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AIBU to be really upset?

278 replies

StyleCommander · 21/06/2017 14:05

I'm not a parent, my paternal instinct (fortunately) came and went in the last couple of years. However, my nieces are really important to me (and I like the fact I can give them back). Anyway (this may be TL:DR)

My sister took her kids (14, 7 and 5) to Blackpool for my cousins wedding, and decided her, my bro in law and the kids could spend a day in the Pleasure Beach. My Eldest niece (not real name) Bea, wanted to do all the big rides and coasters, but not on her own. My sister is a proper wet end so wouldn't go on them with her and my Bro in Law is a little on the large side, OK a LOT on the large side, and couldn't fit. So Bea ended up not being able to do anything more thrilling than the Teacups.

My sister called me up and said she was a little upset for Bea, so I said I'd fly over (I live in Spain) and I'd take her and the older 2 girls to Alton Towers for a couple of days.

My Sister then booked everything and paid for the hotel, the tickets and told my Bro in Law to change his shift at work so he could drop us off and start later in the day or do the night shift.

It was decided that, because I was waiting to be paid, when we were there, I was going to be the one to splash the cash to make up for what I'd not paid. Thus bringing us to 50/50 in what we've paid each, which I thought was fair.

I then get a call from my sister the day before we left, telling me that Bro in Law didn't tell work about the plans, and we would have to get the train, then a bus. OK, that's not too bad, worse things have happened in the world, but it's still a ball ache.

So I booked the tickets, paid for the cab from the house to the station, and paid the £30 (£30 fucking pounds for a bus that's probably only just scraped through its MOT!) for the bus from Stoke to Alton.

At this point, because I had no card as my partner needed it in Spain, money was literally evaporating before my eyes (My partner only gave me £160 and £40 buffer in cash) and had only £60 left in my wallet having gone through the buffer and £100 just to get us there.

The kids have little routine when it comes to food. If they're peckish between meals, they go into the kitchen and grab a piece of fruit or have a couple of crackers with cheese, which I'm not really fussed about. I'll go into this in a sec.

However, the night before we left, my sister got absolutely drunk as a skunk, and I was then left to pack 4 peoples things into my small bag which was like a fabric version of playing Tetris. I then woke up at 5:00am, checked we had everything we needed and had breakfast planned for the kids (me and my sister don't eat until lunch). At 6:30am, I got the girls up, made their breakfast and got my sister up. I got the girls fed, dressed and watered and my sister FINALLY rolls out of bed at 6:45am has a coffee, cigarette, quick wash, does her hair and is good to go.

We left at around 7:30am to catch the train, got to Manchester, got the train and landed in Stoke at about 9:15ish. Literally 10 minutes before the bus was due. Ideal time for loo break and cigarette break.

We were hot, tired, frustrated and generally just picking fights with each other all the way there.

When we got to the park, which was around 11am me and my sister went to the bar to settle our nerves (far too early I know). I then proceeded to buy one of those all day free refill cup things for £6, which I worked out as being the cheapest option for us as money was seriously low.

At around mid day however, my younger niece started complaining she was hungry. I didn't really know what to do, so we put it off for another hour until I could work things out in my head and sat down at the Cafe near Oblivion where I got me and my sister another drink (we'd endured several 5 year old tantrums and several teenage bitch fits already).

I then transferred £100 from my account to hers (money that wasn't mine, but my husbands) and she insisted on going to a buffet. I'm not a big eater, neither is she, and the girls eat like normal kids. This amounted to just short of £50, which I thought was extortionate given that I was trying to keep it on a relatively small budget.

Anyway, I let that slide. It was a treat for the girls and they really enjoyed it.

After that we had a lovely first day, except for when I thought it would be a really good idea to walk into a lamp post!

We went back to the hotel (another £20 for the taxi) and had a few drinks and a little sharing platter (£20), so I transferred another £60, thinking £40 for the bar and £20 for another taxi back to the park.

