Author Topic: Who is this gift for?  (Read 4349 times)

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Marbles

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Who is this gift for?
« on: September 28, 2012, 05:06:07 PM »
My grandmother's 90th birthday is coming up. My dad thought it would be neat to take family photos, print them on fabric, and make a little lap quilt with them. Which means he gets the pics from everyone and prints them and I quilt everything, since he doesn't sew. Grandma used to be a spectacular quilter and for the past few years has been very focused on sharing old family photos and stories, so this is definitely a gift she would appreciate.

Since I'm assembling the quilt, I gave him some specifications for how large the photos could be and how many I could use. When he came to drop off the pictures, he had two times as many photos printed as I told him I needed. I worked with him a bit to figure out which ones we were going to use and which could be reprinted smaller so that I can include more pictures in in the design.

In narrowing down the pictures of people to include, I've tried to focus on who Grandma considers family. So, for instance, I am dropping the picture of my aunt's former parents-in-law (grandparents to my cousins). My grandparents like my cousins' other grandparents, but I'm sure my grandma doesn't consider them *her* family.

So, here's the rub: Dad wants to include a picture of himself with his girlfriend of one year, Becky. They don't live together, they aren't engaged, and I'm pretty certain that Grandma doesn't consider Becky to be family (yet, but who knows what the future holds). Also, grandma has no tact and I'm quite sure will say something about it if I include the photo (in front of Becky, no doubt, since she'll be at Grandma's party). Should I ask dad whether he wants to risk that? Include the picture and wash my hands of it?

On the one hand, Dad was open to seeing another point of view when I told him that if he wanted to include my aunt's late ex-husband (father of my cousins), then we should include a picture of my mom, Dad's late ex-wife (we decided to skip both people in this instance). On the other hand, I don't think that Dad sees that most of the rest of the family is not as in love with Becky as he is. His past two wives were horrible people and, having been burned, the rest of us just haven't been ready to leap into love with Becky without getting to know her better. We like her, we're nice to her, we want to know her better, but we aren't there yet. (Yes, I've had this conversation with both my grandma and aunt. No, I didn't bring it up.)

lisastitch

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Re: Who is this gift for?
« Reply #1 on: September 28, 2012, 05:28:49 PM »
Are you able to come up with a definition of "family" that your dad would agree to?  Blood relatives are obvious, and then maybe people who have married and are still married to a family member?  You've already established some precedence there, with deciding not to include your mother and your aunt's ex-husband. 

Putting together a quilt like this is really a snapshot of your family at this moment in time.  While Becky may become a part of the family at some point, right now, she is not.  You can't take her off the quilt if she and your father break up--and if they do break up, wouldn't it be hard for him to have her picture on this quilt?

I would probably make a decision not to use the photo, and then tell my father that I was not including the picture, and why. 

And it sounds like an awesome gift for your grandmother!

Calypso

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Re: Who is this gift for?
« Reply #2 on: September 28, 2012, 05:33:12 PM »
Is it the only picture he gave you of himself? (I'm wondering if there are any baby or little kid pix of your Grandma's children---I bet she'd love those, too).

If there's room, I'd include it.....you say he loves her and, as far as he's concerned, she's part of his family-of-affiliation, even if the rest of you don't feel it yet. If Grandma says something when presented with the gift, your Dad and Becky will just have to deal with it. I'm assuming your Dad is 60+ ... he's a big boy now.  ::)

By the way, what an AWESOME idea for a gift. Just perfect. You are a hero for doing all the hard part of making it!

JoieGirl7

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Re: Who is this gift for?
« Reply #3 on: September 28, 2012, 06:18:36 PM »
Marbles:  Thanks for bringing me the pictures.  There are so many--I will try to include as many of them as I possibly can.

Later...
Marbles' dad:  Why didn't you include all the pictures?

Marbles:  I did the best I could--there were so many.

Marbles' dad:  But, you didn't include the picture with Becky!

Marbles:  I don't think Grandma will notice too much--try not to draw attention to it.
 
Marbles' dad:  But, I'm worried about Becky...

Marbles:  I did the best I could.  Is that a cardinal on the fence over there?

Shoo

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Re: Who is this gift for?
« Reply #4 on: September 28, 2012, 08:16:53 PM »
I wouldn't include the picture with Becky in it.  This quilt isn't for your dad, it's for your grandma.  It doesn't really matter who your dad considers his family.  What matters is who your grandma considers HER family.  I like Audrey's approach above.  Just don't include it and explain there just wasn't room.  Be sure to include a picture of your dad alone, or with another family member, though.

Marbles

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Re: Who is this gift for?
« Reply #5 on: September 28, 2012, 09:20:20 PM »
Is it the only picture he gave you of himself? (I'm wondering if there are any baby or little kid pix of your Grandma's children---I bet she'd love those, too).

