Feel Good Friday – Peacock Spider Christmas

by admin on December 15, 2017

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Facebooking About Missing Christmas cards

by admin on December 14, 2017

I wrote what I thought was a pretty innocuous post on my Facebook wall about receiving nearly all our Christmas cards in the mail one specific day right before Christmas.  The post said,

“I was wondering why we’d only received 4 Christmas cards all season. I started to think maybe our friends are family were being extra lazy this year. Until we got a HUGE stack of them in yesterday’s mail, some postmarked back to December 2nd. I guess our mailman was just hanging on to them for kicks?”

I received a few cute responses from friends about mailmen being lousy, but my MIL wrote a pretty passive aggressive response to the effect of “…I WAS going to mail out cards this year but decided not to stress about it and instead focus on more important things, like taking care of my sick parents.  I would have hoped that my loving family would understand and forgive my shortcomings.”  My MIL is usually a pretty awesome person who I get along with well, so I’m wondering…was my post rude?  Did it seem like I was attacking those who didn’t send out cards?  I honestly didn’t even notice we hadn’t received one from the in-laws and didn’t think twice about the “friends and family being lazy” comment when I sent it.  Should I apologize? 1223-14

I wouldn’t have made mention about friends and family being “extra lazy” since that is speculation into the motives of why your loved one may not have sent Christmas cards that year.   So, yes, apologize, please.

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No Joy of Giving For You!

by admin on December 12, 2017

This is a story from last Christmas that stems from my parents’ good intentions that put me in an awkward position. My brother (my only sibling) got married in the summer of 2015, and we were looking forward to having his new wife join us for Christmas. I live three hours from my parents and they are a good plane ride away, so only I came home for Thanksgiving. While I was home, my parents told me they had talked to Brother and SIL on the phone and agreed to no Christmas gifts this year. Brother and SIL were both in graduate school, I was teaching at a charter school (with great kids but horrible pay) my dad is retired and my mom was preparing to retire, so it made sense for us to forgo the gift exchange and just enjoy one another’s company. I had been budgeting for gifts but decided I could invest my meager savings elsewhere.

Christmas Eve rolled around and I picked up Brother and SIL at the airport, and then we made the trek back to my parents’ house. We walked in to find the house decked out for Christmas, including a pile of presents under the tree. At first I thought maybe my parents had just decided to get some token gifts for traditions’ sake, but then my SIL opened her suitcase and added two more gifts to the pile- one for my parents and one for me. It turned out to be a very nice handbag- of course I appreciated the gift, but I was mortified to not have anything to give, especially to my new SIL. My parents had made up the story because they didn’t want me to spend money on gifts. I know my parents meant well, but I was also irked that they had decided that I couldn’t afford gifts and had robbed me of the joy of giving.

The funny part is, I quit the charter school and took a public school position this fall, which was a pretty big pay increase. It will be just me and my parents this year (Bro and SIL are celebrating with her side of the family)- and they tried to pull the no-gifts stunt again! I’m beginning to wonder if they think I am careless with money or that I can’t make ends meet because I am a single woman? We are a family of teachers, so my parents know that, while the salary isn’t extravagant, it is manageable!

I did finally drag out of them that my dad would like some tools and my mom would like some cooking utensils. Then, they pointed to a $75 cat condo and asked if my CAT would like that for Christmas. As if I’m going to believe they are forgoing gifts but spending $75 on my cat! 1206-16

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Christmas Fundraising In Honor Of The Deceased

by admin on December 11, 2017

I have a situation here and I really need your advice, and the advice of everyone else.

My in-laws are wonderful and generous people. They have many friends, but they are closest with “Fred and Ginger Smith”.

This past spring, Fred and Ginger Smith lost their daughter, “Lily” to cancer. She died at the age of 43 and left behind four teenaged children. It was a very sad time for Fred and Ginger, and my in-laws as well, as they consider the Smith family as their own family.

Fast forward several months, Fred and Ginger are coping and moving forward. One night my in-laws received a call from Fred saying that he and Ginger were throwing a Christmas fundraising party in Lily’s honour, and all money made would be going to a cancer charity.

