialize outside of pool). I can of course continue to play in the room with others which means he and I will play against each other as we mostly play partners.

I feel I will give up my self integrity by giving Ted the cue. Perhaps the billiards situation will return to what it was but I will feel uncomfortable . I do have other places I can go to play. Yet this club house is special to me. Perhaps you have the thought I am a free loader. I'm not. While I lived there I took on the "management" of the room. It was completley run down. I convinced the board to remodel, using carpet rather than tile for a large room with 8 tables, spearheaded replacing workshop cabinetry with an oak buffet for equipment and spent lots of time maintaining and contracting table restoration. Players told me I accomplished more in 3 years than in the previous 20. I continue to contribute; adding posters, photos of the players and finding a bargain on a bar table that Ted wanted for score keeping of league play. Yes the board reimbursed me (through Ted) but I picked it up and delivered it.

Yes none of that was personal to Ted. It is my position, as noted about Dean, that the cue was mine to do with as I chose and clearly it has some value with Dan paying $30.00. He has his $30.00 back. He said he did not want to be in the middle between Ted and I. So now I am here in the middle. Ted clearly has it in his mind that I owe him the cue. Finally we are back to the first sentence; what would you do? I am not perfect and when I am aware I am in the wrong I try to make it right. Am I missing something here? Any ideas on if and/or how I can resolve this while saving face?
posted by Jim_Jam to Human Relations (30 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
Gene, who you didn't know, offered to give the cue to Ted, his friend, and you way, way overstepped a social boundary by asking that it be gifted to you (which is really rude.) Were I Ted, I'd be annoyed by that. You then offered to sell it to him, which is jaw-dropping. You then bailed on a trade before he'd even had a chance to show you his goods for swap.

You are entirely in the wrong here, from beginning to end. You should gift wrap the bloody thing and deliver it with abject apologies, no excuses and no explanation.

And then you should go home and think about why you were willing to sell out a friendship of many years over $30.
posted by DarlingBri at 2:51 PM on April 29, 2015 [72 favorites]


Ted is being a jerk, you're fine. But please don't use the phrase "Indian Gift."
posted by 256 at 2:52 PM on April 29, 2015 [41 favorites]


OH MY GOD GIVE HIM THE 'EFFIN' CUE.
You are not going to win here.
No way, no how, no where.

You are not going to save face, what's done is done.
Let the baby have his bottle, as they say on The Simpsons, and move on.

Focus on the companionship and the fun of playing in the league and improving your game, rather than trying to figure out who's wrong and who's right and who's screwing who.

I would also start looking for somewhere else to play pool that has less politics and less drama.
For an Over 55 community, it sure sounds like they are about 12.
posted by Major Matt Mason Dixon at 2:53 PM on April 29, 2015 [10 favorites]


No one here is getting any younger and health issues are arising among all of you. You need to ask yourself if this is important enough to end a friendship over. If it is, on its own or as the straw that broke the camel's back, walk away. If not, then tell Ted you are sorry for the misunderstanding, and really mean it.

I think I understand your last paragraph to mean that you've given Dan his $30 back and he's given back the cue. If the only value to the cue is the principle of the matter and if your only concern is saving face, then just give Ted the cue and don't let yourself feel manipulated. Let yourself feel generous and let yourself feel unburdened by all of these emotions.
posted by janey47 at 2:54 PM on April 29, 2015 [2 favorites]


Oh, wait, I missed the vital part in the first paragraph of the more inside. Yes, Ted is being petty and unreasonable, but you were the bigger villain with the line: "how about giving it to me, I'm the one here looking for a cue."
posted by 256 at 2:54 PM on April 29, 2015 [12 favorites]


Agree with DarlingBri. You were 100% in the wrong. You basically took it from him to begin with, and then when you wanted to part with it you knew he wanted it, wanted it bad, and was coming to try to get it from you, and you just sold it to someone else for peanuts. He's overreacting, for sure, but yeah you messed up.

And do your best to get "Indian Gift" out of your vocabulary -- it's a pretty racist term.
posted by brainmouse at 2:55 PM on April 29, 2015 [45 favorites]


OK, allow me to try to parse this.

