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AIBU to expect a thank-you?

(27 Posts)
Bake Sun 09-Apr-17 09:07:27

Four years ago in March we bought our first house a day or two after DP niece's second birthday. I'd bought her present in January, but as our lives were packed into boxes and everything was chaos, she didn't get her present on her birthday. DP's brother and wife live about an hour away, so we didn't see them around the birthday. It's not like we'd turned up at their house empty handed, we hadn't seen them. About 2 weeks later, DP got a message from his brother saying how disappointed his wife was that DD hadn't received a card and present, how DD had been disappointed (at 2?) and that as her only uncle and 'guideparent' they expected more. I was furious at the message, but at the time, DP asked me not to say anything, so I kept quiet. Niece received plenty of presents from other friends and family, so certainly wasn't deprived.

Fast forward to 2017 - Niece turned 6 a month ago. We gave her a card and present - we didn't see niece on her birthday, but grandmother brought it with her as she helped out at the bday party. We have seen DP's brother and niece's at least twice since the birthday (although not his wife). So far there has been no acknowledgement that we gave a present. No thank-you text, no card or note.

AIBU to think this is incredibly ungrateful? I think what annoys me is how quick they were to point out that we'd NOT given anything, but when we do give a gift, NOTHING! I'm certainly not expecting anything fancy - but surely a text or whatsapp or facebook message to acknowledge they received it would suffice?

SayNoToCarrots Sun 09-Apr-17 09:12:45

I would not be irritated with someone for not buying my child a present, and I would never ever take it up with that person. Gifts are exactly that, gifts, and so I thank everyone who gives one. These people seem grabby and rude.

Guiltypleasures001 Sun 09-Apr-17 09:14:48

In short, I think it was incredibly bad the little girl didn't even get a card on the day, did you phone on the day and speak to the mum, ask how the niece was enjoying her birthday etc?

I understand it being a busy time, but you've had all year to remember it, or rather your dh has its his responsibility. Yes I do think it's not on not getting a thankyou, but I'm not surprised so think your indignation is a little over the top.

Guiltypleasures001 Sun 09-Apr-17 09:15:10

Sorry forgot to add yabu

Janeofalltrades1 Sun 09-Apr-17 09:17:21

YANBU, they are. How entitled are they?! If anything, what a first world they're living in, to treat presents as a right, instead of a gift. They're just greedy.

WilburIsSomePig Sun 09-Apr-17 09:18:20

I can never get worked up about cards/presents on the actual day, it seems such a silly thing to get worked up about, particularly for a 2 year old. It's never OK not to thank someone, in some form, for a gift so YANBU.

Mumzypopz Sun 09-Apr-17 09:19:18

I'm thinking when she was two, they were a bit self centered and focussed on their daughter, and not taken into account that you had bought a house etc. Now she is six and having big parties with lots of friends, so they perhaps haven't got round to doing thankyou notes. Yes, it is rude, but think you are going to have to live with it. Do you have children? Do they buy your children gifts?

Mumzypopz Sun 09-Apr-17 09:21:34

What's happened in the meantime, ie from age two to six? Have you bought gifts and have they said thanks?

Mumzypopz Sun 09-Apr-17 09:27:50

Also..Just thought, this is your husband's niece, not yours. Why do we as women take on responsibility for buying gifts for our partners or husband's family? It's his responsibility, I wouldn't take on the angst to be honest.

Bake Sun 09-Apr-17 09:34:08

Guiltypleasures001 - she received a call on her birthday. Perhaps some people give more importance to material things than we do.

Mumzypopz She has always had Christmas and birthday presents. I am the one who usually buys and organises (which I am more than happy to do), which is why I felt the snotty message was offensive to me, even though my DP received it. Christmas presents are given on Boxing Day when we see them, so thanks are immediate from niece. We usually get some sort of text or acknowledgement eventually for birthday gifts.

We don't have children, expecting first in October. Perhaps hormones are contributing confused

Guiltypleasures001 Sun 09-Apr-17 09:38:08

Hi bake sorry just saw niece is now six, so yabu for the first bit, the second bit yanba
Looks like you've hit a nerve with sil

Edballsisoneniftydancer Sun 09-Apr-17 09:39:30

Is it just me who thinks both sides in this sound the eeeeeeensiest bit heavy maintenance and rather quick to take offence?

