Is it ever okay to be ungrateful for a gift?
The Sims 4 Parenthood Game Pack introduced a Parenting Skill, and with it the ability for parent sims to give their children advice. One conundrum a child can have is an unwanted gift that they want to trade with a friend or return. Whether you offer them a way to get rid of the gift or tell them to just be grateful, your advice affects your child’s values, one negatively, one positively. In this way, you can guide your child to have the values you particularly… value.
Yesterday I watched the new romantic comedy Always Be My Maybe. One of the protagonists, Ali Wong’s character Sasha, resents her parents for never having been around when she was growing up, especially now that they have retired and seem to have more time for her young cousin than they ever had for her. In one scene, she attends an eighth birthday party her parents have thrown for this cousin, and talks about her comparatively disappointing eighth birthday and gift.
All of which to say, it seems obvious that you should never be ungrateful for a gift. But sometimes an unwanted gift represents the kind of waste that we should all be trying to avoid. And sometimes an unwanted gift is indicative of an unhappy relationship with parents who don’t really know their own child.
In today’s Meditation, you are a gift recipient with a sad face in a bedroom decorated with balloons and littered with opened gifts. With the arrow keys and space bar, you can rummage through these gifts, throwing them into the air, until you come across a gift card. Scratch that, and the game ends. Judging from the intro – “you literally just got all these toys yesterday and you’re already plowing through your gift cards – isn’t that a little excessive?” – I think we’re supposed to scorn this behaviour. But I think there’s potential for a little empathy.