-Some time ago, you and Ted went to go see Gene because you were interested in purchasing a cue.
-Gene said he didn't want to sell the cue.
-Ted said, oh hey, what about this other cue, can I have this other cue? And Gene was ok with that.
-But then you said hey wait, I'm the one here for a cue, I should get that cue, and you got that cue for free. The cue that Ted asked for and would have gotten, if not for your what about me intervention.

And now you no longer need that cue and Ted has asked to have it, but instead of just giving him the cue, you want to trade for it. You want to make some kind of profit off of this cue that Ted knows damn well you got for free, and maybe only got because he was the one to ask about it in the first place? Not cool, bro. Not cool.

And then on top of that, on top of telling Ted that he should give you something in trade for this cue, you go and try to sell it on the side to some random guy. Not cool!

Ted is kind of being a baby about this with all the billiards club room fussing, but you have not done the friendly thing here. Not at all.

The right thing to do in this situation would be to give Ted the cue, straight up no trade, and apologize (in a lighthearted way) for letting a cue (that's worth at most $30! what!) come between your friendship and what should be your restful, fun, relaxing retirement years.

Just let it go, man.
posted by phunniemee at 2:56 PM on April 29, 2015 [59 favorites]


Agree with everyone else. You were incredibly rude to ask for and take the cue in the first place and you've destroyed a friendship. Give the cue to Ted and reflect on your actions.
And I second brainmouse. Indian gift is a very problematic offensive term.
posted by shesbenevolent at 2:59 PM on April 29, 2015 [17 favorites]


You should not have asked for the cue way back when Gene offered it to Ted. Once you were done using it, you should have given it to Ted (since Gene originally offered it to him, anyway). And he wanted to give it to his son! Who can't afford to buy one!
posted by amaire at 3:13 PM on April 29, 2015 [12 favorites]


I do recall that initially Tom asked for it and Gene said you can have it I can't use it anymore.

Who is Tom? This is so confusing. To be honest, you were jerky butting in to get dibs on the second cue after it was offered to "Tom" or whoever. Everything after that (and there certainly is a lot of "everything"....) is just noise. Just get the cue back and give it to your "friend", for christ's sake. He wants to give it to his son, who cannot afford one.

Oh yeah, there was a question. It is neither an "Indian gift" or a rip-off. If you can't get the cue back you should buy one for Ted's son. And stop using the phrase Indian gift.
posted by the webmistress at 3:33 PM on April 29, 2015 [3 favorites]


Why are you trying to make money of a cue that you got for free, especially when you no longer need it?

You, yourself got "Something for nothing" when you originally got it, but you won't pay it forward to the man who was originally offered it and wants to give it to his son who can't afford a cue - you sold it to someone who already has a cue!

Honestly, I certainly wouldn't want to play with you either, after that. There are several points in this story where you could have chosen a different route.
posted by smoke at 3:46 PM on April 29, 2015 [19 favorites]


All the other factors aside, once you agreed to trade it with someone who is your friend, selling it to someone else isn't cool. Even on craigslist, if a stranger says they are coming to buy an item from me, I try to give them the chance to finish the transaction before I go and sell the item to someone else behind their back, and I am not even their friend. I just think that's kind of rude once you agree to terms with someone, and Ted was expecting it. The fact that Ted was your friend makes your behavior extra selfish. Yeah, sometimes you dick over strangers when you find better offers, but Ted is your friend, and friends do things for each other, which in this situation meant getting a cue case instead of $30.

So, as to your question: Just follow through with your original trade with Ted and keep your word. Or, better yet just give him the cue for free because he knows you got it for free by butting in on an offer he got for the cue. And either way, apologize for being a jerk and try to move on.

Honestly, this is beyond petty -- $30 is seriously not worth you ruining a friendship. What are you really going to do with $30? Is that worth more than having a friend to play pool with or to go cue-shopping with?

You're holding onto the idea that the cue became your property to decide what to do with. Legally that's true, but as far as social rules, friendship and etiquette go, it isn't so black and white.
posted by AppleTurnover at 3:59 PM on April 29, 2015 [3 favorites]


You screwed Ted at least twice. Ted was gifted the cue but you stole it from him. Then you entered into a possible swap with Ted but before you gave him a fair shot, you sold it to a third party. That's how you run a ticket scalping operation, not a friendship. I'm super confused what integrity you'd lose by giving a cue—that you got for free—to a friend for free after you've procured a replacement cue.

