Author Topic: Relatives who just don't get it  (Read 1509357 times)

Gronnie

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #3850 on: October 29, 2017, 10:07:28 AM »
You are correct, as near as I can tell he was born at the start of the great depression, either '29 or '30, and raised in a euro-ethnic, inner city neighborhood. The city was a steel company town, run by brutal management that considered workers to be disposable. So, nationally and at home, a lot of instability.  I can certainly understand and sympathize with his story. I have run into others like this, including the last occupants of our first fixer-upper house we moved into. They lived in a 600 sq. ft. cottage and huddled around a wood stove since they didn't want to waste money on the electric heat. They were in their eighties, and held seven figures worth of electric utility stocks.

So basically if they lost "everything" they would be leading the exact same life? Logic not even once.

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #3851 on: October 29, 2017, 10:42:11 AM »
You are correct, as near as I can tell he was born at the start of the great depression, either '29 or '30, and raised in a euro-ethnic, inner city neighborhood. The city was a steel company town, run by brutal management that considered workers to be disposable. So, nationally and at home, a lot of instability.  I can certainly understand and sympathize with his story. I have run into others like this, including the last occupants of our first fixer-upper house we moved into. They lived in a 600 sq. ft. cottage and huddled around a wood stove since they didn't want to waste money on the electric heat. They were in their eighties, and held seven figures worth of electric utility stocks.

So basically if they lost "everything" they would be leading the exact same life? Logic not even once.

Isn't that the whole point of MMM though?  We live like people in a much lower income bracket in order to achieve FIRE.  For most of us, even if we lost our life savings, we'd just keep living the same way we've always lived - bike or walk everywhere, eat inexpensively at home, keep the heat turned down, buying second hand etc.

Cassie

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #3852 on: October 29, 2017, 11:00:42 AM »
It is sad to be living that way at 80 when you can afford to live better.  Someone else will spend the $ if they don't.

paddedhat

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #3853 on: October 29, 2017, 07:03:53 PM »
You are correct, as near as I can tell he was born at the start of the great depression, either '29 or '30, and raised in a euro-ethnic, inner city neighborhood. The city was a steel company town, run by brutal management that considered workers to be disposable. So, nationally and at home, a lot of instability.  I can certainly understand and sympathize with his story. I have run into others like this, including the last occupants of our first fixer-upper house we moved into. They lived in a 600 sq. ft. cottage and huddled around a wood stove since they didn't want to waste money on the electric heat. They were in their eighties, and held seven figures worth of electric utility stocks.

So basically if they lost "everything" they would be leading the exact same life? Logic not even once.

Isn't that the whole point of MMM though?  We live like people in a much lower income bracket in order to achieve FIRE.  For most of us, even if we lost our life savings, we'd just keep living the same way we've always lived - bike or walk everywhere, eat inexpensively at home, keep the heat turned down, buying second hand etc.

There is a huge gap between living the depression mentality and your idyllic description. When you're wearing rags, huddled around a wood stove to keep warm, and are not eating well since "food is too expensive" AND you have a multi-million dollar net worth, you are not thinking rationally, much less living a virtuous MMM lifestyle. I'm sure there are plenty of folks out there currently struggling much like a some of the older relatives, friends, and associates of mine, who went through some pretty rough shit growing up. People who didn't eat if they couldn't grow it, catch it in a stream, or shoot it. Family of mine that lived in coal mine company towns and walked the railroad tracks with a bucket, searching for coal that fell of the trains.  They were early elementary school aged at the time and it wasn't a game, it was their chore, and it kept the house warm in the dead of winter. I'm in my mid-fifties, my parents were born in the mid-1940s, their parents were from the teens and twenties. One of my grandfathers was abandoned at an orphanage, along with three brothers, since their parents wanted a better life for them. Another grandfather was five years old when his very wealthy father dealt with the great stock market crash by swallowing a bullet. Some of these folks were extremely successful and well adjusted, until the day they died. Others were a bit "off", and some never got over the trauma and suffered from the time they were children, until they died 70-80 years later.

Stories like this are important when viewed in the context of our current political mess, and the way the rural white underclass seems to have suddenly erupted in rage. Don't forget that many older folks in this demographic are one generation away from those that fought their way out of some really brutal conditions in this country. They know what it's like to have very little, and struggle to scratch an existence out of almost nothing. They saw their families fight their way to a decent middle class lifestyle and watch it go away, like the tide going out. They may of rallied behind a con-man and will eventually get screwed by the guy, but they aren't going to suddenly go away, or give up. They find little romance is biking to work, living below their means, or minimalist philosophical musings. They want the American dream that, in their minds, somebody robbed them of.

NorCal

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #3854 on: October 29, 2017, 08:16:11 PM »
You are correct, as near as I can tell he was born at the start of the great depression, either '29 or '30, and raised in a euro-ethnic, inner city neighborhood. The city was a steel company town, run by brutal management that considered workers to be disposable. So, nationally and at home, a lot of instability.  I can certainly understand and sympathize with his story. I have run into others like this, including the last occupants of our first fixer-upper house we moved into. They lived in a 600 sq. ft. cottage and huddled around a wood stove since they didn't want to waste money on the electric heat. They were in their eighties, and held seven figures worth of electric utility stocks.

So basically if they lost "everything" they would be leading the exact same life? Logic not even once.

Isn't that the whole point of MMM though?  We live like people in a much lower income bracket in order to achieve FIRE.  For most of us, even if we lost our life savings, we'd just keep living the same way we've always lived - bike or walk everywhere, eat inexpensively at home, keep the heat turned down, buying second hand etc.

There is a huge gap between living the depression mentality and your idyllic description. When you're wearing rags, huddled around a wood stove to keep warm, and are not eating well since "food is too expensive" AND you have a multi-million dollar net worth, you are not thinking rationally, much less living a virtuous MMM lifestyle. I'm sure there are plenty of folks out there currently struggling much like a some of the older relatives, friends, and associates of mine, who went through some pretty rough shit growing up. People who didn't eat if they couldn't grow it, catch it in a stream, or shoot it. Family of mine that lived in coal mine company towns and walked the railroad tracks with a bucket, searching for coal that fell of the trains.  They were early elementary school aged at the time and it wasn't a game, it was their chore, and it kept the house warm in the dead of winter. I'm in my mid-fifties, my parents were born in the mid-1940s, their parents were from the teens and twenties. One of my grandfathers was abandoned at an orphanage, along with three brothers, since their parents wanted a better life for them. Another grandfather was five years old when his very wealthy father dealt with the great stock market crash by swallowing a bullet. Some of these folks were extremely successful and well adjusted, until the day they died. Others were a bit "off", and some never got over the trauma and suffered from the time they were children, until they died 70-80 years later.

Stories like this are important when viewed in the context of our current political mess, and the way the rural white underclass seems to have suddenly erupted in rage. Don't forget that many older folks in this demographic are one generation away from those that fought their way out of some really brutal conditions in this country. They know what it's like to have very little, and struggle to scratch an existence out of almost nothing. They saw their families fight their way to a decent middle class lifestyle and watch it go away, like the tide going out. They may of rallied behind a con-man and will eventually get screwed by the guy, but they aren't going to suddenly go away, or give up. They find little romance is biking to work, living below their means, or minimalist philosophical musings. They want the American dream that, in their minds, somebody robbed them of.

