Post # 62
It sounds like she gave you the towels as a peace offering, since you had a blowout.
If you don’t want them, I actually think it’s okay to give them away and/or return them IF you let her know it. Call her up, thank her profusely, and then just say what you’ve said here: “They’re really cute, and it was so nice of you to think of me. But I’ve already got so many towels and I’m afraid that we don’t quite have the space. Would you mind if I exchanged them for something that I really need?” Most people generally accept this because it’s the acknowledgement of the ACT of giving that’s more important than the thing itself. Now, selling them is another issue, and on that I would tred verrry lightly. You *can* tell her that you’re returning/exchanging them and then quietly sell them on eBay if you so choose, but I wouldn’t ask for her permission to sell them.
On another note, I know you’re emotional and I get that you are stressed out about money and stuff. But I’m going to be a bit blunt: you have to get over the money issues. If you don’t, it will drive you crazy (look what it’s doing to you now). You know it’s inappropriate to resent your sister for having more money just as it’s inappropriate to resent her for how she chooses to spend it. Your wedding is your responsibility–financially and otherwise. And I suggest that if you want to have a strong relationship with your sister–which it sounds like you do–then you have to come to terms with the fact that being poor doesn’t make one more virtuous any more than being rich does (because some of what you’ve said suggests that this is not just about money but about misplaced values–or values you think are misplaced in her). Spending $50 on tea towels may demonstrate a lack of sensibility to you, but someone else could easily say that having a wedding at all when you’re as strapped for cash as you claim to be is also insensible. I don’t mean to be too harsh, but I know from experience how money can drive a wedge between people (and families) and it’s sad. In the end, she’s going to make the money she makes and spends how she spends (as is her right, as well as yours) regardless of what you think of it. And you can either be mad at this fact, or you can find your zen. So find your zen.
Post # 63
Considering the income disparity discussed here, if the sister was trying to do something “show off-y”, she could have spent a lot more money. But $50 on a sister on something cute, wedding-related and from the OP’s favorite store? Nothing about that says anything to me other than thoughtful.
OP – I’ve had many close friends and family members get married, and I’ve never thought to purchase something for wedding decor as an engagement gift. In fact, I would be very hesitant to do that in case I was infringing on the bride’s theme/look/plans.
Post # 64
OP – is it possible that your wealthy sister is actually planning on helping out your other sister to get to the wedding and maybe it is a surprise for you or something like that?
Post # 65
right, so when the opinion is different from yours or in the minority, it must be coming from the same person? Double Standard, Batman!
Post # 67
after 50 posts of everyone saying the same thing, it just seemed it was fishy after what’s been going on here lately. i questioned it. i was wrong. ‘nuf said.
Post # 68
Very well stated. I agree.
It may sound corny, but OP, try and “find your happy.” This really is a special time, and while it seems like you are beyond stressed, it is better for your own well being not to find ways to make yourself more upset. Accept the gift for what it is and try to move forward.
Post # 69
Ok I am going to join @JoeBeth12 in the minority here. I don’t think the OP meant to sound ungratful about the gift but rather was trying to vent on her frustrations of planning a wedding on a budget and not getting the support from her sister she was hoping for. By support I don’t mean money. As others have pointed it, the sisters gesture was sweet and probably her way of trying to find a way to support her sister and cheer her up but to me it sounds like the op and sister communicate differently. I can understand the idea of being underwhelmed by a gift when you were really hoping for something practical.
Ill throw myself in the fire here with an example. A few years ago I really needed tires and was struggling to come up with the money for them. For my birthday I asked for help but instead got something else that was very nice that I loved but I still couldn’t come up with the cash for my tires so while the other gift was great, it wasn’t the tires I needed. I wasn’t ungratful but stressed about my need and would have rather had the tires even if it was a lame b-day gift
I think JennyW1 has some good advice about bringing it up with the sister. I think of that scene from sex and they city when Carrie’s friend gives her that pashmina and she asks if she can return it because she could really use the money. I think its a great way to say thanks and also to bring up the type of support she could use.
Post # 70
I understand your perspective. I think that gifts however, are not intended to be charitable donations or supplemental income. They can be, but that is usually not the intent of the gift giver. And frankly, those tea towels just scream “peace offering”. The intent and spirit of the gift is lovely, and that is what is most important to me.
Post # 71
I’m also going to be in the minority here…I know what it’s like to be pinching pennies to fund the wedding and pay all of our regular bills. The OP said her family is super frugal. So to them (and me too!) spending 50 bucks on decorative dish towels is sort of extravagant. I can see how she’d be upset that her sister would give her expensive towels instead of use that money towards the wedding.
If your sister was struggling to pay for her wedding, would you give her expensive towels? Or use the money to help her with the wedding? Maybe it’s just me, but I’d help her out with something wedding related. Maybe buy her shoes or a veil or something like that.
Post # 72
Even if they are a “peace offering” you can understand being frustrated with expensive towels when you could really use the money for other things right? Like if you gave a homeless man a pair of nikes…they’re really nice and I’m sure he’s grateful, but he really needs money to feed himself.
Post # 73
Sorry, I dont think that the two are equivalent at all. This woman is not homeless nor hungry. And as someone upthread said, if paying for a wedding is this much of a struggle, than she and her partner are responsible for addressing that issue in the appropriate way.
Post # 74
I feel like registries and showers have given people the idea that generally gifts (registry or not) are supposed to be for things they NEED, and if you don’t get something you need then the gift giver is a big asshole.
Post # 75
Yeah I know they’re not homeless…it was an analogy. Sorry if it didn’t make sense to you. I still stand by my opinion. I can totally understand where she’s coming from. We all have our ‘selfish’ moments in life. I think this is one of those times where I’m sure she’s not proud to feel the way she does, but I’ve been there (not the same situation) and I sympathize.
I think there are two sides to every story and most of the people who read this thread didn’t try to see things from the OPs point of view. Yes, 50 dollar towels would be awesome, especially anthro towels…but I can see feeling uncomfortable with 50 dollar towels when you are struggling to save elsewhere.
Post # 76
I’m not sure why you are upset that she sent you a cute present?