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Author Topic: How would you have responded?  (Read 14545 times)

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weaselfrance

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How would you have responded?
« on: January 07, 2015, 06:40:09 AM »
[BG] Steve is married to Claire. Claire is very flakey and comes from a family of flakes. C has a brother, Mark  who is flakey AND a sponge (e.g. frequently 'borrows' money and never repays it, never comes up with a contribution for communal events etc.). [end BG]

Steve & Claire bought Claire's mum a wildly expensive vase, handmade by a local potter, for her birthday. Mum received this with expressions of joy and gratitude, and left Steve & Claire's house with the vase in her hand. A couple of months go by and there's no sign of the vase in Claire's mum's house. Claire asked her mother about it, received some shuffling excuses and eventually a confession that she's lost the vase. As I said, flakeyness runs in Claire's family.

Christmas Day, and everyone is at Steve & Claire's house, gifts are being distributed. Mark's gift to his and Claire's mum is handed over and opened. It's a handmade vase, by a local potter. Very unique. A one of a kind, in fact. Stunned silence all round. Steve asks Mark what is going on, why did he give mum the vase that Steve & Claire had already given her for her birthday? Mark said his mum had left the vase at his house and this was his way of giving it back to her. Mum had visited Mark directly after visiting Steve & Claire on her birthday and apparently forgotten to take the vase home with her. Steve then asked why, in that case, the vase was wrapped in Christmas paper with a gift tag from Mark and his wife? No answer was forthcoming.

Steve doesn't have much time for Mark at the best of times, Claire stepped in at this point to avert a family row.

Steve doesn't know whether to bring this up again with Mark and confront him about such weaselly behaviour. I've suggested he leave it as Mark has been roundly humiliated already in front of the whole family and won't be likely to try something like this again.

Any thoughts?

edited to change initials for names for the sake of clarity!
« Last Edit: January 07, 2015, 12:13:06 PM by weaselfrance »

Hillia

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Re: How would you have responded?
« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2015, 07:15:24 AM »
I wouldn't bother.  No one is fooled; Mom knows it's her vase being returned to her.  Mark just looks like a knucklehead.

crella

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Re: How would you have responded?
« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2015, 07:30:20 AM »
Good heavens! And here their poor mother couldn't find the vase, and they kept it till Christmas. I can understand how S would like to say something, but it won't change anything. I think everyone's opinion was made pretty clear to M. I can well understand wanting to say something though!

wolfie

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Re: How would you have responded?
« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2015, 07:56:56 AM »
Can you change the initials back to the names? it's really hard to follow when it is just initials. I wouldn't say anything - he was called out in front of the family, everyone knows what he did. What do you hope to gain by calling him out again?

EllenS

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Re: How would you have responded?
« Reply #4 on: January 07, 2015, 07:58:57 AM »
I would laugh, as if M had played a joke on his mom. I'm sure it was not a joke, but it is so childish and ridiculous that would be my gut reaction.
I can only think of two reasons for S to get mad or want to get involved, and both of them are pointless and unreasonable

1) if he thinks M is going to get "credit" for picking out a gift that was actually from him and C. Well, mom knows it's the same vase, so this is silly to get mad about.

2) If he thinks M is treating his mother badly and wants to "protect" her. Not his circus, not his monkeys. I'm sure C&M's mom is used to her son's behavior by now, and it's her business to set limits if she wants to.

To "confront" M or have a row over this is schoolyard behavior. You are quite right that S should let it drop.

m2kbug

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Re: How would you have responded?
« Reply #5 on: January 07, 2015, 08:00:10 AM »
So Mark's Mom left the vase behind at Mark's home two or three months ago.  Mark didn't say anything to his Mom, did not let her know she left the vase at his home, and he has it, it is safe; and did not make arrangements to get the vase back to her.  Instead he just hung on to it, and when Christmas rolled around, Mark and his wife wrapped it up and presented it to her as their gift to her?

It was pretty cruel to leave Mom hanging, thinking the wildly expensive vase was lost forever, and then pretty rude to take credit for this vase as a gift to her. 

I think, at this point, I would drop it.  What's done is done, and hopefully Mark won't pull this stunt again.  I agree with your advice to let this one go.  It sounds like Mark was adequately admonished, lesson learned.

bopper

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Re: How would you have responded?
« Reply #6 on: January 07, 2015, 08:30:53 AM »
It is already established that M is a flake/mooch.

I think Steve should not buy expensive things for anyone in that family.

