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AIBU about reaction to gift?
134

giftAIBU · 19/01/2022 10:57

Name changed because it's outing and I don't need my family finding my main account!

For Christmas, I commissioned an artist to do a stylised portrait of my sibling's beloved pet. I knew it was a bit of a risky gift but they are very tough to buy for as they're quite well off and really have everything they need, and I figured that even if they hated the actual picture, they would appreciate the thought that went in to it, and because we don't live near each other they could hide it in a cupboard for most of the year if needs be!

I put a lot of time and effort into it, going back and forth with the artist to get it right, and while it wasn't excessively expensive, it wasn't cheap either.

Anyway, Christmas came and went and I didn't hear anything from my sibling, but that's not massively unusual so I didn't think anything of it. I then came to stay with my Mum and found the picture lying on the side in her house. I remarked that sibling hadn't taken it home, and she said (very defensively) "[Sibling] doesn't think it's very good so wanted to talk to you about it". I was a bit aghast and my mum added that my sibling was "worried" that I had been ripped off and that's why they wanted to speak to me.

In my eyes, this is rude beyond belief - it's clearly a gift that a lot of thought has gone in to, and in my opinion if you get a gift you don't like, you smile and say thank you anyway. Also I don't think it's the receiver's place to worry about whether or not a gift is worth what the giver paid for it.

For my sibling, I'm guessing that it's just good sense to reject the gift considering they don't like it - I'm assuming they think I would be able to get a refund (although of course I can't because it's personalised and I approved it before it was sent out!).

I feel incredibly hurt by both my sibling's actions and my mum's vehement defence of them. We were brought up to always be grateful for gifts, regardless of whether or not we actually liked them, and I can't help but feel if this were the other way around, my mum would be horrified with me.

For background:

  • I lost my spouse last year so it was something of an effort to get Christmas presents sorted
  • Mum, sibling and I have quite a difficult dynamic - sibling is the golden child, regardless of behaviour, and my mum will always take their side, so I am no doubt oversensitive when it happens
  • Sibling didn't get me - or my child, their only nephew - anything for Christmas, but they would say this was deliberate so we could choose something when we next saw them

    So I guess my question is - AIBU to be hurt?
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Am I being unreasonable?

AIBU

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Fatgalslim · 19/01/2022 11:09

I wouldn't be hurt as I didn't paint it, but they could've been a little more tactful or told you exactly why they didn't like it.

If I don't like a gift I would tell the giver why and I'd expect others to do the same, what's the point in keeping something you don't like?

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sunflowerroses · 19/01/2022 11:11

I'd be really hurt and she's very rude, as is your mum.

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Whitney168 · 19/01/2022 11:12

Clearly sibling is rude as you like (should have just said thank you and hidden it/thrown it), and your Mum is weak not to tell her not to be so ridiculous - but am interested to know what 'stylised' means anyway.

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Bonheurdupasse · 19/01/2022 11:13

Please stop getting them presents - ever - and use the exact same line as she does when she complains.

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Justcallmebebes · 19/01/2022 11:13

I don't think you were unreasonable at all to be hurt and I think your sister was really rude. If presents aren't reciprocated I wouldn't bother again

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Frannibananni · 19/01/2022 11:14

I wouldn’t be hurt but would think they are being a asshole though.

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Orgasmagorical · 19/01/2022 11:14

I don't blame you at all for being hurt, especially when it can't have been an easy year for you Flowers

Your background info didn't surprise me in the least Sad

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Maves · 19/01/2022 11:15

It's rude and hurtful...if they didn't like it considering all the shit you've been through recently they should have just sucked it up and appreciated the effort. Even worse they don't even buy at least your child a gift.
What did you think of the picture? Was it shit?if you agree it wasn't great maybe take it up with the artist? Otherwise they sound like a spoilt entitled dick....don't bother again.

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MorningStarling · 19/01/2022 11:16

I think you need to calm down, it's not as though your sibling has said anything rude to you about it and maybe they're trying to think of how to tactfully approach you, hence the lack of contact.

It's just one of those things, it's unfortunate you found out like you did and your mother shouldn't be shit-stirring like you've described.

Ultimately though once a present is given, it's that person's property and they can do what they like with it, even if that is to decide to have nothing to do with it.

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Lollypop701 · 19/01/2022 11:17

Yanbu Apparently being gracious about gifts was only taught or applied to you. I would say no gift exchanges for Christmas in future and leave it at that. You won’t get anything from ds or dm in this dynamic I don’t think.

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Nanny0gg · 19/01/2022 11:19

@Fatgalslim

I wouldn't be hurt as I didn't paint it, but they could've been a little more tactful or told you exactly why they didn't like it.

If I don't like a gift I would tell the giver why and I'd expect others to do the same, what's the point in keeping something you don't like?

So the fact of the OP's circumstances would make no difference to your reaction?

And (with the exception of my husband who doesn't always listen and should know better) I've never told a giver that I didn't like their gift and exactly why I didn't. Beyond rude.
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giftAIBU · 19/01/2022 11:20

@whitney168 Yes, that would be useful information - apologies! It's done in a vector style, so something like this, but it has a floral background.