However, we ran out of cigarettes and cash because my sister decided she only wanted wine (at £5 a small glass) as oppose to Cider and Black (£2.80 per pint). So I transferred another £30. £20 for the taxi, £10 for cigarettes.

Again, we had a nice time in the park, I got some quality time with my eldest niece and gave her a history lesson on the Towers and the house, and gave her a tour of the place, which bizarrely ended up with about 4 families also following me round and asking questions about the place and the history and the legend of The Chained Oak. I'm a history buff, and my ex is a history teacher specializing in local history.

My bro in law picked us up at the end of the day, and we went back to their house, where my sister got rapidly pissed after chugging a bottle of wine in under 30 minutes.

The morning after, the money again was gone, and we had no cigarettes, alcohol, tea, coffee, milk or fruit juice (we're not alcoholics, I just can't be arsed going to the shop 3 times in a day, so buy everything at the same time), so I transferred another £50. This was to get Tobacco, rolling papers, filters, Beer for me, Cider for her (I put my foot down, finally), Tea, Coffee, Milk and Juice and a couple of loaves to shove in the freezer for emergency use if she needs it.

Anyway. It gets to about 8:00pm, and I say I'm going back to my parents as my flight was early the next morning.

I didn't even get a thank you. Off any of them.

What was meant to be a 50/50 thing feels like it's been 90/10 thing. I feel hurt, embarrassed and used by my sister. I broke down crying to my mum, because what I had planned fell apart at the seams and Bea didn't get the experience I envisaged.

Money isn't an issue for me, I can't take it with me, so I spend it, however, the initial £400 that my sister spent seems to have ended up costing me the same and she's the one that got all the benefit while I'm trying to pacify my husband for spending £530 in 2 days.

Who is to blame here? Me for being an idiot, My sister for getting her £400 back with interest, or my Bro in law for being so selfish that his action led to the entire fiasco?

I'm a 29 year old man, I know how to budget, and I don't begrudge the girls anything. But to not even get a thank you or a kiss goodbye, I feel that's just adding insult to injury.


OP posts:
LyingWitchInTheWardrobe2726 · 21/06/2017 15:50

Moosical, I could direct you to some very voluble posts advising wives and female partners that they are entitled to the family money... because that's what you do as a family.

My husband and I have separate accounts but we'd 'send over' money as needed. It's just what you do, isn't it

GeekyWombat · 21/06/2017 15:50

I'm so confused. Two grown siblings go to an amusement park together with DCs. They split the costs roughly fifty fifty, but with booze and fags (!!) it all gets a bit out of hand and one ends up paying a bit more (although definitely not a 90/10 split).

It's a jointly organised, jointly paid for day out. Does one NEED to say thank you to the other? If my sister joined me and my DC somewhere like that and we split the costs I wouldn't thank her at the end, cause we'd done it together. I'd say I was glad she'd come, and give her a hug and be happy we'd had a good day, but it's not like you've hosted them is it?

Is the TL;DR really that you didn't like the buffet lunch and your brother in law didn't seem excited enough that you were going to Alton Towers rather than the Pleasure Beach?

It seems a bit of an overreaction to me. If you feel out of pocket, either ask her for some back or don't do it again. It all seems exhaustingly dramatic, especially in the heat. Definitely not worth crying to your mum over.

Sonders · 21/06/2017 15:50

OP, ignoring all the money stuff, your sister and brother in law were super rude. You were there to do them a favour and treat your niece, and they can't even be gracious enough to say thank you.

StyleCommander · 21/06/2017 15:54

Well could one of you please help me plan the next one?

I'm not a parent, I'm not trying to be the Uncle of the Year. I want to give my eldest niece a good time because she's been sidelined since her younger sisters came along.

Am I honestly that bad an uncle that I want exclusive time with my god daughter?

All we could do at Alton were the Yellow knuckle rides because my sister couldn't leave my younger niece (rightly so), and Bea was petrified doing it herself.

I'm trying to fill two roles here. Father (BIL's too big to get on rides) and Uncle.

