Author Topic: Receiving money as a gift - response?  (Read 3699 times)

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Surianne

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Re: Receiving money as a gift - response?
« Reply #15 on: December 27, 2011, 10:38:56 PM »
Since I was one of the first to say that Auntie wanted $500 worth of gratitude, let me clarify - I don't think she was trying to get OP to bow down to her or give her accolades.  Her gift was of course very generous and she wasn't under any obligation to give so much.  I do think it likely, however, that Auntie wanted the money counted so that OP & the family watching would know how generous it was right then and there.  I don't think it is necessarily a horribly negative character trait to want to see how your gift affected the person you gave it to - in this case OP would probably have been very excited and maybe the family would have been impressed to some degree.  In fact, I think it is human nature to not be entirely altruistic (let me cite Phoebe's problem with doing a truly selfless good deed...), to want people to be aware that you are a generous person.  I don't think that makes her a bad person, it just acknowledges a common human frailty that may shed light on why she pushed the OP to count the money right then.

That is totally fair and I do agree with you that most (all?) good deeds/gifts can't be 100% altruistic.  Actually, I can understand what you're saying all around.  The rhetoric of some of the posters after you got much more negative towards the aunt (one poster specifically said the phrase "begging to be bowed to and expecting to be put on a pedestal" which is where I got the "bowing" language from). 

It's also a general trend at ehell I've noticed that really bothers me, looking for very negative motivations in gift-giving.  And I probably come down too hard on the other side, to the point of being a Pollyanna about gifts when of course there are people who give passive aggressive gifts (the diet book, the clothing in a colour you hate but the giver thinks you should wear more of).  Somewhere in the middle between ehell and me is probably the truth  ;D

Luci

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Re: Receiving money as a gift - response?
« Reply #16 on: December 27, 2011, 10:49:13 PM »
That was Luci! I guess I see this as a far greater character flaw than the rest of you do. Auntie really shouldn't be wanting everyone to know how generous she is. It's just wrong.

I can't apologize or back down because that is truly the way I feel.

It is interesting that so many of you don't find Auntie's desires as self-serving as I do.

Yvaine

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Re: Receiving money as a gift - response?
« Reply #17 on: December 27, 2011, 10:55:04 PM »
I see it as potentially embarrassing to the OP (advertising that she's fallen on hard times!) and also potentially hurtful to other family members who didn't receive the same amount. Look at how heated the debate is on the front page story about the woman who tipped a waitress $50, then told her mom about it which caused drama because Mom's gift from that OP was a smaller amount. I think it's just generally a bad idea to shout the numerical amounts from the rooftops. Too much potential for drama and hurt feelings.

NyaChan

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Re: Receiving money as a gift - response?
« Reply #18 on: December 27, 2011, 11:00:44 PM »
I see it as potentially embarrassing to the OP (advertising that she's fallen on hard times!) and also potentially hurtful to other family members who didn't receive the same amount. Look at how heated the debate is on the front page story about the woman who tipped a waitress $50, then told her mom about it which caused drama because Mom's gift from that OP was a smaller amount. I think it's just generally a bad idea to shout the numerical amounts from the rooftops. Too much potential for drama and hurt feelings.

I agree that those are possible consequences of Aunty demanding the money be counted.  I also agree that she shouldn't have pushed the issue at all - it was not ok to demand the money be counted right there in front of people.  But I don't see any reason to believe that Aunty deliberately intended any of those possible results.  I do think she wanted to impress people with her generosity, and while I truly admire those who give quietly, I think a lot of people tend to fall short on that.  In my opinion, it doesn't make them bad people unless they really try to lord it over others, which I don't think Aunty did in this case.

Yvaine

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Re: Receiving money as a gift - response?
« Reply #19 on: December 27, 2011, 11:10:03 PM »
I see it as potentially embarrassing to the OP (advertising that she's fallen on hard times!) and also potentially hurtful to other family members who didn't receive the same amount. Look at how heated the debate is on the front page story about the woman who tipped a waitress $50, then told her mom about it which caused drama because Mom's gift from that OP was a smaller amount. I think it's just generally a bad idea to shout the numerical amounts from the rooftops. Too much potential for drama and hurt feelings.

I agree that those are possible consequences of Aunty demanding the money be counted.  I also agree that she shouldn't have pushed the issue at all - it was not ok to demand the money be counted right there in front of people.  But I don't see any reason to believe that Aunty deliberately intended any of those possible results.  I do think she wanted to impress people with her generosity, and while I truly admire those who give quietly, I think a lot of people tend to fall short on that.  In my opinion, it doesn't make them bad people unless they really try to lord it over others, which I don't think Aunty did in this case.

Eh, I think we'd probably have to know her personally to know what she intended in her heart of hearts--I'm just thinking she was rude-according-to-etiquette and probably unwise, and that the OP didn't in fact do anything wrong.

NyaChan

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Re: Receiving money as a gift - response?
« Reply #20 on: December 27, 2011, 11:11:49 PM »
Agreed   :D

TealDragon

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Re: Receiving money as a gift - response?
« Reply #21 on: January 02, 2012, 04:50:43 AM »
I'm so sorry to have done a post and run on you all! Things were a bit hectic with post-holiday traveling and then when I got home I had some internet issues.

I am very blessed to have everyone in my family be an absolutely wonderful person. This aunt is a bit...hm, not sure how to phrase it best, maybe "out there" at times? Never in a bad person kind of way, more just kind of quirky, like not everything she does makes a ton of sense all the time. But she is generally a very kind and polite person, and very sensitive to others' needs, which was why it really struck me as odd and I wanted some extra opinions on it. I'm not 100% sure of her motivations behind making a small scene of it, but I would lean more towards it not being a selfish act. But again, not totally sure, it was just quite strange.

I did call her and we had a nice long chat and I thanked her a lot for it. And she said I did exactly what she hoped I would with the money, so that was nice that we were on the same page with that.

TootsNYC

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Re: Receiving money as a gift - response?
« Reply #22 on: January 02, 2012, 02:31:02 PM »
I think that even really sweet and generous people like to feel truly appreciated.
I don't think it's so horribly selfish to want a more public appreciation for something really generous you've done. It's part of why so many of us like to have our presents be opened and exclaimed over.

It totally would have happened if she'd bought you a $500 something, right? It's just that money's awkward.