My husband and I got married two months ago, and we received a generous cash gift from an old, very wealthy relative. We’re not ordinarily close, and she only reentered our lives when my father and his siblings reconnected with her. She knows, I think, that everyone is suddenly interested in her because she’s rich and in her 80s, but she’s happy with the newfound attention, and everyone’s being kind. I live in another country and am not involved; frankly I’m uneasy about the whole thing. She’s made all of the grandchildren gifts over the past few years, and while I’ve always been grateful and sent her thank-you notes (and Christmas gifts, flowers when I occasionally visit, etc.), that’s the extent of our relationship.
My dad has been bugging me over the phone and via text to send her a special thank-you card before everyone else’s because she gave us $5,000, and we had a fight about it. Now he’s even gotten my mom involved, and they’re divorced. The wedding was two months ago, and we’re planning on sending thank-you cards in about a month. Our apartment flooded, and right now we’re restricted to the only room that doesn’t have water damage; we’re not just delaying because we don’t feel like it. Thank-you notes haven’t been our top priority, and I don’t think it’s rude to treat her like everyone else who bought us a present. How can I get my dad to relax about this? I want him to understand that while I appreciate her generosity, being rich shouldn’t get you special treatment, and I don’t want to flatter her in the hopes of getting more gifts later on. But maybe I’m being unreasonable—as my dad sees it, I could buy a cheap thank-you card at the store, sign it, and have it in the mail in under 30 minutes. I just don’t want to! She’ll get a lovely personalized thank-you note in a few weeks. My husband is on my side, but I could use some perspective.