Open Thread

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  1. Andrea

    When to pay for child’s accidental damage to another’s property?
    Yesterday at an outdoor party. My son was playing with some toys that were on a gravel patio. He dropped or moved a larger toy that caused a domino effect of a couple of small chairs and a small bench to fall over. This would have just been a funny scene, but my aunt had placed her expensive camera on one of these small benches in the toy area. I couldn’t tell if the camera was in or out of it’s case/bag, but if it was in the bag the bag was not closed. Anyway, the camera fell onto the rocks and received some damage, scuffs to the outside and a couple scratches to the screen. Lens cover was on; no damage there. I hurried over right when it happened and offered to fix it; these were just the words that came out of my mouth in a hurry. She said “fix it?”, took it from my hands (I had picked it up first) and just walked away. Part of me feels responsible, but then again my son wasn’t even close to the camera or playing with it. This was an accident, and I’m also thinking she left her camera in a poor spot. Am I responsible?

    • Alicia

      Depends on details of how kid, you , and aunt behaved. But sounds like you already offered to fix it so follow up on the offer ie ask aunt if she wants you to look into if a camera show can do something about the scratches. It sounds like your aunt might realize that cosmetic scratches are really not fixable and there is not really a repair option and a new camera is likely overkill. At the very least you should have had son apologize but probably what is done is done now.

    • Elizabeth

      Accidents happen. It does not sound like your son was roughhousing or playing in an inappropriate way, and the camera was damaged as a result of a series of unlucky coincidences. Her terse reply may have been a result of being upset at the result of the accident, and maybe even being upset at herself in having placed the camera in harms way, but no reasonable person could hold your son responsible for the damage. You offered to have the camera fixed, she declined your offer in a way, so I would not mention it again. Perhaps she will be more careful about where she places expensive equipment.

  2. Hannah

    Is it rude to decline an invitation to a rehearsal dinner if I am the date of a wedding party member? My boyfriend of 5 years is in the wedding party, and a rehearsal dinner will be held an hour away from the wedding location (and our hotel). As a member of the wedding party, my boyfriend has been asked to stay the night at the location of the rehearsal dinner, which means I will be stuck driving back to our hotel alone late the night before the wedding (after working half a day, driving 3 hours to the wedding location, and then another hour to the rehearsal dinner location). While I appreciate being included in their rehearsal dinner, and I understand the convenience of having the wedding party be all in one place the morning of the wedding, it would be much more convenient for me to let my boyfriend attend the rehearsal dinner solo. Also, I have only met the couple once before and do not know their families. My boyfriend thinks it would be extremely rude of me not to attend the rehearsal unless I were to drive up the day of the wedding.

    • Elizabeth

      It is very reasonable of you to skip the rehearsal dinner. They’ve invited you because you are the date of a groomsman, and they will not miss you if you skip it. Your boyfriend can easily tell the bride and groom that you’ve had a long week at work and then just drove three hours, so you’re resting up for the big day tomorrow. No one will give it a second thought. Perhaps your boyfriend wants you to go so you can meet and get to know people who he considers good friends. But I would hope that he would be more understanding about your perspective and need for some quiet time before attending at an event where you will know few people.

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