Uh…I Graduated So You Owe Me $100.00

by admin on July 13, 2010

There is a family across the street from us with whom we never have had more than a hello-in-passing relationship.  We know they have a daughter around high school age and a son somewhere in college, but that is about all.

Yesterday, our doorbell rang.  The daughter was on our porch with three of her friends.  She told me that since we had not yet given her her graduation present, and she wanted to go shopping that morning, we could just give her the $100 right then.  She was serious.  I didn’t even know she had graduated as we never had received any invitation or announcement regarding it.

I asked her why she thought I was going to give her $100, to which she replied that that was what most other people had given her as presents.

She left our porch surprised and disappointed and without $100 – although I am considering presenting her with an etiquette book for the totally clueless.  0711-10

I’d give her the etiquette book with a voucher for $100.00 redeemable by you hidden among the pages.

{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

Maryann July 14, 2010 at 6:54 am

That is a brand new one on me. I am totally aghast. It sounds like the letter writer might not have even known this girl’s name. How was this person raised that she thinks she can demand money from near-strangers simply because they’re within her proximity during a life event? And dictate the amount, no less.

I got one graduation gift. My mom bought me an ice cream cone after the ceremony. Nobody even sent me a card. I graduated shortly before my birthday so people just sent congratulations in my birthday cards. It never even occurred to me that I should have gotten more.

I can’t even begin to conceive how it occurred that someone graduating high school has so little life experience or social aptitude as to think this is appropriate.


Xtina July 14, 2010 at 7:38 am

I won’t be adding anything new, but just wanted to say, “wow”…..some people’s rudeness knows no bounds. I can’t even begin to imagine asking even relatives or people I knew for a gift of ANY sort, much less a neighbor I barely knew, and to actually demand a certain amount.

I would certainly speak to the girl’s parents. If they are not aware of what she’s doing, they need to know. If they know and think it’s acceptable, perhaps a person or two telling them how shocked they were to be hit up for cash by their daughter will get them thinking that perhaps something is amiss with that.


Xtina July 14, 2010 at 7:51 am

Also wanted to add–something else that reeks of entitlement and gift grabbing is when you receive a graduation announcement from someone’s son or daughter that you have not heard from in years, if ever. Husband and I received a graduation announcement from a young man I had no clue about. After some asking around, it turns out that the parent of the graduate was a very distant cousin of my husband’s, who he had not spoken to or seen in over 25 years, and was only aware that this person had a child because some other relative had mentioned it years ago. We did not send him a gift and since they lived in a state far away, I think they probably knew that we would not be attending the graduation. It should probably come as no surprise that we have never heard a peep from these people since then, either.

What surprised me perhaps the most was that my mother-in-law thought we should have sent the boy a check!!


Zelda July 14, 2010 at 9:20 am

Leaving aside the enormous etiquette/entitlement issues, the parents have done a dang poor job of teaching the girl personal safety. Knocking on strangers doors looking for money may get her a few suggestions on what she could do to earn it, and if she’s dead unlucky, more than a suggestion. The fact that she had friends with her doesn’t mean she was safe. Richard Speck raped and murdered 8 women in the same townhouse on the same night, controlling them all with only a knife. If you can’t teach you kids to be courteous, at least teach them to be careful!


yarngirl July 14, 2010 at 9:24 am

Dang. Sad thing is, I can follow the evolution of what led to this behavior because I’ve seen very, very similar behavior in my family. Here’s how it can happen:

1. Some kids are raised being constantly assured of how “special” they truly are.
2. These kids are also raised with the philosophy of “you gotta take what you want from life.”
3. They are not taught to respect or try to understand others, because “you have to look out for yourself.”
4. They are then never taught to send a thank-you, or say thank-you, and are told that anytime they get anything it’s because they “deserve it.”
5. Kid therefore learns from their parents that they are somehow entitled to everything they are given. No thanks are required, because nobody else’s feelings matter, and besides, they SHOULD give the little gimmee pig gifts for just being alive. Kid never learns to think of WHY people give gifts, and never learns to care about other people at all. Other people are a source of tribute, and that’s all.
6. Kid notices that for an event, everyone else gave a certain amount. No parental indication that this is unusual, so this falls under the normal pattern.
7. Therefore, kid assumes that this is the normal amount they “deserve” for this particular amazing feat of theirs. At this point entitlement has led them to feel that they deserve this tribute so much that they are “owed” this money.
8. Kid notices that someone hasn’t paid up. Their logic has never been built to understand anything beyond “everyone is supposed to give me this, these guys didn’t, better go get it from them.” The kid is in the mindset of someone who lent you money. They honestly feel you owe them this money, and are annoyed with having to go collect it from you.


