“Not a real reg”

Since: Jan 13

Location hidden

#1 Oct 18, 2013
DEAR ABBY: My sisters and I just realized after comparing notes that our grandfather, who has been giving us an allowance for many years, gives each of us a different amount. We don't understand why he would do that unless he is playing favorites. Mom says it's because he's allowed to give each of us a certain amount per year for tax purposes, but it still doesn't explain why the amounts are all different.

We are a year apart in age, and the differences are substantial. Mom said Grandpa does this with her brothers and sisters, too.

Why wouldn't he give each of us the same amount so that it doesn't cause hard feelings? I know it's his money to do with as he pleases and we're lucky to get any at all, but knowing this has caused hurt feelings. We don't feel comfortable asking him, but we'd like to understand. What can we do?-- LACKING "WHY"

DEAR LACKING "WHY": Having never met your grandfather, I can't speculate about what his motives might be. While it's not a good idea to look a gift-grandpa in the mouth, the only way you're going to get the answers you and your sisters are looking for would be to ask him. However, if you do, make sure to phrase the question in a nonconfrontational way -- and be prepared for whatever his answer might be.

DEAR ABBY: I am the 49-year-old single dad of an incredible 7-year-old daughter. I have been separated from her mother for four years. Since that time my ex has had a few relationships, one of which produced another child.
Three months ago she met a new man and has decided to get married, even though their courtship has been brief. I'm trying to minimize the impact on our daughter, but everything I say to my ex comes across as toxic. Any suggestions?-- CONFLICTED FATHER IN NORTHERN VIRGINIA

DEAR CONFLICTED FATHER: There is nothing you can do to control your ex's behavior. But you are right to try to minimize the impact on your little girl. Do not allow her to be caught in the crossfire of your anger and her mom's defensiveness. While I, too, question your ex's judgment in marrying someone she has known for only a short time, there is nothing to be gained by "spewing toxin."

In your interactions with your ex, think before you speak, count to 10 to mellow your tone and focus on the fact that you are the stabilizing force in your child's life. It's your job to remain strong and steady.

DEAR ABBY: I recently broke up with a man I had dated for more than two years. While we were together he gave me many gifts of jewelry.

Yesterday when I was dressing to go out, I started to put on a necklace that went with my outfit, then hesitated because it had been a gift from him. I knew I'd be seeing him that evening and that I would be meeting his new girlfriend.

Would it have been OK to wear the necklace? Most of the things he gave me were animal-related because he knew I love animals. If someone asks me where I got it, as they often do, what should I say? I don't want to jeopardize the friendship we have or my potential friendship with his girlfriend.-- MIXED UP IN THE SOUTH

DEAR MIXED UP: An appropriate answer would be, "It was given to me by a friend." Your question implies that you decided against wearing the necklace that day, and I think you used good judgment.
Cass

Rancho Cucamonga, CA

#2 Oct 18, 2013
LW1 - That is why it is not wise to compare notes.

LW2 - It's hard. Good for you that you are trying. Sometimes, counseling may help you find the right ways to talk to your child about her mom's destructive ways without demonizing the mom.

LW3 - Do you like the necklace? Then wear it. If it becomes too painful to wear the jewelry because it is a reminder of a hurtful breakup, sell it or give it away.

“Where is Tonka?”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me! Charlie

#3 Oct 18, 2013
1 I bet whoever asks, gets cut off, as they should.

2 Learn to listen more than you speak.

3 Give him back his stuff, you broke things off, so you should return anything that has a monetary value.

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Melrose Park, IL

#4 Oct 18, 2013
1- Geez, the first world problems of the one percenters.

2- Quit being a bitter @zz to your ex.

3- So you want to remain friends with your ex, and even become friends with his new girlfriends? Yeah, that sounds healthy and could never become awkward.

“Not a real reg”

Since: Jan 13

Location hidden

#5 Oct 18, 2013
RACE wrote:
3 Give him back his stuff, you broke things off, so you should return anything that has a monetary value.
Give it back? Baloney...Nothing was said about the value. A gift is a gift. A bag of peanuts has monetary value and you'd probably want that back.

