I’ll try to tell this without embellishment because I really do want the unbiased answer to that question that only strangers on the Internet can provide.
I work at a school where the staff eats lunch with the students. Meals are served from the head of the table and manners are expected. Students are free, however, to go to the kitchen for dessert, of which the choices are limited – jello, apple crisp, pudding. The most coveted dessert is the chocolate pudding, and for whatever reason – the law of the jungle, perhaps – there are never more than a few puddings for about 240 students and staff.
Today, as lunch began, two boys at the neighbouring table, seniors both, returned carrying two chocolate puddings each. “Two puddings,” I thought. “That ain’t right.”
After I finished my main meal, I went to the kitchen for tea and checked the dessert fridge. Pudding-free.
I returned to the table area and stood where the boys were eating. One had already demolished his two puddings, the other had yet to tuck in.
“Boy, you know what would hit the spot right now?” I said loudly. “Chocolate pudding. If only there was somewhere I could get one chocolate pudding.”
The boys looked up. “Here, sir,” said the one who hadn’t eaten. “You can have mine.”
“No no,” I said. “I wouldn’t dream of depriving someone of their pudding. Please, enjoy.”
“Seriously, sir, you can have it.”
“No, go ahead. Enjoy your two puddings,” I said and sat down with my tea.
A moment later, the two-pudding boy came over and plunked a pudding in front of me.
“No, it’s yours,” I said.
“It’s the season of giving,” he said and walked away.
I thought of returning it to him with a lecture about selfishness. I thought of offering it to another student but, honestly, by then too many people had touched the bloody thing. I thought of just leaving it, but that would be spiteful and a waste. I also thought that, yes, when someone gives you a gift, you accept the gift. Plus, I had pretty much asked for it.
I ate the pudding I didn’t even want.