But Bake yes I applaud your self assessment at the end of your second post...and you may well see things slightly differently when your own DC is here

Floggingmolly Sun 09-Apr-17 09:49:23

Anyone chasing up a present for their two year old (and claiming the child was disappointed not to get one) is more than a little bit thick.

BeyondThePage Sun 09-Apr-17 09:50:10

Are you sure DP brother did not say "cheers" at some point to DP? Or did DP brother text DP.

Were you expecting his wife to speak to you?

Don't get why you can't just say "did you get the present ok?" to the niece when you saw her (twice) if you are that bothered.

There may have been no acknowledgement because it was not received, it was put to the side and forgotten about, the tag was missing so they did not know who sent it amongst all the party debris - many reasons, a response may have been made that you were not personally party to,

or it may have been given to parents to pass on, or be lost in the post, or a text/email/carrier pigeon have been sent but waylaid somehow why assume a snub?

Bake Sun 09-Apr-17 09:51:16

Edballsisoneniftydancer the reason I've taken offence is the sense of entitlement. Expecting a gift and feeling entitled enough to complain when you don't get one, but then saying nothing when you do receive one.

I don't think my opinion will change once I have children. I will never expect people to buy my child anything, and I will always be grateful when they do.

pictish Sun 09-Apr-17 09:53:25

Ach I dunno - I'm not sure this event is connected to the fuss four years ago.
Should they have thanked you? Of course.
Is it relevant to what happened around dn's 2nd bday? Don't think so.

They were peevish idiots to get upset over the 2nd birthday present - but I'm not sure it adds water to your annoyance now.

Bake Sun 09-Apr-17 09:58:00

BeyondThePage fair point. I don't expect response from wife in particular, an acknowledgement from any of them would have sufficed. Will bring it up in conservation next time we see niece to make sure she got it. Grandparent brought it with her to party (which was an afternoon out with a few friends), but as you say, there are plenty of things that could have happened that meant she either didn't get it, or didn't realise it was from us.

That said, based on previous experience, I'm sure we would have heard about it if they thought we'd given nothing!

Edballsisoneniftydancer Sun 09-Apr-17 10:00:48

I don't think my opinion will change once I have children. I will never expect people to buy my child anything, and I will always be grateful when they do.

Hmmm, I think I've heard those exact words before. Oh yes, I said them, pre children along with a gazillion other people

Look, as others have said, there was four years between the two incidents, seems there was right and wrong and unknown factors on both sides both times....

But after all it was you who were honest enough to say you might be being hormonal...and it is still very early days. Hope all goes really well for you flowers

Edballsisoneniftydancer Sun 09-Apr-17 10:02:32

Totally off topic...Pictish I seriously love the way you build in a Scots accent to your posts!

treaclesoda Sun 09-Apr-17 10:06:02

I will never for the life of me understand the angst about birthdays on mumsnet. My brother and his wife have never so much as wished my children a happy birthday, much less sent a card or present. Whilst mildly irritating (I sent cards and presents for his children when they were little, but they are adults and my B&SIL just aren't at a stage in their life where they are interested​ in young children any more) I don't really give it a second thought most of the time. The idea of getting upset because someone doesn't get a present on the exact day of their birthdays has me shock. I don't know anyone, friend or family, who does this. It's always just giving a present the next time you see the person, even if it's two months later.

treaclesoda Sun 09-Apr-17 10:07:53

And in response to OP, YANBU, a thank you is mandatory when someone receives a gift.

pictish Sun 09-Apr-17 10:08:00

I'm not fussed about rellies getting birthday gifts to our kids 'on the day' - they get plenty from us and more besides and it's of no consequence that some gifts come later. In our family it can be weeks. No one quivers a whisker about it.

I'm also not overly fussed about a thank you when I send or give a kiddy birthday gift either. Of course one ought to be issued - that's simply good manners. But I also know that obligations can be forgotten in the maelstrom that is our lives. Most of us are struck by the, "Oh shit! I should have got back to xxx about xxx!" thought at some point. I'd assume they had forgotten and forget about it myself. I wouldn't connect it to the silliness of four years ago and get extra uppity.

pictish Sun 09-Apr-17 10:09:00

Thanks Ed I do write conversationally so the odd inflection does slip in.

RhiWrites Sun 09-Apr-17 10:09:36

I want to know what happened in year 1 and years 2-5. Is it that they usually send thank you letters but didn't this time or that they never do but send rude texts when they don't get anything?

treaclesoda Sun 09-Apr-17 10:10:20

I would never expect a written thank you though...

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