Good point.  I know the stories of what my grandparents when through in the Great Depression and WWII.  I have nothing but respect for that generation, and no judgements of the lifelong habits that came out of it.

faithless

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #3855 on: October 30, 2017, 12:49:32 AM »
Yep, my parents are retired and pretty well off, Dad having 3 decent pensions from the coal and steel industries, and having lived very frugally most of their lives. Whilst they've loosened the purse strings and eat out, and go on some expensive holiday tours, old habits die hard.

They were both born in the late 40s in the aftermath of WW2 in the UK and grew up poor. They both can't throw away anything that could still be useful. They don't hoarding actual junk like old newspapers, but when mum chucked out a ~15 year old tracksuit that she'd worn initially around the house, then the garden when it got too scruffy for the house, Dad rescued it from the bin for him to wear around the garden.

I can't stop Mum ripping out scraps of paper and leaving them by the phone, for notes. It's next to the front door so one of the first things you see when you walk in the house. I bought her a cute notepad specifically for that, she keeps it under the pile of scraps.

Imma

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #3856 on: October 30, 2017, 07:37:18 AM »
You are correct, as near as I can tell he was born at the start of the great depression, either '29 or '30, and raised in a euro-ethnic, inner city neighborhood. The city was a steel company town, run by brutal management that considered workers to be disposable. So, nationally and at home, a lot of instability.  I can certainly understand and sympathize with his story. I have run into others like this, including the last occupants of our first fixer-upper house we moved into. They lived in a 600 sq. ft. cottage and huddled around a wood stove since they didn't want to waste money on the electric heat. They were in their eighties, and held seven figures worth of electric utility stocks.

So basically if they lost "everything" they would be leading the exact same life? Logic not even once.

Isn't that the whole point of MMM though?  We live like people in a much lower income bracket in order to achieve FIRE.  For most of us, even if we lost our life savings, we'd just keep living the same way we've always lived - bike or walk everywhere, eat inexpensively at home, keep the heat turned down, buying second hand etc.

There is a huge gap between living the depression mentality and your idyllic description. When you're wearing rags, huddled around a wood stove to keep warm, and are not eating well since "food is too expensive" AND you have a multi-million dollar net worth, you are not thinking rationally, much less living a virtuous MMM lifestyle. I'm sure there are plenty of folks out there currently struggling much like a some of the older relatives, friends, and associates of mine, who went through some pretty rough shit growing up. People who didn't eat if they couldn't grow it, catch it in a stream, or shoot it. Family of mine that lived in coal mine company towns and walked the railroad tracks with a bucket, searching for coal that fell of the trains.  They were early elementary school aged at the time and it wasn't a game, it was their chore, and it kept the house warm in the dead of winter. I'm in my mid-fifties, my parents were born in the mid-1940s, their parents were from the teens and twenties. One of my grandfathers was abandoned at an orphanage, along with three brothers, since their parents wanted a better life for them. Another grandfather was five years old when his very wealthy father dealt with the great stock market crash by swallowing a bullet. Some of these folks were extremely successful and well adjusted, until the day they died. Others were a bit "off", and some never got over the trauma and suffered from the time they were children, until they died 70-80 years later.

Stories like this are important when viewed in the context of our current political mess, and the way the rural white underclass seems to have suddenly erupted in rage. Don't forget that many older folks in this demographic are one generation away from those that fought their way out of some really brutal conditions in this country. They know what it's like to have very little, and struggle to scratch an existence out of almost nothing. They saw their families fight their way to a decent middle class lifestyle and watch it go away, like the tide going out. They may of rallied behind a con-man and will eventually get screwed by the guy, but they aren't going to suddenly go away, or give up. They find little romance is biking to work, living below their means, or minimalist philosophical musings. They want the American dream that, in their minds, somebody robbed them of.

Great post. I'm late 20s myself, but my grandparents were born in the 10s-30s and I recognize these stories from them. I have friends who compare our generation to the Depression generation and they have no idea. They're right about stagnation and slow recovery in the current economy (we are in Europe, but we are basically from the social group you describe) but thank God we're not living in the 1930s. Many people didn't even survive the 1930s and serious malnutrition was widespread. My grandparents looked years younger than their calendar age in childhood pictures due to malnutrition - and those are the grandparents whose family could afford to have pictures taken. Two of my four grandparents lost their mothers during the Depression because they couldn't afford medical care. The third grandparent's mother owned a small property which allowed her to take out a mortgage to afford the operation that saved her life.

I'm glad my own grandmother, who is well in her 80s, has no problems spending money, but she worries about a few of her friends. They don't spend any money on themselves or on their own care, even if they have plenty of money. A now deceased friend of hers would eat jars of microwaved baby food instead of real food. Cooking was physically difficult for her and apparantly baby food was cheaper than microwave meals. She had several kids living nearby who tried to buy proper food for her or wanted to cook for her, but she just plainly refused. She didn't want to spend her own money on herself and certainly couldn't accept her children spending money on her.

Another friend only eats one meal a day - half of the cheapest microwave meal in the shop. She does gift all her children and grandchildren Ä5000/year each. A third friend with a paid off house worth almost half a million EUR never calls people to avoid the high phone bill. She waits until people call her. It's really sad that these people seem to suffer through the last years of their lives instead of enjoying them while they still can. It must be really hard for their children and grandchildren to watch. You can't really do anything about it if they are still mentally fully capable of making these decisions. It's definitely a life affecting trauma and I have the impression for many people it gets worse when they age.

fruitfly

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #3857 on: October 31, 2017, 01:05:44 PM »
I read all 78 pages of this thread! I feel so accomplished/depressed. But slightly better about my old past bad choices which don't seem that bad now.

Re: the Depression mindset. My grandmother liked to tell us about serving in soup kitchens during the Depression, and how it was Hoover's fault and never to vote for Republicans. :D Her mother had immigrated to the US in 1920, had three kids, her husband died in September 1929, and she didn't have a job or speak any English. She raised chickens and rabbits and had a big veggie garden to get her through (She was very Ur-Mustachian and raised my mother to be as well). According to my mother, my grandmother basically lived the same life she had in Spain and didn't really feel the Depression that badly.

My friends and I like to quote Oh Brother Where Art Thou? when discussing how we can't afford something expensive or we are re-using something.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=4&v=tSC-NAN1O-A

Cassie

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #3858 on: October 31, 2017, 01:46:51 PM »
My Mom grew up during the depression and literally had 2 dresses. She would come home from school and hand wash her 1  school dress. There is a reason that many old homes have very few closets. No one had anything to put in them.  The whole neighborhood shared 1 car and 1 partyline phone.  I am sure most don't even know what type of phone that was.  They didn't go hungry because of their big garden. It was a tough life.  There is a huge difference between living below your means and worrying about how to keep a roof over your head and food on the table for your kids.

jmecklenborg

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #3859 on: October 31, 2017, 02:32:43 PM »
My grandfather told me that the county was desperate for cash in the 30s since many people were not paying property taxes and sent a small army of dog catchers out on motorcycles to capture unlicensed dogs and force their owners to pay to get them out of the pound. The great fault of the scheme was the sound of the motorcycles, which could be heard coming from at least a half-mile away since there weren't many vehicles on the road.  So there was usually enough time to call the dog and get him inside and out of sight of the dog catcher.  But one time they weren't quick enough and the dog catcher took away Fritz and his father didn't have the money to get him out of the pound. 

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #3860 on: October 31, 2017, 02:42:38 PM »
My Mom grew up during the depression and literally had 2 dresses. She would come home from school and hand wash her 1  school dress. There is a reason that many old homes have very few closets. No one had anything to put in them.  The whole neighborhood shared 1 car and 1 partyline phone.  I am sure most don't even know what type of phone that was.  They didn't go hungry because of their big garden. It was a tough life.  There is a huge difference between living below your means and worrying about how to keep a roof over your head and food on the table for your kids.