You believe that Dan offering $30 means the cue has some significant value. What monetary value do you place on playing in a club you've worked hard on and enjoying the company of friends?

Give Ted the cue for his son. Better yet, if you can afford it, buy a decent cue for the son.
posted by JackBurden at 4:00 PM on April 29, 2015 [8 favorites]


[Jim_Jam, please check your email. Thanks. ]
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 4:16 PM on April 29, 2015 [2 favorites]


I know it's cliche on this site to go to therapy, but I'd suggest that you give some thought to talking this over with a therapist. Getting this worked up over a $30 pool cue is not healthy; your story reminds me heavily of my uncles that became increasingly prone to getting very upset about very small matters as they aged and drove away many friends and family members as a result.
posted by Candleman at 4:32 PM on April 29, 2015 [7 favorites]


When I was reading this question, I thought from how you were talking about the value of the pool cues that you were some sort of professional shark pool player, with pool cues in the hundreds or thousands of dollars. But this is a cue that you're willing to sell for 30$? What the hell?

You were in the wrong when you tried to interfere between a gift Gene was giving to Tom, just because you wanted a pool cue. You have been in the wrong since then especially now that you don't want it and Tom does. He is being petty in barring you, but you are not covered with glory in this one.
posted by corb at 5:14 PM on April 29, 2015 [6 favorites]


How to resolve? Never mind saving face. It is long past time to take the high road. Give the cue to Ted - graciously. Apologize. Do better.
posted by tomboko at 5:34 PM on April 29, 2015 [5 favorites]


I understand righteous anger more than most, and I know how easy it is to go down a rabbit hole of "it's not fair". And I get that Ted has been persistent and therefore annoying. But honestly, it's time to let all this go. You made the first and second mistake, and now you are risking a friendship over an ultimately valueless object. As everyone else has said, give him the cue, apologize, and buy him a beer. Don't change your entire life over a $30 piece of wood. Think about why you're annoyed: it seems to me that you have felt slightly guilty ever since you basically stole the cue out from under him back in 2012. And he's not forgotten and not let it go, which is really why you're mad. This isn't worth arguing over. As someone above said, no one is getting any younger. Life is too short. Enjoy playing pool in the hall you helped build. And in future, try to care a little less about things. Live for the experiences.
posted by clone boulevard at 6:40 PM on April 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


Yikes. Not only did you swipe the cue out from underneath him, which was pretty inconsiderate to begin with, but then you also completely bailed on the trade. To add further insult to injury, you had him show up on Monday to proceed with the trade as though everything was fine before telling him you'd already sold the cue (2 days earlier). What a waste of his time. And you knew he wanted it for his broke son. If I was Ted, I'd be upset too; this isn't how I'd expect to be treated by a friend.

And the worst part of this is that you did it to profit a little off something someone gave to you (and who had originally intended it for Ted).

You shouldn't be barred from playing or participating in the community, but I can certainly see how Ted would desire that. He still lves in the community and you don't. But he doesn't desire to see you barred -- he informed you he'd be cordial.

So what would I do? I'd give Ted the cue and apologize for having sold it when I knew he had spoken for it first. I'd also admit to it being an inconsiderate thing to have done to a friend. And then I'd hope he was feeling pretty forgiving. If so, I'd invite him to play a game (of billiards) and hope we could put the situation behind us.

If he wasn't feeling forgiving, then i'd find a new place to play and a new league. Staying would feel super awkward to me. YMMV.
posted by stubbehtail at 6:42 PM on April 29, 2015 [5 favorites]


Thank you all for responding. I came here seeking a perspective from the outside and got it in spades. My intent was feedback and if there were a consensus then follow that consensus.

You believe that Dan offering $30 means the cue has some significant value. What monetary value do you place on playing in a club you've worked hard on and enjoying the company of friends?

Actually, I have spent money out of my pocket on the room beginning before I moved out to add amenities to the room and made it perfectly clear to Ted that I was willing and would continue to make contributions for the benefit of the room in the face of enjoying the benefits without obligation to pay the fees. Still I would say that the cue is a separate issue from the monetary value of playing in the club It is of course a social or inter-personal issue.

