My mom came in this evening after spending the day in the hospital with my grandma and doing some Christmas shopping and etc. I chose to stay home and rested most of the day - I was groggy from painkillers half the day, and was asleep when Mom got home, bearing the mail.
Our Saturday mail contained the usual assortment of junk mail and such, but holiday greeting cards are starting to arrive, and one of the envelopes addressed jointly to me and my mom was from the youngest of my 8 now-adult cousins (I have 2 others who are toddlers - my youngst aunt was a late-in-life surprise for my grandparents and had her 2 kids in her mid-30s). I thought it was nice of my cousin to send a holiday greeting - only it wasn't quite...
Anyway, the youngest of the adults is 20 and transferring to a state college next semester, and sent out a beautifully decorated letter outlining this fact - and begging for donations of cash instead of gifts. This girl drives a Mercedes SUV for which she does not pay a dime, except for gas, and though she works, blows all her money on expensive designer clothes and shoes; getting her hair, nails, and eyebrows done; expensive MAC makeup (I admit, she wears it well - but still) and expensive, brand-name accessories (Coach comes to mind). She's asking for money this Christmas to help "cover expenses" like groceries and etc.
I love my cousin, but if she wants cash for groceries and gas, I'm giving her gift cards to a grocery store and a gas station (and a roll of quarters for laundry). I am not financing this little venture with cash money which she can then use to her advantage to blow on more clothes, more makeup, drinking/clubbing bouts in Mexican border resort towns and such.
I went to school in Southern California for four years, and never once did I beg anyone in my family to "help" me with the attendant expenses of going to college. I had financial aid and I held down a job, which was part-time during the school year, but became full-time in the summers and in my later years of college when I could take fewer classes.
I'm not angry at my cousin - I do love her very much, but I have to wonder sometimes if my younger cousins' heads were stuffed with straw instead of brains. Although they are a bunch good-hearted kids in their early-to-mid 20s, there is not a one of them who doesn't have a spoiled, entitled side and is hardly ever held to account for their follies, letting their parents take the (usually financial) fall for antics such as DUIs, having accidents while driving underage (and without a license), running up outrageous cellphone bills and the like.
If I had been like that between the ages of 18-25, I would now be living in a box under the freeway because my mom would never have stood for that. My mom is known to be the "strictest" parent in our family, but has helped me out of a financial crisis or two. However, I am always
expected to pay her back, and I don't live off her (even though I live with her, I helped buy this house, and help pay the mortgage and utilities) now that I am over 18. Also, I've always been taught not to expect handouts from friends and family just because they are my friends and family. Even if I would "prefer" cash rather than gifts, I don't up and send out this information to all my family. I tell them when I am asked what I want.
*sigh* These clueless kids.
I'd post the letter here, because it was actually kind of cute, but my mom tore it up and threw it in the garbage. She was (rightfully, IMO) appalled. Judging from the cutesy poetry (which, the English major in me is tempted to point out, does not even scan properly) it was my aunt who planted the idea in my cousin's head, but that doesn't make it any less appalling. Or tacky.
Am I related to space aliens?