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Author Topic: A *birthday* registry?!
Rebochan the Retail Reindeer
Good King Wal-Mart


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So my cousin is moving, with her boyfriend, into a new apartment in roughly a week. She recently sent the entire family and several of her friends an e-mail that stated the following.

1. She's jealous that several of her friends are all getting married at once.
2. They all have bridal registries for their new homes.
3. She deserves nice things for her new apartment and therefore she set up two gift registries of stuff she wants us to buy her for her birthday - IN SEPTEMBER.

Her tact in writing the e-mail was of roughly the level I submitted above. The registry includes some fairly expensive items, such as cabinets, wall art, and "video game chairs" mixed in with video games and such which she claims she was trying to steer away from.

Basically, this is causing a row in my family over the entire event. I got a call from my sister last night complaining about it, and learned that several of my relatives aren't getting said cousin anything at all. However, the level of drama over the situation is getting impressively out of control. One of the things I was informed in last night's phone call was that my mom and my sister both expect me to boycott presents for her. I also learned that some of the more traditional elements of the family are barely tolerating that the cousin is "shacking up" only because they're getting married within the year. Asking for extra stuff seems to have killed all the tolerance lightning fast so now they're complaining openly about her upcoming living arrangements. But I have no evidence that any of this reaction is getting back to her and this strikes me as being incredibly underhanded to gossip about a relative behind their back instead of honestly expressing their opinions. Apparently, flat out lying is much lesser than shacking up.

I'm actually rather lost on how to handle this situation. Because my cousin lives close to me and used to in fact share an apartment with me, I know that I'm going to be the only person here who will have to handle her personally when the shit hits the fan. So a part of me wants to reconcile this somehow.

I do however find the request to be incredibly tacky and rude. I don't want to buy her a birthday present off a registry, especially with the full knowledge that yet another registry is going to pop up in less than a year once the wedding approaches, and also with her admission that she only set this up out of jealousy.

My relationship with her has been on shakey ground since she moved out as well - she was incredibly nasty to me before she moved out and my sister witnessed her relentlessly bully me to tears twice on trips visiting us. So part of me thinks she deserves whatever the hell she's got coming to her.

But I'm also ticked off that nobody in my family has the balls to tell her anything! They're just gossiping about her and rallying people around each other without actually confronting her!

So...all I can say now...is HEEEELP! I'm drowning under all the drama!

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Four Kitties
Layaway in a Manger


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quote:
Originally posted by Super Sloppy Rebochan:
I do however find the request to be incredibly tacky and rude.

A request for gifts is tacky and rude. Such rudeness must be ignored, or it risks spreading.
quote:
Because my cousin lives close to me and used to in fact share an apartment with me, I know that I'm going to be the only person here who will have to handle her personally when the shit hits the fan.
No one can take advantage of you without your permission. If it's her, tell her to take it up with the others. If it's the others, tell them to take it up with her. Stay out of it.

Four Kitties

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MizzyLou
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Yeah, what 4K said ... stay the heck out of this situation! If the greedy cousin wants to know why you haven't gotten her a gift from her stupid birthday registry, simply point out that you are not made of money, and that since the wedding gift is what you had anticipated, that is the ONE that you will be buying.

Then again, my husband has a relative who is the Queen of Dramatic Manipulation, and ever since I flat out told her that she is selfish, immature, manipulative, whiny and bitchy, she hasn't spoken to me. Life is so much more pleasant now. Don't know if this is the route you'd want to go, but my results have been good!

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Para
Deck the Malls


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Wow.. I think that broke the rude meter. She's jealous of her friends, so she wants her family to throw her a *birthday shower*!?

If she asks why everyone's ignoring her, shrug. If she asks why you didn't buy her a registered present, just tell her you found it tacky. The family can't expect her to have tact if they've been indulging her like this her whole life (if they have), but they need to say something to her. Her parents would be my nominees, if they're available.

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PallasAthena
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Unbelievable! Can you direct her to this website.

More specifically, you can direct her to this portion of this website. Heck, I'd even nominate her!

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Rhiandmoi
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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Sending the email was beyond tacky. If she wanted to complain about how she felt she should have done it more one on one with her friends and close relatives. There is nothing wrong with expressing that you feel jealous of your friends and that you want housewarming presents. You should have people that you feel comfortable showing your ugly side to. But you should do it in a more personal way that is not a demand for presents also.

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dfresh
Deck the Malls


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Um, what 4K said...and PallasAthena. I think your cousin has made it much less likely she is going to get gifts for her housewarming, birthday, OR wedding from a number of people.
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bthyb
WiFi Christmas


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If you want gifts for your new apartment, you should at least throw a housewarming party...sheesh.