Think about why you're annoyed: it seems to me that you have felt slightly guilty ever since you basically stole the cue out from under him back in 2012.

Sorry. I don't feel guilty because I did not steal the cue. We went to visit George and to see if he had a cue for me . Ted as I recall told me he had the style I was interested in and others and most likely would never recover to play again. I thought at the time Ted was rude to ask for the cue when he knew we were there to see if George had one I could buy.

Ted was gifted the cue but you stole it from him

This is categorically not true. As Appleturnover says "You're holding onto the idea that the cue became your property to decide what to do with. Legally that's true...." "...but as far as social rules, friendship and etiquette go, it isn't so black and white." which sums up the consensus here.

I will not be going to therapy. I will not be buying a cue. I will apologize to Ted for keeping the cue since he asked Gene for it and for both asking for a trade and selling it in the face of the trade. I get it - the initial offer of the cue to Ted weighs in his favor asking for it back. I'll give it to him.

And stop using the phrase Indian gift

I thought about a disclaimer in the use of this phrase. I imagined there may be some blow back from it. I am a person who has thrown someone out of my house for denigrating another race and stopped on a lonely country road to pick up a hitchhiker of another race - at night. I try to treat all peoples as equal. I'm sure I fail. I googled the phrase just for the definition. It succinctly states it means asking for a gift back. Certainly in my life it was never used to demean any race or nationality. Only to represent inter-personal relations. I decided to use it because of it's impact as a headline and succinct clarity. Honestly I have not used the phrase in decades. I do appreciate the reminder to be politically correct. I have no plans to use the phrase again.
posted by Jim_Jam at 9:33 PM on April 29, 2015 [2 favorites]


I love you, fellow MeFite! I'm going to tell you a similar story that involves pets, see if you follow me...

My beloved Silver Tabby, King, was a RockStar among cats. He was mine, but through circumstance, I lost him in the divorce from my ex in NYC when I moved to LA (always planning to have King join me later, ex kept King out of petulance and King's relationship with our second cat, and I was not willing to split them up...) King fell ill without me and died. His mate, only 2 years old, died a few short months later from grief.

On that day, at dusk, I was walking home from the gym in Downtown LA, and a young man approached me with a kitten wrapped in a t-shirt in his arms. Before he could speak, I said, "Do you need that cat? Because my cat died today."

He said he had caught this stray kitten and intended to take her home as a mate for his cat, he wanted directions to the subway. I bullied him into giving me that kitten.

Eleven years later, I still feel a bit guilty - but fuck it. That cat was half King in appearance and half his mate, basically a female King. King+, if you must know! She follows me everywhere and is super double RockStar in the personality department. King is in her and I believe he brought her to me, there is zero doubt.

I still feel a little badly about bullying that guy, even though I could and can see he was a vehicle to bring me an extraordinary companion to continue King's legacy, and I was right to speak up, for her and for me.

You see, I rescued King from a closet in a deli on 18th St in Manhattan. They thought he was a "bad" cat. Nope. He was a super smart cat, and they couldn't work with his intelligence. I could, and his replacement has twice his intelligence and personality. I like to joke she's the cat who will knick your car keys and credit cards to go on a bender in Vegas. Because she would!

That's about quality of life and maybe destiny. This is about a once valuable pool cue that is maybe now warped. $30 value.

You value your participation in this club more than a piece of wood. Make peace and let it go.

A better pool cue will come along. Obviously. I know this from similar experience!
posted by jbenben at 12:20 AM on April 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


Ya know, Ted sounds like he's holding a grudge, but you sound like some sort of grade school playground bully who's playing a warped game if keep-away.....

•Ted took you to see if his friend Gene had a decent cue for sale; instead, as soon as Ted asked about the cheap free one you grabbed it out from under him.
•You agreed to trade a case for the cue, then turned around and sold it elsewhere without even the courtesy of telling Ted not to bother coming over.
•You keep bringing up the 'improvements' you made to the game room; I've got to wonder, how often do you bludgeon the other players with that? It was done and finished years ago, and you were paid back for your out-of-pocket expenses: why keep harping on it? Is it to somehow prove that, even though you are not a resident, the room is somehow *yours*?