What you describe as a tough life was normal for most of humanity throughout history. Getting and maintaining food and shelter has always been a concern.

The amount of clothing ordinary people have today, for example, is unprecedented. The same can be said of their transportation, communication, and entertainment options.

mustachepungoeshere

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #3861 on: October 31, 2017, 03:24:28 PM »
They didn't go hungry because of their big garden.

Peter Cundall started growing food as a child after losing two siblings to malnutrition in Depression-era working class England. He became Australia's favourite TV gardener (apologies to Don Burke fans).

http://www.heraldsun.com.au/business/barefoot-investor/barefoot-investor-how-garden-guru-peter-cundall-achieves-real-wealth/news-story/e98a595e2d11df9da7adee49c6c6be75

paddedhat

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #3862 on: October 31, 2017, 06:15:09 PM »
My grandfather told me that the county was desperate for cash in the 30s since many people were not paying property taxes and sent a small army of dog catchers out on motorcycles to capture unlicensed dogs and force their owners to pay to get them out of the pound. The great fault of the scheme was the sound of the motorcycles, which could be heard coming from at least a half-mile away since there weren't many vehicles on the road.  So there was usually enough time to call the dog and get him inside and out of sight of the dog catcher.  But one time they weren't quick enough and the dog catcher took away Fritz and his father didn't have the money to get him out of the pound.

I just moved out of a rural mountain area, and knew quite a few who lived through the depression, which really lasted until the end of the second war, when things got a lot better for many there. The first thing that came to mind with the dog catcher story was, nobody would of taken the job in the first place in my area, since you just didn't screw your neighbor, and second, a job like that is the kind of thing that might cause you to simply disappear, never to be heard from again.

An old neighbor told me that when she was a little girl of about seven, she stood up to get off the school bus at her rural farmhouse. The driver said, "honey, you are going to wait to get out until the next  house past your's. They will tell you why. Just pretend that you are live there and walk right in." She got off the bus and walked into the house. The neighbor told here that the game wardens were hunting for her daddy and had he farm surrounded. For the next three days the wardens were watching the place, round the clock. At that point things were bad enough that,  if you didn't hunt you didn't eat, and her dad, like many, didn't care too much for hunting rules and regulations. Dad spent the entire time hiding in the barn, and the family, and neighbors treated the house like it was abandoned. The wardens were held in such contempt that they were ignored until they gave up and left.

Linda_Norway

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #3863 on: November 01, 2017, 04:55:18 AM »
Yesterday my brother sent me he children's wish list for Christmas. Good idea to make such a list. But it was completely full with Lego car for scenario 1, Lego car for scenario 1, Lego car for scenario 3. And to 20 times per child.
They have so many cars and stuff already, that I refuse to give them another car. Last year some people didn't understand the check-off option on the wish list and the 2 children ended up with getting 3! large fire trucks. I understand why my brother and his wife had to buy a larger house last year.

Last year we gave one of the children an extra present, which was a bird house that you could paint and then hang up in your garden. The boy started to cry, because it was not a Lego car from his list! What a drama and what are these children spoiled (mostly by their grandmothers I think, but the parents don't seem to make an effort to stop it).

I ended up ordering a Monopoly Junior game and a puzzle, that were also only the lists, somewhere at the bottom.

Imma

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #3864 on: November 01, 2017, 05:24:20 AM »
Yesterday my brother sent me he children's wish list for Christmas. Good idea to make such a list. But it was completely full with Lego car for scenario 1, Lego car for scenario 1, Lego car for scenario 3. And to 20 times per child.
They have so many cars and stuff already, that I refuse to give them another car. Last year some people didn't understand the check-off option on the wish list and the 2 children ended up with getting 3! large fire trucks. I understand why my brother and his wife had to buy a larger house last year.

Last year we gave one of the children an extra present, which was a bird house that you could paint and then hang up in your garden. The boy started to cry, because it was not a Lego car from his list! What a drama and what are these children spoiled (mostly by their grandmothers I think, but the parents don't seem to make an effort to stop it).

I ended up ordering a Monopoly Junior game and a puzzle, that were also only the lists, somewhere at the bottom.

So many young kids I know are so spoiled and entitled, it's really going to be a problem when they're older. You can hardly blame the kids, it's a sad thing to see them growing up from sweet and funny babies into spoiled rotten kids and eventually into extremely annoying adults. The oldest kid in our group of friends is about 12 and you can clearly see the damage done already.

I went to a kid's 4th birthday party a couple of weeks ago and I'm not joking that he got at least 50 presents. His grandparents spoil him to death (and it's become kind of a competition between the grandparents) the parents want to give something special too, they invited all the kids from his class and all the parents' friends to his birthday. The poor kid was visibly super bored going through this mountain of gifts, he didn't even look at what he unwrapped anymore, he didn't care. Then people got angry at him because he didn't appear thankful enough. And three months later in December he will probably get even more gifts - last year he spent 4 hours straight unwrapping presents and then he fell asleep and they weren't even done yet.

It's awful to see how many of these gifts are disposable - the kind of things you use twice and then throw away. I try to give him Lego because that's a toy that lasts  / can be sold secondhand , or colouring books or pencils because they can be used up. They live in an apartment and it looks like a toy shop. I know it's easy to say when you don't have kids yet, but every time we go to a kids party, my fiance and I tell each other we won't let that happen if we ever have a family.

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #3865 on: November 01, 2017, 08:06:04 AM »
My grandfather told me that the county was desperate for cash in the 30s since many people were not paying property taxes and sent a small army of dog catchers out on motorcycles to capture unlicensed dogs and force their owners to pay to get them out of the pound. The great fault of the scheme was the sound of the motorcycles, which could be heard coming from at least a half-mile away since there weren't many vehicles on the road.  So there was usually enough time to call the dog and get him inside and out of sight of the dog catcher.  But one time they weren't quick enough and the dog catcher took away Fritz and his father didn't have the money to get him out of the pound.

I just moved out of a rural mountain area, and knew quite a few who lived through the depression, which really lasted until the end of the second war, when things got a lot better for many there. The first thing that came to mind with the dog catcher story was, nobody would of taken the job in the first place in my area, since you just didn't screw your neighbor, and second, a job like that is the kind of thing that might cause you to simply disappear, never to be heard from again.

An old neighbor told me that when she was a little girl of about seven, she stood up to get off the school bus at her rural farmhouse. The driver said, "honey, you are going to wait to get out until the next  house past your's. They will tell you why. Just pretend that you are live there and walk right in." She got off the bus and walked into the house. The neighbor told here that the game wardens were hunting for her daddy and had he farm surrounded. For the next three days the wardens were watching the place, round the clock. At that point things were bad enough that,  if you didn't hunt you didn't eat, and her dad, like many, didn't care too much for hunting rules and regulations. Dad spent the entire time hiding in the barn, and the family, and neighbors treated the house like it was abandoned. The wardens were held in such contempt that they were ignored until they gave up and left.

