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To think my grandmother should pay?

(31 Posts)
CheerfulYank Mon 08-Apr-13 22:48:20

This will probably be long, sorry in advance!

Some back story: my grandmother has 4 children. My dad is eldest, then Uncle 1, Uncle 2, then my aunt. Uncles 1 & 2 are well to do, my dad and aunt are not.

My grandmother is also quite well off. When my grandfather died she sold his business at a huge profit and also has some investments that she cashes in from time to time. She's also extremely tight, so she doesn't spend much. Also she is quite forthcoming about the fact that she is leaving nothing to any of her DCs or us, so she's not saving for that! smile

Anyway, in recent years she's become ill. She sold her house (again at a profit) and moved to another state to be closer to my aunt. She is no longer allowed to drive, which means that my aunt and uncle drive her everywhere, keep track of her appointments, etc. (My aunt has six children, the youngest of whom has multiple special needs, and three jobs.) When they bring her anywhere my GM has "requested" that they not bring any of the children with them because "I just enjoy your <my aunt's> company so much, it's nice to spend time alone with you!" This is, by everyone else's account, completely untrue. She doesn't like kids, never has. They're too "chatty And attention seeking." hmm. She likes when I send her pictures of DS (her lone great grandchild) but doesn't like to spend time with him, etc.

So my aunt is always having to arrange times when the older children can watch the younger or whatever so that she can take her mother to the doctor or out to get groceries or her nightly run for cigarettes. She only gets a break in the summer because my grandmother summers at her cabin, which is in my parents' town, and they take over the running. Uncle 1 has offered to have his oldest daughter (she's 20) stay with her at the cabin to help with the shopping, etc, but GM has said no because she doesn't like people staying at her cabin while she's there. (Sighhh...)

Anyway, she is ill. At first we thought she was having strokes or dementia but the doctors who have seen her are baffled. Her eyesight is also going. She's in her 70's.

There is a very famous, good clinic in our state and after months of finagling, she has an appointment! smile My aunt is taking the week off from work to drive her (they are in another state so it's a nine hour drive) and stay with her, go along to the appointments, etc. My dad is also going. (It's about a five hour drive for him.)

My grandmother told my aunt the other day that they can "split the gas costs." My aunt apologized and said she really can't as it will cost so much for her to take time off work. My grandmother's response "well use your sick leave!" My aunt explained that her sick leave for the year is up (I'd imagine with 6 kids it goes quickly!) but now my grandmother is in an enormous huff about the whole thing. (My dad is paying for his own gas, of course, and towards hotel rooms and other costs.) Uncle 1 has offered to send my GM a check for travel expenses but he's done that for similar things in the past and she just puts it in her account for whatever she wants.

So now my aunt is feeling awful and guilty about it all and wondering if maybe she could somehow "scrape the money together."

I think my grandma's got the cash and she should pony it up. AIBU?

CheerfulYank Mon 08-Apr-13 22:50:59

I don't mean go make her sound like she's a burden. sad She is my lone remaining grandparent and I love her very much, but she's really extremely unpleasant to be around and very entitled. It's just hard.

TomDudgeon Mon 08-Apr-13 22:51:08

I agree she should but she doesn't sound like she's going to
Could uncle 1 send that money to your aunt instead?

Hassled Mon 08-Apr-13 22:52:55

She should absolutely pay up. She sounds like a nightmare - your poor aunt. Who in the family would feel able to tell her that, though?

And out of nosiness, who is getting the money if not her children or grandchildren? It's some charity for spiders or something, isn't it?

CheerfulYank Mon 08-Apr-13 22:53:06

That's what I said, Tom. It'd be nice if Uncles 1&2 could send my aunt the money directly; she wouldn't dream of using it for anything other than travel expenses. I also said DH and I can pitch in but she won't hear of it.

BeaWheesht Mon 08-Apr-13 22:54:29

Hmmm well honestly? Being ill isn't an excuse to be horrible.

Your aunt should say she can't go unless her mother pays . End of . Stress your dad could meet her off a train / plane if need be.

CheerfulYank Mon 08-Apr-13 22:54:43

I don't know Hassled! She says she intends to use it by then but having seen her haggle over a $2 telephone at a yard sale, I have my doubts. hmm

Floggingmolly Mon 08-Apr-13 22:56:03

Of course your Aunt shouldn't have to scrape the money together! They're doing your grandmother a favour; if anything; she should be paying them some sort of carers allowance.
Your Aunt has three jobs and still has to do all this running around? hmm.
Your Granny sounds like an entitled old biddy.

