This is more of a story as this incident has already passed and once I realized what was really happening, I don’t need to ask whether this was impolite.
As it happens more and more, this took place on Facebook. An event was posted, not sent to every friend of theirs, though quite possibly, but it was sent to individual people including me for which I felt honored to be thought of by my two friends and former co-workers.
This event post was to be a surprise by one man, “Jim”, for his partner, “Mark” for his 30th birthday. There were 2 ways the invitees could help “celebrate” Mark’s birthday. One was to contribute to a picture book with artwork or pictures of homemade creations with accompanying notes to celebrate Mark that would be put together and given to Mark during his celebration. The second way was to contribute any amount of money to an art space for Mark as it was always his dream to have his own studio. I thought both ideas were sweet, even with the obvious hand sticking out for donations to this luxury for Mark, so I contributed to both. My monetary contribution was very small as that was all I could give but the artwork I submitted cost a lot more with time and energy. Again, I thought it was a nice cause to support and I looked forward to being there when Mark received these sweet, caring gifts.
About a month goes by and the date of the event got nearer. I looked up the Facebook page for this event to find out where I was supposed to be in a few days. There wasn’t a date or address. I looked again. Apparently, I hadn’t read close enough. The ‘celebration’ all 200+ guests were invited to was just those two things, giving money and/or giving art. The “ You are invited” and “Let’s help celebrate Mark’s birthday” had me completely fooled that I was going to actually attend a celebration, see my friends, and enjoy Mark’s happiness that all of it had been done for him. Nothing in the cleverly worded invitation indicated that “share in the celebration” meant “give us stuff, we’ll celebrate privately, then tell you about it later.” but that’s what happened.
Once I got the hint, I was pretty disappointed but chalked it up to my fault for not reading it closely enough and decided to let it go. But it didn’t stop there. 2 days before the birthday, Jim sends out a reminder to all 200+ invitees to contribute to the fund. Then again at 36 hours prior. Then again at 24, again at 12, 8, 6, etc. Finally around T minus 2 hours, Jim sends out a update that they “far exceeded their goal!” And “we’ll video Mark opening his picture book and gift of the studio fund and post it! Thank you!”
Mad but still holding on to the belief that maybe they just weren’t “party people” and the gifts were thoughtful, I was just going to forget about it and hopefully never fall for it again.
Mark’s birthday day, though, his Facebook page becomes filled with rave upon rave of the amazing restaurants they were hitting all day long, the rich and succulent dishes and gifts, and the PARTY THEY HELD IN THE PARK! The party I wasn’t invited to. The party I find out that most of the contributors were also not invited to. Just select people at a party I was now pretty convinced I helped pay for.
I’m horrified to be used that way. I never would have thought these two would do something like this but I was clearly wrong. And guess what? They never even posted the video they promised of Mark opening his gifts we also paid for.
I’m not sure if all of their doings were fueled by ignorance or by pure greed. I truly don’t know. It’s the first time, hopefully the last, I have ever come across this blatant gimme-grab and intentional invitation-shunning and I hope other people who read this don’t get blindsided like I did. 0325-14
Now you know to listen your internal gimme pig warning bells when they squeal to high heaven that a gimme pig is in range. You walked right into this despite recognizing “the obvious hand sticking out for donations to this luxury for Mark”. If it smells like a gimme pig, even a whiff, it is most likely a gimme pig.
This reminds me of the old story submitted many years ago by a co-worker who, along with her other co-workers, had been invited to a wedding shower for another co-worker. They had all been instructed to bring a potluck dish to the shower as well as a bottle of champagne and told where the bride was registered. Got that? Not one gift but three….the shower gift, a bottle of champagne and food. The worst part of this was when it was revealed at the shower that none of the shower invitees, all of them co-workers, were actually invited to the wedding but their bottles of champagne were to be used at the wedding reception. It was a classic example of how greedy gimme pigs really are quite obvious and they are not above using people to fund parties or gifts they themselves cannot afford.
Comments on this entry are closed.
Oh these “clever, clever people” who keep coming up with “ingenious” ways to fund their lifestyle choices.