All this drama for a lousy possibly-warped cue you got for free.... Give Ted the damn cue, apologize for your behavior, and consider finding somewhere else to play.
posted by easily confused at 3:42 AM on April 30, 2015 [5 favorites]


This past season Ted pushed me off the captain ship after first asking me to take it over when the former captain got upset with him and left.

I strongly suspect that this is the true motivating factor behind your shenanigans with the pool cue, that you still feel sore about Ted's behavior last season and so are going through all these mental gymnastics to make yourself feel reasonable in not giving/trading him this thing he wants now.

Like others, I'd assumed throughout most of your question that you were discussing something very expensive, but your willingness to trade the cue for $30 (which, depending on your budget, might not be nothing, but can't be worth the price of not being able to play with your crew anymore) suggests you made that trade just to mess with Ted.

If you want to unravel the situation, and want to continue playing at the community room you've put so much work into, your best bet is to straight-up give him the cue (regardless of his bad behavior in this), and apologize for being a jerk about it. If you have it in you, I'd even own up to feeling sore about what happened last season with the captainship, explaining that you just weren't thinking straight on the matter. Don't bother bringing up any of Ted's iffy behavior.

A former player, Dean, confined to a powered wheel chair from his stroke sold his custom cue to another friend of Ted's. The day he did I asked if he wanted to give the case I gave him for that cue back to me. Dean said no. And gave the case to the player he sold his cue to as part of that deal. Dissapointed, it was still my view that I had no claim that he should give it back to me and not profit from selling it to someone else. Once I gave it to him it was his to do with as he wanted.

Alternatively, you could use this as your excuse. You'd have to explain that you were still sore about what happened with the case you gave Dean, and that you ended up taking that out on Ted with this situation. (And maybe that really was the prime motivating factor here, more so than losing the captainship? That you latched onto a chance to reproduce Dean's behavior toward you from the other side, since -- you felt -- if Dean was in the right then, you must be in the right now?)

But who cares? Give Ted the cue and apologize, and chances are you'll even feel better about the whole thing afterwards. You lost track of what's important for a moment, but now you're back to being the kind, generous person you know yourself to be.
posted by nobody at 4:45 AM on April 30, 2015 [4 favorites]


Does your whole group get involved in a lot of petty power struggles, or just you? I'm guessing the former. The whole idea of going to visit someone and asking them first to sell you something and then to give you this other thing for free sounds like something you all engage in. I get the impression it is somewhat the norm among groups of hobbyists. (People who restore vintage cars can be like this in my experience, although there we are talking about rare and/or expensive items.) But judged by the norms of regular social interactions it sounds tacky if not indeed like outright scamming. Visiting someone in a nursing home and trying to get free shit from them, seriously?

If this is something you all do to whatever degree, and you enjoy this kind of argy-bargy and trying to get the better of each other, and you just get burned by it once in a while, that is one thing. I would still think you need to return that cue because that was over the top even in the way of these kinds of interactions. On the other hand, if it's just you, well then you still need to return the cue and, I don't know, maybe think about dropping some of the attitude. Has anyone in the group said anything to you about it? Because again, I'm prepared to accept the idea that this is just the way you guys roll and you kind of enjoy it. But give the cue back anyway.
posted by BibiRose at 7:23 AM on April 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


What would you do?

I'd try to learn to care a whole lot less about "saving face".

I thought about a disclaimer in the use of this phrase.

I'd try to learn to treat the possibility of needing a disclaimer for the use of a phrase as a strong clue that I should pick a better one.

Political correctness: threat or menace? We report, you decide.
posted by flabdablet at 8:48 AM on April 30, 2015 [4 favorites]


I get it - the initial offer of the cue to Ted weighs in his favor asking for it back. I'll give it to him.

Even if the cue was not initially offered to Ted, you should still give it to him. He was the one who told you about a guy selling a cue. He was the one who took you to the guy where you walked away with a cue that cost you nothing. You would never have even gotten that cue for free if it wasn't for Ted. And now you don't need it, because you have a much better cue. You're right that the cue is yours to do with as you want: I think it might be worthwhile to ask yourself why you don't want to give the cue to Ted.
posted by 23skidoo at 8:58 AM on April 30, 2015 [5 favorites]


What would you do?