Reminds me of something my father told me growing up. Near our town (edge of suburbs, small midwestern city) there were forests where you'd occasionally see deer. Talking with my dad shortly after seeing some in a field, he remarked that it was even more rare to see one when he was a kid living in the area. This didn't make sense to me, where we lived was all forest when he was small but he explained that during the Depression most of the deer population was hunted by the hungry populace to such an extreme they were practically wiped out. 50 years later they were just then coming back. I take this more than just a anecdotal story, my father went to school to become a game warden and majored in wildlife studies, he knows this stuff pretty well.

ducky19

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #3866 on: November 01, 2017, 10:47:54 AM »
Our kids are now preteen and teen, and they know to expect fewer gifts at Christmas. They recognize that so many of the gifts they used to get were just "filler" so they had more presents to open, and those items usually ended up getting shelved after just a few weeks worth of play. Last year, their biggest gift was a road trip from IL to AZ to see their cousins. We stopped at two national parks on the way out, two national monuments on the way back, and went horseback riding in the Saguaro National Park while we were there. The other few gifts they got were related to the travel. So far, this has been our best Christmas! DW and I stopped giving each other gifts a few years ago, we just didn't feel the need anymore. We do still do stockings, but those are usually filled with consumables we'd buy anyhow. This year's Christmas break will be spent decluttering the house as we have entirely too much crap.

Imma

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #3867 on: November 01, 2017, 11:03:31 AM »
I remember as a kid I used to be a bit jealous that half of the gifts I got were clothes, pyamas, socks etc and some of my friends got only toys. Now I'm happy my parents did one big gift each (in my case, nearly always Lego) a book, a small toy, some chocolate and useful things as filler.

My s/o and I don't normally give gifts to each other, but we're planning on doing it this year. We have a friend over and she's done so much for us, she deserves to be spoiled. I know she loves getting surprise gifts. But we're going to give mostly homemade and/or useful things, not random cheap crap. I've sewed 2 pairs of pyama pants already, only 1 left to do. I have bought some fabrics that she'll like (she's crafty) I've found a recipe for cookies she can eat with all her food allergies, those kind of things.

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #3868 on: November 01, 2017, 11:12:04 AM »
My grandfather told me that the county was desperate for cash in the 30s since many people were not paying property taxes and sent a small army of dog catchers out on motorcycles to capture unlicensed dogs and force their owners to pay to get them out of the pound. The great fault of the scheme was the sound of the motorcycles, which could be heard coming from at least a half-mile away since there weren't many vehicles on the road.  So there was usually enough time to call the dog and get him inside and out of sight of the dog catcher.  But one time they weren't quick enough and the dog catcher took away Fritz and his father didn't have the money to get him out of the pound.

I just moved out of a rural mountain area, and knew quite a few who lived through the depression, which really lasted until the end of the second war, when things got a lot better for many there. The first thing that came to mind with the dog catcher story was, nobody would of taken the job in the first place in my area, since you just didn't screw your neighbor, and second, a job like that is the kind of thing that might cause you to simply disappear, never to be heard from again.

An old neighbor told me that when she was a little girl of about seven, she stood up to get off the school bus at her rural farmhouse. The driver said, "honey, you are going to wait to get out until the next  house past your's. They will tell you why. Just pretend that you are live there and walk right in." She got off the bus and walked into the house. The neighbor told here that the game wardens were hunting for her daddy and had he farm surrounded. For the next three days the wardens were watching the place, round the clock. At that point things were bad enough that,  if you didn't hunt you didn't eat, and her dad, like many, didn't care too much for hunting rules and regulations. Dad spent the entire time hiding in the barn, and the family, and neighbors treated the house like it was abandoned. The wardens were held in such contempt that they were ignored until they gave up and left.

Reminds me of something my father told me growing up. Near our town (edge of suburbs, small midwestern city) there were forests where you'd occasionally see deer. Talking with my dad shortly after seeing some in a field, he remarked that it was even more rare to see one when he was a kid living in the area. This didn't make sense to me, where we lived was all forest when he was small but he explained that during the Depression most of the deer population was hunted by the hungry populace to such an extreme they were practically wiped out. 50 years later they were just then coming back. I take this more than just a anecdotal story, my father went to school to become a game warden and majored in wildlife studies, he knows this stuff pretty well.

We certainly have no shortage of deer now. I regularly see herds of them in my backyard, ten miles from downtown Philadelphia.


zolotiyeruki

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #3869 on: November 01, 2017, 11:59:01 AM »
We certainly have no shortage of deer now. I regularly see herds of them in my backyard, ten miles from downtown Philadelphia.
Yeah, in Wisconsin where I grew up deer actually became a pest.  They cull a LOT of the herd every year.

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #3870 on: November 01, 2017, 12:35:48 PM »
I went to a kid's 4th birthday party a couple of weeks ago and I'm not joking that he got at least 50 presents. His grandparents spoil him to death (and it's become kind of a competition between the grandparents) the parents want to give something special too, they invited all the kids from his class and all the parents' friends to his birthday. The poor kid was visibly super bored going through this mountain of gifts, he didn't even look at what he unwrapped anymore, he didn't care. Then people got angry at him because he didn't appear thankful enough. And three months later in December he will probably get even more gifts - last year he spent 4 hours straight unwrapping presents and then he fell asleep and they weren't even done yet.

This reminds me of when our niece and nephew were small.  Gift giving at Christmas was at a level I had never seen before.  Between parents and grandparents, those kids had so many gifts they were sitting there just stunned after they finished unwrapping everything.   They couldn't really even start playing with toys they just got, they were so tired.  Even DH, who was much more indulged in childhood than I was, was shocked. 

Later we learned that MIL would take the kids to Toys R Us, walking them through to pick anything they wanted.  It made gift giving for us nearly impossible because niece and nephew were getting everything.

Fast forward to now that niece has her own family and the same thing is happening again.  Just mountains of gifts for her 4 kids.   Only this time, we don't participate in the gift swapping anymore, because we don't have the budget for that kind of insanity, which, I suspect, is a reason we have been eliminated from Christmas gatherings in recent years.   Not surprised, though, I thought it was bound to happen sometime.
« Last Edit: November 01, 2017, 01:21:48 PM by saguaro »

Linda_Norway

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #3871 on: November 01, 2017, 12:54:31 PM »
My BIL and his GF also have a son. But they are frugal parents. They buy almost everything they own second hand. And they ask for a present that the child really likes to play with. The don't own much stuff at all and don't have a TV either. I always ask them what they want me to give as a present, so they won't be bothered by stuff they don't need.

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #3872 on: November 01, 2017, 01:37:39 PM »
We certainly have no shortage of deer now. I regularly see herds of them in my backyard, ten miles from downtown Philadelphia.
Yeah, in Wisconsin where I grew up deer actually became a pest.  They cull a LOT of the herd every year.

I once read an article about how, by the turn of the twentieth century, in PA. spotting a deer was enough to generate an article in the local newspaper. The population was down to a few thousand. Prior to a major change in management practice, about 15 years back, the population was heading for two million.

mustachepungoeshere

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #3873 on: November 01, 2017, 04:17:30 PM »
This is only tenuously related to money, but I need to vent about something that should just not be an issue. My husband's family and keys.

I grew up on farm with several buildings (house, sheds), lots of vehicles (parents' cars, my car, paddock basher, quad bikes, tractors, mowers), plus other keys (gates, toolboxes, etc). We each carried our own keys, and all other keys had their own labelled plastic key ring and hung on a key rack in the pantry.

Keys were not a source of stress. They were used and put back where they belong.

My husband's parents and his brother are the black hole of keys.

