AIBU by not giving my gran money?(49 Posts)
There is some background to this so I'll be as brief as I can. Growing up she was an awesome Gran to me and my big sister, and we both have close relationships with my grand and grandad because of this. Over the years, however, we have begun to notice that she is actually very self-centered and manipulative, and really quite shrewd about it.
One thing that really affects other family members is that she demands money from us for any gift-giving holiday/special day. Whilst I have no issue with why folks would want money instead of gifts, I hate the way she's gone about this request and treated my family over it. A few years ago, my gran approached my sister and parents when I wasn't there and told them that she, my grandad and uncle (who lives with my grandparents) wanted money for all holidays from now on. This was a demand, not a request, and all my family spoke to me afterwards feeling very hurt by the way she had spoken to them. At the time, I wasn't in a financial position to give gifts or money and my gran never approached me in the same way. I advised my family to do what they felt was best, if my gran wants money then fine, but speak to my uncle and grandad to see what they actually want.
The Mother's Day after this, my dad took flowers to her house and before anyone had said hello she said "You should have given me the money for them instead, I told you that" and refused to take the flowers. Safe to say my Dad was pretty hurt about that. We have also since found out that my grandad doesn't get to keep any money that he receives for holidays/birthdays etc.
Since this, I have got married and DH's business has got off the ground, leaving us in a much better financial position than a few years ago. Once that happened, my gran invited me out for lunch and then demanded that we also give her money. I explained that, as it's my DH that goes out and earns the money, I'm not comfortable just giving it away to my family without talking to him about it as well, as gift giving is a large part of the holiday spirit in his family. She told me she accepted this and then asked if I wanted gifts instead. I said we are happy with good family company, and if she ever felt the need to give a gift that we are very happy with a small token, a box of chocolates or a card. She went on to tell me about the awful gifts she had received from church friends, focusing especially on an apparently hideous scarf, and I thought the matter closed (she gave me the scarf for my birthday that year and I believe from her behaviour surrounding it that it was another one of her games, which she plays pretty frequently. Not that it matters but it's actually a lovely scarf).
I think what I object to is the way she goes about things. She is blatantly rude to her own Son's face, she has demanded money from her grandchildren not only for herself but on behalf of others and has no regard for how anybody feels in this situation. She has tried to tell us how poor they are when the idea of gift giving has been brought up (whilst that shouldn't even be relevant, we know they aren't poor by a long stretch and that she's using it as a manipulation) and is quite aggressive to other family members when they try to stand up to her. I think the only reason I have managed to be honest with her without her shouting at me or feigning an angina attack (she generally saves this one for her sons) is that she knows I won't stand for it and never have.
Everyone in the family knuckles under and gives cash and moans behind her back. Her birthday is coming up in a week and I feel obliged to give her a gift because I give my uncle and grandad gifts. I feel sad that this is now the overriding emotion I have when thinking about buying my own grandmother a gift, but I hate the idea of knuckling under and giving her money after the way she has treated the family over it. I'm usually more than happy to fulfill requests for gifts, I want to get the people I love whatever makes them happy, but this just doesn't feel right. My parents, sister and brother in law have all expressed how happy they are that I don't give in to her. Am I justified here or am I being an unreasonable nutcase about it?
Is she short of money? If so then getting cash gifts may be needed.
What does she give as gifts to you and other family members for birthdays & Christmas? Do your Granddad and uncle also give separate gifts? I would find giving cash to a grown adult a bit weird and would suggest gifts for kids only and nothing more than the token box of chocs for adults.
She sounds like someone I know
Give her £5, or does she set an amount on what you gave to give her x
The OP specifically says "we know they aren't poor by a long stretch"
I would feel very weird about it too- this seems really unusual and not very nice. I would try to gently talk to her that it’s an odd thing to ask for though if she is in any financial trouble you are sure everyone would understand ?
She’s being really rude and out of order IMO
My gran gives a gift on behalf of her and grandad, we all get £10 for birthdays and £5 for xmas, until our convo outlined in the original message where I said I wasn't comfortable giving money, now DH and I get a token gift, as requested and everyone else gets the cash. Gran expects we give her the same as she gives us, which leaves me asking, what's the point? From a purely mathematical point of view, you don't give or gain anything over the year. My uncle gives us all cash in cards, which is hard for him as he doesn't earn much, we tend to buy him something we know he wants that he can't get for himself, e.g. the latest PlayStation game, and then he can spend his birthday money on other little luxuries. I've spoken to him separately and he appreciates this.
Stick to your guns... or re-wrap the scarf and gift it back to her.....? 😁
There's isn't any point, you're right. Adults giving gifts to other adults is a bit wasteful really.
a small naughty part of my brain did consider re-wrapping the scarf ;)
She sounds horrible but I suppose it could be a form of mental illness.
Either way, as it has been going on for ages I would simply say no to her and encourage everyone else in the family to do the same.
She could be as mean to me as she liked, I honestly would not care.
I feel really sorry for your dad, but he needs to stop giving in to her horrible ways.
She doesn't sound great it has to be admitted. But a lot of old people think that flowers and things like that are a complete waste of money. I know my Mum did. And they'd rather have the cash to spend on something they think is useful. You could give her a voucher for a shop you know she goes in and then she could get herself something she wants.
Please please buy and give her the nearest scarf to your one you can find and wear your one when you give it to her.
It is weird as these are small amounts of cash, close to what you would spend on a token gift anyway. As you say, it is just moving money around within the family with no real purpose! But it causes unnecessary angst.
Definitely stick to your guns, unless the whole family decides to stop the whole charade!
I would 100% wrap the scarf and give it back to her while saying it’s the last year you will do presents. From then on, give her the same amount for birthdays and Christmas she gives you.
DH has a situation not dissimilar with some relatives where they expect £50 for every birthday and Christmas but give him nothing or £10. It makes me furious on his behalf.
How old is she? My friends elderly mum is loaded but can't compute this, and is very penny pinching. She can't really help it, it seems.
Given that you seem to be exempt from the worst of the emotional blackmail, why not suggest that as no one benefits at all from Xmas, you knock it all on the head and just exchange cards?
Logically there is no argument to that and it would be interesting to see what her response is, especially when everyone else agrees. You could give your Uncle a gift on the quiet so he doesnt miss out.
Dont mention birthdays or other occasions just yet though.
OP do your relatives give your DM & DF th he same amount back?
Reminds mum me of the folk who recycle the same Christmas card for yonks. Batty
Eeeeek2 that idea is hilarious! Concerning her mental health, she’s absolutely fine. My Gran has always had this type of personality I think, it’s just something I didn’t see or understand fully until I was an adult. She’s in her early 70’s but still very, very active and often mistaken for a person in her early 60’s. I appreciate that some people consider flowers a waste, and may want money to go towards something else and usually I don’t have any problem with that, if only it wasn’t for the disdain she shows gift givers including my dad! I don’t think the family will ever give up the charade, I feel that may be why they’re all championing me to continue with my stand. I guess with this thread I was hoping for validation or justification, because at the end of the day she is my grandma and we have so many amazing childhood memories because of this lady and I do love her dearly, I feel bad that ive started to resent her. Sometimes growing up means reality changes and sometimes that sucks!
I would just stick £10 in a card and laugh it off. It's a lot simpler than having to think of a gift every birthday and Christmas.
For your grandad I would probably just do the same.
I would continue to buy your uncle presents as he seems to appreciate it.
I wish my parents would 'demand money with menaces' instead of being so damn ungrateful after racking my brains over what to buy them. I think this has a hidden 'silver lining' OP. I appreciate your annoyance though .
Give her the scarf back.
She's a bully OP....
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