DEAR ABBY: I used to collect vintage dresses, many of which I bought online from retailers for several hundred dollars each. I reluctantly sold some on consignment after a breakup -- you know, "out with the old, in with the new." But I kept ones that were beautiful works of vintage art.
A friend of mine (I'll call her "Gabbi") likes to sew, and I offered her one of the dresses I'd been hanging onto, to wear or craft with. I wanted her to turn it into something meaningful for herself instead of keeping it buried in my closet.
Last weekend we had lunch. When I asked her how it fit or what she planned to do with it, she told me she had given it to someone I don't know to sell on a clothing resale site. I can't help but feel angry. I know I gifted it to Gabbi, but I think what she did was rude. If she had asked me if it was OK to give it away, I would have asked for it back.
How do I stop harboring this feeling? Every time I think of her now, I get upset. The next day, after our lunch, we went to an estate sale and Gabbi brought up this other person again -- "I should have invited 'Bethany' so she could find merch to resell." I think Gabbi is oblivious about how she makes other people feel. What do you think? -- TAKEN ABACK IN ALABAMA
DEAR TAKEN ABACK: You generously tried to help Gabbi by giving her the dress, but unless you specified that it was a collectable item and if she couldn't use it you wanted it returned, you shouldn't blame her. From my vantage point, it seems Gabbi is generously trying to help a friend who needs to make some money. I hope you will let go of your disappointment because if you can't, you may destroy a valued relationship.