Author Topic: Paying for the school musical  (Read 9337 times)

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aiki

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Re: Paying for the school musical
« Reply #60 on: May 07, 2014, 11:19:22 PM »
It's my philosophy that the only person who gets to decide how my money is spent is me.
Fundraisers, chipping in on gifts, charitable contributions, splitting the cost of a meal out - I get to decide whether to participate and by how much. Someone announcing that they were coming to my child's event and that I was paying for it would get a raised eyebrow and an "Oh? You don't have to come". On principle.

 
"A true gentleman is one who is never unintentionally rude."  - Oscar Wilde

LifeOnPluto

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Re: Paying for the school musical
« Reply #61 on: May 07, 2014, 11:22:23 PM »
I think your friend want it both ways - she expects to be invited to Every.Single.Event your child is in, yet she also expects you to pay for all ticketed events.

I think she is being a little rude in wanting it both ways. If she wants you to pay her way, then I think it's unrealistic for her to expect be invited to everything.

This may sound a tad mean, but if you don't want to pay her way all the time, could you simply not tell her about the event in question? 

Owly

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Re: Paying for the school musical
« Reply #62 on: May 08, 2014, 12:29:08 AM »
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.

Can you not just explain that you can't afford to pay for an extra ticket to every performance all the time, but will offer when you can? Doesn't have to be a matter of not inviting her, just a discussion of what you both expect, want and need. It seems like a friendship that old should be able to withstand some gently delivered honesty.

cb140

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Re: Paying for the school musical
« Reply #63 on: May 08, 2014, 07:08:54 AM »
I know where you are coming from as my son is an actor, although he is much older, and luckily when he was little most of the stuff he did was free to watch. But it isn't now, and we frequently find ourselves in the position of trying to decide who's tickets we should pay for and who's we  should get reimbursed for (we almost always end up doing the actual ticket booking with the theatre because you get charged a transaction fee for every transaction so it makes sense to do it all in one go).

We tend to do it on a very much case by case basis, taking into account things like: friends finances, distance they'd had to travel, how much they honestly would have wanted to come versus felt "obliged" to come, whether they'd been to anything else that year and whether or not they had paid previously. Mostly it's weighing in the balance who is doing who a "favour". Eg last year he was playing Hamlet. A pretty heavy going play and not everybody's idea of a fun evening out - yet it was very important to him that relatives came to support. So we paid for all of those tickets. Other plays or musicals that have been more "fun", or less important to him that people came, we've judged it on individual case by case.

It can get very expensive unfortunately! 20-30 people "in" over a two week run can get into hundreds of pounds. At least a school show that's $10 isn't quite so bad. BUT you need to think about precedents for the future, if your daughter is likely to stay in performing arts.

FWIW, in the OPs case I'd spring for the first ticket but not for the second. Going to two performances seems to indicate that your friend actually "wants" to do this (and it's lovely that she does). But I think there's a disconnect between her actually wanting to go, and then expecting her ticket to be bought for her.

I do have sympathy with her about the ballet recitals of her niece. Ballet recitals are adorable *when you know the kid doing it*. Otherwise they can be excruciating (and very long, once the two and half minutes that your kid is performing is over lol). I would mentally grumble about having to Pay to go to a small kids ballet recital!

lowspark

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Re: Paying for the school musical
« Reply #64 on: May 08, 2014, 08:56:06 AM »
Here's what I see. BFF is really a sweetheart for coming to all your children's events, even the little inconsequential ones. She has no kids so of course, you can't reciprocate in kind even if you wanted to. Now she is asking for something which, on the face of it, is pretty unreasonable, but in the grand scheme of things, considering her attitude toward your kids and her participation in their lives, is really pretty minor. And it comes down to the principle.

You are put in the position of choosing to stand up for principle and avoid setting a dangerous precedent vs. offending someone who is so much a part of your life and really does go over and above in her involvement in the life of your kids.

I still stand by the idea that it's not reasonable for her to ask you to do this. However, only you can really assess how important it is to you and whether it's worth fighting or not. How badly will her feelings be hurt? Will it kill the friendship or just make her sad for an hour? Or something in between? If it really will make an indelible mark, is it worth that? On the other hand, will you always be resentful, having to pay ever time this comes up, and believe me, it will come up again and again.

Regardless of what we all say, only you know (or at least can guess) how giving in will affect you and how insisting she pay will affect her. You need to think that through and come to a decision on which will work best for the friendship itself, both from her point of view and yours.

bopper

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Re: Paying for the school musical
« Reply #65 on: May 08, 2014, 10:18:20 AM »
Oh e-hell no.  If Auntie wants to go Auntie can pay for it.  If it was a financial issue, I would offer to pay.  Otherwise, no way.



I think the issue is that Auntie is invited to many many events. Auntie is saying "If it is important to you for me to be there, then you pay."

TootsNYC

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Re: Paying for the school musical
« Reply #66 on: May 08, 2014, 10:27:21 AM »

You are put in the position of choosing to stand up for principle and avoid setting a dangerous precedent vs. offending someone who is so much a part of your life and really does go over and above in her involvement in the life of your kids.