I don’t owe you a party, regardless of what you may think. Please stop using me to fund your elaborate schemes.
Yuck, what a terrible letdown by Jim and Mark, and what horrible gimme pigs. This is yet again, a lesson in why a Facebook invitation is more often than not, not a real invitation.
I fail to understand why hosting fundraisers or passing around a hat to solicit costly presents is deemed acceptable in any circle. One gives what one can afford/chooses to afford to give, and if one cannot afford a particular present, then, one has to pick out a present that he or she can afford. Art space sounds like a terrific but also very expensive gift, so had Jim been a more thoughtful and gracious individual, he could have given Mark a gift of a more affordable art class or given him some money to be put towards an art space. And to post lavish descriptions of a party that “peons” were not deemed good enough to be invited to, is just plain gross and tacky.
Good Lord… what is wrong with people.. no one should have to even fund your “dream studio”. Work hard and do it yourself!!
Usually I would let something like this go by with an eye-roll, but this is so egregiously nasty — posting photos on Facebook of a party the OP not only wasn’t invited to, but apparently helped pay for, and to which she sent a gift? And they “far exceeded their goal,” but no word as to whether the extra $ would be refunded, donated to charity, or just spent? — I think I would send a very pointed note of rebuke. I just wouldn’t be able to resist.
The question, though, is — did Mark know that a lot of his gifts/party were funded by friends who weren’t actually invited to the celebrations? Or was that Jim’s doing and Mark posted it all to FB all unknowing about the “invitations” that weren’t invitations and the incessant money-grubbing, just assuming that everyone who contributed had actually been invited to the celebration? I’d be interested to know…
I’d give Mark the benefit of the doubt. Jim did day it was to be a surprise, so he may have just been posting with the assumption that all those who contributed were also in attendance.
It should be interesting when the time comes to write out thank you notes and he starts wondering about the numbers.
You’re assuming there will be thank-you notes…OP should not hold his/her breath on that point
OP here. I agree that Mark probably didn’t know what was going to happen that day and was probably ignorant of what kind of sentiment he was really posting when he posted the pictures of his on-going celebration.
However, he didn’t apologize either.
I did receive a thank you note. On Facebook’s instant messaging service (classy) and it was clearly a copy/pasted note. The only thing that referred to me directly was my name after Dear. The rest of the note was very vague, referred to “gifts” “blessings” and “thoughtfulness of your contribution” but no detail. And no mention of the party he posted pictures of. If I had found out that people were not invited after contributing to my gift, I would have been embarrassed and at least said something about it being a small, intimate, impromptu affair I had no control over to at least show I knew there were people who were shunned and at least implied apology.
But not in this case. I’m still baffled by it all.
The admin is right and I should’ve seen what a clear gimme it was and declined and moved along but I simply never expected it. I’m lucky it was a pretty inexpensive, relatively painless lesson.
I forgot to mention that the thank you note:
a) didn’t mention anything about the artwork I contributed even though it took many man-hours and heartfelt sentiment.
b) it linked his website 3 times asking us to visit it, “with no obligation.” What obligation? To give you more?
Glad it’s over. I’m not going to unfriend them because I’m interested in following what other schemes they have up their sleeves. It’ll get worse, I’m sure.
My goodness OP. How awful.
I’m actually glad you told this story as, I get a lot of invites via social media (which I don’t mind) and don’t always read them as closely as I should.
Thanks for sharing.
If I were you I would contact Mark and/or the party organizers and ask for a receipt for my charitable donation.
Color me shameless, but if I was invited to an event like this, I’d have posted a message on the event telling Jim that he forgot to mention time and place and that I was looking forward to Mark’s party and yes, of course I’m coming.
If I’m invited to something, I fully expect to go to the event.
You read my mind YAL! It’s gotten so bad that now I call and ask when the wedding (if it’s a shower invitation) is and tell them ‘my invitation must have gotten lost in the mail.’ If they tell me I won’t be getting one I RSVP ‘no’ and don’t send cards or gifts. This is not to say that I never send gifts or cards to weddings to which I have not been invited. In fact, I do so frequently. I just refuse to do it on demand by people who have made it clear they are only interested in my money.