- They bought a newer house with locks on all the windows. The previous owner left the keys in their respective windows for the sale of the house. In-laws moved in, dumped all keys in one ziplock bag without labelling them, then complained when they had to sort out keys to sell the house.
- FiL borrowed husband's motorbike and lost the key that lives with the bike. Husband had a key on his key ring but he was 4000km away at the time.
- FiL moved BiL's car and managed to lose the key between the front door of the house and the dining table. Five us were going through every inch of the place, turning up all sort of keys but none for the car.
- In-laws travelled overseas and forgot to take keys to get into their own house on their return. Blamed BiL for not being there to let them in.
- FiL lost the key to his own motorbike just before an overnight ride. He couldn't get a new key in time so he basically had to hot wire his own bike after every stop.
- MiL invited her sister to stay and said she could pick up keys from us, but we were away that weekend, so MiL came up with this grand plan for me to leave keys with my doctor or hairdresser.
- BiL lost the only spare set of keys we have to our apartment. He says he gave them to MiL (why he would do that, I have no idea). She says she doesn't have them.

Admittedly FiL is usually to blame because he is just so scatterbrained but the rest of them are in denial.

And on top of the frustration of this happening over and over, they have spent a small fortune getting keys cut and reprogrammed over the years.

So, I'm done. They have lost all key privileges.

josh4trunks

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #3874 on: November 01, 2017, 05:30:58 PM »
This is only tenuously related to money, but I need to vent about something that should just not be an issue. My husband's family and keys.

I grew up on farm with several buildings (house, sheds), lots of vehicles (parents' cars, my car, paddock basher, quad bikes, tractors, mowers), plus other keys (gates, toolboxes, etc). We each carried our own keys, and all other keys had their own labelled plastic key ring and hung on a key rack in the pantry.

Keys were not a source of stress. They were used and put back where they belong.

My husband's parents and his brother are the black hole of keys.

- They bought a newer house with locks on all the windows. The previous owner left the keys in their respective windows for the sale of the house. In-laws moved in, dumped all keys in one ziplock bag without labelling them, then complained when they had to sort out keys to sell the house.
- FiL borrowed husband's motorbike and lost the key that lives with the bike. Husband had a key on his key ring but he was 4000km away at the time.
- FiL moved BiL's car and managed to lose the key between the front door of the house and the dining table. Five us were going through every inch of the place, turning up all sort of keys but none for the car.
- In-laws travelled overseas and forgot to take keys to get into their own house on their return. Blamed BiL for not being there to let them in.
- FiL lost the key to his own motorbike just before an overnight ride. He couldn't get a new key in time so he basically had to hot wire his own bike after every stop.
- MiL invited her sister to stay and said she could pick up keys from us, but we were away that weekend, so MiL came up with this grand plan for me to leave keys with my doctor or hairdresser.
- BiL lost the only spare set of keys we have to our apartment. He says he gave them to MiL (why he would do that, I have no idea). She says she doesn't have them.

Admittedly FiL is usually to blame because he is just so scatterbrained but the rest of them are in denial.

And on top of the frustration of this happening over and over, they have spent a small fortune getting keys cut and reprogrammed over the years.

So, I'm done. They have lost all key privileges.

When I bought my house, and filled it with 4 college students. One of the first things I got was a code deadbolt lock for the front door, about $90 on sale on Amazon, but I think they are cheaper now.
I let everyone give me their own code, which I deleted a year later when they all had to move out (I got married).

Step37

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #3875 on: November 01, 2017, 06:34:29 PM »
This is only tenuously related to money, but I need to vent about something that should just not be an issue. My husband's family and keys.

I grew up on farm with several buildings (house, sheds), lots of vehicles (parents' cars, my car, paddock basher, quad bikes, tractors, mowers), plus other keys (gates, toolboxes, etc). We each carried our own keys, and all other keys had their own labelled plastic key ring and hung on a key rack in the pantry.

Keys were not a source of stress. They were used and put back where they belong.

My husband's parents and his brother are the black hole of keys.

- They bought a newer house with locks on all the windows. The previous owner left the keys in their respective windows for the sale of the house. In-laws moved in, dumped all keys in one ziplock bag without labelling them, then complained when they had to sort out keys to sell the house.
- FiL borrowed husband's motorbike and lost the key that lives with the bike. Husband had a key on his key ring but he was 4000km away at the time.
- FiL moved BiL's car and managed to lose the key between the front door of the house and the dining table. Five us were going through every inch of the place, turning up all sort of keys but none for the car.
- In-laws travelled overseas and forgot to take keys to get into their own house on their return. Blamed BiL for not being there to let them in.
- FiL lost the key to his own motorbike just before an overnight ride. He couldn't get a new key in time so he basically had to hot wire his own bike after every stop.
- MiL invited her sister to stay and said she could pick up keys from us, but we were away that weekend, so MiL came up with this grand plan for me to leave keys with my doctor or hairdresser.
- BiL lost the only spare set of keys we have to our apartment. He says he gave them to MiL (why he would do that, I have no idea). She says she doesn't have them.

Admittedly FiL is usually to blame because he is just so scatterbrained but the rest of them are in denial.

And on top of the frustration of this happening over and over, they have spent a small fortune getting keys cut and reprogrammed over the years.

So, I'm done. They have lost all key privileges.

No shit theyíve lost key privileges! Thatíd make me lose my mind. I cannot wrap my head around people who are so scattered that they constantly lose keys. One of my good friends is like this. Apparently nearly every time she leaves the house, itís a hunt for the car keys! I have a key cubby inside my door; the keys go there when I get home. If I go out, they attach to a clip in my purse. Okay, itís not like Iíve NEVER had to hunt for them, but I can count the number of times on one hand!

The suggestion of coded door locks for them is a really good one. At least it would solve the house problems. Theyíre probably too old and set in their ways to get their shit together about the other keys, so lather, rinse, repeat I suppose. As long as itís not your keys getting lost.

mustachepungoeshere

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #3876 on: November 01, 2017, 07:42:57 PM »
This is only tenuously related to money, but I need to vent about something that should just not be an issue. My husband's family and keys.

I grew up on farm with several buildings (house, sheds), lots of vehicles (parents' cars, my car, paddock basher, quad bikes, tractors, mowers), plus other keys (gates, toolboxes, etc). We each carried our own keys, and all other keys had their own labelled plastic key ring and hung on a key rack in the pantry.

Keys were not a source of stress. They were used and put back where they belong.

My husband's parents and his brother are the black hole of keys.

- They bought a newer house with locks on all the windows. The previous owner left the keys in their respective windows for the sale of the house. In-laws moved in, dumped all keys in one ziplock bag without labelling them, then complained when they had to sort out keys to sell the house.
- FiL borrowed husband's motorbike and lost the key that lives with the bike. Husband had a key on his key ring but he was 4000km away at the time.
- FiL moved BiL's car and managed to lose the key between the front door of the house and the dining table. Five us were going through every inch of the place, turning up all sort of keys but none for the car.
- In-laws travelled overseas and forgot to take keys to get into their own house on their return. Blamed BiL for not being there to let them in.
- FiL lost the key to his own motorbike just before an overnight ride. He couldn't get a new key in time so he basically had to hot wire his own bike after every stop.
- MiL invited her sister to stay and said she could pick up keys from us, but we were away that weekend, so MiL came up with this grand plan for me to leave keys with my doctor or hairdresser.
- BiL lost the only spare set of keys we have to our apartment. He says he gave them to MiL (why he would do that, I have no idea). She says she doesn't have them.

Admittedly FiL is usually to blame because he is just so scatterbrained but the rest of them are in denial.

And on top of the frustration of this happening over and over, they have spent a small fortune getting keys cut and reprogrammed over the years.

So, I'm done. They have lost all key privileges.

