I just love family obligations so much.
My oldest nephew’s birthday is coming up. With that comes the birthday party. A party for which, might I add, we’ve not yet been invited. My sister just told me she was invited via a text message from our brother. I’ve not heard a thing either in the mail or through text/email/whatever. Not that it matters. I only go out of pure obligation anyway, not because I want to go. I WANTED to go to the little one’s first birthday party. Then each gift I had so very carefully picked out for him was opened by his mother and met with the out-loud comment of “Oh look, another (insert gift here)”. No gratitude whatsoever. His Christmas present that first year was also a disaster. She wanted to return it. Because he “has enough toys”. It was an educational, learning toy. And an expensive one at that. One he shockingly did not already have so it was not merely “another” one. Once again I spent a significant chunk of money and an insane amount of time trying to find nice gifts for my nephew, and my efforts were not appreciated one bit by his mother. After the issues with the Christmas present, I refuse to give him anything more than $5. Cheap? Maybe. But you have to remember that I’m poor. So I was pissed I’d spent money on gifts that should have been going toward bills (or maybe food) and it wasn’t appreciated. Any cash he’s given supposedly goes into his savings account for when he’s an adult. So the way I see it $5 is PLENTY considering he has lots of other relatives shelling out far more every year for the birthday and Christmas and if it’s really all going into a savings account then by the time he has access to it the interest will have added up nicely for him.
And the card that the $5 gets stuffed into? It will be from the dollar store. I’m not spending $5 or more on a Hallmark piece of paper that will end up in the trash. Nope. Something for 50 cents from the dollar store will suffice. The kid doesn’t care about the card anyway, he just wants to know there’s money in it.
Maybe I’m a bitch for going about the gifts this way. But if you can’t show someone some respect and gratitude when they’ve gone out of their way to buy gifts for your kid who is as of yet too young to be able to show appreciation himself, I’m not wasting my time or money anymore.
When I will be invited to this year’s party remains to be seen. If I am invited at all, which I know I will be. Eventually. Maybe not till the last minute, but it will come. Out of obligation. (Lots of obligations to family around here.) If I’m lucky the Mister will be able to join me. His presence makes just about anything more bearable. He’s got a lot to deal with right now though so I’m not sure he’d be able to go with me. But you can bet I will be asking him.
Nothing says it’s a 3 year old’s birthday party like the distinct tension among the adults who can’t stand each other but are trying to be polite for someone else’s sake.
The fun just never ends in this family…