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would you accept the tickets?


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#1 spear_maiden

Posted 09 November 2012 - 02:43 PM

HI

Story is drawn out, big fat apologies...  

I received a lovely generous offer of some movie tickets/dinner deal for DH and I plus DS being cared for whilst we're out.  Totally lovely offer that we're appreciative of.  The person who offered them: it was a gift from their partner, the tickets are to expire and they don't want to ask anyone to look after their kids in order to use them.

Anyway, DH finds out the tickets were actually a birthday gift, we think that's an awesome birthday gift, we'd feel more comfortable facilitating the couple using them rather than taking the tickets that this week, we can't afford to cover the costs of.  (Also, I very reguarly hear of how they never get to do anything as a couple, no one will look after their kids, what makes their kids so bad no one will look after them, everyone else has support but them.  FWIW, DH and I every few months offer to babysit for them at their house, whilst they go out, but they never take us up on it.)  
So we offer to look after their children in their house, at a matinee session if they prefer (and because of a long history of knowing how the mum is with others looking after the kids) so kids will have own toys/beds for naps, can stick to own schedule, we're more flexible with only one child who we don't care if he happens to skip a nap whilst we're at their place, etc etc.

This offer is met with exasperation, and for the second time this week, the gift giver hangs up on me after getting snarky in the conversation.  

Basically, I don't want to accept the tickets due to not wanting to feel as if we owe them anything, and also feeling like/knowing the tickets will come with unintended/unwanted consequences. This person is quite self-focussed and negative, and tends to play the martyr at times.  I suspect she doesn't respect me as she tends to do things like hang up on me, and/or react quite negatively if I calmly disagree or be assertive (she's known for being domineering).  As she's family I've allowed a certain amt of it to go on to keep the peace, but for the past 6-12mths, I've reduced contact with her somewhat, and taken other steps to buffer the negativity I get from her.  Ahh, peace.

Anyway, they've gone and transferred the tickets into our names, called me and angrily said "it's done, just take the tickets" and hung up on me, again.  The tickets have to be used either tonight or tomorrow. They're not looking after DS as we've since arranged for my mum to do so as she happens to be visiting.  So now, we're in a position where if we call and say "actually, thanks but no thanks" then there will be a sh*t storm of why are we being so difficult/ungrateful, we've left it to the last minute to tell them and she'll basically be passive-aggressive for weeks, which for me, overrides the genorosity of the offer.  Or we say "thank you" (which would be genuine) and go, I'll feel uncomfortable about accepting the tickets plus feel that I've enabled her to be rude and dismissive of me, even though the original offer was received with thanks and graciousness.


So, if you're actually still with me:
What do you think?  Go or No?

Cheers.

#2 HRH Countrymel

Posted 09 November 2012 - 02:46 PM

Go.

Sounds like she'll be huffy either way and this way you get to go out!

#3 Baggy

Posted 09 November 2012 - 02:47 PM

You have a babysitter. Just go enjoy yourself and say thank you.

Try not to think too much into it.

#4 50ftqueenie

Posted 09 November 2012 - 02:54 PM

Go and enjoy yourself. If they can't bring themselves to leave their children for a few hours that is their issue.  Next time you see them bring cake or a bottle of wine to say thanks.

#5 InsertAwesomeHere

Posted 09 November 2012 - 02:56 PM

If she didn't have young kids I'd swear you were referring to my step mum.

You should go and have fun, sounds like she'll be difficult no matter what.

#6 starfire

Posted 09 November 2012 - 02:59 PM

Weird response on their part huh.gif

I'd just go and enjoy yourselves and not worry about feeling guilty.

You made the effort to allow them the opportunity to use their own tickets as originally intended, they said no and insisted on you using the tickets, then just go with it. Don't read too much into it.

I liked the suggestion one PP said to buy a bottle of wine or some cake as a thank you next time you see them but leave it at that. They have made their intentions very clear.

#7 kez71

Posted 09 November 2012 - 02:59 PM

yes, go and enjoy yourselves. Maybe get her a bunch of flowers as a thankyou!

#8 JuliaGulia

Posted 09 November 2012 - 03:01 PM

Go and enjoy yourself.  Sounds like she'll be a PITA anyway, so you might as well have a good time.

ETA: And next time she complains about no-one babysitting for her, remind her that you have offered many times and been turned down.

Edited by JuliaGulia, 09 November 2012 - 03:02 PM.


#9 jennywin

Posted 09 November 2012 - 03:07 PM

You could outdo her in passive-aggressive stakes buy taking the tickets very gratefully, and not using them!! Ka-pow!

#10 QueenElsa

Posted 09 November 2012 - 03:07 PM

Just go....don't think about it anymore.

I'd be exasperated to if you tried to give back a gift....don't you think she thought of asking for a babysitter for herself first? For whatever reason she's not going and doesn't want the tickets to go to waste.

Enjoy your night out - wish it was me original.gif

#11 kboomba

Posted 09 November 2012 - 03:10 PM

Do her children take well to babysitters? Are they ill? Is there behind the scenes problems in the relationship, and they don't feel like going? So many things could be happening that you don't know about, so she could be completely over it all?
If you can go just go. And as a PP said, next time she complains remind her that you can babysit for her whenever she wants, and have offered lots.