Kay July 14, 2010 at 11:09 am

Urg. I graduated two years ago. From my parents, I got a card and a laptop for use at university, from my godparents and grandparents I got a bit of money, and my cousin who had attended the same university I was going to got me a sweater from the campus store. I got cards from a lot of people, including distant relatives, and also baked goods and homemade wine for some reason (not that I’m complaining, mind you).

I wrote notes to everyone and was very happy to get a little spending money to take to college, but I didn’t expect anything. One hundred fifty other people graduated with me, it wasn’t too hard.


Candra July 14, 2010 at 11:36 am

Good grief! When I graduated 2 years ago, I stuck to the list of people my mom told me to send announcements to (and my own friends, of course). I didn’t expect more than cards really, but I think I must have gotten around $600 from all the generous relatives! One close friend gave me $50 and that was really extravagant to me; I was embarrassed to accept it.
I have no idea where this girl got that much gall, but I think she should take it back to the store.


Fanboy Wife July 15, 2010 at 9:46 am

I just hate that high school graduates feel that they are entitled to money and gifts. Graduating from high school really isn’t that big of an accomplishment anymore. I know of several cases when school will change the graduation standards for individual students (not special-needs students either, I mean lazy students) just to get them out of the school.

I never even realized what a fund-raising event graduation was until more recently. I think I got almost $300 total when I graduated from high school, and I thought that was a lot of money. Yes, it would have been nice to have more money to help with expenses, but I didn’t have the good fortune of having wealthy relatives. I just had to take out a bunch of loans.


Barbara July 16, 2010 at 2:38 pm

For anyone who doesn’t think this happened… a few months ago there was a knock on my fiance’s door. He opened the door to find several teenage boys asking for money. They were local middle-class kids from his neighborhood. They were going house to house, asking for money. They got none.

It’s probably a good thing I was not present, since I work for Children’s Protective Services: those kids and their parents would have gotten more than an earful.


Grace July 17, 2010 at 11:50 am

I graduated a month ago, 6/19, and this honsetly completely disgusts me. My parents bought me my laptop for college a month or so before that, and then I got cards from grandparents and my aunt, with $100 each, and I nearly died right then, I might’ve though perhaps $30, which is what I have recieved form those relatives on pastbirthdays/Christmas, but I was truly shocked at that. I also got a few cards form friends of my parents, and my friend’s families. But…to have felt entitled to a gift from one of them? That’s…I’m speechless at this.


Lillie82 July 17, 2010 at 7:22 pm

This may sound a little snobby in its own way, but when I graduated from high school I remember being a bit bewildered that people were even congratulating me. We’re a very college-educated, education-is-important family, and I think I had come to take for granted that graduating from high school was just something normal people did.


The Cat Whisperer July 18, 2010 at 5:32 pm

I can top this.

A couple years ago, while my husband and I were eating dinner, there was a knock on the door. I opened it to find a tough-looking guy I’d never seen before in my life, who announced that his brother had been shot and killed and he wanted my contribution to the funeral!!!!!!!!!

After being drop-jawed stunned silent for a couple of seconds, I told this person “I’m sorry about your brother, but I don’t even know who you are.” And I shut the door.


Twik July 20, 2010 at 9:56 am

Barbara – were those children asking for money for any special reason? Or just “We want money, you have money, the solution here is obvious”?


RP July 21, 2010 at 2:50 pm

What Zelda said times a thousand.

@Xtina – If it were a college graduation announcement I’d take it as it simply being that, especially if it’s from a family with few to zero college graduates. That’s seen as brag/celebration-worthy so they tell everyone.

