Open Thread

by epi on January 10, 2012

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This open thread is your space to use as you like. We invite you to discuss current and traditional etiquette. Feel free to ask questions of each other and the community moderators here.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Unsure in Small town January 14, 2012 at 11:36 am

My boyfriends sister and husband have been married for about 5 years. My family is close to the entire family, and now closer since we’ve started dating. My mother catered the grooms dinner, she was asked by the couple for her her help, but was not paid for her services and getting reembursed for food costs after the fact, reciepts in hand, was treated like a negotiation. She cut her losses and took what they were willing to reemburse her with and considered the labor and investment her wedding gift.
My boyfriend bought his sisters house from them in a quick sale, this a life lesson to him now, and was screwed over royally. They bought a brand new house that we imagine is nearly paid for from the money she made off of him (did I mention its a small town and the realator is married to a brother of the brother in law, who happens to be one of my mom’s best friends?)
So this brother in law has had major health issues since he was a child and when an Aneurysm bust it wasn’t a huge shock, unfortunate yes, but not a it came out of left field type tragedy. The sister is a nurse so she is better equipped than most with medical issues, but that doesn’t take from this being a tragedy. They have a child, a little girl, to top the considerations needed.
She had a benefit dinner to raise funds for his medical and other bills…right away, no time was lost getting that ball rolling. Luckely I had to work so I couldn’t make it, but plan b would have been to offer to wash dishes and clean up. They have several collector sports cars, an atv worth near 10000(her brother offered to buy it from her but was turned down) , and many other valuable items that could be sold not to mention the expense they are to them with insurance, ect.
So here is the problem…the brother in laws family wont help with anything. She is so upset over this but in my opinion (its easy to know all the answers when its happening to someone else) she works 3 days a week, her parents usually have one if not both. She hasnt asked for help from me and I’m not about to volunteer because I’m sure It will lead to taking advantage and I feel that, being a nurse, she is going to need to face the facts that he needs long term care and many feel its just because she doesnt want to spend money on it so she burdens her parents becasuse they are free.
We do not have money to donate, nor will I consider it untill her house is behind and all luxuries have been sold and she has exhausted all of her options as a full time nurse.
Please enlighten me to the standard and acceptable ways of dealing with such a tragedy and how much in this instance, its been handleed well and how it has not. I think the small town, passive aggressive talking behind your back vs saying something is getting to me. I know in ways its none of my right to say much but in others, I’m as mad as a hornet. Please help me to process this in a socially accepted way to decifer what right and wrong.

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Just Laura January 14, 2012 at 9:50 pm

I might be missing something, so feel free to enlighten me if I am.
It is terrible that this person suffered an aneurysm, since they usually strike without warning. How complicated their life must be now, and how fortunate that the wife is a nurse and is better equipped than most to handle it.
It is impolite to count others’ money. If they have valuables, then that is their business. You don’t know if that is their retirement plan (I happen to own several paintings that I plan to sell in the future… it’s like owning stocks, but prettier).
You mention that she hasn’t asked for help from you, and that if she does, you aren’t willing/able to give it. But if she hasn’t asked, what is the problem? You are under no obligation to give money to a person who may not need it and who hasn’t asked for it. When you say, “many feel it’s just because she doesn’t want to spend money on it so she burdens her parents because they are free,” I know that you realize that such talk is simply gossip. You are a better person, and needn’t listen to any of it. If you feel generous in helping these poor people, you will give. If you feel uncomfortable giving, you’ll remind her that you have your own family’s needs. There is really no problem here.

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