Author Topic: Refusing to accept the other shares of a joint gift  (Read 3987 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

bonyk

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 786
Refusing to accept the other shares of a joint gift
« on: November 25, 2012, 08:55:06 PM »
3 cousins and I planned to chip in to buy our grandfather a moderately expensive holiday gift.  Older cousin ordered the gift and had it shipped to me, as I live near grandpa and he does not.  I asked older cousin how much I owe, and she is refusing to take money from me.

Older cousin likes to be the oldest, and I assume, feels uncomfortable taking money from us younger cousins.  But now I have ExpensiveGift for grandpa, and I didn't contribute.   I could figure out about how much I owe and send a check, but Older Cousin would never cash it.  The others and I are considering sending OlderCousin's son (12 yo) a Christmas card filled with cash, but it seems a little off to me.  I could also but grandpa some accessories for his gift.  What do you guys think?

TootsNYC

  • A Pillar of the Forum
  • *****
  • Posts: 30506
Re: Refusing to accept the other shares of a joint gift
« Reply #1 on: November 25, 2012, 09:47:16 PM »
Personally, I would say to Older Cousin, "This is not fair, for you to refuse to allow me to participate in purchasing the gift. You may think this is generous, but it's really bothering me, and it makes me really uncomfortable. Please respect me by allowing me to follow through on my commitments and by allowing me to participate in the gift. I'm not going to be able to enjoy the giving of this gift, because it's not from me. You aren't allowing it to be from me."

And if she wouldn't accept the money, I'd make sure my name didn't go on it, and I'd go get another gift for Grandpa. That wasn't at all related. But I'm a little immature at times.

I would not play this sort of "giving a gift that's not really to the main person" routine--I don't see that card to the 12yo as appropriate either. And it doesn't solve your problem, which is that the Older Cousin is treating you like a child, a freeloader, or a dependent. And that Older Cousin is taking away from you the satisfaction of giving Grandfather a great gift.

And I'll just say: This is very patronizing, this "I'll foot the whole bill even after you agreed to go in on it with me." It's very infantilizing. It annoys me greatly.


Bees

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 153
Re: Refusing to accept the other shares of a joint gift
« Reply #2 on: November 25, 2012, 09:50:58 PM »
I would send the check you expected to send including tax and shipping costs. Keep sending another if she sends it back. 

 I feel your frustration. I have relatives that point out how much more money they have then I do every single time I do something with them.

JenJay

  • I'm a nonconformist who doesn't conform to the prevailing standards of nonconformity.
  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 5944
Re: Refusing to accept the other shares of a joint gift
« Reply #3 on: November 25, 2012, 10:00:28 PM »
I would tell Cousin that I appreciate that she doesn't expect me to give her money but that, if I don't, the gift won't reall be from me. I'd then ask her if she prefers to accept my portion of the cost or if she'd rather I leave my name off the main gift and buy an accessory to go with it. Don't give her the option of refusing to let you chip in while insisting you sign the card.

lowspark

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3860
Re: Refusing to accept the other shares of a joint gift
« Reply #4 on: November 26, 2012, 08:31:54 AM »
If I understand correctly, four of you were supposed to go in on this gift. One paid for the whole thing and now won't take money from the other three.

I would not put my name on the gift and I'd let the others know that so that if they wanted to leave their name off they could. The gift is from cousin #1. Period. The only time it's normal to put other people's name on a gift when they didn't actually contribute is if they are your kids or dependents or something similar.

I don't even see the point of her asking you & others to go in on it in the first place if she never intended to take your money. That part just seems off somehow. What could her motivation be?

dawbs

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4436
Re: Refusing to accept the other shares of a joint gift
« Reply #5 on: November 26, 2012, 09:21:11 AM »
We ended this in my family by pointing out the value of the idea.

"Look sis, You know dad is hard to buy for.  *_WE_* as a group came up with ONE idea for him.  Now you're stealing the idea and I have to come up with a new one?  That's not fair."


Drawberry

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 130
Re: Refusing to accept the other shares of a joint gift
« Reply #6 on: November 26, 2012, 03:57:54 PM »
I don't think anything your cousin is doing is for the sake of 'claiming' an idea or anything malicious. It sounds to me like they want to be generous and may know (or be under the impression) that as the younger cousins your money is a bit more valuable in terms of paying for necessity things. While this is always appreciated I understand and can relate with you.

