Author Topic: Paying for the school musical  (Read 9201 times)

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gramma dishes

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Re: Paying for the school musical
« Reply #75 on: May 08, 2014, 12:56:58 PM »
How about something like:

"Pretend Auntie, you know our daughter loves you to pieces and of course she's always happy when you show how much you care about her by attending the little programs in which she is a participant.  But please know that we certainly do not expect you to attend each and every event, especially the same event twice. 

Honestly, if we were not her parents (and therefore our attendance being basically mandatory) even WE might not go to the second show.  Your presence does mean a lot to DD, so we're happy to invite you to one of the two showings and we're happy of course to pay your way, but know that you're not obligated to go to everything and neither her feelings nor ours will be hurt in any way by your absence. 

We will be happy to invite you to shows in the future if she is a featured performer, but for these kinds of things in which she is basically just another participant we are not prepared to pay your way every time -- especially for multiples of the same show."
« Last Edit: May 08, 2014, 12:59:31 PM by gramma dishes »

Dorrie78

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Re: Paying for the school musical
« Reply #76 on: May 08, 2014, 01:06:07 PM »
I agree that the friend should be paying her own way. However, I am a bit confused by the OP's comments that she just assumes that BFF will attend all of these events. Does the BFF feel obligated to attend? Will the OP be OK if BFF declines to attend any event that isn't free? If the OP expects that BFF attend these events then OP should pay. If OP doesn't care and won't hold it against the BFF if she doesn't go, then the OP should tell BFF that she doesn't expect her to attend and therefore won't be paying.

BFF genuinely loves coming to DD's events, even ones I had assumed were too "small" for her to attend. Like little classroom plays, if BFF is able to get off work. BFF has attended every (free) winter and spring concert, every (free) ceremony, even though most of the time, DD has no special role, no solo, and is not graduating. BFF also attends the (free) school break camp shows. BFF just loves the girl and doesn't want to miss out.

That said, BFF's presence has become important to DD, so attendance is not 100% nonobligatory...but since BFF says she to want to go on Saturday night too, that's a clear indication that this is not a hassle, it's a pleasure to see DD on stage. Hell, maybe BFF is looking forward to the awkward carnage of an elementary school play.  ;)

There's no question of suggesting that we won't invite her to future paid events. That could be a friendship breaker. I really love my BFF; we have been friends for 20 years and do an awful lot for each other. I think she's got some deep-seated resentments about the lopsided family life of a single person with no children.
I'm going to go against the grain a bit. Picking up with what you say here and thinking about the other thread about reciprocation of gifts - does your BFF give gifts to your child? Does she take her out for a trip to the park or the zoo? Does she ever babysit? I'm not meaning to attack you, OP , I think your response to which I'm replying makes sense and you are doing the right thing. But, here's the perspective from a single woman who has an awesome neice. I buy her birthday and Christmas gifts, send her postcards when I travel, I buy plane tickets to visit and I take her out for special outings when I'm there. I spend alot of time and money on her and I am happy to do it. It is an investment in an important relationship and I'll continue doing it no matter what. The reciprocation is the love and relationship and worth every penny, but that doesn't mean that after awhile I'm not going to think a little bit about it. When I do visit my sister's family, my sister often will give me cash to pay the entry to the zoo or for the parking. We're both financially comfortable and it isn't a big deal for either of us to pay. But I think it is very thoughtful of her to pick up a few of those expenses and I think she does it to kind of offer a form of reciprocation.

Now, I would never state that I expect my sister and her husband to pay for anything for me, in relation to their daughter. But I appreciate it when they do. I wish the BFF in the OP wouldn't loudly proclaim her philosophy about this - I think that is offputting. But I can understand the mindset of the single, child-free adult - in order to develop and maintain the relationships with children who are important to us, it does mean that we give generously of our time and money, and it's nice for the parent to acknowledge that now and then in a material way.

Piratelvr1121

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Re: Paying for the school musical
« Reply #77 on: May 08, 2014, 06:17:45 PM »
BFF genuinely loves coming to DD's events, even ones I had assumed were too "small" for her to attend. Like little classroom plays, if BFF is able to get off work. BFF has attended every (free) winter and spring concert, every (free) ceremony, even though most of the time, DD has no special role, no solo, and is not graduating. BFF also attends the (free) school break camp shows. BFF just loves the girl and doesn't want to miss out.