@Barbara – There’s an episode of King of the Hill where Bobby and Joseph decide to become bums because they see some “cool” kids begging for money instead of working. Middle class kids with cell phones and buying chai lattes but getting offended at people for not simply giving them money.

I’ve seen this in real life too. There are these “hipster” kids who will beg for money not because they can’t find a job but because they choose not to get one. They’ll tell you this too.


HannaLee August 22, 2010 at 3:01 am

I am totally shocked at this. I felt repulsive sending out my own high school graduation invitations because I knew all they did was beg for money/presents. I ended up sending 3 invitations, and they were to family that had requested them. I received 3 graduation presents, one of which was a dirk. (Yes, dirk. A large Scottish knife) Completely useless, but the best present I have ever received. Especially because I didn’t ask for it.


Michelle P October 2, 2010 at 10:30 pm

Jaw-dropping, but I believe it. Similiar experience: my ex husband and I were in Germany. We received an envelope with no return address, with his name and our (sort of) address on it. I don’t know how it found us; the address was only half correct. Inside was a graduation invitation. My husband didn’t recognize the name at first; after a few minutes of thinking he figured it out. His father had never had anything to do with him, never married his mother, and he hadn’t seen or heard from him in years. His father married eventually, and had (he thinks) three kids, and the announcement was from one of them. What bothered me is that not one single person in this family had ever so much as contacted us in any other way. I committed a faux pas myself; I looked up his father’s name and number (again, we had no way of knowing it because we never spoke to them) and called and left a message asking why in the world she felt entitled to a gift when they’ve never spoken to us, and how in the world were we supposed to attend a graduation ceremony in Michigan when we live in GERMANY, and where would we send anything when the envelope had no return address????

@yarngirl, you hit the nail right on the head.


TMS October 6, 2010 at 6:19 pm

The sarcastic side of me would have given her $100… in Monopoly money!

Seriously though, the sense of entitlement amazes me. Not only should you have had a talk with her parents, since they lived across the street from you, you should have gone over right then and there and talked to her parents.


Adica November 17, 2010 at 1:16 pm

For some people, graduation announcements can be a request for gifts, but for the most part (in my experience) they’re more about giving distant family members life updates on the family without being too intrusive in their lives. My own dad has been estranged from his older brother for years but, after some long discussions with my mom, sent him a graduation announcement/invitation when I graduated because they felt he deserved to know that his niece had graduated. They also wanted to give him a nonintrusive chance to reconcile with the family that wouldn’t put him on the spot.

I do admit that when I graduated from high school four years ago, I did receive over $1,000 in money from my grad party (we had a lot of guests, though, and I never got more than $50 from anyone who wasn’t family/nearly-family), but I never expected that, and it all went towards my first semester college tuition (which, sadly, barely covered 1/6 the cost that wasn’t covered by my scholarship and government loans, ulg). It was the same for every friend I’ve ever talked to about it–money went towards tuition, laptops, and textbooks, not some frivolous shopping trip to the mall.

I definitely would have gone with the ettiquette book, and perhaps a lecture and a call to her parents, too. She’ll need it.


CMHValex May 26, 2011 at 4:18 pm

Wow. The only gift I expected upon high school (and even college) graduation was the attendance of the family and friends that could easily make it. My grandparents did give me a small amount of money, but I in no way expected it, and I was very thankful. The way I see it, my parents were kind enough to let me stay in their house over the summer before college rent-free, drive me to pre-college events, and help me move into my dorm. They went above and beyond what an adult young woman could ever expect of them. How in the world can someone just expect another person to give them $100 like that? How could someone feel so entitled? I can’t even try to explain it with a “kids today” comment, because I’m only 23. My graduation wasn’t that long ago. This girl had no right to make that kind of demand.


CMHValex May 26, 2011 at 4:21 pm

Sadly, this girl is also probably going to college free, as her parents will probably pay for it. My parents were generous enough to give me $1,000 toward my first semester, and I was extremely grateful. The rest I paid (and am still paying for grad school) with scholarships, student loans, and money from my job. I don’t understand how some people can feel so entitled that they expect their parents to pay for college and other people to just hand them money. It makes me absolutely nauseous.


Dri December 16, 2012 at 1:18 am

Oh dear. I’m currently high school aged and would never expect anything for graduating!


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