I wish fobre was a “like” button for response!
Geez, there, not forbe. Auto correct. Sorry!
You were totally used and I’m sorry.
Self-centered people believe that everyone is as excited for them as they are and will be overjoyed to give them things. They don’t care about your feelings. They don’t care about self-respect. They only care about squeezing every last drop of generosity they can wring you for.
Now you know the read the fine print. I’d write this couple off my list, that is truly appalling behavior.
Unspeakable. Admin is right that once someone commits the faux pas of explicitly soliciting money or gifts, there is no greedy rudeness that you can be sure they won’t stoop to.
I don’t want to discourage anyone from being generous, but the only way to convince the greedy and the clueless that these solicitations are a bad idea is to stop giving in to them. We’ve all been in the position of thinking “Wow, this is tacky, but I like X and I know they don’t mean to be rude, so I’ll just overlook it and contribute something”. And that’s how X, and Y and Z, get the idea that “nowadays” there’s “nothing wrong” with shaking down their social circle for funding, and they proceed blithely to offend and distress their so-called dear ones with their boorish behavior.
If we don’t feed the gimme pigs, they will eventually stop asking. We can still send X good wishes or even a present, if we want to, in some way that isn’t a direct submission to their greedy request.
Exactly. The reason people are getting ruder these days and resorting more and more to behavior such as this is because too many people won’t speak up about it for many reasons. Communication is everything!
Also that even if people stop giving after being burned, there is a whole new range of people to hit up- the next time…
I’m old and often crotchety so if I had been invited to the shower in the bottom paragraph, I probably would have walked out with the champagne and any food that was left.
I hope the OP connected with others who were used by the gimme pigs and made sure the gimme pigs were properly notified that Mark, SO and their special friends were now persona non grata.
Only hope is that the circle of those that got ‘burned’ will learn and remember. And when Jim and Mark can’t figure out why their circle of friends shrunk; maybe someone will hand them a clue-by-four by pointing out their faux-pas and friend-block they slathered all over Facebook.
Wow. I usually like to give people the benefit of the doubt, but it’s pretty clear that Jim knew exactly what he was doing, from the careful wording of the invitation to the regular reminders to contribute. This is pretty atrocious behavior. I hope it was one hell of a party and scrapbook, because I bet Jim cost the two of them a lot of friendships through this behavior. I might give somewhat of a pass to Mark because if this was supposed to be a surprise, he probably was not in on it, but as half of a couple, Jim’s behavior reflects on him and I’m sure there are a lot of people who won’t want to socialize with them at all anymore.
I’m curious — have they gotten any blowback on social media from the other contributors who were excluded?
Yikes!! This is absolutely one of the worst gimmee pigs stories I’ve ever heard on this site and otherwise! It is so incredibly bad that I think the OP should have discussed this with the gimmee pigs as to how rude, wrong, and upsetting this was. Although I know that some gimmee pigs are so far gone that any objections would simply go over their heads. They still need to know!
The worst I’ve personally heard or encountered is people setting up registries for their birthday or housewarming parties and directing invitees to those. Or requesting donations to a birthday or housewarming gift through crowdfunding or a Facebook event.
Registries for birthdays??? The mind boggles! I do have a friend who uses Facebook to invite people to her birthday party every year, and each year requests cash towards X endeavor (last year it was an overseas holiday). I used to consider this person my closest friend, but have distanced myself from her after being asked to also go to her favourite store and buy her birthday cake. *sigh*
The mantra seems to be that since you’re obviously going to buy them something anyway for their housewarming or birthday party, then here’s what they really want, so contribute or whatever towards that. First of all, the most I’d ever give for a housewarming would be a small gift such as plants or flowers. That is what has always been acceptable from an etiquette POV for housewarming parties. They have never been meant to be a way to furnish or add onto to one’s household items. And for birthday parties – I don’t gift adults, with the exception being a few close family members. Friends get a birthday card, if even that sometimes. Or a small contribution towards their birthday meal if it’s at a restaurant. My presence, hugs, kisses, and birthday greetings should be enough.