I still stand by the idea that it's not reasonable for her to ask you to do this. However, only you can really assess how important it is to you and whether it's worth fighting or not. How badly will her feelings be hurt? Will it kill the friendship or just make her sad for an hour? Or something in between? If it really will make an indelible mark, is it worth that? On the other hand, will you always be resentful, having to pay ever time this comes up, and believe me, it will come up again and again.

Regardless of what we all say, only you know (or at least can guess) how giving in will affect you and how insisting she pay will affect her. You need to think that through and come to a decision on which will work best for the friendship itself, both from her point of view and yours.

Very nice points, all of them.

One question I'd have is, how far does this expectation of hers go? Is it boring little-kid performances only? Will it morph into "pay for my  hotel room if you want me to come to her wedding"? I don't want to set up strawmen here, but it is something to think about.

And I think it's fair to say to her that you don't really agree with her, *especially* if you think you will come to resent it. She deserves to know what price -she- is paying for holding to her philosophy. "Price" including, that she drives a wedge between you, even if it's a small one.

rose red

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Re: Paying for the school musical
« Reply #67 on: May 08, 2014, 11:08:52 AM »
You say it's a friendship deal breaker if she don't get invited, but is it a friendship deal breaker if you don't pay? Invite her all you want, but she's the one who wants to be there and it's not fair if you end up paying for every event that she wants to be at. How much do you think you'll be spending on her throughout the years? Yes, BFF will be spending the same amount, but it's her choice to pay and attend or not, and she can save money by only attending the free stuff or paying just the important stuff where DD has a featured role. If she's a real friend, she will understand your position.

As I think about it, she reminded you of her philosophy, but what did she mean by that reminder? Did she outright tell you to pay, or just reminding you that she doesn't like to pay? I don't think you'd be wrong to say "Oh, I understand if you can't join us this time. Maybe you can join us for ice cream after the performance. Otherwise, we'll see you next time."

buvezdevin

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Re: Paying for the school musical
« Reply #68 on: May 08, 2014, 11:29:10 AM »
Occasionally, any relationship may pose a choice summarized as "you can be right, or you can be happy."

While ideally one does not (and should not) preclude the other, humans come with idiosyncracies which can mean that, situationally, you can have one, but not both.

I agree that your friend's expectations regarding a child's family always hosting/paying for her attendance at performance events is not "right" - and you could perfectly reasonably explain to her that you won't agree to do so for all or any events.

If, however, your friend's inclusion in these events is valued and desired, and/or declining to purchase tickets for her is likely to create a disruption of a close relationship and purchasing tickets does not present you with a financial difficulty - it may be (and only you can decide) that it is a better course to buy the tickets in the interest of harmony.  If, on balance, the benefits/costs to all parties of the relationship as a whole remain reasonably "fair", I don't think it is necessary to stand on principle regarding one aspect of the relationship "exchange currency" just because another party is asserting a principle with which you don't agree.

Rather than "choosing one's battles" I tend to view this as "choosing to declare mutual victory" - provided it is not part of a larger relationship issue/dynamic, and that the resolution does not carry a disproportionate "cost" monetary or otherwise.
Never refuse to do a kindness unless the act would work great injury to yourself, and never refuse to take a drink -- under any circumstances.
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DaDancingPsych

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Re: Paying for the school musical
« Reply #69 on: May 08, 2014, 11:48:45 AM »
I agree with others that it really comes down to how she learned of the musical. If you invited her to join you, then I would expect you to be paying for her ticket price. (As a real and fake aunt, I would likely insist that I pay my own way, but that's really my decision.) If you mentioned the musical and she said that she would love to go, then I would expect her to pay her own way. It would be lovely if you paid for her ticket (it sounds like she does a lot for your daughter including being a supportive figure in her life, so it's a nice way to thank her for doing that), but I don't think that etiquette would require it.

POF

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Re: Paying for the school musical
« Reply #70 on: May 08, 2014, 12:20:17 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.

MindsEye

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Re: Paying for the school musical
« Reply #71 on: May 08, 2014, 12:35:10 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.


veryfluffy

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Re: Paying for the school musical
« Reply #72 on: May 08, 2014, 12:42:40 PM »
My third grader will be in her first musical this Friday and Saturday. The tickets will be something like $10 (maybe $15?). In addition to the Friday show, BFF says she probably wants to see the Saturday show as well - on us. BFF reminded me of her stance: Aunts and beloved fake aunts do not pay for shows. Parents must pay.

Money is not a huge issue for BFF (or for us). Now, I think it would be a nice thing to buy her ticket on Friday night. Not because there's a Rule (am I wrong about that?), but because it's nice. However, I think insisting we pay for the optional second night is really pushing it. All my Facebook friends agree. Do you?

I would absolutely agree with you on this one. Invite her to come on the Friday night. If *she* wants to attend on the second night, then she can get her own ticket. Insisting that she will go, and that you will buy her a ticket, really is pushing it.
   

TootsNYC

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Re: Paying for the school musical
« Reply #73 on: May 08, 2014, 12:45:49 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.)

gramma dishes

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Re: Paying for the school musical
« Reply #74 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 »