The party will be held in a banquet hall, with food and drinks provided. Fred advised that the cost per ticket is $100. $80 will be going to pay for the food and drinks, and $20 will go to the charity. Fred asked my father in law if he would go. My father-in-law, being very generous, said he would buy 10 tickets and bring 10 people. The conversation does not end there. Fred then says, “That’s great, but can you see if you can get (gives the names of 4 of my father-in-laws friends) to buy tables as well?  They are rich and they won’t miss the money. Also, it’s 10 chairs per table, and there will be a silent auction and prizes to bid on. Tell everyone to not only buy tickets but bring money too!”

My father-in-law was floored. He did not know how to respond to this. He was already generous in offering to pay $1,000 for the event by buying 10 tickets, but being asked to go ask his friends, whom Fred and Ginger don’t know, made him feel like he was being taken advantage of. My in-laws are rather put off by this (understandably) and don’t know what to do.

My question is, how does one tactfully deal with a scenario like this? The commitment to buy 10 tickets has been made, and my in-laws will follow through as promised, but I think what irks them is that Fred and Ginger did not seem to think it enough, and wanted them to do more.

I personally think spending $100 for a charity event, with only $20 going to charity, is ridiculous. I would rather give $100 directly to the charity. But how do you relay this sentiment? And how do you let them know that it’s not appropriate to be asked to recruit for their event?

I know Fred and Ginger are going through a hard time, as this will be their first Christmas without Lily, so how can you be tactful yet sensitive to their feelings? 1211-14

It does seem odd to me that potential donors must be enticed to part with their money for a good cause by means of being entertained.  It’s as if the intrinsic value of financially supporting a worthy charity isn’t enough, the donor must receive something of value in exchange for his/her donation.

In the case of your in-laws, saying nothing in response to Fred’s “suggestions” for further donation possibilities is the right road to take and carry on with the original plan to buy 10 tickets.  Having a polite spine means knowing what your spending limits are in regards to a specific charity, and being perfectly at peace with that dollar amount such that no one trying to manipulate you into more has any effect on your emotions or wallet.

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Feel Good Friday – My Favorite Time of Year

by admin on December 8, 2017

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ATM Etiquette

by admin on December 7, 2017

I’ve never seen this particular issue of etiquette pop up on your site and I’m curious about your thoughts.

The other day, I parked my car outside my bank to visit the walk up ATM on my way to work in the morning. I got in line right after another lady began her transaction. It turns out that she had several transactions and several cards that she was working with that day – she wound up in front of that ATM for 7 or 8 minutes.

Another patron in line behind me walked around to her and asked how much longer she was going to be as she had already been at the ATM for quite some time. She snottily turned around and said that it “hasn’t been 7 or 8 minutes and (he) needs to work on his patience”.

So, my question is: should there be a limit as to how many transactions are managed at the ATM? If you have many, should this lady have waited until the bank lobby was open and gone inside? I understand the purpose of the ATM is convenience for times when the bank is closed but, what gave her the right to make 3 other people wait while she conducted her business(es)?   0925-17

There are times I’ve stewed behind someone wondering why on earth they are moving like molasses to finish their business. It’s as if they are completely unaware that someone else needs to use that cashier or ATM or any other self service machinery.

The bottom line here is that banks do not limit the number of transaction a person may do at an ATM and so it is possible and probable that there will be people who conduct all their banking transactions in one stop using multiple cards. It’s as if you got in line behind 3 other people instead of 1.  The bank doesn’t see a problem with this at all.   There is no guaranteed right of customers to always have a fast, smooth transaction when that right is dependent upon the number of customers all wanting the same exact thing at the same time.

So, don’t sweat what is the “small stuff”.  Getting irked only ruins your day and doesn’t make the other person any faster.

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Wedding Wednesday – “I Sent My Regrets” Many Times

December 6, 2017

About a year and a half ago I casually dated a woman named Tiffany (not her real name). We met on a dating site and then realized she is friends with some of my friends from High School. We’re both women in our mid 30’s. We met for coffee, dinner, and a few movies. Nothing […]

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Neighborly Sharing Is Caring But Please Have Respect

December 5, 2017

We live in a very large, but tight-knit community that stays in close communication via a private Facebook group. As one of the Administrators of the group, I’ve had the “pleasure” of creating and enforcing rules and boundaries in this online world. Over the years, rules and guidelines have had to be created and I’m […]

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