I Need To VentSo, here's my story!
First a little bit of background!
I'm a 33 year old woman and I live in the midwest. I come from very humble beginnings, that over time became very well to do. My mother and step father have owed a handful of different companies, bought and sold some very profitable real estate, and both retired when they were in their late 40's early 50's because of this all. I was raised as an owner. Work long hard hours, grin and bare it and in the end, you will reap what you sow. I can't say that I work nearly as hard as they did in their time, but I will say that I've had a job ever since I was 14 years old. Any time there was a gap in my employment, I worked for a temporary agency. Life is life, things don't stop around you if you aren't making money, you have to pay your bills. SO needless to say, that's how I was raised, and I don't believe in charging things unless it's an emergency or unless it's the only way, like purchasing airline tickets or something that you're going to pay back right away. If you want something, than you save up for it, and then buy it. I have never had a car loan, and rock the s**t out my 2001 mini van (PS I don't have kids). It's just my way of thinking.
I was divorced years ago, after my husband cheated on me and left, I charged the bills to keep the lights on, while I worked two jobs. In the end, I did wind up with some credit card debt, but I have never once thought about filing for bankruptcy or asking someone else to bail me out of the mess I made. My parents always said, you made your bed, now you have to sleep in it! I plan on paying it all back no matter how long it takes, because I charged it, that's how that works, right? Well, ever since then, I haven't touched my credit cards, other than to book a few vacations. I just feel that there is a lot more that you can get out of life if you save for it and then buy it. It's a sense of pride, and finding that feeling of accomplishment vs. the feeling of entitlement. I'm no angel, and I'm not claiming to be, however, I do my damnedest to practice what I preach. If anyone can remember the Martin Luther King speech. Moving forward.
I was recently married to my highschool sweet heart to whom I've been best friends with for the past almost 16 years. We got married on a beach in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico 15 years to the date that we met and feel in love. Awww....I know. LOL We decided at this age, and being it was a second marriage for us both, to do a destination wedding. We didn't see the point in spending all that wasted money to get married in the states with all of our friends and family there. I'm not sure if people know this or not, but money doesn't grow on trees, and for the amount of money that the average couple spends on a wedding, that could be put to a lot better use, like a house, debt, or retirement. Something that you can build on, have a future with, not pissed away on a one day only event that trust me, you won't remember half of it by the days end anyway. As for the whole purpose of a wedding, back in the day it was a day to be celebrated by bringing two families together, the gifts were given to help the new couple buy a house, settle in and start a family. These days most of the people getting married in their later 20's early 30's already have homes, or have just about everything that they need. It's not like virgins stay at home until they are married, those days are long gone. Anyway...for under $3,000 we were able to have a sunset beach wedding of our dreams, air fare, hotel, all the food & drink for a week. No this didn't include my dress, his clothes or our rings. That was another $4,500, BUT that was all paid for in cash, AND most of it was our rings, the clothes were cheap, you're only going to wear them once. In our case it was twice, but that's what I'm getting to. Yes, there is a point here!
After many complaints from family and friends about not being able to afford being with us on our special day, we decided to wait until summer and host a wedding reception of our own. We spent a few months planning a Mexican themed reception to be held at my mother in laws house, outside, nothing fancy. I did almost all of the cooking (there was a dip I didn't make), the decorations were a couple hundred bucks, and the rest was spent on wine, beer, pop & water. Our friends made us a cake, my cousins wife and another friend took the photos for us, we used a radio for music, and that was that. It turned out to be a beautiful day that is still being talked about, 2 months later. We even were able to add in our own personal hot sauce bottles for each guest, and also a midnight lighting of flying paper lanterns to bring us years of good luck and prosperity. All of this, still, very cheap.
NOW, for the main point of the story! My loving husband took it upon himself to decorate the garage, (where all the food would go) the night before. That included tons of strings of lights, and about 50 paper lanterns. You know the ones, they are usually round, sometimes on a string of lights and light up. With tulle wrapped around everything and lights sparkling bright, and many hours later, it was complete. He did a great job. The reception went off without one little hitch. It was great, and everyone had a wonderful time. THEN comes my soon to be sister in law!!!
We don't know much about this woman, and to tell you the truth, we really don't care. She's been after my brother in law for 8 years now, and they have been back together for about 3 years. It's an on and off again dysfunctional relationship. She weighs in at about 300 pounds, can't work full time because she has all kinds of medical issues stemming from just about anything that you can think of to her most recent thyroid problem, which will now end up with some sort of gastric for her weight, paid for, by the taxpayers. She's been on some kind of state assistance for who knows how long, and her family has taken care of her for most of her 30 years of life. We weren't the only ones to try and stop this relationship from forming once again, there were his friends, family and even some outsiders that tried to warm him that this just wasn't a good thing. Then, out of left filed, right before he moved in with us to once and for all end it with her, her grandfather stepped up and bought them a house. Yes, that's right. He paid the down payment, and bought it because there was no way their credit would get them one. You've got that right people, yet another hand out. OK, fine, it happens sometimes. My parents are very well off, and they let me live in a house they owed for a lesser rent, but it was still rent, I still had to care for it, pay for it, everything! Months later we find out that grandpa even goes as far as to pay their property taxes for them too, so they don't even get the write off. OK, still, moving forward.