No shit theyíve lost key privileges! Thatíd make me lose my mind. I cannot wrap my head around people who are so scattered that they constantly lose keys. One of my good friends is like this. Apparently nearly every time she leaves the house, itís a hunt for the car keys! I have a key cubby inside my door; the keys go there when I get home. If I go out, they attach to a clip in my purse. Okay, itís not like Iíve NEVER had to hunt for them, but I can count the number of times on one hand!

The suggestion of coded door locks for them is a really good one. At least it would solve the house problems. Theyíre probably too old and set in their ways to get their shit together about the other keys, so lather, rinse, repeat I suppose. As long as itís not your keys getting lost.

They're in their 50s. Not too old, but definitely set in their ways.

To them it's normal.

FiL went through nine phones in five years through various misadventures. He left his wallet on a bench in Hawaii, lost a pannier on a motorbike trip because he forgot to attach it properly, and most recently found a phone near a hotel, went to hand it in at reception, and tried to give them his own phone instead. He is on daily medication and regularly goes away without it. And he once took sleeping tablets instead of NoDoz before a long drive.

Swear to god, it's amazing he's lived this long.

Astatine

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #3877 on: November 02, 2017, 03:57:47 AM »
I went to a kid's 4th birthday party a couple of weeks ago and I'm not joking that he got at least 50 presents. His grandparents spoil him to death (and it's become kind of a competition between the grandparents) the parents want to give something special too, they invited all the kids from his class and all the parents' friends to his birthday. The poor kid was visibly super bored going through this mountain of gifts, he didn't even look at what he unwrapped anymore, he didn't care. Then people got angry at him because he didn't appear thankful enough. And three months later in December he will probably get even more gifts - last year he spent 4 hours straight unwrapping presents and then he fell asleep and they weren't even done yet.

It's awful to see how many of these gifts are disposable - the kind of things you use twice and then throw away. I try to give him Lego because that's a toy that lasts  / can be sold secondhand , or colouring books or pencils because they can be used up. They live in an apartment and it looks like a toy shop. I know it's easy to say when you don't have kids yet, but every time we go to a kids party, my fiance and I tell each other we won't let that happen if we ever have a family.

DH and I are childfree (and will remain that way) but most of our friends have small children. We see the same shit-ton of presents that each child gets and it's kind of sickening.

We've now made it a rule that our gifts for kids under the age of two is an item of clothing (usually practical) cos the kid doesn't care at that age. And for 3 years and up, we just give a book. Books are good things for kids to be exposed to, they don't take up muchspace and if we've misjudged on the book (eg a duplicate or the kid doesn't like it), the parents can regift or easily donate it to charity or whatever.


shelivesthedream

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #3878 on: November 02, 2017, 04:59:13 AM »
When our child is born I would like to instigate a "books only" present policy. If anyone ever wants to give our child a present, they can give either a book or money. That way my husband and I can choose which toys we would like to have in our house and think are appropriate for our child. However, I don't know how to do this without being either presumptuous or bitchy.

mustachepungoeshere

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #3879 on: November 02, 2017, 05:13:52 AM »
When our child is born I would like to instigate a "books only" present policy. If anyone ever wants to give our child a present, they can give either a book or money. That way my husband and I can choose which toys we would like to have in our house and think are appropriate for our child. However, I don't know how to do this without being either presumptuous or bitchy.

I read a blog once (possibly on www.theminimalistmom.com) where they had a birthday party for their young child and requested either no gifts, a second-hand book or a gold coin. Loved that idea.

AlanStache

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #3880 on: November 02, 2017, 06:14:04 AM »
This is only tenuously related to money, but I need to vent about something that should just not be an issue. My husband's family and keys.

I grew up on farm with several buildings (house, sheds), lots of vehicles (parents' cars, my car, paddock basher, quad bikes, tractors, mowers), plus other keys (gates, toolboxes, etc). We each carried our own keys, and all other keys had their own labelled plastic key ring and hung on a key rack in the pantry.

Keys were not a source of stress. They were used and put back where they belong.

My husband's parents and his brother are the black hole of keys.

- They bought a newer house with locks on all the windows. The previous owner left the keys in their respective windows for the sale of the house. In-laws moved in, dumped all keys in one ziplock bag without labelling them, then complained when they had to sort out keys to sell the house.
- FiL borrowed husband's motorbike and lost the key that lives with the bike. Husband had a key on his key ring but he was 4000km away at the time.
- FiL moved BiL's car and managed to lose the key between the front door of the house and the dining table. Five us were going through every inch of the place, turning up all sort of keys but none for the car.
- In-laws travelled overseas and forgot to take keys to get into their own house on their return. Blamed BiL for not being there to let them in.
- FiL lost the key to his own motorbike just before an overnight ride. He couldn't get a new key in time so he basically had to hot wire his own bike after every stop.
- MiL invited her sister to stay and said she could pick up keys from us, but we were away that weekend, so MiL came up with this grand plan for me to leave keys with my doctor or hairdresser.
- BiL lost the only spare set of keys we have to our apartment. He says he gave them to MiL (why he would do that, I have no idea). She says she doesn't have them.

Admittedly FiL is usually to blame because he is just so scatterbrained but the rest of them are in denial.

And on top of the frustration of this happening over and over, they have spent a small fortune getting keys cut and reprogrammed over the years.

So, I'm done. They have lost all key privileges.

You could suggest they get a universal key for all the locks, http://makedeals.online/item_B0758LHKGM.html


shelivesthedream

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #3881 on: November 02, 2017, 06:38:09 AM »
When our child is born I would like to instigate a "books only" present policy. If anyone ever wants to give our child a present, they can give either a book or money. That way my husband and I can choose which toys we would like to have in our house and think are appropriate for our child. However, I don't know how to do this without being either presumptuous or bitchy.

I read a blog once (possibly on www.theminimalistmom.com) where they had a birthday party for their young child and requested either no gifts, a second-hand book or a gold coin. Loved that idea.

Nice! I just don't know when to make The Announcement, though, as we're not having a baby shower and unlikely to have any kind of obviously present-giving event for a while but I want to get in there ASAP and make clear that this is a policy for the child's entire life before people start turning up with stuff. Their sixteenth birthday? Money or book.

A few of my friends have started having babies and I give them an illustrated children's book that my other friend recently had published. Doesn't take up much space, something they can get rid of without it being personalised or anything like that, fairly cheap and supports my illustrator friend.

kelvin

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #3882 on: November 02, 2017, 06:53:38 AM »
Every time my mother comes to visit, she stays with my brother and his girlfriend. "They're such cheapskates!" she whispers to me, as if this is a source of shame.

Brother and GF are living a MMM, almost ERE lifestyle. I've started telling mom "they aren't building a nice house. They're building an investment portfolio." Mom's a teacher, so she doesn't understand their need to build their own pension.

merula

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #3883 on: November 02, 2017, 07:04:56 AM »
When our child is born I would like to instigate a "books only" present policy. If anyone ever wants to give our child a present, they can give either a book or money. That way my husband and I can choose which toys we would like to have in our house and think are appropriate for our child. However, I don't know how to do this without being either presumptuous or bitchy.

I read a blog once (possibly on www.theminimalistmom.com) where they had a birthday party for their young child and requested either no gifts, a second-hand book or a gold coin. Loved that idea.

Nice! I just don't know when to make The Announcement, though, as we're not having a baby shower and unlikely to have any kind of obviously present-giving event for a while but I want to get in there ASAP and make clear that this is a policy for the child's entire life before people start turning up with stuff. Their sixteenth birthday? Money or book.