I’ve even seen people use their Facebook as a requesting place for wants sometimes. For instance, a friend wanting to attend a film festival where a film she’s involved in was playing. Requesting donations towards that in a status. Sorry, but unless it’s a desperate need, don’t do that.
Where do people learn how to be such gimme pigs? The entitlement some young – and not so young -people show is totally amazing.
Even in my extended family I receive e-mail reminders of upcoming birthdays along with an Oh-So-Convenient “Registry”. And I’m not talking about little kids birthdays. (I actually appreciate a “registry” for little kids, as otherwise I would have absolutely no idea of what type of toy, etc, to give a young child.) I’m talking about adults making up their own birthday wish-lists and sending them out to the world. These are grown nieces/nephews/cousins/whatevers that we haven’t seen in years and do not even talk with on the phone. Yet they expect presents from us on their birthdays, and expensive ones at that! Mind you, these solicitations for presents and/or cash do not usually accompany an actual invitation to a real life event. Oh no. Our presence isn’t wanted, only our presents. And if I ignore these e-mails, which I tend to do as I consider them to be nothing more than financial solicittions, I get sent reminders!
We told our own kids that they better not try this. So far, they haven’t, although I don’t know whether they really find it as tacky as I do or whether they just don’t want to deal with the fallout from us.
I don’t understand the need for a registry for a child’s birthday. I do understand the problem you have of not knowing what to get, though! Kid’s tastes can change pretty quickly. One day it’s all construction trucks and the next it’s all Spider-Man. One day green is the favored color and then the next nothing will do but red. And sizes? No way I’m keeping track of that. But the problem is easily remedied without a registry. Just call the parents! Once the neice and nephews passed toddler years, I gave up attempting to figure out what gifts to give. One quick call to the in-laws and I’ve got a list.
My little turns one next week.
After we sent out birthday invitations, we had 2/3 of the people come back and ask us what he needs that they can buy as presents, even though our invitation explicitly said he doesn’t need anything.
In anticipation of this, we had created a google doc with some book suggestions, and clothing we were planning to buy (and sizes) that others could get if they wanted, and emailed it out ONLY to people who asked.
But we left it at that. Its suggestions, not even with places they could get things – leaving all of that up to the gift givers.
If he gets anything at all, it will be nice. But he doesn’t need any of it.
And I agree – gift ideas lists for younger kids are awesome. I’ve so definitely appreciated them in the past for nieces and nephews, hence why we wrote one ourselves. Gift demands? or gift lists that only have expensive items on them? Suck. Seriously.
Sort of a “We like your money but, you, not so much.” party, isn’t it?
If I am not invited to the wedding and to the reception, I do not send a gift. A card is fine for those occasions. If I am told of a party, I respond that I will be happy to attend and will bring my gift with me. I save charity for those who need it and not for those who just want more than they have.
I love your succinct description of the party!
One wonders how many people ‘unfriended’ Jim and Mark after that little gimme-pig stunt?
And the fact that they posted it on Facebook starting from the invites to the restaurant to the park party makes it all the worse for the other people who contributed.
‘Far exceeded their goal’ sounds about right as well!! Especially if they were able to go to an expensive restaurant with all that lovely food, with the monies that you and your friends provided!!!
Oooooh this reminds me of a friend who constantly cries poor around her hubby’s birthday. For a milestone birthday she called for a pot luck, “rented” the hall (which was loaned to her no charge), pricey cake from her hubby’s favourite bakery, and asked we all contribute to the purchase of a large gift. The fifty invitees more than covered the cost of the party, the gift and a weekend away that we did not know we were funding. The friend took all the credit for the purchase of the gift and made a tidy profit on the backs of family and friends. When his next milestone rolled around, almost everyone declined her generous invitation.
Wow, that is incredible. Did the hubby think that 50 people just showed up without a present or card?
There were some cards but he figured we were all encouraged not to bring anything…… I forgot to add that one friend gave $20 and she was being denounced for being cheap. That is what I provided too but it was okay as we did not have a lot of money but the so called cheap friend did.
Wow! Oink, oink, oink.
