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A weird one!

(24 Posts)
Onbehalfofmydad Wed 30-Jul-14 15:20:08

My dad is baffled by this situation, so I offered him the wisdom of mumsnet and he accepted!

His longtime female friend owes him some money (300 euros) for expenses incurred on a trip they took together. My mum went too so nothing like that. He paid for everything at the time just keep things simple. He then let her know what her share was; the 300 euros. She sent him a check for 500 euros, saying the extra was for 'all your work and help for me over the last couple of years'. He was shocked by this, he explained to me that it just seemed completely wrong, and replied he couldn't possibly accept a tip and had teared up the cheque, although he would have said it more gently than that I think. He thought that would be the end of it, but she replied back saying he hadn't read it properly, it was not a tip, to lighten up, and accept it. She said she wouldn't be sending him the money she owes him until he gave her the green light for the full amount, 500 euros. They are both wealthy which I suppose is relevant in this situation.

After some general chitchat and making other plans in his latest email, he addressed the issue as follows:

'have had a think about your 200 euros. I appreciate the sentiment behind the gift, as an expression of your gratitude for my efforts over the last few years. I understand that. And whether the 200 euros is in my bank account or your bank account makes no difference to you or to me. So it should be easy for me to accept the money as a gesture of gratitude. But I am finding it isn't easy at all. If I did accept it I fear I would feel differently whenever I helped you in the future, by planning our bike trips for example. I would have to keep saying "And I don't expect to be paid for this" . When I help you I enjoy your gratitude and enjoyment.'

Is he being unreasonable?

fanjobiscuits Wed 30-Jul-14 15:22:16

HINBU. Could he offer a compromise if donating it to a charity that means something to him?

MrsPresley Wed 30-Jul-14 15:24:23

Not really, I get what he's saying but I also get what the other lady is saying. Not much help am I?

Can't he just take the 200€ and donate it to a charity?

eyebags63 Wed 30-Jul-14 15:25:37

Dear me, they both sound almost sickeningly nice!
HINBU, although I don't think she is trying to 'buy' or 'tip' him but only express her gratitude.

She may be offended anyway, seems like a no win situation.

fifi669 Wed 30-Jul-14 15:26:55

If it's becoming an issue if accept it and then mentally note that she's 200 up when the next trip occurs.

CleanLinesSharpEdges Wed 30-Jul-14 15:27:25

I think he's massively over-thinking. Tell him to take the money and then use some of it to 'treat' the lady to lunch or book an extra surprise something or other on their next trip.

eyebags63 Wed 30-Jul-14 15:27:31

I would have been more appropriate if she had sent him the £300 and a nice bottle of wine or a bunch of flowers or something.

squoosh Wed 30-Jul-14 15:27:51

I'll take it!

sezamcgregor Wed 30-Jul-14 15:27:58

Perhaps she had expected it to cost 500 Euros and so as she'd "allocated" that much, despite it being only 300, sent 500 anyway?

The best idea is to keep in unspent and then use it on the next trip to spoil themselves - or, spend it on a having a lovely time with his wife and tell the friend how it was spent and that they had a great time?

externalwallinsulation Wed 30-Jul-14 15:28:10

I think refusing something intended as a gift starts to come over as rude when someone has been so forceful, and also a bit controlling. One way around it is to do what MrsPresley said - give it to charity. Preferably something connected with the activity, then send a note:

'Thank you so much for your 200 euros. I appreciate the sentiment behind the gift, though I must emphasize that your gratitude and enjoyment are more than enough reward! I felt a bit awkward about accepting it at first, but I've decided to give it to a wonderful cause, and one that's very close to my heart - [insert name]. They do brilliant work, and it makes me feel great to contribute to that'.

myotherusernameisbetter Wed 30-Jul-14 15:28:52

That sounds fine to me tbh - I think he has worded it well. It would have been better for her to pay him what was required and bought his a token gift rather than the cash - I am sure she felt it would be easier and he could then treat himself, but I can see that he then feels almost as if he is being paid to do something.

This is where a bunch of flowers comes in handy smile If he drinks she could have maybe sent him a nice bottle of wine or something to say thanks for organising, or paid for lunch one day while they were out - so it's more of a token gift rather than someone working out that the effort equated to 200 euros iyswim?

monkeyfacegrace Wed 30-Jul-14 15:29:40

Tell him to take the money.

Explain there is this dear old soul on MN who has had a shit time recently and he is going to donate it to her.

I will pm you my PayPal address.

fluffyraggies Wed 30-Jul-14 15:30:04

I think he should graciously accept the gift (for that is what it is) and maybe put it towards one of their trips next time. Or book a nice meal out with your DM and invite this lady along - paid for with the 200e.

NewtRipley Wed 30-Jul-14 15:32:19

No one is in the wrong here, although on balance I think your dad should overcome his qualms and accept that this is how she wants to convey her gratitude. He can donate it to charity as MrsPresley and fanjo said.

OTOH, if he's sent the email, I'd hope she'd understand

GoEasyPudding Wed 30-Jul-14 15:41:29

Does anyone remember the Billy Connelly thing "Put Your Purse Away!" ?

This is a high stakes put your purse away situation!

It's an older persons battle, where who pays for something becomes a massive battle and gets out of hand.

Onbehalfofmydad Wed 30-Jul-14 15:43:35

Thanks everyone! I am sat here with my dad. He says he is really impressed with the quality of the responses (never seen mumsnet before!), he is very grateful and it has helped him come to a decision. Which is that he will accept the 500 euros and say thank-you very much. He will take the 200 extra and put them in an envelope and use them for something special for the three of them on their bike trip next year.

I think he's converted! Watch out for bikingdad!!!

maddening Wed 30-Jul-14 15:44:29

I would take the 200euros but spend it on a joint venture like a slap up meal and a show together with her or give it to charity etc

NewtRipley Wed 30-Jul-14 15:44:55


Join us biking dad. We are quality.

myotherusernameisbetter Wed 30-Jul-14 15:46:46

Good shout! Is your Dad a "biker" or a cyclist? smile

myotherusernameisbetter Wed 30-Jul-14 15:48:06

...just so I know whether to suggest Afternoon tea or meet up at the greasy spoon with the other Hell's Angels grin

softlysoftly Wed 30-Jul-14 15:57:50

I like how you've namechanged so when bikerdad joins he can't see your opinion on the "AIBU about hairy scrotums" type threads grin

Onbehalfofmydad Wed 30-Jul-14 15:58:59


myotherusernameisbetter Wed 30-Jul-14 16:08:21

and also, there will probably be no more orgainsed outings as he will spend all his time commenting on everything and anything on MN smile

MarchEliza Wed 30-Jul-14 16:14:46

Goeasypudding don't remember the Billy Connelly thing but do remember Mrs Doyle and another old biddy wrestling on the floor of a tea room in Father Ted as both wanted to pay for the tea! smile

Your dad and his friend sound very nice - what a nice problem to have! Though I understand the awkwardness. I like the suggestion of paying the extra to a charity.

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