That said, BFF's presence has become important to DD, so attendance is not 100% nonobligatory...but since BFF says she to want to go on Saturday night too, that's a clear indication that this is not a hassle, it's a pleasure to see DD on stage. Hell, maybe BFF is looking forward to the awkward carnage of an elementary school play.  ;)

There's no question of suggesting that we won't invite her to future paid events. That could be a friendship breaker. I really love my BFF; we have been friends for 20 years and do an awful lot for each other. I think she's got some deep-seated resentments about the lopsided family life of a single person with no children.

You know, that's tough.  I am childfree and I get where your friend is coming from here. 

But at the same time, your friend should not be taking our her resentments on you (which is what this looks like to me).  And it is not up to you to try to make up to her for the way that (she perceives that) her family treats her.  Especially since she is the one who is insisting in participating so fully in your DD's life events.

I have to agree, as one who also has a bff who is childfree and sometimes does have a bit of a chip on her shoulder due to the attitudes that people who choose to be single and childfree often are on the receiving end of. But as you don't express those same opinions to your friend (I'm sure, since you're still friends! LOL!) she shouldn't expect you to make up for the things others say to her.
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars.  You have a right to be here. Be cheerful, strive to be happy. -Desiderata

Sweetling

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Re: Paying for the school musical
« Reply #78 on: May 08, 2014, 07:30:36 PM »
Occasionally, any relationship may pose a choice summarized as "you can be right, or you can be happy."

I agree. This is where I'm stuck. I don't want either of us to be resentful, and if we ALWAYS pay, I resent it. But I also want to be giving and forgiving.

I sent BFF a message the other night telling her that this No-Pay philosophy appears to be hers and not a universal etiquette rule, but that she is important to me and I will pay for Friday. And I left it at that. She didn't respond, but we're not on bad terms - she's at my house now as we speak, having finished another gourmet meal made by my DH!!  :D

Sweetling

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Re: Paying for the school musical
« Reply #79 on: May 08, 2014, 07:32:58 PM »
OP, if you're still here--I'm curious.

Are -you- going for both nights? Not that it makes really any difference to my opinion.

(except that, if I were going both nights, I would actually want for her *not* to come on at least one of those nights. I love my friends, but I like to be without them sometimes too.)

I'm here, still checking all the answers!

We're going on both nights, and it doesn't matter to me whether BFF attends the second night. I was a bit surprised that she'd want to, but she does seriously love seeing DD on stage.

FWIW, I found out what the price is.

$5

Sweetling

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Re: Paying for the school musical
« Reply #80 on: May 08, 2014, 07:43:46 PM »
I've been thinking a lot about this topic.  Do other relatives attend and do you buy their ticket ?

Could her reminding you of her "philosophy" be a way of saying she really doesn't want to go ?

Does your friend have a lot of other children in her life that she is attending these types of events for  ?

I think this is a communication issue.  I'd ask her about her philosophy and about why/how she got to that assumption.  Is it possible she feels her time to these events is "gift" enough ? s you daughter putting pressure on her to attend and friend feels she can not save face ?

I have a friend who has these types of assumptions about "Aunties".  She spent $$$ on her nephews - because "Aunties" are supposed to do that.  She would insist certain things be scheduled around her because .. I am his Aunt....  it just strikes me as the saem type of thing.

She has no other local children to hang with. She only sees the closer niece and nephew once or twice a year.

We have no other relatives who come to shows.

BFF definitely wants to attend DD's events, even when they're a pain or she can barely see my kid on the stage. She absolutely adores the girl. It doesn't hurt that DD is easy on the eyes and quite funny and charming and says ridiculously silly things. And DD sometimes used to cry on stage, which made for a suspense-filled evening.

Some more tidbits that help explain the global sitch here:
BFF spends a lot of time buying things for Easter baskets and Christmas gifts throughout the year. She amasses lots of little, inexpensive gifts and wraps everything separately so there's tons to open. The money investment is low to middling, but the time is significant, and BFF enjoys doing it.