I have a friend who is similar (except for the hanging up bit!). Her kids freak out when she is not there. Last time I babysat I had to call her home after about an hour (and I've known them since they were born and spend heaps of time with them). They never go out, she feels like she can't leave the kids, she feels alone as she has no reliable family around. It's really hard for her.

Just another perspective  original.gif

#12 CallMeFeral

Posted 09 November 2012 - 03:12 PM

Go. Enjoy. You've tried to return the favour, they've said no - leave it at that. You'll get more flak for NOT using them.

#13 Ice Queen

Posted 09 November 2012 - 03:12 PM

Take them and enjoy yourself.  

FWIW I think you just have to respect people's decision not to use babysitters.  I have a friend like this who whinges how bad her life has been since kids but she will never accept babysitting.  i offered on Melbourne Cup day, was turned down, I didnt push it and then she was whinging on FB that she 'was stuck at home'.   You cant help people like that and some people dont want to be helped.  I dont think you should have re-offered the baby-sitting if you knew they dont ever use babysitters.  I know it is hard, you want to help but it is their choice.  I have learnt with my friend to 'support' the moaning but I cant fix it or help her.  Some people wont trust others with their kids and that is their choice.  We cant judge or try and change them.  As for her not respecting you, well I wouldnt think too much into it.  She is miserable, you are happy.  

You sound like a great friend and you can look after my kids anytime while I go to the movies  biggrin.gif .

Have a great night.

Edited by Ehill, 09 November 2012 - 03:15 PM.


#14 PurpleNess

Posted 09 November 2012 - 03:14 PM

GO & enjoy yourself. Whatever her reason is for not wanting to go you may never know & it's not your problem ( you offered, they declined your babysitting).

So just go & send a thank you card/flowers if you like...but I wouldn't bother.....

have fun!

#15 Awesome101

Posted 09 November 2012 - 03:14 PM

Take them and go, buy her a bottle of wine as a thank you and then you don't owe her anything further.

#16 Anemonefish

Posted 09 November 2012 - 03:15 PM

Definitely go and enjoy the evening without guilt. You have tried and she has declined your kind offer, and it sounds like she'll be annoyed if you don't go, so just do it. I agree with the idea of giving her wine/chocolate/flowers to say thanks.

#17 Phascogale

Posted 09 November 2012 - 03:25 PM

Just take the tickets and have a good time.  You already have a baby sitter.  It's not as though you have to ask them.

I'm not quite sure why you kept up for so long with trying to get them to take the tickets back and use them when they wanted you to have them in the first place.  I'd have offered once or twice and when they said no to just plan to use them yourself.

Why you do you feel that you'll have to owe them?  If they are going to come with conditions then don't use them.

#18 FeralZombieMum

Posted 09 November 2012 - 03:43 PM

QUOTE (Studybug @ 09/11/2012, 03:43 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
The person who offered them: it was a gift from their partner, the tickets are to expire and they don't want to ask anyone to look after their kids in order to use them.

Perhaps it's the gift coming from her partner that's the real issue?

Maybe she didn't appreciate the gift?
Maybe her partner had suggested it and she said she didn't want to go, but he ignored her and bought the tickets anyway?
Maybe they couldn't afford the tickets and is angry her DP wasted money? Perhaps he has done this a few times in the past, and if she used the tickets, it would be sending the wrong message to him?


Anyway, go have a great time and yes, get her a bottle of wine or something to say thank you.

#19 spear_maiden

Posted 09 November 2012 - 03:57 PM

Thank you for the replies! Guess we'll be going wink.gif .

Just to respond to a couple of good points:

Ehill, I agree with needing to respect others' decisions about babysitters.  It's not that they never use babysitters, myself, her mum and her sisters and the grandparents on the other side have babysat before.  I do struggle with it when every few months, I get a phone call that's either angry and shouty or her in tears that no one will offer to look after her children and she just needs a break.  I know her mum doesn't offer to look after the kids, and that's hard for her, and I know that's who she wants to offer the babysitting, not us.  We've had many conversations, covering alot of angles about the babysitting, and her mum.  I guess I try to come from the point of "I know this is not the offer you wish for, but if you need it/want, we'd love to have them/we'll come over while you go out for coffee etc".  Just last weekend, we were meant to look after her daughter, but they changed their minds at the last minute and didn't tell us. But yes, I think you make a good point of shouldn't have offered again.

kboomba, thanks for the other perspective. original.gif  That would be a difficult situation for your friend.  I think it's a little different to this friend, but the similarity between them would be in feeling like there is no one to rely on and take the pressure off.

Phascogale, sorry I think I've confused you with my rambling.  I offered casually to look after the kids so they could go (as in are you sure you don't want to use the tickets? when they were originally offered) and then upon finding out re it's a bday gift and her telling me about their last outing which was disappointing, so I offered as per my OP.

ZombieMum, they're really good points.  Maybe the stress of organising babysitters outweighed the fun of going..

I generally try to be pretty empathetic to her and not take the aggression on board, but I think the couple of occasions of snarkiness and the hang ups (for completed unrelated matters) sucked up my tolerance.

DH is pretty keen to go, and suggested we pay them back somehow and just enjoy it.  So, I'm going to do as mentioned: stop overthinking it, appreciate it and have a good time.

Cheers everyone!

Edited by Studybug, 09 November 2012 - 04:05 PM.





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