Wedding Woes

You're failing at not being petty.

Dear Prudence,

I am the youngest of my siblings and the last to start a family. I always tried to be there for my nieces and nephews and bought gifts or gave them cash for their birthdays, Christmas, Easter, important milestones, and even when they lost their teeth. Now they are all grown, with the exception of one niece, and I only buy gifts for her. I am now married and have two children of my own. While one of my siblings is very generous toward my children, the other two are not. When they do give my children a gift, it’s at a fraction of the value of the gifts I gave theirs. On other occasions, they give nothing to my children. I am trying hard not to be petty and keep a ledger of what I gave, but it is becoming very hard for me to ignore this disparity.

I could understand my siblings giving less or nothing if their financial circumstances dictated it, but they are both comfortable. I have come to the realization that they are cheap. I have had many discussions with my wife about this and what we should do. Should I confront my siblings and tell them how I feel about their miserliness toward my children in relation to my generosity to theirs? Should I say nothing at all? Should I just tell my siblings that we will no longer give gifts to their children nor expect them to reciprocate with ours? I feel that in light of all the generosity that I have shown over the years, to have it rewarded with stinginess on their part is just a slap in the face.
—Dealing With Cheapskates

Re: You're failing at not being petty.

  • Teach your children that you give gifts to people because you care about them and want to make them happy, not to get gifts in return. Maybe you'll learn this too while you're at it. 
    ahoyweddingInLoveInQueensMesmrEweernursej
  • ShesSoColdShesSoCold bend over and I'll show ya mod
    Moderator 5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its
    mrsconn23 said:

    Dear Prudence,

    I am the youngest of my siblings and the last to start a family. I always tried to be there for my nieces and nephews and bought gifts or gave them cash for their birthdays, Christmas, Easter, important milestones, and even when they lost their teeth. Now they are all grown, with the exception of one niece, and I only buy gifts for her. I am now married and have two children of my own. While one of my siblings is very generous toward my children, the other two are not. When they do give my children a gift, it’s at a fraction of the value of the gifts I gave theirs. On other occasions, they give nothing to my children. I am trying hard not to be petty and keep a ledger of what I gave, but it is becoming very hard for me to ignore this disparity.

    I could understand my siblings giving less or nothing if their financial circumstances dictated it, but they are both comfortable. I have come to the realization that they are cheap. I have had many discussions with my wife about this and what we should do. Should I confront my siblings and tell them how I feel about their miserliness toward my children in relation to my generosity to theirs? Should I say nothing at all? Should I just tell my siblings that we will no longer give gifts to their children nor expect them to reciprocate with ours? I feel that in light of all the generosity that I have shown over the years, to have it rewarded with stinginess on their part is just a slap in the face.
    —Dealing With Cheapskates


    Oh FFS. Yes, LW, the bolded is your only option here.

    Or, he could do what my great aunt did and start sending invoices to the kids for the shit he bought them. Several of my (adult) cousins suddenly got angry letters telling them they owe her $10,000 for when she took everyone to Disney like 30 years ago.

    Image result for someecard betting someone half your shit youll love them forever
    charlotte989875MissKittyDanger
  • Give yourself the gift of letting this go. 
  • Does this person understand what it means to give a gift? Nothing is expected in return. That's the point. 

    If s/he wants to keep giving presents, do it. If not, spend the money on your own kids. Whatever. But omg stop complaining to your wife and do nothing about this. It's a nothing kind of thing.
    *********************************************************************************

    image
    charlotte989875ahoywedding
  • ShesSoColdShesSoCold bend over and I'll show ya mod
    Moderator 5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its
    banana468 said:
    mrsconn23 said:

    Dear Prudence,

    I am the youngest of my siblings and the last to start a family. I always tried to be there for my nieces and nephews and bought gifts or gave them cash for their birthdays, Christmas, Easter, important milestones, and even when they lost their teeth. Now they are all grown, with the exception of one niece, and I only buy gifts for her. I am now married and have two children of my own. While one of my siblings is very generous toward my children, the other two are not. When they do give my children a gift, it’s at a fraction of the value of the gifts I gave theirs. On other occasions, they give nothing to my children. I am trying hard not to be petty and keep a ledger of what I gave, but it is becoming very hard for me to ignore this disparity.

    I could understand my siblings giving less or nothing if their financial circumstances dictated it, but they are both comfortable. I have come to the realization that they are cheap. I have had many discussions with my wife about this and what we should do. Should I confront my siblings and tell them how I feel about their miserliness toward my children in relation to my generosity to theirs? Should I say nothing at all? Should I just tell my siblings that we will no longer give gifts to their children nor expect them to reciprocate with ours? I feel that in light of all the generosity that I have shown over the years, to have it rewarded with stinginess on their part is just a slap in the face.
    —Dealing With Cheapskates


    Oh FFS. Yes, LW, the bolded is your only option here.

    Or, he could do what my great aunt did and start sending invoices to the kids for the shit he bought them. Several of my (adult) cousins suddenly got angry letters telling them they owe her $10,000 for when she took everyone to Disney like 30 years ago.

