(Closed) Should she pay for it?

posted 6 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 182
Member
1261 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2015

@weddingmaven:  Which was a hurtful action, knowing the specialness this cake had to the bride, and the work and heart that went into acquiring it. Yet it is monetary, but that does not mean it was no a hurtful action that should be addressed.

This woman knew how much this meant to the bride, and that she had had to forgo this cake for her wedding, and yet she chose to not only allow her child to destroy it (something which is apparently a pattern in this woman’s life), but to laugh about it? She knew this would hurt the bride, but still chose to not rectify it, or even properly apologize.  That is incredibly callous, and is something that should be addressed.

Given that the rehearsal dinner cake idea is on the table, I think asking her to repeat the intended gesture for the tight-budgeted bride was a decent idea. The way she responded on the phone shows how truly self-centered and callous she is, which at the heart of things, is why she was being addressed in the first place. 

Also, in terms of etiquette, I do not think the typical “accident” mantra applies here, because this was extreme negligence that is an apparant pattern, not a one-time blunder, that caused it. The woman knows what her child is capable of, and yet did not do what she should have to look after her.

It is like if a marine punches a man in a bar brawl and kills him, he will be charged for second degree murder rather than manslaughter, because of the size and training of a marine, there is an assumption that the man knew his own strength and that a punch from him could kill, and thus he is held to a higher level of responsibility.  If this woman’s child was normally very docile, she would have little way of knowing this would happen and it would be a cut and dry, straight up accident. But as it stands, she should have and likely did know it could, and still permitted it to. So at this point is not a pure accident anymore, and the traditional rules do not apply. Well, in my opinion.

Post # 183
Member
128 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

@arabbel:  I agree 100% and I would add that where I’m from the rules on an “accident” are still that you take responsibility for them, as you have said. Even if it’s something simple.

Maybe Emily Post can afford to replace all her kitchen chairs if someone’s brat damages them but that’s not the majority of people. Where I’m from, if you damage something, if you break it, if you ate someone else’s apple, you are to pay for it or replace it. It’s really strange to see so many “Oh forget about it” comments. Taking responsibility for something is clearly not in many people’s skill set so as a society it is our responsibility to enlighten them. I get the feeling that people are looking at the situation from the mother of the spoil child’s perspective (who is in the wrong) and not the bridesmaids or the bride. That’s sad to me. She should have to make her/child’s wrong a right. She can be whiny and ugly about it but she should be called to the carpet on it.

Post # 184
Member
535 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: February 2014

I have another view o the “it’s just cake” standpoint. What if this had happened in a store? The child destriyed a cake un the bakery. Would you still say it’s just cake, the store should tell mom not to worry about it? Or would you expect the store to demand the mom pay? So why should this be any different just because someone already paid for it?

Post # 185
Member
12216 posts
Sugar Beekeeper

@OkieHeart:  A totally different scenario.  In one case you are talking about a for profit commercial establishment that has lost inventory. In another it’s a social occasion and the relationship is of host to guest.  Etiquette does  say that the guest should offer to repair or replace and that if the accident were the fault of a negligent guest and the object was expensive, you can take her up on the offer.  

Post # 186
Member
12216 posts
Sugar Beekeeper

@MrsPBandJ:  I totally agree with you that she should apologize and if there’s a way to make it right in the future to make that offer.  I don’t agree, and neither does etiquette, that one can  demand it on the other side, or that one can properly correct  or  teach manners to anyone but young children under your own care.  You can’t go wrong by taking the higher road.  Besides, when she comes to her senses one day, do you want her to have the satisfaction of knowing that you were also in the wrong? 

Post # 187
Member
12216 posts
Sugar Beekeeper

@arabbel:  It WAS hurtful.  Which is why she couldn’t be too surprised if she  received few invitations in the future. 

Post # 188
Member
123 posts
Blushing bee

@Carlasgettingmarried:  OP I am sorry that this happened, sounds like a situation 1)could have been avoided 2) could have been rectified at the time and 3) has now been blown to unnecessary proportions. We all have that friebad in one form or another, so I sympathize with you. I can not understand the “it was just a cake” mentality, clearly this woman knew it was more than a cake. I think you and the other BMs handled it well, I’m not sure I would have been as polite 🙂 

 

 

 

and for the love of Pete what is the blog address??? Lol 🙂

 

Post # 189
Member
748 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

@Carlasgettingmarried:  If your child destroys someone else’s property because mom was too negligent to be watching that child, mom is responsible.

Depending on who she is I’d either ask her outright for reimbursement, or just snub her terribly from all parties going forward.

That poor bride 🙁

Post # 191
Member
1826 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: December 2013

@weddingmaven:  Good for you. You found a post about etiquette with guests at dinner parties. HOWEVER THIS CHILD WAS NOT A GUEST.  The mother was told SPECIFICALLY NOT to bring the child because of previous incidences like this. (You are right though in saying that you can’t teach a child not in your care manners which this child and mother seriously lack). But however you look at it since the child was not an invited guest your ‘manners’ post does not apply. 

Post # 192
Member
47 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: June 2012

@Taeyers:  I agree with you 1000%!!!! There is no point in even considering being polite to someone who would do that. 

Post # 193
Member
12216 posts
Sugar Beekeeper

@Luayne:  I understand that the child was not invited and that was quite rude on the part of the mother to bring him.  But once she showed up with him, the hosts did the right thing in accomodating him as best as they could.  (By the way, etiquette also says that that is the right thing to do as opposed to having bouncers at the door.)  At that point the mother and the child are  guests.  The backlash and the consequence is on the mother, who WAS an invited guest,  so it’s a moot point anyway. 

Post # 194
Member
10650 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: January 2011

@Carlasgettingmarried:  It sounds like this really wasn’t about the money, but about the bride’s feelings.  Could you maybe call this person up and see if maybe she would be kind enough to surprise the B&G with some cupcakes from the bakery when they get back from their Honeymoon or something?

I think that would likely go over so much better than asking for money back.  I do think she should have offered to pay though.

Post # 195
Member
1826 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: December 2013

@weddingmaven:  Can we all know when and where your wedding is so we can all just drop in and have a good time?!

I mean really?! If some uninvited person shows up you do not have to entertain them. They should have just stopped this woman at the door and said “Thank you for stopping by and congratulating the bride. It’s too bad you can’t stay.”

If this went to court (not saying it would because it is a smaller amount of money) the parent would be found negligent in watching her child an responsible for the damages (whatever they were).

I was raised to be respectful and pay for things that I (or my kids) broke. Some people obviously didn’t get that lesson…along with any other lesson in responsibility in their life obviously.

And sometimes etiquette is just plain WRONG.

Who died and left Miss Manners Queen Empress of the Universe?! Seriously!

Post # 196
Member
3449 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

It was just a cake? So…say this was Thanksgiving and the unsupervised child in question knocked over the turkey? The fact that the item damaged was edible plays no role in the amount of VALUE that was lost now that it is destroyed. That and the fact that it’s not something that can actually be replaced (i.e. we’re hungry NOW; it’s not like you can go buy another turkey, season it, cook it and carve it in enough time to be useful). Likewise, there’s only one bridal shower and only one bridal shower cake. ). In that instance the only thing that can make it right is actually money. The mom’s reaction should’ve been “oh, I am so sorry! Can I pitch in for some pizzas or something?” 

That said, since they’re kinda having a do-over I don’t see any reason why the mother shouldn’t contribute to rectifying what happened. It’s obvious that neither she nor her child have home-training, so yes, somebody would have to call her and tell her what’s expected. Her reaction is on her, and it is telling of how much she values your friendship.

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