For the sake of your grandfather I think you should handle this situation without letting it interfere with the gift giving time. If your cousin insists on everyone attaching their name to this gift you can do so but privately discuss with your older cousin at a better time why you want to contribute and why you feel offended by not being allowed to do so. I find that once the gift has been given it's a better atmosphere for discussing monetary matters and it will not tarnish the 'mood' of giving your grandfather a gift.

In the event that monetary compensation is outright refused after getting together with your cousin and discussing it personally you need to respect that this is going no where and drop the money issue. You cannot force anyone to take what they do not want, if you wouldn't force your cousin to eat food they hated you shouldn't force them to take compensation they readily refuse.

Instead perhaps you could purchase your cousin a gift of their own. If you know cousin really loves a particular book but their copy has been badly damaged you could purchase a new hardcover copy for them, just as an example. You will not be forcing money into their hands when they have already put their foot down and you must respect that. But you can still show appreciation in other ways, even if it's not by purchasing something or providing monetary compensation.

Zilla

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 6506
    • Cooking
Re: Refusing to accept the other shares of a joint gift
« Reply #7 on: November 26, 2012, 04:36:00 PM »
I like the idea of making the gift larger/more rounded by adding accessories as you mentioned in the OP.  That way you can contribute and Grandpa benefits.

TootsNYC

  • A Pillar of the Forum
  • *****
  • Posts: 30506
Re: Refusing to accept the other shares of a joint gift
« Reply #8 on: November 26, 2012, 06:25:05 PM »

Instead perhaps you could purchase your cousin a gift of their own. If you know cousin really loves a particular book but their copy has been badly damaged you could purchase a new hardcover copy for them, just as an example. You will not be forcing money into their hands when they have already put their foot down and you must respect that. But you can still show appreciation in other ways, even if it's not by purchasing something or providing monetary compensation.

You know, maybe I'm just crabby today, but I think I would have a hard time trying to do something nice for the cousin. I'd be too annoyed.

If any of you are the type to do this sort of thing, don't, OK? It's really patronizing.

AnnaJ

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 609
Re: Refusing to accept the other shares of a joint gift
« Reply #9 on: November 26, 2012, 06:34:16 PM »
I like the idea of making the gift larger/more rounded by adding accessories as you mentioned in the OP.  That way you can contribute and Grandpa benefits.

This ^.  You and the other younger cousins will have contributed and Grandpa's gift will be even better.

Drawberry

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 130
Re: Refusing to accept the other shares of a joint gift
« Reply #10 on: November 26, 2012, 07:31:01 PM »

Instead perhaps you could purchase your cousin a gift of their own. If you know cousin really loves a particular book but their copy has been badly damaged you could purchase a new hardcover copy for them, just as an example. You will not be forcing money into their hands when they have already put their foot down and you must respect that. But you can still show appreciation in other ways, even if it's not by purchasing something or providing monetary compensation.

You know, maybe I'm just crabby today, but I think I would have a hard time trying to do something nice for the cousin. I'd be too annoyed.

If any of you are the type to do this sort of thing, don't, OK? It's really patronizing.

I am not sure how giving someone a gift they like as a token of appreciation is in any way patronizing. Perhaps my explanation came across unclear? My intent was that if Cousin, whom the OP seems to share a relatively close bond with, feels uncomfortable taking flat out cash that they may feel more comfortable with a small token. I am genuinely unsure of how that is at all patronizing, that's FAR from what my intent is.

Did I also miss a part of the story in which someone would not want to do 'something nice' for the cousin? Maybe an update I didn't catch? I am not trying to be at all sarcastic in this question, I am genuinely curious.

I come from a family where 'paying someone back' often leads to arguments with the 'owed' party absolutely refusing to take a cent from those who 'owe' them money. It has come about on occasion that when the individual who initially 'owed' money finds that this person may be in need or want of a token item (like the book example I gave) they may go out and get it for them as a thank you for the previous scenario such as say,when the 'owed' individual bought both of their meals at a restaurant or in a similar situation as the OP. The 'owed' persons feel more comfortable being gifted a token rather then taking the other persons money.

