I have a collection that happens to match the theme of two recent parties. This collection I’ve been growing and adding to from a young age. While it has some moderate monetary value, its value is mostly sentimental, though it’s not my most precious possession.
For party 1 I volunteered to bring the collection (I was a co-host) for decorative purposes, but in the end we didn’t need it. For Party 2, I was working that day and couldn’t make it. My friend (and co-host from party 1) was organising and this one was family focused - people bringing their kids. My friend asked to borrow my collection for decorative purposes for this Party 2 and I agreed.
I’ve since found out that the kids split and went off with my collection at the party. They thought it was part of the party and meant for them. My friend hadn’t accounted for this happening and said he was too late to stop them when he confessed to me later on.
Meanwhile I’ve had friends kids come up to me to tell me about how great the party was and the stuff they got to take home (i.e. my belongings).
It’s going to be impossible to get my collection back, and I think I have to let it go. I already told my friend that it’s fine and to forget about it.
Moving forward, however, I have some concerns. I think I am more upset that my friend has taken credit for providing the collection at the party. All the other parents are complimenting the time and money he put in. No one has thanked me so clearly they are unaware that I ‘volunteered’ the collection or that it came from me. I host a lot of parties for friends and for my friends families and I invest a lot of money and time myself. I feel like ‘giving’ the kids this reward has made my friend’s party look far superior to mine. It’s not a competition, but it bothers me that he’s taking credit for some of my ‘work/money.’ I would have found it a lot easier to let this go if he’d said “oh and OP contributed that” to everyone after the kids had split it.
Long term I want to keep having parties, I want to keep being generous, and I do not want to be bitter over something that in the grand scheme of things isn’t important. For all my friend knew, this collection could have been deeply meaningful to me and it concerns me, although he owned up that he hadn’t either texted me immediately or tried to make some kind of recompense. How can I manage my future interactions with him bearing in mind that a lot of our mutual friends would get involved if I was to kick up a fuss or refuse to co-host with him again, but also bearing in mind that all my friends now think he’s super generous and that I am less so?