News: There is a new Ehell Kindness Project!  Check it out in the "Extending the Hand of Kindness" folder or here:   

  • November 27, 2015, 08:35:14 PM

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I know several couples who met at weddings! It's fun, you have a built-in conversation starter and you have something in common with them already.
Time For a Coffee Break! / Re: S/O Beggars, Moochers and Scammers
« Last post by oz diva on Today at 07:57:03 PM »
My cleaning lady showed me a letter she got which screamed at her about how lucky she was to have won big money. I asked if she had been expecting a windfall, and she replied that according to the letter she was. Which wasn't what I had asked. It took quite a bit of persuading to get her to throw it in the bin, she wanted to write back.
13 general / Re: Asking for gift cards
« Last post by Benni on Today at 07:52:45 PM »
Is there really a difference in asking for cash vrs gift cards?

For me there is a big difference.  If you give me cash (which I would never ask for), it will be used for sensible things.  I will pay a bill or buy gas or groceries with it.  If you get me a gift card, I will spend it on me, on something I want.  If you ask me what I want, I will suggest a card to a place that I like to shop, but don't normally frequent without the incentive of a gift card.  I will not care if it is $5.00, if it is what I actually will use, I will appreciate it.
14 general / Re: Asking for gift cards
« Last post by menley on Today at 07:49:39 PM »
Well, if I told my family I wanted laundry detergent or other staples, they'd start thinking I was flat broke and get incredibly worried. That's not a normal thing to put on Christmas or birthday wish lists in my experience, whereas gift cards are perfectly normal in my experience.

What I tried to stress in my post above is that to me, a gift card isn't the same as cash. If someone gave me $25 cash, I'd probably save it, or use it on lunch the next time I ended up at a cash-only place. But if someone gives me a $25 gift card to a place that they know I like (like my Starbucks example above), I use it specifically on a splurge that I probably wouldn't make otherwise, which to me is a really nice gift. Would I use the $25 cash on Starbucks? Probably not.

But even then - if I asked someone what they wanted for Christmas, and they said "I can always use cash!" or "I'm saving up for X and cash or a gift card to help me get that would be awesome", I wouldn't have a problem with that. They're not saying, gimme cash! They're responding to an inquiry about what they want, with the answer of what they want.

That's one of the "problems" with asking people what they want for Christmas/birthday/whatever. Do you want an honest answer? I certainly do - I don't want to give them a gift they aren't interested in. So, that's something to consider. If you're asking them what they want, are you prepared to hear the answer? Or is there only a certain range of "acceptable" answers? If you don't give them any guidance to what kind of response you want, but then you're upset with them for honestly answering the question you asked, that's a little unfair.

Now, if you don't ever want to give gift cards and you think it's tacky, that's of course your prerogative, but I think it'd be a kindness to express this when you're asking the question in the first place. "I'd love to give you something that you would love for Christmas, and I hate giving gift cards as I really enjoy picking something out for people. Can you please give me a few thoughts on things you'd be interested in / favorite colors / staples you would appreciate being stocked up?"
Time For a Coffee Break! / Re: S/O Beggars, Moochers and Scammers
« Last post by TootsNYC on Today at 07:36:58 PM »
My elderly dad got scammed by one of those "Hi, Grandpa--I'm in a jam and need money, but don't tell my parents."

They start off saying, "Hi, Grandpa," and wait for the elderly person to fill in the name. And then the victim thinks the called identified himself.

He lost some money on the first one, and my brother had to educate him. Dad still gets the calls; he got one while I was visiting him at his home in the midwest, and he figured it out, but still handed me the phone saying, "It's Graham*."

*Graham being my son's [fake for the Internet] name.

I thought, "what? it's the middle of the school day, is something horrible going on?" I said "hello?" and this voice starts saying something about "I broke my nose, and I came to Cleveland for the funeral, my friend Clint died." Having my dad's sentence in my head, I said, "this is Graham?" It didn't sound like him, and he'd have said, "Hi, Mom," because he knew I was visiting. The guy said yes, and I said, "Graham Tennyson?" And he said yes, and launched into the broken nose thing.
   At that point, his accent was suddenly apparent--a little singsong-y, and it was clear.

I said, "Oh, you have the WRONG number!" and hung up.

Fortunately my dad has wised up a bit. He still doesn't quite get that he shouldn't be supplying the name for the person who is calling him.
16 general / Re: Asking for gift cards
« Last post by pickles50 on Today at 07:32:19 PM »
Menely - to answer your question "what should you ask for?"

