intensely trivial

On gift-receiving and shame

Dan ordered us a very nice Japanese chef’s knife a couple weeks ago. I have never had such an expensive knife, nor have I had one that worked so well. I used it to cut butternut squash for a soup yesterday, and then read later in the note that came with it that I wasn’t supposed to use it on hard squash. Oops.
I love our new knife. But the whole thing is shadowed by the fact that Dan bought it for us as a Christmas present, and I had a big problem with knowing ahead of time what we were getting (because Christmas presents are supposed to be surprises, and wrapped), and I also had difficulty with having spent so much money on a single knife. I’m ashamed of myself for not just enjoying his generosity and thoughtfulness. I’m ashamed that instead of giving him the joy of loving me with a nice gift, I argued over the idea.
But the shame isn’t really getting me anywhere. It’s just making me feel bad. Shame is a concept that I’m just now beginning to explore. My in-the-know friends inform me that there is a whole body of research on shame, and many books have been written. Jesus died to take away our shame. How does this all fit together? Do you have any insights on shame, or books to recommend? I know I’m revealing how much I don’t know. Help me out here.


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  1. * frenchgirl says:

    This is not a comment about shame, but about knives :). We have a nice Wusthof chef’s knife and I JUST cut into a butternut squash with it to make…soup! And while I was doing it, I thought “this is really hard, especially the end, and I wonder if I should be using this knife on it”. The knife now has two brown marks on it I can’t get off :(. Anyway, I LOVE having a good knife and we will never go back to cheap knives! It makes food prep so much more enjoyable. Matt absolutely loves to slice and dice for me which is nice too. 🙂 Enjoy!

    Posted 9 years, 6 months ago
  2. * manhattandoula says:

    Yeah, maybe this knife will mean Dan does more slicing and dicing for me, too! That would be awesome! 🙂

    Posted 9 years, 6 months ago
  3. * Heather (Contrera) Womack says:

    I covet your knife…should I be ashamed of that? 🙂

    I told Adam when we got married that every time he wants to buy me a gift he can get me a piece of ALL CLAD (pots & pans) until I have a set and then he can start buying me knives. I would never be sad that I wasn’t getting jewelery or flowers – fill my kitchen with the best – it’s my favorite room to spend time in.

    Posted 9 years, 6 months ago
  4. * manhattandoula says:

    You can come visit and use it all you want! It is LOVELY. I think I might be spoiled for life. My other knives are going to rust in the knife block.

    Posted 9 years, 6 months ago

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