BFF also does these things because DH and I grew up Jewish but are now pretty happily and militantly "nothing" - so DD would have very little holiday activity if it weren't for BFF who grew up Catholic and thinks it's wrong to deprive kids of fun holidays. (DD gets plenty of spoiling from us throughout the year, so it's not like she's deprived. Just saying.)

aiki

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Re: Paying for the school musical
« Reply #81 on: May 08, 2014, 09:45:35 PM »
She has no other local children to hang with. She only sees the closer niece and nephew once or twice a year.

We have no other relatives who come to shows.

BFF definitely wants to attend DD's events, even when they're a pain or she can barely see my kid on the stage. She absolutely adores the girl. It doesn't hurt that DD is easy on the eyes and quite funny and charming and says ridiculously silly things. And DD sometimes used to cry on stage, which made for a suspense-filled evening.

Some more tidbits that help explain the global sitch here:
BFF spends a lot of time buying things for Easter baskets and Christmas gifts throughout the year. She amasses lots of little, inexpensive gifts and wraps everything separately so there's tons to open. The money investment is low to middling, but the time is significant, and BFF enjoys doing it.

BFF also does these things because DH and I grew up Jewish but are now pretty happily and militantly "nothing" - so DD would have very little holiday activity if it weren't for BFF who grew up Catholic and thinks it's wrong to deprive kids of fun holidays. (DD gets plenty of spoiling from us throughout the year, so it's not like she's deprived. Just saying.)

So BFF has priorities for your child (fun holidays with lots of gifts, wanting to be at her every event) that aren't necessarily the same as your priorities, although you don't have any objection to them. Up till now, she spends her time and money on her priorities, her way of enjoying your child's company, and that's OK.

However, she's overstepped her boundaries in trying to stick her hand in your wallet to continue her relationship with your child according to her preferences. I think that a gentle reminder that she doesn't get to make the rules in your child's life is in order.
"A true gentleman is one who is never unintentionally rude."  - Oscar Wilde

Piratelvr1121

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Re: Paying for the school musical
« Reply #82 on: May 09, 2014, 07:33:51 AM »
She has no other local children to hang with. She only sees the closer niece and nephew once or twice a year.

We have no other relatives who come to shows.

BFF definitely wants to attend DD's events, even when they're a pain or she can barely see my kid on the stage. She absolutely adores the girl. It doesn't hurt that DD is easy on the eyes and quite funny and charming and says ridiculously silly things. And DD sometimes used to cry on stage, which made for a suspense-filled evening.

Some more tidbits that help explain the global sitch here:
BFF spends a lot of time buying things for Easter baskets and Christmas gifts throughout the year. She amasses lots of little, inexpensive gifts and wraps everything separately so there's tons to open. The money investment is low to middling, but the time is significant, and BFF enjoys doing it.

BFF also does these things because DH and I grew up Jewish but are now pretty happily and militantly "nothing" - so DD would have very little holiday activity if it weren't for BFF who grew up Catholic and thinks it's wrong to deprive kids of fun holidays. (DD gets plenty of spoiling from us throughout the year, so it's not like she's deprived. Just saying.)

So BFF has priorities for your child (fun holidays with lots of gifts, wanting to be at her every event) that aren't necessarily the same as your priorities, although you don't have any objection to them. Up till now, she spends her time and money on her priorities, her way of enjoying your child's company, and that's OK.

However, she's overstepped her boundaries in trying to stick her hand in your wallet to continue her relationship with your child according to her preferences. I think that a gentle reminder that she doesn't get to make the rules in your child's life is in order.

POD. I think that's what kind of rubs me the wrong way about it. She's choosing to take this kind of role in your daughter's life and expecting you to fund it.   It would be like my son's godmother wanting to gift him with a Lionel train ornament every Christmas (which she does) but expecting me to pay for it (which she doesn't). 

It's her choice to attend both nights, she should pay for at least one of 'em.
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars.  You have a right to be here. Be cheerful, strive to be happy. -Desiderata

TootsNYC

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Re: Paying for the school musical
« Reply #83 on: May 09, 2014, 02:13:04 PM »
Using questions might be a way to discuss his.