If that's somehow an offensive or patronizing suggestion my apologies. I did not see how it could be taken as such..

bonyk

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 786
Re: Refusing to accept the other shares of a joint gift
« Reply #11 on: November 26, 2012, 08:42:40 PM »
I don't even see the point of her asking you & others to go in on it in the first place if she never intended to take your money. That part just seems off somehow. What could her motivation be?

The gift was actually my idea.  Cousin asked to order it.  At the time I figured that she was uncomfortable with the rest of us laying out money for her.

Cousin is definitely not trying to be difficult.  In my family, the older ones do for the younger ones.  However, Cousin seems to not realize that we are both in our 30's, and there's barely 2 years between us.  That dynamic is why I considered sending the money to Cousin's son; I would be gifting down, which is perfectly acceptable.

I will try to think of a gift for Cousin.  If I cannot; I think I may make a donation to a family preferred charity in Cousin's name.

Lynn2000

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 5058
Re: Refusing to accept the other shares of a joint gift
« Reply #12 on: November 26, 2012, 08:54:24 PM »
I think it comes down to whether the OP feels Cousin is genuinely trying to be generous by paying for the entire gift that has four people's names on it, thus sparing those other three people from having to spend money while still allowing them to bask in Grandpa's thanks; or if the OP feels Cousin is trying to be controlling, kind of rubbing in the other three people's faces that Cousin can afford the entire gift when the other three can't, and setting up a situation where the other three "owe" Cousin for putting their names on a gift they didn't contribute to.

Even if Cousin has the best intentions, she is making at least one of the other three people (the OP) feel uncomfortable about it. It would have been better if Cousin had stuck to the original agreement, that all four people were fine with. At the very least, Cousin should have suggested she pay for the entire gift (while putting all four names on it), and abided by what the majority of the others felt about that idea. Instead it sounds like Cousin just decided to change the arrangement on her own, without consulting the other three people who were part of the deal. And I think that's rather thoughtless, even if Cousin had good intentions.

I would not try to pay Cousin back by check or surreptitious cash. Cousin has made it clear she doesn't want money from the other three. I think I would go with getting Grandpa an accessory to the gift, in the price range that I was going to contribute to the main item. That way I would feel like I was really getting Grandpa something, and no need to quibble about whose name is where because all the gifts go together (accessories for main gift).

On a personal note, I think I would be at least slightly irritated with Cousin (more so if I suspect her motives were not pure), and would not feel like getting her a gift to repay her, even a token gift. Personally, I would not feel like she did something nice for me. I would feel like she reneged on an agreement we had made; sure, it saved me some money, but I had agreed to spend that money, and she took that choice away from me. I'm not saying this is a cut direct offense or anything, just that I would understand someone being displeased about the situation. And I can see how for someone else, they would kind of shrug and be like, "Hey, saved me some money, no big deal, thanks, Cous!" I don't think either reaction is unreasonable.

ETA: OP responded while I was typing and seems to have made a decision. Good for you, you know Cousin better than any of us. :)
~Lynn2000

Sharnita

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 21378
Re: Refusing to accept the other shares of a joint gift
« Reply #13 on: November 26, 2012, 08:57:50 PM »
I think cousin is always going to be older so it sounds like in order to avoid this in the future it owuld be best to say no to joint guests ot to insist on controlling the ordering and payment and then to accpet shares from all parties regardless of age.

blarg314

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 8448
Re: Refusing to accept the other shares of a joint gift
« Reply #14 on: November 29, 2012, 04:13:46 AM »

You could try telling your cousin "I don't feel comfortable being put on the gift when I haven't contributed, so please don't put my name on the tag, and I'll get something for grandfather myself."

Your cousin may mean well, but  not realize that you may well really want to contribute to a gift you're getting for someone else.  By saying that you're not allowed to help out, it puts you firmly in a subordinate role, where you don't have the ability to decide for yourself what you want to, or are able to, spend.

Being the generous older/wealthier person is something that needs to be done with a fair amount of tact, particularly with interactions between people who are nominally of equal rank (ie, all cousins, rather than different generations).