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-- My sister and poet extraordinaire, Joanna Hoffman

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Ryda Wong, EBfCo.
It Came Upon a Midnight Clearance


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It is tacky, and she should have handled it better, but I totally get her rage.

At age 19, I left my abusive asshat of a fiance. Nothing.


I finished my bachelor's (SCL, btw). A few congrats and some gift certificates.

I left my hometown at age 21 to move to Colorado for grad school. Best wishes n' stuff.

I finshed my master's. Nothing.

However, I'm probably going to be getting married in the next year or so. I know I'll get gifts from everyone, not to mention, they'll actually leave the south and fly here to witness the event. Why? Cause, apparently, that's "the most important thing you'll ever do."

It's freakin' irritating, because getting married is going to be far easier and far less eventful/life-changing for me than the things I've already done. Personally, those things are far more worthy of congratulations and gifts than gittin' hitched (not that I won't enjoy that immensly).

So, yeah. I get her frustration. She should have expressed it better, though. Or given a party, as bthyb said.

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Rebochan the Retail Reindeer
Good King Wal-Mart


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I realize I come across rather abrasive here, but in real life, I hate conflict. Especially with her. We actually do normally maintain a good friendship which improved dramatically once she moved out and we had space from each other. We just had lunch together before this went out and she hadn't given me any indication she felt this way.

So while I don't want to just not give her a present for her birthday (which is in September). But because of the method she chose, I feel like giving her a present validates something I don't agree with, and she dragged a lot of ugly feelings back out as a result. She just alienated all of these people around her by simply getting a case of the gimmes.

...to 4k and other similar minded snopesters...you're right about disengaging. I'm not sure of the best method of dealing with the cousin though, because we'd finally reconnected after a busy semester (she teaches and I'm still in college) and now I know this is going to come up. I don't want to lie to her to maintain the friendship, believe it or not.

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"One original thought is worth a thousand mindless quotings." -- Diogenes

"Vote Republican! We won't burn you at the stake for your religious beliefs or slaughter your family and steal your land." -- Ramblin' Dave

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Ophiuchus
Deck the Malls


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If you were going to get her a gift before, still do so and get exactly what you would before.

It was probably to your detriment to even check out the registry as it will inevitably affect you one way or the other.

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finger stutters
Deck the Malls


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I agree with Ophiuchus, if she is close enough for you to get her a small gift before, get her that small gift and leave it at that.

That being said, my birthday is in September as well and I want you all to get me something now... and it better be expensive [Wink]

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bthyb
WiFi Christmas


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Ryda, I hear you about the wedding presents thing - getting my PhD was definitely more of an accomplishment than getting married - though I won't say that planning the wedding wasn't an accomplishment in its own way. [Wink]

My problem is that we're in a one bedroom apartment. We've just moved twice in 8 months. The last thing I want is more items to try and jam into our home! I wish I could skip the presents somehow...we're going to register for some things that could use replacing (dishes, sheets), but we really don't need a lot.

And I can't ask for checks, because that's just tacky.

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If you say you love ice cream, you better be dreaming of an orgy with Ben, Jerry, and one fine-ass chunky monkey.

-- My sister and poet extraordinaire, Joanna Hoffman

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Jenn
Layaway in a Manger


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quote:
Originally posted by Ryda Wong:
Why? Cause, apparently, that's "the most important thing you'll ever do."

When it comes to gifts it's a little more specific. Traditionally wedding gifts were to start the new couple off on the right foot for creating their new home together. It made a lot of sense back when it was standard for young people to live in the family home until marriage. My sister-in-law and her husband had a huge registry listing because they both lived with their parents until the marriage papers were signed and really had nothing to put in their house. They really were starting their lives as independent adults upon their marriage.

It doesn't make as much sense for people who have lived on their own, since they've likely already gone a long way to building their households, but the tradition of wedding gifts has stuck fast.

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violetbon
I'll Be Home for After Christmas Sales


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quote:
Originally posted by Super Sloppy Rebochan:
I don't want to lie to her to maintain the friendship, believe it or not. [/QB]

If you have to lie to her to maintain a friendship... is it really a true friendship?
You also said that she has bullied you in the past. If that's the case, why on earth do you give a rat's patootie what she thinks? I'd say good riddance.

As for the gift, I think you should do whatever you would have done had she not sent out the boorish request. If you were planning on getting her something anyway, then get it. If you weren't, then don't.

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Rebochan the Retail Reindeer
Good King Wal-Mart


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quote:
Originally posted by violetbon:
quote:
Originally posted by Super Sloppy Rebochan:
I don't want to lie to her to maintain the friendship, believe it or not.

If you have to lie to her to maintain a friendship... is it really a true friendship?
You also said that she has bullied you in the past. If that's the case, why on earth do you give a rat's patootie what she thinks? I'd say good riddance.