Hmmmmm

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Re: How would you have responded?
« Reply #7 on: January 07, 2015, 08:34:04 AM »
Steve and Claire gave a gift. Once given, what happens to it is not of their concern. Claire shouldn't have even asked why the vase wasn't displayed.

However, if Claire wants to communicate to her brother about him allowing their mom to go several months thinking she'd lost the vase and how cruel she finds his "joke" about giving it back as a present, then I think that is within her right.

Piratelvr1121

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Re: How would you have responded?
« Reply #8 on: January 07, 2015, 08:36:01 AM »
Count me as one who sees this as something not worth raising a stink over.   Though if anyone should say something, it ought to be Claire.
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

MindsEye

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Re: How would you have responded?
« Reply #9 on: January 07, 2015, 08:50:58 AM »
Honestly I would start to pull back from this family - especially Mike.  I don't know if I would give Mike the Cut Direct, but maybe a step or two below that, and just try to avoid having much to do with him.  I would also not give anyone in this family anything expensive or anything that you would feel really sad over if it was lost/mistreated.

Count this episode as a lesson learned.

Also... I raised an eyebrow at Mark's explanation of how the vase came to be in his possession.  Really?  Mom accidentally "left" it at his house?  Really?   ???   My suspicion is that Mark outright took the vase and Mom knew this and didn't want to confront him about it.  Hence her "shuffling excuses". 

siamesecat2965

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Re: How would you have responded?
« Reply #10 on: January 07, 2015, 09:24:27 AM »


Also... I raised an eyebrow at Mark's explanation of how the vase came to be in his possession.  Really?  Mom accidentally "left" it at his house?  Really?   ???   My suspicion is that Mark outright took the vase and Mom knew this and didn't want to confront him about it.  Hence her "shuffling excuses".

POD. I was thinking the very same thing, not that Mom left the vase at Mark's house, but that Mark took it, intending to gift it back to mom.

But in the end, not worth getting worked up over, or making a stink about. As far as distancing themselves from the rest of C's family, it would be interesting to know how she feels about that? Since the OP states she too is a flake, so its entirely possible she doesn't see her family's general behavior (regifting of the vase aside) as anything out of the ordinary.

But if I were Mark, I'd probably try and spend as little time with the family as I could get away with.

Winterlight

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Re: How would you have responded?
« Reply #11 on: January 07, 2015, 09:56:36 AM »
I wouldn't bother.  No one is fooled; Mom knows it's her vase being returned to her.  Mark just looks like a knucklehead.

Agreed. The confrontation already happened at Christmas. I don't see any benefit to bringing it up again.
« Last Edit: January 07, 2015, 09:59:25 AM by Winterlight »
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cicero

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Re: How would you have responded?
« Reply #12 on: January 07, 2015, 10:02:02 AM »
Steve and Claire gave a gift. Once given, what happens to it is not of their concern. Claire shouldn't have even asked why the vase wasn't displayed.

Agree. This is really between mark and his mother, period. He took something that wasn't His, let the owner believe it was lost then had the audacity to give that to her as her Christmas gift? Wow. I would not say a word to him.

Snarky Cicero might have said : "no , really, Mark. That's the gag gift. So what did you *really* get mom?"
« Last Edit: January 07, 2015, 10:03:49 AM by cicero »

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heartmug

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Re: How would you have responded?
« Reply #13 on: January 07, 2015, 10:03:54 AM »
I wouldn't bother.  No one is fooled; Mom knows it's her vase being returned to her.  Mark just looks like a knucklehead.

POD.  Everyone has his number.  Sounds like one in-law of mine.  You know what you are dealing with.
One option in a tug of war with someone is just to drop the rope.

wolfie

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Re: How would you have responded?
« Reply #14 on: January 07, 2015, 10:09:56 AM »

Also... I raised an eyebrow at Mark's explanation of how the vase came to be in his possession.  Really?  Mom accidentally "left" it at his house?  Really?   ???   My suspicion is that Mark outright took the vase and Mom knew this and didn't want to confront him about it.  Hence her "shuffling excuses".

I could totally see myself doing the "leaving the vase at someone else's house" thing. I would bring it in to show off what a wonderful thing I got, but since that is a one off when I was ready to leave I would forget I had it and leave it behind. And then when I remembered the vase have no idea where I left it. And if I was flakey to being with... that one I would give the benefit of the doubt to. But the giving as a christmas gift. No - that is beyond the pale.