This is the kind of woman that we are dealing with here. She's not stupid what so ever, a matter of fact, she's pretty smart, that's just what plays into this whole thing even more. She knows how to play the system. A matter of fact, I think that she's been doing it for so long, that she doesn't even know she's doing it anymore. She facebooked my family members after our reception so that they could all be friends. She does this to other people and then invites them to all of their parties so that she can get more gifts or so more people can bring more food ect. She continues to do these things that are beyond embarrassing to the rest of my brother in laws friends and family, like hosting an engagement/second house warming party while putting information on the invite about where they are registered. Then days before the party sends out emails to everyone stating that they don't have enough money, so if everyone could bring a dish to share and something to drink, that would be great. Again, this is what we are dealing with here. It's an etiquette issue really, an engagement party is to announce the engagement and bring the two families together, more of a social event, not to get gifts. As for her system working, she put housewarming party on it as to make it a better fit. Keep in mind they already had a housewarming party last year when they bought the house. Here is a quote from an etiquette site even
"Should I register?
There is a growing trend toward registering for a housewarming party the way one would for a wedding. It's tacky but some people don't care if they are tacky or not.
Everyone agrees, however, that you should never, ever include your registry information in the invitations. If your guests ask you what you need or about your color scheme, then tell them where you're registered. Otherwise, the flavor of the party changes from "Welcome" to "Come over and bring me presents."
SEE WHAT I'M TALKING ABOUT! Just appalling.
Well, back to my point here, sorry I have shiny ball syndrome sometimes, also known as venting adhd.
The morning after our wedding reception, there were a few people that stayed. My brother in law, his fiance, a couple that's friends of ours, my mother in law and a friend of hers. While we were sleeping in, being we were up until 2am and my brother in law was down for the count at 9pm, they decided to start to take down the decorations in the garage and help clean up. It was discussed, by my brother in law and his fiance that "Hey, we should have some of these and put them up for our upcoming engagement party", (exact quote in writing from them) so instead of borrowing the idea, going out to buy their own decorations, what did they do.....oh come on....you know you want to know!! They verbally announced that "They won't even notice we took some of them, besides, they will just sit in a box in their garage for months anyway". YEP, this it. My own so called family stole from me.
Here's my question and the current debate between us and the two thick headed persons we so lovingly get to call our family. If you take something from someone without them knowing about it, is that theft? I want to know, this is a poll, is it? If I'm over at your house for a party, and you have a few too many pretty glasses in your cupboard, and I take a few, because I mean, you're not going to be using them, and it's really no big deal if they aren't missed, does that mean that I stole them or just borrowed them until you caught me? The other part of the story is that while putting the rest of the decorations away, she flat out asked if we weren't going to use them, could she have them. Both my husband and I told her we were going to use them, so we said no. This makes it even better, she already had some of them in her possession in her car, knowing we were going to say no, then she kept them after the fact. Now did I take this the wrong way? Am I supposed to have just gone to her engagement party (which we did not) and see what I saved for, bought with my hard earned cash and used with pride, hanging up in their garage as some kind of "Oh look, those look just like ours", and let it go? Or realize that hey, those are ours, why in sam freakin hell do you have them again? I want to know, so please tell me if I'm wrong or not.
Some people out there feel that it's family, you should just give them things. If we wanted to give them anything, don't you think that we would have just given them the paper lanterns as soon as she showed any interest in the first place? (Please keep in mind I LOVE to buy gifts for people, and have been known to spoil my friends and family when I want to or can.) Other people say, let it revert back to the cost of the matter, if they only cost $25, than it's no big deal, besides, they volunteered to let us come to their house to pick them up, so that's OK right? I mean why should they bring them to us or back to where they took them from, what's an extra 20 miles to get them back. Again, please tell me what you think here!!!
Here's where we are coming from. My husband and I work very hard for our money. He's works a corporate job and has been there for 12 years. I run a small business and have done so for over 7 years. We pay our taxes, obey most of the rules of the law, and try to live life as good people in general. We're not religious, and feel no need to bend this story that way. We scrimped and saved enough money for a down payment on a $200,000 house this spring, and paid for everything in the last 3 years we've been together, in cash. NOW, part of that included our wedding reception. We spent around $100 on those paper lanterns. They took possession of about 25% of them. To us, that's stealing out of our pocket. We weren't asked prior to them taking the lanterns, and their only rebuttal is that "you wouldn’t even notice and that it wouldn’t be a big deal. That you wouldn’t miss only a few. Everyone agreed that they’d probably just be sitting in a box in your garage for a while anyways... " " I’m sure they wouldn’t mind- or even notice if we just took a few of them.”
Well, that's my story, my little vent. I still want to know what people think out there. I am the type of person that gives everyone the benefit of the doubt, then passes my judgement. With this woman though, it's hard to not just freak out sometimes. I've even had people come up to me and ask me if she's retarded, because she does things that aren't even acceptable if a child does them, and she's 30. At the same time though, my brother in law has settled because he's a single father part time, and doesn't think he can get any better, then again, maybe it's all about what he can get out of the deal too. Hey, he never had to work and save for a house, or even his own upcoming wedding that her family is paying for. As for us, we received a $20 gift card for my shower, and a $20 gift for our wedding from them. Yes for some odd reason we are expected to give them a gift for 3 birthdays within the next year, Christmas, their engagement party, shower & wedding not to mention my husband is the best man too. You've got to be kidding me.
IF YOU WANT SOMETHING IN LIFE, GET OF YOUR FAT LAZY *** AND EARN IT! It's no wonder the USA is where it is today. Just keep extending the unemployment benefits, give and give to the "I'm broken, feel sorry for me" people, and just wait to see where we are in the next 20,30,40,50 years. In all honestly we both hope that we aren't even any where near this country in 40 years. A whole generation if not more of this kind of people is going to make a HUGE difference. I'm calling it "The Princess/Yes" generation. Just keep saying yes when your little brat screams in a store, heaven forbid you don't haul off an whack them like our parents did, and look, we turned out just fine!
That's it for now...thank you for reading and for any comments!