Oh, no. I have pix of him as a baby, him in grade school, him holding me as a baby, him holding his grand babies. I have plenty to choose from.

sourwolf

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Re: Who is this gift for?
« Reply #6 on: September 28, 2012, 11:14:03 PM »
I agree with the PPs, I would exclude the picture with Becky and if Dad brings it up say you didn't have enough space for all of them/ you thought Grandma would find the pictures of him as a child more meaningful.

Foureyesonemouth

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Re: Who is this gift for?
« Reply #7 on: September 29, 2012, 12:33:13 AM »
OP: While I understand you may not be close to your father's girlfriend, he is. He also may know something about the direction of the relationship and possible changes in it that you don't. I'm not saying put this photo front and center but if it was me I would include. It's not about how I feel about the girlfriend, it would be about how I felt about my dad.

Your grandmother may say something. You cannot control that. Both she and your dad are adults and this is between them. I can guess that you feel like this project reflects on you because you're doing the quilting part but the project is also your dad's.

Luci

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Re: Who is this gift for?
« Reply #8 on: September 29, 2012, 08:36:57 AM »
I would not include Becky, and I would not want her included on any such quilt or scrapbook or collage given to me.

Your mother is not included, and I see her as far more important to the family than Becky even if your parents separated before her death. After all, she contributed you! You said his other wives are not included either, and they had more of an impact on the family over the years than Becky has had as yet, even if it didn't end well.

I would be able to tell my dad that there wasn't enough room and to be honest that I wasn't sure grandma would care to have it if pressed. If you include Becky, you need to include all of them. Surely, he could see the logic in that!

O'Dell

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Re: Who is this gift for?
« Reply #9 on: September 29, 2012, 12:39:47 PM »
You could approach it from the point of view of protecting Becky. As you said, your gran isn't tactful and might very well say something at the party. Does he really want to put Becky in such an unpleasant position?
Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes.
Walt Whitman

NyaChan

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Re: Who is this gift for?
« Reply #10 on: September 29, 2012, 03:28:31 PM »
If your dad wanted a quilt made to his exact specifications, he could have contracted it out to a craftsperson.  Instead, he asked his daughter to do it as a shared gift.  So I think you get some creative license here.  Make the quilt you think your grandma would love, keep to your dad's general preferences, and leave out Becky's picture.  No need to go beyond the script that was already posted by Audrey.

Kaypeep

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Re: Who is this gift for?
« Reply #11 on: September 29, 2012, 03:38:42 PM »
I'd skip the photo of Becky.  It's too soon to include her in such a significant gift with permanency.  If he actually questions you, I'd go with an answer such as "It was between a picture of Becky and Uncle Joe.  Since there's only one photo of Uncle Joe and he's an official member of the family, I felt it best to include him so he wouldn't feel left out of the family gift." 
OR... "I wanted to use that picture but it got caught underneath some fabric when I was cutting, and got sliced and was irrepairable, so I swapped it for this pic of you and our old dog Boomer."   I would ignore any inference that it's about Becky and just treat it as another picture of your dad.  "I already had 6 pictures of you, dad, I had to include pics of others."

taffywduck

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Re: Who is this gift for?
« Reply #12 on: September 29, 2012, 04:10:31 PM »
I agree with everyone who said to skip the picture. I have to wonder if Becky even wants to be included in such a gift...

See, I've been in a position similar to Becky's, except worst. Worst because I'd been dating this guy for a week and he invited me (as his +1) to his brother's wedding. He then proceeded to make a scene and refuse to take ANY picture with the happy couple unless I was included front and center with him. They agreed though even if I protested... I was mortified, even more so when we broke up 4 months later.

And there I am, front and center right next to him and the bride and groom on almost all the wedding pictures, definetly in ALL the pictures that have been taken in front of the church with all the guests...

If Dad wants Becky to be included in the gift, why not suggest that she make (or gets one at a craft store) a pretty hand crafted card to accompany the quilt? Or she can bake a box of cookies that you'll gift with the quilt. It'd be more appropriate and spares you (and her) from potential embarassement.

Mikayla

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Re: Who is this gift for?
« Reply #13 on: September 29, 2012, 06:54:31 PM »
If your dad wanted a quilt made to his exact specifications, he could have contracted it out to a craftsperson.  Instead, he asked his daughter to do it as a shared gift.  So I think you get some creative license here.  Make the quilt you think your grandma would love, keep to your dad's general preferences, and leave out Becky's picture.  No need to go beyond the script that was already posted by Audrey.

This. 

I think he's being very self absorbed, and he's also forgetting who the recipient of the quilt is and what she'd want.   I think you've gotten some great suggestions on what to say to him.


BeagleMommy

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Re: Who is this gift for?
« Reply #14 on: October 01, 2012, 10:37:51 AM »
I'd leave the picture including Becky out of the quilt.  Right now, your dad sees a future with her, but who's to say what will happen down the road.  I can't imagine Grandma would want a picture of Becky if she and your dad separate.

If dad says anything to you you can always say that there were pictures you think Grandma would want over others.