Well, like I said, we more recently reconnected. I never got a direct apology, but we tried to smooth things over after that last fight when she was taking out the last of her things. I'm also a sentimental yutz, because in the last few months, several close friends have, for varying reasons, moved back to their homes a significant distance away, except for her. I'm not sure I have to lie to her - I'd rather not. We do too much of that in my family as it is. If the friendship's dead, there's not much I can do if she's the one who trashed it, but I'd rather not lose out if it's salvageable.

quote:
As for the gift, I think you should do whatever you would have done had she not sent out the boorish request. If you were planning on getting her something anyway, then get it. If you weren't, then don't. [/QB]
Phhbt, gift card. I know where she likes to shop.

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"One original thought is worth a thousand mindless quotings." -- Diogenes

"Vote Republican! We won't burn you at the stake for your religious beliefs or slaughter your family and steal your land." -- Ramblin' Dave

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Para
Deck the Malls


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A gift card sounds perfect. She can buy what she wants or put it toward what she wants. If she's half this bad on a normal basis though, I think I'd be shopping for some new friends and acquaintances to hang out with. From the sounds of things, she's the one who'll be missing out- not you.

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"But what of the golden spider-duck and the squat crimson pig?"

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Morgaine La Raq Star
The "Was on Sale" Song


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Re: the registry. My kids don't have a birthday registry, but I try & keep an amazon.com wishlist updated for them. The reason is that it can be hard to communicate to Grandparents in another state exactly which action figure DS wants & a picture really helps. And they ask for lists, I don't spring them on them. My MIL just asked DH a few weeks ago if I was going to send them a birthday list for the kids.

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Canuckistan
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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That's a really good idea, Morgaine. For kids. With grandparents far away.*

It's very different when you set up one for yourself just because you want gifts.

Any sympathy I had went out the window after that little act.

*I may get my sister to do something like that for my nephew when he gets a little older. That way, no guessing what he needs.

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Brillo Bee
Wii Three Kings


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I have heard about a recent trend for people who hit 30 without being married... apparently some choose to register for their 30th birthday and/or throw a large-ish birthday party. I guess it's supposed to be your last chance to get big gifts from the fam because if you get married at 40, you're more likely to already have the dishes, towels, and appliances you want or the means to buy them. At least that's my guess at what the trend is about. I think it's a little tacky.

Especially if you have plans to get married soon.

Bee

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Aptenodytes_Forsteriis
We Wish You a Merry Giftmas


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quote:
Originally posted by Ryda Wong:
It is tacky, and she should have handled it better, but I totally get her rage.

At age 19, I left my abusive asshat of a fiance. Nothing.


I finished my bachelor's (SCL, btw). A few congrats and some gift certificates.

I left my hometown at age 21 to move to Colorado for grad school. Best wishes n' stuff.

I finshed my master's. Nothing.

However, I'm probably going to be getting married in the next year or so. I know I'll get gifts from everyone, not to mention, they'll actually leave the south and fly here to witness the event. Why? Cause, apparently, that's "the most important thing you'll ever do."

It's freakin' irritating, because getting married is going to be far easier and far less eventful/life-changing for me than the things I've already done. Personally, those things are far more worthy of congratulations and gifts than gittin' hitched (not that I won't enjoy that immensly).

So, yeah. I get her frustration. She should have expressed it better, though. Or given a party, as bthyb said.

My family missed the point as well. I graduated SCL with degrees in both history and philosophy, no gifts, very little in the way of congratulations. Law School graduation, in the top 20%, again no gifts. Apparently graduating at 32 or 35 doesn't count as much as doing it at 22 or 25, never mind that I ran a business the whole time I was an undergrad, magically it was 'easier' than doing it the traditional route. I even had to call my father out on his snide comments to get him to admit he was proud of me.

I'll say one thing for a complete lack of praise, it teaches you to rely on concrete achievements for your self-esteem.

edited to achieve the correct spelling of achievements. i before e except when I am writing.

edited again because I mispelled it AGAIN, in my editing note. Can I pay someone to proofread my posts? [fish]

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Signora Del Drago
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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Aptenodytes_Forsteriis, i before e, except after c.
Weird, huh? [fish]

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"This air we're breathing. Oxygen, isn't it?"~I’mNotDedalus, impersonating Vincent D’Onofrio.|"Sometimes trying to communicate can be like walking through a minefield."~wanderwoman
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Aptenodytes_Forsteriis
We Wish You a Merry Giftmas


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So, given that we already speak the hardest language, why do so few Americans speak a second one?

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Lainie
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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quote:
Originally posted by Aptenodytes_Forsteriis:
So, given that we already speak the hardest language, why do so few Americans speak a second one?

Because we're tired.

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