"You spend your time and whatever small amount of money on these gifts. How is that different from spending your time and money on the play?"

artk2002

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Re: Paying for the school musical
« Reply #84 on: May 09, 2014, 05:55:21 PM »
Using questions might be a way to discuss his.

"You spend your time and whatever small amount of money on these gifts. How is that different from spending your time and money on the play?"

I like that.

BFF is free to prioritize her spending however she wants, but it really rubs me the wrong way that she insists on attending these performances, but also insists that OP pay for them. If she doesn't think it's worthwhile paying for the performance, that's well and good. She can spend money on OP's DD in other ways, or just attend free events.

Me, I'll shell out the bucks to see my niece perform in her skating school show. I wouldn't expect my sister to pay for me. Just as I wouldn't pay for her to see one of the boys' events; If I get comp tickets, she's got first dibs, but I'm not paying a relative to see my sons.
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bow lines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. -Mark Twain

judecat

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Re: Paying for the school musical
« Reply #85 on: May 09, 2014, 09:05:36 PM »
Sorry,  I don't know how to trim a post tree -- but I am replying to this "I've been thinking though and in light of this update especially, I think you should just pay for her for both nights if that's what she wants.  Her attitude might be a bit off and entitled or whatever, but this is a 20 year friendship and by the sound of your post above, things go both ways.  Another person in your daughter's life who loves her can't be a bad thing.  If I was in your shoes, I'd write off the BFF's attitude as a "quirk" if this is the only thing she's weird about and pay for the tickets."  especially the bolded part.   


The people in my life who loved me as a child would show up and pay their own way.  On the other hand,  I knew if other's were there it was because mommy forced them to be there,  and mommy paid their way.      So I really think if BFF really really loved your child all that much,  she would be happy to buy her own tickets.   To me it feels like she is expecting you to "pay for" her to love your child.

SoCalVal

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Re: Paying for the school musical
« Reply #86 on: May 10, 2014, 11:16:08 AM »
I'm wondering if anyone else (family members and friends) attend DD's events and pay their own way?  I would be inclined to mention "Hey, while I understand this is your philosophy, do you realize that DD's grandparents pay their own way?  What would be your logic regarding that?"  And if BFF were to state that OP should pay for everyone's ticket, I'd be inclined to reply, "We simply can't afford to pay for everyone we invite to attend.  We can only invite our loved ones, hope they want to attend and hope they want to support the event by buying tickets.  Otherwise, we'll get together some other time.  No biggie."



gramma dishes

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Re: Paying for the school musical
« Reply #87 on: May 10, 2014, 11:36:58 AM »
... "We simply can't afford to pay for everyone we invite to attend.  ...

Actually I'm not sure I agree with this.  If they invited her to attend, then I think it would be a nice gesture for them to pay for her ticket.

But in this case she was not "invited", at least certainly not to the second showing.  She made the decision to attend that one too and if she wants to attend that one I don't think it's reasonable for her to expect the OP's family to pay her way.

Sweetling

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Re: Paying for the school musical
« Reply #88 on: May 19, 2014, 09:27:44 PM »
Well here's how it turned out. We paid for the first show - and it turned out to be only $5.

There was a sign: Anyone who comes to Friday's show gets in free on Saturday night.

!!!

So it all came to nothing...
THIS TIME

lowspark

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Re: Paying for the school musical
« Reply #89 on: May 20, 2014, 08:31:31 AM »
Occasionally, any relationship may pose a choice summarized as "you can be right, or you can be happy."

I agree. This is where I'm stuck. I don't want either of us to be resentful, and if we ALWAYS pay, I resent it. But I also want to be giving and forgiving.

I sent BFF a message the other night telling her that this No-Pay philosophy appears to be hers and not a universal etiquette rule, but that she is important to me and I will pay for Friday. And I left it at that. She didn't respond, but we're not on bad terms - she's at my house now as we speak, having finished another gourmet meal made by my DH!!  :D

So, reading back, it seems like this post was the last thing said between you and her on the subject. Did she ever address this text or bring it up at all? If not, I wonder if you've just delayed the inevitable. It's bound to come up again.