This really was a disgusting show of greed. It would be interesting to know whether “Jim” tries anything like this again and it would be even more interesting to know what kinds of responses he gets. I can only thank you for being generous enough to post this story as a warning against other similar FB scams.
Gawd. Jim might as well have placed his fundraising “invitation” on Kickstarter. Except there he would have to promise rewards.
Post a link to this blog on Jim’s Facebook wall.
I like the way you think…
(See? I made a “Like” button.)
Zowie! This one literally “takes the cake”! (Away from the Facebook “invitees”.) I don’t like being asked for funds for a single person or family unless they are really in need. I would be curious to see if there were those who cut these two from their social circle as a result of this charade. If you think that relationships are disposable and that others can be taken advantage of with impunity- you might eventually run out of people to mistreat.
Ah yes, the world owes an artist the ability to do their art….
I fund my own including ‘space’ and ‘supplies’ and ‘overhead’. I don’t ask anyone else to, other than SELLING my art. You buy my art, THEN you are helping me. If my art doesn’t sell, that’s my problem.
I also don’t fund anyone else’s need to DO art; unless I buy their art they produce. I do not pay their bills, buy them supplies, and give them space for free when I go to events to sell to sell their stuff in my booth (and they expect to keep every nickel; not a cent towards the overhead).
I’m hoping Mark was the innocent here and didn’t know at the time what Jim pulled. If he was in on it; (shakes head). If he wasn’t, if I was Mark I would be having or have had one very long and serious discussion with Jim… you don’t do this to your spouse and life partner. I sure hope Mark was the innocent and the discussion happens.
This times a million. If no one’s buying your art, you don’t ask for donations; you figure out what’s wrong with your marketing.
Wow. I was quite literally slack jawed reading that. Sadly I’m not surprised. I’ve been witness to similar ‘Facebook invites’ in my time but being the suspicious and sceptical person that I am I always wait until as late as possible before sorting gifts and will never send them in advance of the party – I always take them with me – where I go the gifts go.
What would have raised a red flag for me, was that he asked for contributions for a studio space. Did he plan to raise enough to buy a space? Wouldn’t that take an awful lot of money, presumably more than could be gathered by friends? If he meant to rent a space, that would be an ongoing expense, is he going to expect that his friends will continue to foot the bill? The whole thing sounds fishy to me. I believe that money actually went to pay for the party. And even if it hadn’t, hourly reminders!? Posting it all to Facebook when you weren’t even actually invited!? How unbelievably tacky. Your generosity was clearly taken advantage of.
The implication is that you didn’t and don’t ever see these people in person, so I think a slow fade out of their lives may be in order.
I like the idea of assembling some sort of memory book, but when doing something like this you should always ask in a way that doesn’t imply obligation. “I’m putting together a scrapbook for Mark on his birthday, filled with photos of our various artistic endeavors. If you’d like to contribute a photo to this book, please send it to me at *address* or *email* by *date*. Thanks.” Worded that way, other people have a way to contribute if they want, but it is understood that it isn’t a condition of the party. That’s the only part of Jim’s invitation that is at all reasonable. Soliciting for a combined gift (repeatedly!) is too much.
And then not even inviting people to the party! Wow. That throws the whole thing firmly into gimmie-pig territory.
This would have earned a defriend and block from me. OP, did you defriend them? Just curious
Maybe I’m being a “petty patty”, but I would definitely post something under the pictures of the fabulous time they had, on my dime and others, on Facebook to the effect of “So glad you all had a great time, would’ve love to been invited!!!”
i would go so far as to say that this man behaved like a con artist who knew excatly what he was doing ,and the victoms were all his friends. i would have to send him an email. i just couldnt help myself. ofcourse he would deny it , but i would work very hard to make him feel ashamed of himself. and hopefully everytime he looked at that studio he would feel guilty .
I would be tempted to BCC Mark so he will know why his circle of friends has suddenly shrunk. This assumes Mark wasn’t in on this with Jim.
I never contribute to these things. A friend was recently crowd sourcing for funds to publish his book and when he reached the goal he kept asking for more to get “better paper quality”. What a lark. In the end there was a single box of books printed. Wonder what he really did with that ten grand.