BeaWheesht Mon 08-Apr-13 22:56:05

Oh and actually I think it's really important someone does Stand up to her, your aunt is entitled to a life too and it doesn't seem like she has mug of one right now. If your aunt won't say something who would?

5eggstremelychocaletymadeggs Mon 08-Apr-13 22:56:35

Omg she sounds like a nightmare!

I am sorry she is having health problems but if course she should pay, esp as aunt is already taking a week off.

Ruprekt Mon 08-Apr-13 22:56:38

She sounds awful.

She should pay and your aunt should stand up to her.

Levantine Mon 08-Apr-13 22:59:14

Why does she need your aunt and you dad? Honestly, 70s is not that old these days, this could go on for a long time. It sounds as if she is bullying you all

sjupes Mon 08-Apr-13 22:59:25

If i was your aunt i'd remind her i'm taking time off work losing money, being away from my own children all to take her to an appt that she wants to go to - if she isn't willing to pay for gas at the very very least she's not driving her.

I'd expect gas, hotel etc to be oaid for if it was my family.

Levantine Mon 08-Apr-13 22:59:30


CheerfulYank Mon 08-Apr-13 22:59:51

Uncle 2 (lives in yet another state) has quite a temper and has said he will fly out asap and tell her to knock it off. Also she will "behave" around my dad, she just treats her DD like this because my aunt is a damn saint she can. sad

BeaWheesht Mon 08-Apr-13 23:02:40

In that case your uncle and dad need to stop it on her behalf NOW. Seriously, they're enabling it by not doing anything and she has to live with this the majority of the time.

Have been in a similar situation and against people's wishes I stepped in. It was a shit thing to do but it was the right thing.

breatheslowly Mon 08-Apr-13 23:09:58

If no one is willing to confront her (and there does come an age where confrontation is a bit pointless) then the second best option is for your uncle to pay your aunt's expenses directly. There is no need for your grandmother to know about it.

CheerfulYank Mon 08-Apr-13 23:14:18

That's what I think too Bea. Uncle 2's direct quote is "we need to just gang up on her and tell her it's enough of this shit!" My dad will tell her off about small things but she mostly behaves around him and my aunt isn't really a complainer, so it's just recently that we've all become aware of the extent of her nonsense.

CiderwithBuda Mon 08-Apr-13 23:22:10

Let uncle 2 say his piece. She behaves this way because she can. And because she is allowed to.

CheerfulYank Tue 09-Apr-13 04:35:57

I think we will. Uncle 2 is the only one to really confront her about things like incidents from their childhood. She was not an abusive mother but as I said, she just has never liked children.

Apparently they left today (GM and aunt) and my aunt insisted that GM give her one of her credit cards so she could fill up with gas as needed. Because my GM will literally sleep through, or pretend to sleep through, entire car trips to get out of paying. hmm

I talked to my mother this evening and after the summer's over (she'll be my parents' responsibility June-August) I guess we're going to discuss getting a driver with her, or moving into a smaller place with carers. My aunt shouldn't have to shoulder it all!

FriggFRIGG Tue 09-Apr-13 08:55:20

I agree.
Being old and ill is no excuse,she's very lucky to have family that are willing to help her,especially given her attitude.

I vote you (as a family) let the uncles say their piece.
Hopefully it'll get through to her.

WishIdbeenatigermum Tue 09-Apr-13 09:10:49

I don't mean go make her sound like she's a burden.
She sounds like one! Just because she's old and their mother doesn't excuse her form the normal rules of society. Your Aunt, who sounds like a saint, really shouldn't feel bad at all for stopping the 'running around, having to park her kids to visit and help' malarky.

youmaycallmeSSP Tue 09-Apr-13 13:38:21

YANBU. She sounds nasty and spiteful and unbelievably lucky to have a daughter like your aunt. I agree that she needs to be told by her sons that her behaviour is inexcusable and also that her four children need to work out a sustainable long-term solution.

CleopatrasAsp Tue 09-Apr-13 13:45:33

She sounds a right manipulative old baggage! I think it's high time your dad and uncles put a stop to her imposing on your aunt.

prettybird Tue 09-Apr-13 13:49:28

If she's in huff, well, hell mend her.

If she wants help, then she needs to get out of her huff, accept that her daughter is already doing her a huge favour by taking precious time off work and pay the gas costs.

Otherwise she can make arrangements to make her own way there.

As is often said on Mumsnet, "No is a complete sentence".

Your aunt should not feel guilty and should not be expected to "scrape the money together".

Your grandmother is being a leech - sorry for the harsh words - and the rest of the family, instead of pandering to her, should start to set boundaries.

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