    OK @ShesSoCold you need to tell more of this story.

    I can somewhat understand the LW if he feels like there's a major disparity in gift giving and that his siblings are cheap.   We've encountered some issues at times when DH and I tilt our heads and just feel like we're not going to bend over backwards if we're not appreciated and treated as if they're expected. 

    But I think you need to let this go.   It's not worth bringing up at all and what good comes of it when the children receive the fuzzy end of the lollipop?  IMO, instead you can be good to the kids while saying to the parents that maybe they need to find a hotel for their next visit, you can't do some legal work pro-bono and you're going to be too busy to bring that dessert that they want to their party but you're happy to give them the names of a good lawyer and bakery. 


    LOL, so a bit of backstory.

    My great aunt used to be super rich and had no children. She was very involved in my mom and aunts and uncles' lives when they were kids and then our lives when they started having children.

    She always had some asshole in her, but my grandpa (her brother) usually kept that to a minimum. Like, she'd frequently tell me how fat and ugly I was and than I needed to scrub my face until it was raw and hurt (because of my acne). She'd NEVER say that kind of thing in front of my grandpa. Then when he died, she didn't have anyone to keep her in check anymore and her asshole just exploded.

    I think I was like 19 when my mom finally told me to stop going to see her and dealing with her. I was one of the last ones who was still going to see her. She was super manipulative - like, I'd go out to run errands for her probably once a month. Someone else would call her once a year and then at the next family party she'd be super loud about how wonderful this person was for calling her and give him/her like $100.

    The whole family (30ish of us) basically cut her off and I haven't seen or heard from her in 10+ years. She didn't attend my mom's funeral (but she did mail my mom a very passive aggressive "me me me" letter when she found out my mom was dying) and didn't go to my grandma's funeral. 

    After she hadn't been around for a while, several of the cousins (maybe like 5 or 6 out of the 15 of us) got angry letters about how much money she spent on them and how terrible they were. My brother got a picture of them together in Disney (when he was 7) and it was torn in half. Most of the letters referenced this trip to Disney and she told them the trip cost her $10,000 and she wanted to be paid back. She also told everyone that they're not invited to her funeral.

    A family friend actually saw her on the news a couple years ago when the Cubs were in the world series. She's living at a Catholic assisted living facility for people who have nothing. She was knitting Cubs baby sweaters and the facility was selling them to raise funds.

    Image result for someecard betting someone half your shit youll love them forever
  • Yes LW, drop it.

    Holidays aren't necessarily gift giving things. I know people who opt to not give gifts - they do cards just for acknowledgment.
  • @ShesSoCold Omg what an appalling woman!
  • To an extent, I can understand where the LW is coming from.  Not in terms of "my gifts were $X average value" and "your gifts are $Y average value".  But more the fact that his kids sometimes don't get gifts at all for a special occasion.

    However, with that said, the LW needs to let it go and not mention it.  Be a little salty for a moment when it happens.  Chalk it up to the sibling being cheap/unfair, then shrug it off.  And/or some people just don't put the same importance on gifts as others.  Saying something wouldn't accomplish anything, other than to maybe "guilt" that sibling into changing their actions.  Which, in a way, doesn't even solve the problem....the hurt of feeling their sibling has treated them unfairly.

    Wedding Countdown Ticker
    ahoyweddingernursej
  • Ugh, my mom could be this LW and it's so annoying. I'm an only child and my dad's siblings each had 4+ kids. Plus they were clustered in age and kids all together, and I'm younger, so I was like the only kid in the extended fam growing up. So my parents had to buy a bunch of gifts at once, and my aunts and uncles only have to buy *one* gift for me (we do a big family hannukkah party where kids under 18 all get gifts from all the adults). My mom was convinced since she bought so many gifts I should be getting epic giant gifts when it "my" (her) turn and she'd be annoyed every holiday on the way home. I twas SO frustrating, petty, and embarrassing. Let it go LW. Give giving is not an investment in future gifts.
    ShesSoColdcharlotte989875
  • @shessocold does she have any dementia or underlying issues or just straight up asshole? Did she squander away all of her money in the last 10 years? 

    I definitely sounds like this LW's love language is giving gifts and the other siblings aren't the same. I can understand a bit where it is coming from as far as if the siblings don't give a gift at Christmas or a birthday but as far as value, and especially comparing to gifts the LW gave, no thank you. Circumstances are different, people are different, it is OK. 
  • ShesSoColdShesSoCold bend over and I'll show ya mod
    Moderator 5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its
    kvruns said:
    @shessocold does she have any dementia or underlying issues or just straight up asshole? Did she squander away all of her money in the last 10 years? 

    I definitely sounds like this LW's love language is giving gifts and the other siblings aren't the same. I can understand a bit where it is coming from as far as if the siblings don't give a gift at Christmas or a birthday but as far as value, and especially comparing to gifts the LW gave, no thank you. Circumstances are different, people are different, it is OK. 