I would actually give him the benefit of the doubt – vanity publishing is a pretty scammy business, and they will gladly take ten thousand dollars from ignorant or deluded writers and spend it on stupid frills or “gold tier packages” or exclusive memberships that offer the merest whiff of a hint of actually putting the book in book stores.
THIS. This is one of my biggest pet peeves.
“I want to do X, but I don’t want to take the monetary risk myself with a business loan .. I KNOW. I’ll risk OTHER PEOPLE’S money! That way if it doesn’t turn out, I’m in the green!”
Makes me want to slap people through my computer screen.
I’m a knitting addict, but when I don’t have money for yarn or a new set of needles in the size I need for a new project, I rummage through my stash, occasionally borrow needles, or … (wait for it) don’t do the project until I can afford the supplies.
It’s greedy and in poor taste to have asked for money for art space. It’s tacky to have posted countdown funding reminders. It’s exponentially appalling to have posted a rolling brag of the Awesomeness That Is Mark’s Party to everyone. Just, wow. And a few other words I can’t say.
I thought we were immune, and then I not only received one this week, but now am receiving daily reminders!!! This needs to stop. Here’s the link, just to show what kinds of silly things people are asking $20,000 for. (If admin doesn’t want to post the link, the gist is that my acquaintence is asking $20,000 to send her kids to Hollywood — one of whom is an infant — to appear at a huge cattle call (or whatever you call it) in front of some talent scouts.) http://www.gofundme.com/7rfr34
At least as of right now (maybe 5 days after it was created) it says $0 raised so far. We’re saving up for our low-key, inexpensive family vacation this summer… I don’t have $20,000 (or any part of it) to send random kids I’ve never met to Hollywood!
…Seriously? Someone thought that was a good idea? Cross your fingers that the kids don’t know about the funding page, because in their youthful exuberance they’d probably be checking it every 30 seconds to see that not a single soul supports this ridiculous endeavor.
“Any money that you can contribute is tax deductible” — What? Are they a registered charity?
Also, this looks like one of those scammy “modelling” competitions. In fact, Google the name of the organizers and “scam” to see what comes up. Basically, it’s an enormours waste of money.
Their kids have ‘always’ dreamed of being actors? When I was six I had ‘always’ dreamed of being: a ballerina, a model, an actress, a horse rider, a princess, in the Imperial Chinese Army (thanks to Disney’s ‘Mulan’), a palaeontologist, an astronaut and the person who eventually got to deflate Mr Blobby. No one funded any of those dreams and I’m glad because I hate all of those ideas now I’m a more sensible age.
I’m really suspicious about the ‘advertising’ mentioned as well. Are they organising the convention and the programs? Because if every kid going has ten sponsors who all get free advertising, the programs will look more like a phone book than an informative piece on an event. Still, they’ve yet to raise a dollar so no one has been fooled into parting with hard earned cash.
What some people use gofundme and other crowd-funding websites for makes me sick. There are categories on gofundme according to what people are asking for, and some of them, like weddings and what this woman is requesting, are so ludicrous! I wish people would realize and understand that it’s so tacky and uncouth to use these kinds of websites for such purposes. I’m glad they exist so that people like my friend who lost everything he owned in a fire can get help from his friends to rebuild his life and business. That is an example of the proper use for such a website.
I’d like to see how the invitation was worded? Let’s surprise birthday boy with these gifts at his celebration and then no date, time, place? I would probably think I wad invited to a real party also! OP, what was the after math? I’d be so embarrassed if I was the surprisee…
OP’s post is clearly concerning and rude.
However, when talking about weddings and showers consider this: weddings are expensive to host, not everyone can afford to host all of their dear friends, not everyone wants a wedding with all of their friends, and perhaps a new couple may have very different circles of friends making it more expensive, and less personable for the nearly-weds to invite all their good friends. Enter the shower, a place where bride and groom can each be responsible for inviting whomever they want, all of his or her close friends. Now, it seems that those invited to the shower but not the wedding feel like they are being asked for gifts, based on a social norm, but based on other postings on this site would find it rude to have a “no gifts please” message attached to the shower invite…what should the couple do to appease you?
I dread inviting people to my wedding.