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WWYD? Cash gift but told to keep secret?

(24 Posts)
JobCarHouseNoBaby Sun 28-Oct-12 13:55:51

I casually mentioned to my parents DH and I were considering buying a tumble drier. Then we got an unexpected car repair bill so that's on hold until next month/January sales.

This afternoon, out of the blue, my Nan (Mum's mum) phones me saying that she wants to gift us £300 to buy ourselves a tumble drier. On the condition I don't tell my Mum or my brother as "it will only cause arguments".

I feel very awkward about accepting the cash.

Historically, my mum has argued with my grandparents for spoiling me and not treating my brother fairly.

I don't know if I should

a) refuse the cash
b) accept the cash and keep it secret as she requested
c) talk to my mum about it (regardless of accepting/rejecting)

DH and I were going to buy one anyway and put it on credit card but the cash would mean we could pay for it now.


AKissIsNotAContract Sun 28-Oct-12 13:59:03

I'd take the cash, spend £200 on a drier and the other £100 on a nice gift for DB.

TotallyEggFlipped Sun 28-Oct-12 14:00:53

I'd ask her if she'd mind splitting the money between you and your brother.

Naghoul Sun 28-Oct-12 14:02:49

ooh tricky.

I'd tell your nan that you don't want to cause a problem with your mum and refuse the money.

OTOH your Nan is a grown woman who can do what she wants with her own money.

But I just think it wouldn't be worth the grief it might cause.

HeinousHecate Sun 28-Oct-12 14:03:31

I would refuse the money if it is true that you are favoured over your brother. It is just so hurtful to a parent to see one child favoured over another, and it can cause such resentment between siblings that it's just not worth it. Even if it's a secret - and you have no way of knowing that she wouldn't throw it at your mum or brother if she wanted to, leaving them feeling how? about you - then you know and she knows and it's just really messy. I wouldn't take it because that's saying I am happy to be favoured. Which I wouldn't be.

If she doesn't actually favour you, and it's just your mum being weird grin then I'd take it.

Either way, I'd thank her most sincerely for her kindness.

JobCarHouseNoBaby Sun 28-Oct-12 14:09:42

It's not fiction, I am most definitely favoured over my brother and always have been. So much so my mum fell out with my nan for almost 10 years about the unfairness.

My grandparents say they will be very upset if I refuse the cash. But at the same time have to keep it a secret from others.

DH thinks it's her money, let her do what she wants, it's not your fault she makes the choices she does.

TotallyEggFlipped Sun 28-Oct-12 14:13:28

How would you feel about talking to your brother about it? Would it hurt him more? Could you conspire with your brother and share the money united against your nan?

TomsBentPinky Sun 28-Oct-12 14:15:52

Could you take it on the insistance its paid back after xmas?

KatieScarlett2833 Sun 28-Oct-12 14:16:42

Our PIL's do this all the time for BIL and SIL.

However, they are skint, we are not, so fair enough.

It's their money and we are glad that they are not going without.

JobCarHouseNoBaby Sun 28-Oct-12 14:16:44

I think he'd be really upset. I think I just have to refuse politely and not mention it to anyone.

The thing that makes me think twice about it is she's gifted us smaller amounts before, and made it known to my mum. But this time it's with the 'must be kept a secret' statement which makes me think she knows she's probably in the wrong about it.

JobCarHouseNoBaby Sun 28-Oct-12 14:18:45

We're not hard up katie, in fact much better off than DB. Just struggling a little bit at the moment with a wedding debt to clear plus unexpected car bills. Which makes accepting it even harder, as I know he'd really value such a gift. He would probably spend it on booze and fags though..

HeinousHecate Sun 28-Oct-12 14:19:57

oh, in that case I really wouldn't.

how would you feel if your brother was the favoured one? It wouldn't be nice and I bet you wouldn't be able to shrug and say well, it's her choice. Because it would hurt.

If you take the money, you are saying it's ok for her to treat your brother badly compared to you.

