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..to not feel I owe a friend money?

(57 Posts)
sellotape12 Tue 06-Sep-16 14:04:45

My old colleagues were attending a birthday party for one of them. I haven't seen them in 9 months but we chat occasionally on WhatsApp. I would call them acquaintances but not friends, although it was nice to have been asked by one of the friends' husbands to attend.

Two days before the party, one of the group said over email that she had bought a gift for the birthday girl. We didn't get a say in what it was or the price. In the end, it didn't get delivered on time, and due to sick babies, I wasn't able to go. The queen bee has now sent me a 'payment reminder' for the gift.

AIBU to say to her I'm not comfortable in paying it? I didn't agree to chipping in, I didn't get a say in the gift or its budget, and I didn't get to have the pleasure of seeing the birthday girl open it anyway!

I just feel like she made a decision, and expected everyone else to pay her.

Selfimproved Tue 06-Sep-16 14:07:27

Would have been easier if you had said at the time that you were going to do something else. How much are they looking for?

DoreenLethal Tue 06-Sep-16 14:07:28

she had bought a gift for the birthday girl.

That's nice. I'd quote her words and say that you thought she had got a present for the friend, not that she had got one on behalf of you and surely before you do that you check budgets with people?

GeneralBobbit Tue 06-Sep-16 14:07:29

Depends if it's cheap grin

I'd probably pay up to a tenner to avoid an argument (maybe)

ChicRock Tue 06-Sep-16 14:09:32

Surely the time to say something was when she notified the group that she'd bought a gift?

sellotape12 Tue 06-Sep-16 14:18:00

She notified the group 2 days before the party, after she'd bought it. So it's not like I could have challenged it anyway.

tictactoad Tue 06-Sep-16 14:20:32

YANBU.
Nobody gets to spend your money for you without prior agreement.

tictactoad Tue 06-Sep-16 14:22:16

That said, how much do you value the friendship? If it's important to you, it might be worth sucking it up this time but make it clear you need to be consulted in future.

ChicRock Tue 06-Sep-16 14:22:44

Of course you could...
"I've already bought a gift for her so won't be chipping in, what a shame you didn't let us know you were thinking of buying on behalf of all of us".

But now it looks like you won't chip in because you didn't go to the party.

JellyBelli Tue 06-Sep-16 14:24:19

If you pay she'll do it again.
I always wonder if this kind of thing is an unwanted gift...

dustarr73 Tue 06-Sep-16 14:26:24

If she didnt ask just bought the present,well thats her lookout.I wouldnt pay and i would say you bought a small gift yourself.

Arfarfanarf Tue 06-Sep-16 14:26:46

I would email back no i wont be doing that. If you had asked me instead of buying something and then telling me i would have told you ive already got her something. So send it from the rest of you by all means.

19lottie82 Tue 06-Sep-16 14:27:12

What was the gift and how much was it?

Did you say anything When she sent the email. If not I really think you should have as that was the time to put your foot down. Not after the event.

I don't think YABU, but if you refuse she (and possibly the others) are going to think you're a bit of a misery guts. I think you not attending the party is a bit of a red herring here, as you had originally agreed to go.

You call them "acquentices", not friends. If you're not too bothered about keeping in touch with them (not saying this will definitely happen, but it's a possibility.), then don't pay, but if you are, then just pay it, to keep the peace.

BeMorePanda Tue 06-Sep-16 14:28:52

The queen bee has now sent me a 'payment reminder' for the gift.
oh wow that made me laugh!!!

I'd totally ignore her.
Or reply "you what? are you on glue?".

BeMorePanda Tue 06-Sep-16 14:30:04

no need to say you gave your own gift. You don't owe her any explanation at all!!!

Soubriquet Tue 06-Sep-16 14:31:41

My sister tried to get me to do this for my mums birthday

Told her no way! If she wants to buy xx she can buy it

Lorelei76 Tue 06-Sep-16 14:32:57

don't pay
you were never consulted on this so you shouldn't pay

expatinscotland Tue 06-Sep-16 14:33:59

YANBU

"I've already bought a gift for her so won't be chipping in, what a shame you didn't let us know you were thinking of buying on behalf of all of us".

This!

I wouldn't pay her a penny.

maggiethemagpie Tue 06-Sep-16 14:35:02

I'd just ignore the payment reminder, make her sweat. If she emails again, just email back saying she must have got her wires crossed as you weren't aware of there being a joint present and leave it at that. The more you try and explain or make an excuse the more ammunition she's got to throw back at you.

Like kate moss, never complain, never explain, never apologise.....

trulybadlydeeply Tue 06-Sep-16 14:37:30

If you had already bought your own to take, why didn't you respond to her email to let her know you'd made alternative arrangements? She probably assumed you were happy to chip in with a joint gift as you didn't say anything. How much is she asking for?

trulybadlydeeply Tue 06-Sep-16 14:38:55

Although I think it's a cheek to buy a joint gift without checking with others first!

BeMorePanda Tue 06-Sep-16 14:52:39

She probably assumed you were happy to chip in with a joint gift as you didn't say anything.

Assumption is the mother of all fuck ups - if she assumed that it is not the OP's responsibility.

Otherwise if we have a WhatsAp group and I say I'm going to buy X a present and NOBODY comments or replies, are you saying that you would expect everyone who happens to be on that WhatsAP group to give whatever sum the gift buyer comes up with??? Come on - that is la la land.

I could say "I'm buying X a gift", ASSUME all the people who don't reply or comment are happy for me to shop on their behalf, then spend £300 of some china shite and ask people to give me £50 towards the gift. What kind of ridiculous scenario is that???

Bogeyface Tue 06-Sep-16 14:53:29

It could be that in their friendship group, they always do joint gifts, but wrong of her to assume that a) you knew this and b) where happy to join in.

I wouldnt want to pay either, although depending on the amount I might stump up for an easy life. £10 or under I would pay, over that and I wouldnt.

MyKidsHaveTakenMySanity Tue 06-Sep-16 14:54:31

I think it's extremely rude of the friend to buy a gift, later tell people about it and that they need to chip in. That being said, you probably should have immediately responded that joint gifts are usually a joint decision and as such, had already bought your own. As you didn't tell her, providing it's not a crazy amount of money (I would consider £5-£10 max reasonable for any gift to an acquaintance) I would suggest handing over the cash and telling the friend it's with reluctance and she should not do that again without notifying people first.

Rubies12345 Tue 06-Sep-16 15:01:43

I think you should have said at the time you weren't chipping in so she could have split the cost differently

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