A few of my friends have started having babies and I give them an illustrated children's book that my other friend recently had published. Doesn't take up much space, something they can get rid of without it being personalised or anything like that, fairly cheap and supports my illustrator friend.

You can make the request at any point. Like, if the subject of baby showers comes up, you can say "we're not having one; if anyone wants to get us something a book would be great, but otherwise we don't need anything else". Or "baby's first Christmas, how exciting!" "Yes, I want to start building up a collection of Christmas and winter themed books, so that's what we're asking for".

But no guarantees it's going to work. My request was far less stringent; all I asked was only one "toy" per gift-giving holiday. Any amount of books, clothing, consumables, etc. was fine. Some people completely ignored me, some tried to justify that "this set of 5 related toys is really just one toy", and some people tried to go all-out to find the most ridiculous things that could still count as "one toy". Like, 100 ball-pit balls. Or a helium tank with 50 balloons.

frooglepoodle

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #3884 on: November 02, 2017, 07:17:37 AM »
When our child is born I would like to instigate a "books only" present policy. If anyone ever wants to give our child a present, they can give either a book or money. That way my husband and I can choose which toys we would like to have in our house and think are appropriate for our child. However, I don't know how to do this without being either presumptuous or bitchy.

I read a blog once (possibly on www.theminimalistmom.com) where they had a birthday party for their young child and requested either no gifts, a second-hand book or a gold coin. Loved that idea.

We asked family to only get our son books for Christmas last year. That sort of backfired, since each person got him 5 or 6 books and now we have more than we know what to do with, despite having left a number of them at Grandma and Grandpa's house. He has 10 or so favorites, and the rest go untouched. I need to remember to take some of them to the Little Free Library.

rockstache

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #3885 on: November 02, 2017, 07:23:55 AM »
Every time my mother comes to visit, she stays with my brother and his girlfriend. "They're such cheapskates!" she whispers to me, as if this is a source of shame.


Whisper back: "I know! Isn't it wonderful? They must save so much."

shelivesthedream

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #3886 on: November 02, 2017, 07:37:11 AM »
When our child is born I would like to instigate a "books only" present policy. If anyone ever wants to give our child a present, they can give either a book or money. That way my husband and I can choose which toys we would like to have in our house and think are appropriate for our child. However, I don't know how to do this without being either presumptuous or bitchy.

I read a blog once (possibly on www.theminimalistmom.com) where they had a birthday party for their young child and requested either no gifts, a second-hand book or a gold coin. Loved that idea.

We asked family to only get our son books for Christmas last year. That sort of backfired, since each person got him 5 or 6 books and now we have more than we know what to do with, despite having left a number of them at Grandma and Grandpa's house. He has 10 or so favorites, and the rest go untouched. I need to remember to take some of them to the Little Free Library.

But if you read a book and you've finished with it, there's no hard feelings about getting rid of it. But how do you decide when you've finished with a toy or a mug or a dress? People get worked up about whether you didn't like it or not. With a book you just say, "I read it, it was great!" And they don't expect you to keep it forever. (Though you can if it was really good!) It's borderline consumable, at least in social terms.

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #3887 on: November 02, 2017, 09:19:31 AM »
When our child is born I would like to instigate a "books only" present policy. If anyone ever wants to give our child a present, they can give either a book or money. That way my husband and I can choose which toys we would like to have in our house and think are appropriate for our child. However, I don't know how to do this without being either presumptuous or bitchy.

I read a blog once (possibly on www.theminimalistmom.com) where they had a birthday party for their young child and requested either no gifts, a second-hand book or a gold coin. Loved that idea.

We asked family to only get our son books for Christmas last year. That sort of backfired, since each person got him 5 or 6 books and now we have more than we know what to do with, despite having left a number of them at Grandma and Grandpa's house. He has 10 or so favorites, and the rest go untouched. I need to remember to take some of them to the Little Free Library.

But if you read a book and you've finished with it, there's no hard feelings about getting rid of it. But how do you decide when you've finished with a toy or a mug or a dress? People get worked up about whether you didn't like it or not. With a book you just say, "I read it, it was great!" And they don't expect you to keep it forever. (Though you can if it was really good!) It's borderline consumable, at least in social terms.

That's a good idea! I'm many years away from being in that situation, but it's something I've already dreaded. Hopefully I'll be able to remember and instill the book only policy.

infogoon

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #3888 on: November 02, 2017, 09:47:42 AM »
My s/o and I don't normally give gifts to each other, but we're planning on doing it this year. We have a friend over and she's done so much for us, she deserves to be spoiled. I know she loves getting surprise gifts. But we're going to give mostly homemade and/or useful things, not random cheap crap. I've sewed 2 pairs of pyama pants already, only 1 left to do. I have bought some fabrics that she'll like (she's crafty) I've found a recipe for cookies she can eat with all her food allergies, those kind of things.

My wife and I give each other consumable presents -- a bottle of good beer, a jar of those gourmet stuffed olives, that sort of thing. Little luxuries that we won't buy for ourselves the rest of the year.

Just Joe

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #3889 on: November 02, 2017, 10:36:23 AM »
Back on the key losers topic - how many $200 car keyfobs have they lost? I'm talking about the newer cars without a key, just a radio transmitter.

penguintroopers

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #3890 on: November 02, 2017, 02:52:15 PM »
I've also heard that family museum/zoo/aquarium memberships make great fun gifts without being a toy that is cluttered in someones home.

Hubby and I are going to ask my aunt and uncle if that's something their family would be interested in for Christmas (kiddos are between 3 and 7).

Imma

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #3891 on: November 02, 2017, 02:57:57 PM »
When our child is born I would like to instigate a "books only" present policy. If anyone ever wants to give our child a present, they can give either a book or money. That way my husband and I can choose which toys we would like to have in our house and think are appropriate for our child. However, I don't know how to do this without being either presumptuous or bitchy.

I read a blog once (possibly on www.theminimalistmom.com) where they had a birthday party for their young child and requested either no gifts, a second-hand book or a gold coin. Loved that idea.

Nice! I just don't know when to make The Announcement, though, as we're not having a baby shower and unlikely to have any kind of obviously present-giving event for a while but I want to get in there ASAP and make clear that this is a policy for the child's entire life before people start turning up with stuff. Their sixteenth birthday? Money or book.

A few of my friends have started having babies and I give them an illustrated children's book that my other friend recently had published. Doesn't take up much space, something they can get rid of without it being personalised or anything like that, fairly cheap and supports my illustrator friend.

Make the announcement ASAP. And all other child-rearing related announcement. The sooner the better. I'm assuming from your post that you're already expecting (congrats!) and a lot of people start buying shit the minute they know a baby's on the way. You don't want to find someone turning up with a brand new Silver cross pram because their grandchild only deserves the best.

Expect people to protest, but be firm. Enlist your s/o too, tell him to be firm to his relatives. If people turn up with unwanted stuff after you've told them not to, make them take it home. I know that's harsh, but if you don't set firm boundaries things are only going to get worse. You can even put it in the birth announcement that you don't want gifts. Don't say, "no gifts"  or you're going to piss people off, add something sentimental like you don't need material gifts because you've already been blessed beyond belief or the little one is the biggest gift anyone could ever give you. 

Primm

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #3892 on: November 02, 2017, 03:58:05 PM »
When our child is born I would like to instigate a "books only" present policy. If anyone ever wants to give our child a present, they can give either a book or money. That way my husband and I can choose which toys we would like to have in our house and think are appropriate for our child. However, I don't know how to do this without being either presumptuous or bitchy.