@Bonheurdupasse Ha! This would very much not go down well. Expectations for me are very different to for my sibling. They are the youngest and fondly seen as a bit disorganised etc, so not buying presents is a quirk of their personality. Whereas I am very organised, so not buying a present would be seen as a deliberate snub.

AIBU about reaction to gift?
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FadedRed · 19/01/2022 11:20

How rude!
You shouldn’t bother getting them anything in the future. Or just a box of cheap chocolates and spend you money on yourself and your child.
I’m sorry that your family are so shit to you, Op. 💐

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ProudThrilledHappy · 19/01/2022 11:21

Well since sibling is tactless about your gift and doesn’t buy for you or the children maybe stick to cards going forward?

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giftAIBU · 19/01/2022 11:21

@Maves No, I really liked it! I approved it before it was sent out. I can definitely understand if it wasn't to sibling's taste, but I felt the thought would count regardless, I guess!

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Nanny0gg · 19/01/2022 11:22

@MorningStarling

I think you need to calm down, it's not as though your sibling has said anything rude to you about it and maybe they're trying to think of how to tactfully approach you, hence the lack of contact.

It's just one of those things, it's unfortunate you found out like you did and your mother shouldn't be shit-stirring like you've described.

Ultimately though once a present is given, it's that person's property and they can do what they like with it, even if that is to decide to have nothing to do with it.

Should the OP's current circumstances be taken into account? Does the thought really not matter any more? It's not like she popped into Poundland and bought a load of plastic tat.

And I also can't believe the OP's mother left it where it could be seen!

How unkind was that?
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Theblacksheepandme · 19/01/2022 11:22

YANU
Your sister was rude and your Mother was no better. I would be having as little to do with them as possible. You sound very kind and considerate. Look after yourself OP.

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Maves · 19/01/2022 11:23

@giftAIBU fuck them then...and do not buy any more gifts for them they aren't worth it. Don't let this get to you you have enough to deal with concentrate on you and your child you tried this makes them look bad not you.

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Whitney168 · 19/01/2022 11:25

Not weird at all then @giftAIBU (although she should still have better manners if it had been!).

Given that you clearly can't do right for doing wrong, and she doesn't even bother trying, far better to just cheerfully agree that you won't bother in the future. I'm sure this will irritate her intensely, as it won't all be about her. Spend the money you save on a treat for you and/or your DC.

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Hugasauras · 19/01/2022 11:26

Aww I would be very touched! My SIL has got us a couple of family art things that maybe aren't my particular taste or something I would have for myself, but the thought they went into them more than makes up for that and I have them on display because they make me smile just because of that.

And I like that pic you posted!

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giftAIBU · 19/01/2022 11:27

@MorningStarling I appreciate your perspective, thank you. I definitely agree that once a gift is given people can do what they like with it and if I'd never seen it in their house I wouldn't have said anything! But deliberately going out of their way to point out that they don't like it/think it's rubbish feels a step too far for me.

You are right though in that I should wait and see what sibling says directly - but I have to say, knowing them as I do, it's unlikely to be tactful! But equally I also know that I am prone to overreacting as I already feel very much "the odd one out" in my family, and my imagination is running wild picturing them all slagging it off on Christmas morning!

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PinkSyCo · 19/01/2022 11:27

Ooh I would absolutely love a gift like this, so much so that I think I would be highly disappointed if after unwrapping I saw that the portrait was not a good likeness of my pet at all. So, putting aside everything else for the moment, I’d like to know what you think of the painting. Is it a good likeness?

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Coronawireless · 19/01/2022 11:29

It was certainly rude.
Is your sibling much younger than you? It’s possible that they are just extremely thoughtless and genuinely didn’t realise how much effort went into the gift. Focused on their own problems, immature and blinkered to the people around them. Their taste doesn’t match yours but they are too thoughtless and immature to appreciate the effort you went to.
In this case I would not take it too personally but maybe, as your tastes differ, pre-discuss a gift with them next time. Or step back from gifts altogether as they have not reciprocated. Some people genuinely don’t see the point of gifts, giving or receiving.
The thoughtless response is her, not you, and there’s not much you can do about it.
I agree that your DM sounds a bit shit-stirring. Calmly maintain your boundaries there. Give respect but quietly and firmly expect it too!

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giftAIBU · 19/01/2022 11:30

@whitney168 I think this might be the right approach if they bring it up, just to agree pleasantly that it's probably better if we don't do gifts moving forward. The temptation is to tell them how hurt I am, but I know from experience it would only lead to an argument that I would lose - sibling is incredibly intelligent and very good at tying me in knots, and I struggle because I always have emotion in the discussing whereas they rarely do (they are a much more logical thinker). Plus my mum would be on their side.

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giftAIBU · 19/01/2022 11:31

@pinksyco Hmm... I would say it is a fair likeness in that it has captured pet's distinctive features. It's obviously not done by the best pet portrait artist in the world (!) but in my opinion it's cute and very clearly their pet.

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