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Etiquette

Should I pay to get a say?

I was just talking with my SO's sister and we made plans to get our nails done together before her prom and graduation. She's bummed because her mom is making her get a french manicure. Not only isn't it my PFSIL's taste, but her nail shape just isn't right for it.

Unfortunately, her mom paid for her prom dress, shoes, hair, graduation outfit, and a bunch of other stuff. Her mom wants to pay for the nails.
She pays, she gets a say.

Would I be in serious danger of stepping on major toes if I offered to pay for the nails, instead? It was something I was going to offer to do before I found out her mom is paying, if that makes a difference.
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Re: Should I pay to get a say?

  • Mom may get pissed that you went over her head and let her daughter get something the mom didn't want/like. But, if I were mom I would be cool with it. They're just nails after all.. its not like a tattoo or anything.
  • Their mom is a HUGE micro manager, for sure. She's very big into details, which I understand because I'm that way, too...
    But, yeah. She combined the two and it can be a bit much to keep up with.
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  • NymeruNymeru member
    250 Love Its 100 Comments Second Anniversary Name Dropper
    Maybe you can just say that it's part of your graduation present to her?  It's hard to get overly-angry about a heart-felt gift.
  • AddieCakeAddieCake Beyond the Wall member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    edited June 2014
    I agree if she is this involved with it, she will likely see you as overstepping. I think it would very much look like, "Gosh, Mom! I  don't want a French manicure and since Simply paid for my nails, I don't have to get one!" 

    ETA: But first, did the daughter even tell her mom she doesn't care for French manicures? 
    What did you think would happen if you walked up to a group of internet strangers and told them to get shoehorned by their lady doc?~StageManager14
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  • beetherybeethery So sayeth the fuckin' Pope. member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its First Anniversary First Answer
    My mom did that kind of shit when I was getting ready for the prom. My dad saw how irritated I was getting about it, handed me some cash, and scooted me out the door while she was out shopping the night before. He said, "Kid, your mom's a loon. Go get your nails painted whatever color you want."

    At least run the offer by her mom, don't say that you're going to enforce her choices if she asks you.
    --

    I'm the fuck out.

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    offensivekitten2
  • vk2204vk2204 member
    1000 Comments Third Anniversary 100 Love Its Name Dropper

    Has the daughter even asked her mom if she can get something else? If she has and the mother has put her foot down, I would leave it at that.

    Are you close with the mother at all? Could you find out what color daughter likes and casually bring it up in conversation like "Oh purple sparkly nails would like great with daughter's dress". And see where it goes from there?

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  • Did the mom know you were planning on taking her before she laid down the french tip stipulation?
  • Eh, I'd sit this one out. Yeah, it's weird that your FMIL is so controlling, but I don't see any good coming of getting involved here. 
  • Maggie0829Maggie0829 Ravens & Bohs & Crabs & O's member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    Her Mom is flipping crazy.  To care that much about what her nails look like, really?  What does she think she is going to get done?  

    But even as crazy as this is this is a fight that the daughter needs to have with her Mom and that you need to stay far, far, far away from.

  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    10000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    I wouldn't get involved.  The mother sounds like a piece of work, but it's really up to the daughter how this plays out.  She should pay herself to get a say.
  • So this kid is in high school?  This isn't a case of mom pays, mom gets a say.  It's a case of mom is the mom and therefore makes the rules. Even if you paid, mom still gets to make the rules.  And yeah, it's a silly rule but it's her rule and no good can come of you interfering.  


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  • I wouldn't touch that with a ten foot poll. Eesh. 
    offensivekitten2perdonami
  • climbingwifeclimbingwife NYC 'burbs member
    10000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Yeah, that's bananas. Why does she care so much about what her nails look like?

    Honestly, I'd stay out of this one. I wouldn't want to piss off FMIL. 

  • To answer some questions, yes her mom knows she doesn't want a french manicure. My PFSIL is going along with it because she feels she has to, since her mom is paying for everything, which I understand. I'm pretty close to both her and her mom.
    I'll stay out of it, for sure. I have a feeling that even if I paid, her mom would still get her way.
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  • Nope.
    1) This isn't worth pissing off your FMIL over.
    2) This is for prom/graduation which I take to mean FSIL is 18 or close to it.  Time for FSIL to veto manicures she doesn't like herself.
    lc07
  • hellosweetie1015hellosweetie1015 Where the skies are so blue member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its First Anniversary First Answer
    edited June 2014
    lc07 said:
    I have no advice. I just don't understand anyone micro-managing someone else's manicure. Unless someone tried to stop someone else who wanted to get those super long nails. You know, the ones where you'd have to type with your hands 4 feet off the keyboard. Those are creepy.
    There was one manicure I got that I thought I loved the color (happy, springy green in the bottle) that I REALLY wish someone had micromanaged me away from... it turned out a horrible neon and I picked it all off by the end of the day. -.-

    As to OP's question - I might mention to FMIL that you had been considering to pay, but other than that I'd let it die. But it is definitely time for FSIL to stand up to Mom and tell her she's going to paint them hot pink and purple with green chevrons if she wants to because she's 18.