OP posts:
diddl · 21/06/2017 15:56

" I want to give my eldest niece a good time because she's been sidelined since her younger sisters came along."

So plan something with just her.

Can she come out to you?

Any waterparks near you?

caffeinestream · 21/06/2017 15:57

Take cash next time. Then once it's gone, it's gone.

You haven't done anything wrong as such, you just chose to spend all this money on buffets, drinks and fags, but now you're bitching about it and it seems like you're trying to blame your BIL.

Clalpolly · 21/06/2017 15:59

Is Bea old enough to come and visit you in Spain on her own?
Or plan a weekend in London with just her? Or other more convenient city? Manchester?

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe2726 · 21/06/2017 15:59

What about if Bea came to you in Spain? She's old enough - and there's such an age gap between her sisters and herself that she'd probably really appreciate it. Do you have some amazing water parks nearby? Beaches with restaurants - and shopping?

It would cost a lot less than having to schlep over to the UK and sort out transport hither and thither.

You don't need to be 'dad', just be what you are - fun and happy to spend time with your niece. She's lucky.

MoosicalDaisy · 21/06/2017 15:59


I'm sure there are posts like that, it's up to people how they want to manage their money. OP has implied they have separate finances, so people should base their opinion on that.

Couples can have separate accounts and finances, or bundle it all together, it's up to them, it's something that is generally agreed on before any kind of commitment.

If a couple have children, I think all income is 'family money'.

Anything like inheritance is down to the couple on how to deal with.

Yes of course you'd send money over 'as needed' it's not a relationship otherwise is it?

Bumbumtaloo · 21/06/2017 16:00

I'm still confused doesn't take much tbh you and your sister agreed to split the trip 50/50 so if Dsis spent £400 on the hotel and park tickets. The £200 you took with you in theory should have paid for your half of the trip.

Whilst there and when you got back to Dsis you had spent in total £530 for a true 50/50 split it should have been £465 each. So the initial £200 you took with you was never going to be enough.

Or am I totally getting the wrong end of the stick??

StyleCommander · 21/06/2017 16:00

Oh, and my hubbys thinking it's hilarious. Not the situation, but the fact me and my sister have the organizational skills of Lauryl and Hardy!

So Please, be kind. I'm not a bad uncle. I just don't know how to organize these things. Also my sisters not much use either, she was reading the map upside down!

OP posts:
LovelyJubly111 · 21/06/2017 16:00

I'm so confused hasn't this worked out perfectly?

Your sister spent £400, you spend £390 (minus the transport). That's basically 50/50.

All you need to do is recoup the 130. The BIL should really offer to pay as he shouldn't have promised a lift if he had no intention of giving one.

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe2726 · 21/06/2017 16:00

x-posted with lots of likeminded suggestions.

SnipSnipMrBurgess · 21/06/2017 16:01

I'm trying to fill two roles here. Father (BIL's too big to get on rides) and Uncle

You are not her father. Regardless of your obvious disdain for him.

Stop smoking.

Bring a pack lunch next time.

If you are that close to your sister that you can plan and arrange all this, transfer money and buy food for her kids, then you are close enough to say "oi sister, you owe me £X, pay up!"

Stop using the word bitch.

If you want to treat your god-daughter, then just do something with your god-daughter only next time.

Bumbumtaloo · 21/06/2017 16:02

Ugh again! Sorry for typos really should find my glasses

It should read the £200 you initially took with you would cover your half of the hotel and park tickets.