I too, am in the same situation, I have already what I need and I can afford what I want, but I feel I can still give suggestion other than gift cards/cash. I am always happy with a pound of coffee, tea or specialty chocolate. One year I was at a total loss of what to ask for so I asked my Mom for household stuff like laundry detergent - honestly that was pretty awesome because I just used the money I would have spent on that stuff buying myself something I really wanted. I feel like gifts are about the gifter as much as they are about the giftee. I ask what people want because maybe there really is something they want, if so I'd like to give them the chance to tell me. But asking for Gift cards or cash, IMO is kind of off putting.

 I was asking for people's opinion on asking for gift cards (solicited or unsolicited). Asking for a gift card IMO can limit someone quite a bit who hasn't budgeted for a certain $ amount. Is there really a difference in asking for cash vrs gift cards?
Holidays / Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
« Last post by Klein Bottle on Today at 07:31:16 PM »
Girlie, my MIL and SIL have been very involved in my DD's care and upbringing. I love them and for the most part we get on well but I will tell you this: set clear boundaries firmly from the start. I didn't, and can't tell you how much I regret it. Even a healthy In-law relationship can be strained once children come into the picture.

I have very much raised my own child, and I have an extraordinarily functional relationship with my own mother and family. That said, I have even had to set boundaries with my parents, because they are just a tad overinvoled with my son. They very recently moved closer to me, and this makes things easier, but there were a couple Christmases I didn't have with my son when we lived far apart, because they wanted him and he loves being with them. (They have a marvelous relationship, and they also do a lot for him.) They also used to get him in the summers and take him on fabulous vacations, which I was thrilled to have him do, but which cut into my time with him.

It was hard because he really enjoys being with them and I am thankful for the love they have for him. However, I finally had to tell them "no" a couple times, because it dawned on me that I only get so many holidays, so many summers with my kid before he's grown up and on his own. Last year, he spent Christmas and New Year in South Africa where his dad was living and working. Once again, nothing I'd ever begrudge my child, but, it makes about three Christmases I have not spent with him.

With a dysfunctional MIL in the equation, it's probably vital that you and DH get on the same page and list your boundaries. I really hope your future child can have a close, normal relationship with the paternal grandparents, but, they have to abide by your conditions, or else they could find themselves cut off. It's not your fault that your MIL didn't stand up for herself back in the day.
Apologies if anyone mentioned this on pages 2 or 3 (which I skipped), but hasn't anyone ever met someone to date at a wedding? :-*  How are you supposed to do that if you bring a [casual or not-serious-relationship] date with you? In a wedding with 250 invited guests, perhaps any of the 4 single daughters might have met a nice man from the other side of the HC's crowd? A groomsman?  >:D An usher?  8) [Were they related to the groom? I've already forgotten.] The bride's handsome 2nd cousin? Where is the sense of adventure? ;-)
19 general / Re: Asking for gift cards
« Last post by menley on Today at 07:07:07 PM »
I really struggle with this. My husband and I have gotten to the point in our lives where we have plenty of "stuff", and are regularly paring down what we do have. We are also both fairly defined in our styles (which are decidedly different from that of both of our families). And we are in a point of our careers where we have a reasonable amount of discretionary income, so if we really want something, if it's in budget, we buy it. If it's not in budget, it would be far too expensive to put on a Christmas wish list for either of our families. And if we want it but haven't bought it, it's probably because we don't want it all that much, it'd just be nice to have.

So then what am I to say when someone asks me what I want for Christmas?

I've tried saying that we don't need or want anything, and I'm told that's either not true or just to make up a few things for a list for them. So, usually what ends up on my wish list? Gift cards to Starbucks, Barnes & Noble, iTunes - because they're all things that I enjoy, but they add up quickly and so I buy less of than I would like to. And everytime I use those cards, I do think warmly of the people who gave them (especially Starbucks when I am freezing on the way to work and get a peppermint hot chocolate.... mmmmmm.)
Holidays / Re: Thanksgiving - the Good, the Bad and the Ugly
« Last post by Runningstar on Today at 07:05:36 PM »
Good - all of my food turned out perfectly and my family wouldn't let me lift anything heavy (including the turkey).  So my back isn't killing me too much.  Also - my house is sparkling clean!! 

Bad - my store bought pies didn't fool anyone and I now vow to make em from scratch as usual.  Also, a brief oven fire scared me half to death.

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