    Nope, just straight up asshole. It took longer than that to go through her money but yeah, she was LOADED and now has nothing left. Like, I got a mink coat and diamond earrings for my first communion.

    In her defense though, her husband died nearly 40 years ago and she's gotta be in her mid 90s by now, so she's been retired 30+ years. It can't be that hard to run out of money in that kind of circumstance, regardless of how much you used to have.

    Image result for someecard betting someone half your shit youll love them forever
  • banana468 said:
    mrsconn23 said:

    Dear Prudence,

    I am the youngest of my siblings and the last to start a family. I always tried to be there for my nieces and nephews and bought gifts or gave them cash for their birthdays, Christmas, Easter, important milestones, and even when they lost their teeth. Now they are all grown, with the exception of one niece, and I only buy gifts for her. I am now married and have two children of my own. While one of my siblings is very generous toward my children, the other two are not. When they do give my children a gift, it’s at a fraction of the value of the gifts I gave theirs. On other occasions, they give nothing to my children. I am trying hard not to be petty and keep a ledger of what I gave, but it is becoming very hard for me to ignore this disparity.

    I could understand my siblings giving less or nothing if their financial circumstances dictated it, but they are both comfortable. I have come to the realization that they are cheap. I have had many discussions with my wife about this and what we should do. Should I confront my siblings and tell them how I feel about their miserliness toward my children in relation to my generosity to theirs? Should I say nothing at all? Should I just tell my siblings that we will no longer give gifts to their children nor expect them to reciprocate with ours? I feel that in light of all the generosity that I have shown over the years, to have it rewarded with stinginess on their part is just a slap in the face.
    —Dealing With Cheapskates


    Oh FFS. Yes, LW, the bolded is your only option here.

    Or, he could do what my great aunt did and start sending invoices to the kids for the shit he bought them. Several of my (adult) cousins suddenly got angry letters telling them they owe her $10,000 for when she took everyone to Disney like 30 years ago.

    OK @ShesSoCold you need to tell more of this story.

    I can somewhat understand the LW if he feels like there's a major disparity in gift giving and that his siblings are cheap.   We've encountered some issues at times when DH and I tilt our heads and just feel like we're not going to bend over backwards if we're not appreciated and treated as if they're expected. 

    But I think you need to let this go.   It's not worth bringing up at all and what good comes of it when the children receive the fuzzy end of the lollipop?  IMO, instead you can be good to the kids while saying to the parents that maybe they need to find a hotel for their next visit, you can't do some legal work pro-bono and you're going to be too busy to bring that dessert that they want to their party but you're happy to give them the names of a good lawyer and bakery. 


    LOL, so a bit of backstory.

    My great aunt used to be super rich and had no children. She was very involved in my mom and aunts and uncles' lives when they were kids and then our lives when they started having children.

    She always had some asshole in her, but my grandpa (her brother) usually kept that to a minimum. Like, she'd frequently tell me how fat and ugly I was and than I needed to scrub my face until it was raw and hurt (because of my acne). She'd NEVER say that kind of thing in front of my grandpa. Then when he died, she didn't have anyone to keep her in check anymore and her asshole just exploded.

    I think I was like 19 when my mom finally told me to stop going to see her and dealing with her. I was one of the last ones who was still going to see her. She was super manipulative - like, I'd go out to run errands for her probably once a month. Someone else would call her once a year and then at the next family party she'd be super loud about how wonderful this person was for calling her and give him/her like $100.

    The whole family (30ish of us) basically cut her off and I haven't seen or heard from her in 10+ years. She didn't attend my mom's funeral (but she did mail my mom a very passive aggressive "me me me" letter when she found out my mom was dying) and didn't go to my grandma's funeral. 

    After she hadn't been around for a while, several of the cousins (maybe like 5 or 6 out of the 15 of us) got angry letters about how much money she spent on them and how terrible they were. My brother got a picture of them together in Disney (when he was 7) and it was torn in half. Most of the letters referenced this trip to Disney and she told them the trip cost her $10,000 and she wanted to be paid back. She also told everyone that they're not invited to her funeral.

    A family friend actually saw her on the news a couple years ago when the Cubs were in the world series. She's living at a Catholic assisted living facility for people who have nothing. She was knitting Cubs baby sweaters and the facility was selling them to raise funds.

    Wow!  That's like when my grandfather sent me a letter about my sheep years ago (he wanted them gone was the purpose of the letter because my brother was taking care of them while I was away at college), I said "time to sell" put an ad in the farm paper, sold my flock, and he got his panties in a bundle because "that's not what he wanted me to do" and didn't know how to handle my taking my power away from him.  People like that don't know how to respond when someone says "If that's how you really feel, here you go!" (I mean, something from when they were 7 FFS)
    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
  • I can relate with LW a bit because I do a ton for my sister’s family but she has excuses every time I have something that she could be part of. I’ve learned to grin and bear it and I’ve also started to pull back from bending over backwards to just leaning a bit. 
    mrsconn23
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