livefornaps · 21/06/2017 16:05

£20 food budget per day for four people yet you weren't planning on making sandwiches? You thought you'd spend £5 per person in a theme park restaurant? Er, you do sound like a nice person but that makes no sense. Your sister should have gone shopping prior to your arrival to make picnics. If your brother in law could give you a lift or not is neither here nor there (although if you were all coming back to their place he should have gone shopping to make sure you could all eat something when you returned!) Why on earth was it a surprise that after eating breakfast before 7am that a child would be hungry at midday (after presumably just having to sit there & watch you & your sister on the booze at 11 - did the girls get anything?) And why did your sister think it was ok to take your money to "get herself a nightcap"? She doesn't sound like the most responsible person ever - by the time I read to the end of your post I almost felt hungover & stressed out - no wonder no one felt like saying thanks! Next time either go on the piss with sis or take your nieces somewhere. Don't try to combine both - drunk spending decisions & lack of forward planning do not mix with kids unless you intend to feel fleeced...! It is very very different taking a brood of kids somewhere to just popping out with adults. There is no "let's just see how it goes" unless it's going to cost a fortune.

Tazerface · 21/06/2017 16:06

Jesus you're not fulfilling a parent role just because you take her on the rides! Christ on a bike dramatic much?!

The way you make it work is you plan and stick to the plan.

£50 a day - make packed lunches and only smoke half a pack of cigs a day.
Explore other ways of getting there that aren't cab - does Alton Towers really not have some sort of shuttle service?
DON'T buy unnecessary food/drink etc.

You are right they should have thanked you but I think you need to own the bad decisions you made here.

StyleCommander · 21/06/2017 16:06

@Bum. I dread to look at my online banking. We (hubby) share the same account. Let's just put it this way. My sister (although without cash) has ended up bleeding me. I'm more upset at not even getting a thank you.

If you went to Costa, you'd say thank you to them. Why did I get the cold shoulder?

OP posts:
DonkeysDontRideBicycles · 21/06/2017 16:08

No good deed goes unpunished!

You sound like a kind uncle but next time just invite Bea over to Spain.

KurriKurri · 21/06/2017 16:09

I think you have to think of them as separate groups until the little ones are a bit older. A fourteen year old doesn't want to be doing the same stuff as a 5 and 7 yr old. So I'd arrange an activity for you and oldest niece so little ones can go somewhere more suitable with parents, or you take older girl on one day and little ones the next day if you want to spend time with all of your nieces.

Just decide all the things you can save money on - food is one, take packed lunch and own drinks (I think allowing £20 for food for five people at Alton Towers was a wild underestimation).

Do you drive - would life be easier if you hired a car for a couple of days so you don't have to rely on bro in law?

Ecureuil · 21/06/2017 16:10

I'm still confused as to why you're blaming it all on the lift!
You said you'd budgeted £20 for food one day 1. But £50 was spent in the buffet. How is that the fault of BIL for not giving you the lift?! Completely disregarding the lift, you went over budget on practically everything.
You can't blame your BIL for that!

Clalpolly · 21/06/2017 16:10

A fool and their money are easily parted.

You are an adult- why are you afraid to look at your bank account.


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witsender · 21/06/2017 16:11

How has she 'bled' you? She didn't spend a massive amount less than you, and presumably you were eating and drinking too? The amount that you went over budget was not just the cost of the transport, so stop blaming the bil. And you are not replacing him by going on a few rides, nor playing any kind of father figure. 🙄

Orangetoffee · 21/06/2017 16:12

It sounds like you just grossly underestimated the cost of a day out at a park like that. Next time take a picnic, it will save you a fortune.

Bluntness100 · 21/06/2017 16:12

What a bizzare post.

Your sister paid 400 to get you there. You agreed spends whilst there would be on you, so it was a fifty/ fifty split. As such, uou knew full well you should turn up with at least 400 to meet your share of the deal.

Instead you turned up with half that, so never intended to meet your side of the deal. So you expected to spend 200 max for four of you, for all your meals, fags, drink and transport for two days, and really wanted to spend 140 only.

A large proportion of what you spent was on booze and fags. Yes you spent about 100 odd more than your sister. If you're that bothered, ask her for the fifty quid.

It's sod all to do with your brother in law.and I'm sorry you don't sound half as fabulous and carefree about money as you're trying to make out. It reads that you agreed to something you couldn't really afford.

Move on, and next time ensure you have the money to fulfil your commitments.

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