    ETF: I confused myself while I was writing it. Fixed it now.
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  • Well, 17, but I get what you mean. She's going away to college in the fall and I would love for her to be more independant.
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  • Well, 17, but I get what you mean. She's going away to college in the fall and I would love for her to be more independant.
    Refusing to comply with a parent's expectations does not make one independent, especially when one is a minor.  At this point independence would be things like cooking her own meals, doing her own laundry, cleaning her room, etc. without being asked.  
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  • manateehuggermanateehugger member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 5 Answers
    edited June 2014
    Well, 17, but I get what you mean. She's going away to college in the fall and I would love for her to be more independant.

    Eh, nails aren't a thing to prove you independence on though. I'm with everyone to let this one go.

    She'll run off to college and do all sorts of bad things that she'll hide from her parents and learn to have to clean her own bathroom, own up to mistakes, drag her butt to class, etc. That'll be the growing independence.

    ETA: Why not go visit her in the fall and take her out for manicures then and let her get what she wants?

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  • mysticl said:



    Well, 17, but I get what you mean. She's going away to college in the fall and I would love for her to be more independant.

    Refusing to comply with a parent's expectations does not make one independent, especially when one is a minor.  At this point independence would be things like cooking her own meals, doing her own laundry, cleaning her room, etc. without being asked.  

    No, but I feel like her saying, "these nails are attached to my hands and I don't want them to look like that," would be a step in that direction. She doesn't do most of the things you mentioned without prompting.
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    lc07
  • annathy03annathy03 member
    500 Love Its 500 Comments Third Anniversary Name Dropper
    edited June 2014

    mysticl said:
    Well, 17, but I get what you mean. She's going away to college in the fall and I would love for her to be more independant.
    Refusing to comply with a parent's expectations does not make one independent, especially when one is a minor.  At this point independence would be things like cooking her own meals, doing her own laundry, cleaning her room, etc. without being asked.  
    While I agree refusing to comply with parent expectations isn't independence, I also hope those expectations are centered around things like grades, chores, wearing appropriate clothing, etc.

    What is independence is speaking up for yourself, and saying something like "I'd rather not have a french manicure mom.  I was thinking about X color, or we could just skip it" is far from rude or inappropriate.  A near adult doesn't have to consent to being a my-size barbie, even for her mother.

    ETA: Wrong quote box.
  • annathy03 said:

    mysticl said:
    Well, 17, but I get what you mean. She's going away to college in the fall and I would love for her to be more independant.
    Refusing to comply with a parent's expectations does not make one independent, especially when one is a minor.  At this point independence would be things like cooking her own meals, doing her own laundry, cleaning her room, etc. without being asked.  
    While I agree refusing to comply with parent expectations isn't independence, I also hope those expectations are centered around things like grades, chores, wearing appropriate clothing, etc.

    What is independence is speaking up for yourself, and saying something like "I'd rather not have a french manicure mom.  I was thinking about X color, or we could just skip it" is far from rude or inappropriate.  A near adult doesn't have to consent to being a my-size barbie, even for her mother.

    ETA: Wrong quote box.
    And the OP stated the mom is aware that the kid doesn't want a French Manicure and that is still her expectation. Now the follow up question would be is she being forced to get her nails done or is the requirement that if she gets them done it has to be a French Manicure?  The kids should absolutely not be forced to get her nails done. And while I think having to have a French Manicure is silly there may be some rational we are not aware of……or maybe there isn't and mom is just crazy. Either way, in the end it's harmless and not the issue to make your stand on.    
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  • VulgarGirlVulgarGirl Desert Oasis member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its First Anniversary Name Dropper
    I can't remember my mother ever caring what color I painted my nails. I wasn't allowed to get arylics until I was high school but mostly because they were expensive. And then I got them once and hated them. And when I had to do them in the bathroom for easy clean up. That was all the rules regarding my nails. Unless they fell off without warning, my mom didn't care. 

    I have no advice, I'm just trying to wrap my brain around caring about how someone else's nails are done. 
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  • When I was in high school I painted my nails a different color every other day.  Often several colors.  Though I was never cool enough to figure out chevrons.
  • Let her get a tattoo the moment she turns 18 to show her independence. This isn't your fight.



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  • theartistformerlyknownastheartistformerlyknownas peaced out. member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers First Anniversary
    This isn't going to affect this girl's life, and for all you know she's had a history of back-talking and the mom forcing her nail choice is meant to be a lesson. Let it go. She is not your child, and she will survive.

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