It's sort of a loyalties test grin Do you take the money cos it'd be handy, or do you say no, I won't be part of your favouritism, keep your money, I don't like how much you hurt my mum and brother.

Seems like the issue here isn't really the 300 quid.

They want to pull you into this little secret, make you part of it.

It's not right.

At the very least, I would say look, I would be most grateful for the money but I have to tell you now that I am not willing to keep it a secret. I won't do it. So if you choose to not give it to me, that's fine.

There's just something really wrong about them trying to somehow separate you from your mum and brother. (I don't mean physically) That's what it feels like.

TotallyEggFlipped Sun 28-Oct-12 14:23:03

Decline the money. Your integrity and your brothers feelings are worth more than £300.

marriedinwhite Sun 28-Oct-12 14:25:29

Accept it gracefully. Your grandmother has the right to give you a gift; she also has the right to decide to give it to someone who will spend it wisely on what she intended it to be spent.

If your brother woud spend it on fags and booze then he needs to sort himself out and when he does he might find he is treated as your equal.

JobCarHouseNoBaby Sun 28-Oct-12 18:54:10

Hectate I think you are right but DH agrees with marriedinwhite.

I will mull it over. Accepting it doesn't seem right at all. My grandfather is very ill and keeps thinking this is his last month with us (not true, but he's probably got 1-2years left). My nan said to me today 'your grandfather wants you to take the cash and will be very upset if you refuse'. So guilt tripping me.

If we DO accept it and DO keep it a secret, my brother and mum will feel very hurt if they ever find out. I don't want to be dragged into any games.

If my nan insists on gifting the money then I will say that ok, if you insist, but I'm going to mention it to mum.

HeinousHecate Sun 28-Oct-12 19:12:49

That's because he's thinking of the fact that you get £300 while you're thinking about the emotions of your mum and brother grin He probably doesn't have the same emotions about it as you do. That's understandable. It's not his brother. It's not his mum. He likely won't feel the pain of their pain (iyswim). to him, this is £300. To you, it's so much more.

CleopatrasAsp Sun 28-Oct-12 19:17:07

Anyone who tries to guilt trip you is not behaving in an emotionally healthy way and the fact that they are doing it is a real red flag that something isn't right. My guess here is that there is a huge backstory to all this. It is not right to favour children over one another in the way they have, it smacks of controlling, manipulative behaviour and my guess is that it's something primarily to do with their relationship with your mum.

I wouldn't take the money, it implies that you will be party to their secret and means that you are colluding in whatever dysfunctional games they are playing.

HeinousHecate Sun 28-Oct-12 19:28:45

That's a good point, Cleo.

my dad's parents were swines for that.

They said and did some right stuff. Not because they cared about me, but because I was a means to an end. They could get to my parents through me.

malovitt Sun 28-Oct-12 19:31:25

I would take the money, give £150 to my brother and put the other half towards a dryer.

CleopatrasAsp Mon 29-Oct-12 07:46:51

Thanks Hecate. smile

hopenglory Mon 29-Oct-12 07:55:39

Gifts shouldn't come with strings, but equally, if you only need £150 for a tumble dryer then you shouldn't take extra cash so that you can give it to your brother. It's not yours to give.

Why not accept it as a loan and pay them back? better rates than using the credit card, you're accepting their help but not at the expense of anybody else

lunar1 Mon 29-Oct-12 07:59:24

You grandma sounds nasty and manipulative to me. I wouldn't take the money.

JobCarHouseNoBaby Mon 29-Oct-12 12:01:45

Thanks for all your replies. I don't think she is intentionally being 'nasty and manipulative' but probably is aware she is spoiling me and not my brother, hence the request to keep it secret.

I think I will refuse politely and only accept if she lets me have it as a loan which is the equivalent of us buying on cc just without the interest

I do however wonder whether DB would be as worried if he'd been offered a secret cash gift... My bet is he'd take it like a shot

CleopatrasAsp Tue 30-Oct-12 00:13:37

What your brother would do is irrelevant TBH.

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