Author Topic: Coming up with $175 without prior notice - impossible!  (Read 5039 times)

daymare

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Coming up with $175 without prior notice - impossible!
« on: March 28, 2014, 09:10:49 AM »
From etiquettehell.com, someone wrote in with the following sticky situation:

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We opened up an email from my husbandís sister that read:

Grandmotherís 90th Birthday! Hosted by her grandchildren (7 names).

After viewing many options (casinos, clubs, & homes) this is the most inexpensive & pragmatic option IĚ could find & hope itís not unreasonable. No venue was available that allowed us to bring our own food or catering. Limited only by our budget.

Without having to do any cooking or cleanup, the cost is $175 each (7 siblings= $1225) Please plan to have your cash, check or transfer to my bank by no later than April 21, so I can make the final payment.

RSVP is not required since only providing hearty appetizers at that time of day at a Cafe (2pm to 4 pm). The price includes, appetizers, non-alcoholic drinks, full sheet cake, candles, balloons bouquet, card box & corsage. Mariachi band for guest at the party with no charge to us, but will take tips from our guests.

Help! We knew nothing about this and need advice for a response

Most people respond that it's unreasonable for someone to basically assume & order you to give money for a family event (and that the cost sounds really unreasonable for what they're getting, why not go with a more comfortable and frugal option of a gathering at someone's house).  And yet, so many people have responded along the lines of, how could anyone be expected to have an extra $175?!  Putting aside the issue of whether you have to give money in said situation (of course not), how could you be in a situation where you don't have $175 dollars?

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$175Ö Iím still in awe over this amount. Especially in these times, who would assume that a family has $175 to cough up with no prior notice?? Thatís two weeks of groceries in our household. Thatís a car payment.

MrsPete

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Re: Coming up with $175 without prior notice - impossible!
« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2014, 11:17:19 AM »
The line that gets me:  No venue was available that allowed us to bring our own food or catering. 

What?  These people don't live in a house?  They don't have parks where they live?  Okay, gotta give them that one -- it might have been winter and too cold for an outdoor party.  No one belongs to a church and could borrow the fellowship hall?  No one knows that schools rent out facilities for very low prices?  No one knows that the Golden Corral has a party room in the back and a buffet meal is about $8 per person? 

I don't think whether you have $175 on hand is the real question.  The question is, "Can no one in this family think frugally?" 

Frankies Girl

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Re: Coming up with $175 without prior notice - impossible!
« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2014, 12:24:49 PM »
oh cool, someone else that reads etiquette hell! :D

I thought the same thing when they said they were "in awe" with the $175 amount. They are nuts if they are living so close to the bone that coming up with that amount is almost unimaginable. They're just a very short distance away from total meltdown if that is a hard amount to come up with quickly.

But I do agree that the sister organizing it is crazy saying that was the best option. I think she's trying to make a profit off her siblings. I personally would call her up and tell her I didn't agree with this, so I'm not paying, and maybe we all need to get together to see if we could come up with better ideas TOGETHER?

Norrie

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Re: Coming up with $175 without prior notice - impossible!
« Reply #3 on: March 28, 2014, 12:28:50 PM »
We spent a long time living that close to the bone, which isn't something that I say with pride, but is the truth. There are a lot of extenuating circumstances in life (for us, a chronically ill child who was often critically ill in her first 10 years) that can make $175 a hardship. We're in a much different place now, but having lived there, I still find it hard to judge people too harshly.

Even in our current financial standing, I'd be a bit thrown off by $175 for a birthday party. That's far more than I'd ever feel comfortable or happy spending on such a thing.

Ayanka

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Re: Coming up with $175 without prior notice - impossible!
« Reply #4 on: March 28, 2014, 01:10:52 PM »
Honestly I agree with the person who posted it on the etiquette site and the person saying its 2 weeks of groceries or a car payment. No offense, but if you organize something you have to discuss things with the people you expect to be paying the bill. While I would have the money to pay this, I would damn sure not be willing to.

Jamesqf

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Re: Coming up with $175 without prior notice - impossible!
« Reply #5 on: March 28, 2014, 01:14:57 PM »
Yes, I've lived in conditions such that it would be impossible to come up with $175, but when I did, I sure wouldn't have thought of spending that much on a birthday party.

horsepoor

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Re: Coming up with $175 without prior notice - impossible!
« Reply #6 on: March 28, 2014, 01:58:51 PM »
While I agree that the party organizer should have run this idea past the others who are expected to pay, the thing we don't know, is how many guests there will be at this party.  It's impossible to know if $1200 is reasonable - it's split among 7 grandchildren, but for all we know, there are 100 people expected to attend.  The size of the party may make it impractical to have at someone's home.  The thought of not having $175 available at a moment's notice gives me the hives.  However, I would not be happy about having that sprung on me without any notice or chance to provide other options.

eil

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Re: Coming up with $175 without prior notice - impossible!
« Reply #7 on: March 28, 2014, 04:01:11 PM »
In my circle of friends and family, asking everyone to chip in $175 for a birthday party is flat-out batshit crazy.

I mean, from the tone of the "invite," it sounds like they were trying to do the right thing, throw a nice shin-dig for Granny but really has no idea what they're doing. (And/or did it at the last minute.)

My response would be, "Dear Sister, No fucking waySorry, we can't make the party on that day, but we're planning to swing by Granny's place a few days later and spend some quality time with her then. Toodles!"

Exflyboy

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Re: Coming up with $175 without prior notice - impossible!
« Reply #8 on: March 28, 2014, 04:47:35 PM »
Haha.. thats my favourite response..

Toodles..:)

SpeedReader

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Re: Coming up with $175 without prior notice - impossible!
« Reply #9 on: March 28, 2014, 09:43:58 PM »
This post is giving me flashbacks.  My SIL threw the in-laws a party for their 50th anniversary.  She swore that Mom wanted a corsage to wear (not true per Mom).  She wanted it catered, even though her daughter was a deli manager and volunteered to organize the food better & cheaper.  We had to fly cross-country to attend the party, so we drew the line at her demand to contribute for a special blanket with photos scanned onto it for some ridiculously high price.  She was pissed at us over that for years. 

This is my SIL who's always talking about how broke she is.  Go figure.

Squirrel away

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Re: Coming up with $175 without prior notice - impossible!
« Reply #10 on: March 29, 2014, 02:59:53 AM »
This post is giving me flashbacks.  My SIL threw the in-laws a party for their 50th anniversary.  She swore that Mom wanted a corsage to wear (not true per Mom).  She wanted it catered, even though her daughter was a deli manager and volunteered to organize the food better & cheaper.  We had to fly cross-country to attend the party, so we drew the line at her demand to contribute for a special blanket with photos scanned onto it for some ridiculously high price.  She was pissed at us over that for years. 

This is my SIL who's always talking about how broke she is.  Go figure.

Do we have the same SIL? :)