I would return the cue, because Ted is unlikely to accept your apology without it. I know I wouldn't.

I would also stop using racist terminology. Having a definition on google does not make that phrase any less than profoundly racist.
posted by fireandthud at 9:02 AM on April 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


Ted took you to see if his friend Gene had a decent cue for sale; instead, as soon as Ted asked about the cheap free one you grabbed it out from under him.

No soon as, no grabbing. I asked him for it. Lets not play the telephone game here. Gene declined to sell the custom cue. He thought he might give it to his son.

You agreed to trade a case for the cue, then turned around and sold it elsewhere without even the courtesy of telling Ted not to bother coming over.

Ted was going to be in the pool room but I did avoid communicating with him that I made a deal with Dan. I see 100% how that would upset him. My bad.

I strongly suspect that this is the true motivating factor behind your shenanigans with the pool cue, that you still feel sore about Ted's behavior last season and so are going through all these mental gymnastics to make yourself feel reasonable in not giving/trading him this thing he wants now....

No. I felt betrayed at the time but hey it took a whole burden away of running the matches; cookies, coffee, set up and clean up. I had forgotten about it until I began writing this question. The conflict over my having the cue goes farther back than that as noted in my saying he had previously asked me to give it to him.

The whole idea of going to visit someone and asking them first to sell you something and then to give you this other thing for free sounds like something you all engage in.

No. It's not like that at all. It's more likely an offer was made to purchase it and Gene gave it away. He was a pretty nice guy. Your statement is what I call filling in the blanks. It is necessary to draw conclusions from what is reported but best to avoid jumping to conclusions.

if Dean was in the right then, you must be in the right now?


I must have been in the right from the beginning. If you give someone something you don't press them to give it back. However as most have pointed out I have ignored that Gene had given the cue to Ted. What I take from these responses is that it was discourteous of me to hang on to it when he wanted it back. Or that under the circumstances return it in the interest of the relationship with the billiard community. That's fair enough and as noted in my last post I am giving it back.

A better pool cue will come along. Obviously. I know this from similar experience!

It already has, many months ago. I will move on whether or not the relationship to the room is restored with that group. I will still play with Dan and at other venues. In a week I start my first season in a BCA league. A tip if the hat to jbenben whose tall cat tale illustrates how life marches on.
posted by Jim_Jam at 10:06 AM on April 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


I thought about a disclaimer in the use of this phrase. I imagined there may be some blow back from it. I am a person who has thrown someone out of my house for denigrating another race and stopped on a lonely country road to pick up a hitchhiker of another race - at night. I try to treat all peoples as equal. I'm sure I fail. I googled the phrase just for the definition. It succinctly states it means asking for a gift back. Certainly in my life it was never used to demean any race or nationality. Only to represent inter-personal relations. I decided to use it because of it's impact as a headline and succinct clarity. Honestly I have not used the phrase in decades. I do appreciate the reminder to be politically correct. I have no plans to use the phrase again.

I'm sorry if this seems like belaboring an unrelated point, but I think the pattern in this paragraph is really similar to the behavior that got you into this whole mess to begin with. You get on the defensive, cite a bunch of unrelated past behavior that you believe makes you above reproach (in this case the hitchhiker, in the pool cue case the past work you've put into your billiards club), look for some kind of minor legalistic shred of justification (Googling, your lengthy paragraph about property), and, also critically, stop short of actually apologizing or admitting you were in the wrong for using the phrase.

Have you ever heard the saying "Would you rather be happy than right?" You're investing a lot of time and energy in trying to prove you're right. Is it making you (or anyone else) happier?

Oh, and more concretely: when you go to take the cue to your friend Ted, resist the urge to bring up all the reasons you think you have some nebulous right to the cue or all the things you've done for him or your club in the past. It is not likely to go over well. Just say sorry and that you hope your friendship continues.
posted by kagredon at 10:22 AM on April 30, 2015 [17 favorites]


[Jim_Jam, moderator here. Just to let you know, the convention on AskMe is that the original poster doesn't respond in the thread except to clarify things folks directly ask about. It's not a space for back-and-forth discussion, either between the OP and the answerers, or among the answerers. You can read folks' answers and mark the ones you find most useful. Thanks.]
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 11:02 AM on April 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


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