I read a blog once (possibly on www.theminimalistmom.com) where they had a birthday party for their young child and requested either no gifts, a second-hand book or a gold coin. Loved that idea.

Nice! I just don't know when to make The Announcement, though, as we're not having a baby shower and unlikely to have any kind of obviously present-giving event for a while but I want to get in there ASAP and make clear that this is a policy for the child's entire life before people start turning up with stuff. Their sixteenth birthday? Money or book.

A few of my friends have started having babies and I give them an illustrated children's book that my other friend recently had published. Doesn't take up much space, something they can get rid of without it being personalised or anything like that, fairly cheap and supports my illustrator friend.

You can make the request at any point. Like, if the subject of baby showers comes up, you can say "we're not having one; if anyone wants to get us something a book would be great, but otherwise we don't need anything else". Or "baby's first Christmas, how exciting!" "Yes, I want to start building up a collection of Christmas and winter themed books, so that's what we're asking for".

But no guarantees it's going to work. My request was far less stringent; all I asked was only one "toy" per gift-giving holiday. Any amount of books, clothing, consumables, etc. was fine. Some people completely ignored me, some tried to justify that "this set of 5 related toys is really just one toy", and some people tried to go all-out to find the most ridiculous things that could still count as "one toy". Like, 100 ball-pit balls. Or a helium tank with 50 balloons.

This. We requested no gifts at our wedding. It was the second marriage for both of us, we had everything we needed, some people were coming from a long way away and we were leaving straight away for a road trip in a two-seater convertible.

Someone gave us a lime tree in a pot. A very large (probably about 5' high) lime tree. Luckily one of my friends noticed and offered to take it home and babysit it while we were away.

ysette9

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #3893 on: November 02, 2017, 09:34:31 PM »
That is just about the most random wedding gift I have ever heard of. I would actually love to take it off of your hands as I am looking to start my backyard orchard, and lime is certainly on the list. :). I love the mental image of a five-foot lime tree in the back of a convertible.

MgoSam

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #3894 on: November 03, 2017, 10:19:09 AM »
Eeesh, a lemon tree? Now you need to watch out for those handsome devils from Shelbyville! They want to marry their cousins and steal your lemon tree!

merula

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #3895 on: November 03, 2017, 11:58:30 AM »
Eeesh, a lemon tree? Now you need to watch out for those handsome devils from Shelbyville! They want to marry their cousins and steal your lemon tree!


iris lily

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #3896 on: November 04, 2017, 10:09:05 PM »
The lemon tree. Reminds me of more than one live plant that was given to me  on the death of my mother, then father. One was a rose bush, in the dead of winter. The giver said she had a hard time finding a rose bush  (no shit?!!!). The other was a long, convoluted series of telephone calls and communications about the gifting of a memorial tree in the local park in memory of my father.

Both transactions just exhausted me. I did not welcome them. People think they have to give something that will enable me to remember my parents because ya know, otherwise, I will forget. Doh. I realize they mean well but please, to some of us, these are not welcome gifts, they are more shit we have to do at a time where we are mentally and ohysically exhausted.
« Last Edit: November 05, 2017, 07:38:02 AM by iris lily »

Cassie

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #3897 on: November 05, 2017, 11:17:01 AM »
That sounds horrible IL.

Nederstash

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #3898 on: November 05, 2017, 01:11:17 PM »
This is only tenuously related to money, but I need to vent about something that should just not be an issue. My husband's family and keys.

I grew up on farm with several buildings (house, sheds), lots of vehicles (parents' cars, my car, paddock basher, quad bikes, tractors, mowers), plus other keys (gates, toolboxes, etc). We each carried our own keys, and all other keys had their own labelled plastic key ring and hung on a key rack in the pantry.

Keys were not a source of stress. They were used and put back where they belong.

My husband's parents and his brother are the black hole of keys.

- They bought a newer house with locks on all the windows. The previous owner left the keys in their respective windows for the sale of the house. In-laws moved in, dumped all keys in one ziplock bag without labelling them, then complained when they had to sort out keys to sell the house.
- FiL borrowed husband's motorbike and lost the key that lives with the bike. Husband had a key on his key ring but he was 4000km away at the time.
- FiL moved BiL's car and managed to lose the key between the front door of the house and the dining table. Five us were going through every inch of the place, turning up all sort of keys but none for the car.
- In-laws travelled overseas and forgot to take keys to get into their own house on their return. Blamed BiL for not being there to let them in.
- FiL lost the key to his own motorbike just before an overnight ride. He couldn't get a new key in time so he basically had to hot wire his own bike after every stop.
- MiL invited her sister to stay and said she could pick up keys from us, but we were away that weekend, so MiL came up with this grand plan for me to leave keys with my doctor or hairdresser.
- BiL lost the only spare set of keys we have to our apartment. He says he gave them to MiL (why he would do that, I have no idea). She says she doesn't have them.

Admittedly FiL is usually to blame because he is just so scatterbrained but the rest of them are in denial.

And on top of the frustration of this happening over and over, they have spent a small fortune getting keys cut and reprogrammed over the years.

So, I'm done. They have lost all key privileges.

No shit theyíve lost key privileges! Thatíd make me lose my mind. I cannot wrap my head around people who are so scattered that they constantly lose keys. One of my good friends is like this. Apparently nearly every time she leaves the house, itís a hunt for the car keys! I have a key cubby inside my door; the keys go there when I get home. If I go out, they attach to a clip in my purse. Okay, itís not like Iíve NEVER had to hunt for them, but I can count the number of times on one hand!

The suggestion of coded door locks for them is a really good one. At least it would solve the house problems. Theyíre probably too old and set in their ways to get their shit together about the other keys, so lather, rinse, repeat I suppose. As long as itís not your keys getting lost.

They're in their 50s. Not too old, but definitely set in their ways.

To them it's normal.

FiL went through nine phones in five years through various misadventures. He left his wallet on a bench in Hawaii, lost a pannier on a motorbike trip because he forgot to attach it properly, and most recently found a phone near a hotel, went to hand it in at reception, and tried to give them his own phone instead. He is on daily medication and regularly goes away without it. And he once took sleeping tablets instead of NoDoz before a long drive.

Swear to god, it's amazing he's lived this long.

if they ever make a movie about his life, he should be played by Jim Carrey. Leslie Nielsen would've been my first choice but alas.

Misstachian

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #3899 on: November 05, 2017, 06:49:40 PM »
Husband's family member is about to try medical fixes to fertility challenges, which I'm super empathetic about as we faced these as well. (As has been well noted in other threads, yes we know there are other ways to have kids, no adoption and fostering are not cheap, easy, or for everyone at every moment of life.) When I first heard about their plans a few months ago, I suggested she try to save some money then, since I know they live paycheck to paycheck. She said she couldn't, and eating out many nights a week is her great joy. They live their lives very publicly on social media so it's hard to miss just how often they're eating out, etc.

Now it's getting real, though. She freaked out to me about the money when she learned insurance will cover none of it, so I gently noted that even if she wanted to keep eating out, maybe she could try to do that only once or twice a week? Or, since in the last two weeks she has posted about five Target outings for fancy clothes, shoes, and handbags, I suggested trying not to shop for anything but essentials?

No. She said she needs to eat out to be happy and she needs to shop to feel better about her life. At that point I realized I was rather rudely offering advice no one had asked for and stopped, and I guess it's self-aware to an extent that she knows why she spends, but I feel sad for her. She's so stressed, and I know how miserable she feels, but it's hard to hear "having a baby is the most important thing" while also hearing "restaurants and shopping are the most important thing" without wanting to shake her a bit.