L1. There would be a natural curiosity about the amount of money given. Maybe the mom could find a way of asking the reason. We have no way of knowing the family dynamics from the LW, who, by the way, was respectful about questioning the grandfather's motives.

Since: Mar 09

Hollywood, FL

#6 Oct 18, 2013
RACE wrote:
3 Give him back his stuff, you broke things off, so you should return anything that has a monetary value.
Eff that! They were gifts, not contingencies. She can wear them in front of whomever, or sell them, or have them reset, or regift them, or... etc.
Blunt Advice

Plainfield, NJ

#7 Oct 18, 2013
1. Probably has to do with individual need and if it will be saved or spent wisely. Are any of you attending college and where? Started a business? Buying a home? He might be likely to contribute more to the family members who need it versus the ones who will waste it. And whoever is getting less now may end up getting more at another time.
2. Ex wifey sounds a bit loose. Just make sure the men your ex is with will not harm your daughter.

3. If he ended the relationship then keep the jewelry. If you ended it then offer to return the jewelry.

“I looked, and behold,”

Since: Aug 08

Location hidden

#8 Oct 18, 2013
LW1: Let your mom ask and explain that it has caused hurt feelings.

LW2: She’s not too bright, but there is not much you can do about it unless there is abuse.

LW3: Either way it sounds like it would be fine. You are on good terms and he didn’t ask for any of it back (which was the right move ... it's a gift after all ... not a gift conditional on a promise, such as an engagement ring). So, I presume he wants you to enjoy them and wear them.
tiredofit

Los Angeles, CA

#9 Oct 18, 2013
L1: The old man probably has some odd formula to calculate why the amounts are different. He may be closer to some than others or different families have different incomes or circumstances. It may not be fair but it is to him.

“Where is Tonka?”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me! Charlie

#10 Oct 18, 2013
Not once they've been eaten.
And surprisingly, I dont think she should regurgitate every steak he's bought her either.
dahgts wrote:
<quoted text>
Give it back? Baloney...Nothing was said about the value. A gift is a gift. A bag of peanuts has monetary value and you'd probably want that back.

“Where is Tonka?”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me! Charlie

#11 Oct 18, 2013
Or give them back because she knows that the gifts were given under false assumptions. She accepted the gifts with the understanding that she would provide a lifetime of hummers, well...She broke that promise and needs to give back his deposit. Maybe she could keep a little something for hummers already given, but not anything big.
j_m_w wrote:
<quoted text>
or... etc.

Toj

“Where is Everyone?”

Since: Jul 12

Location hidden

#12 Oct 18, 2013
L1: There's no good way to ask. You can ask, though, who is your grandfather's favorite. Doesn't mean you'll get an answer. Take this all as a lesson on what you do in your life.

L2: Concentrate on being the reliable one for your daughter and don't make any changes. She probably has enough change in her life right now. don't comment on your ex's relationships. It's none of your business unless someone does something to your daughter.

L3: In that instance I would not have worn the necklace. The jewelry, however, is yours to do with as you please. A gift is a gift.

Toj

“Where is Everyone?”

Since: Jul 12

Location hidden

#13 Oct 18, 2013
RACE wrote:
3 Give him back his stuff, you broke things off, so you should return anything that has a monetary value.
Your gifts have strings attached?

“The two baby belly, please!”

Since: Sep 09

Evanston IL

#14 Oct 18, 2013
LW1: Be careful! You inspect this gift horse's mouth too closely, you will get bitten.

And you do realize how ungrateful you sound, right?

LW2: If you're that concerned about this new man, try and get full custody. Other than that, all you can do is be the stable one.

LW3: Abby's right.
Kuuipo

Marina, CA

#15 Oct 18, 2013
LW1: Team squishymama. Be grateful and quit comparing notes.

LW2: You are not a single father. You are a divorced dad. Your ex-wife is clearly in the picture. Accept this less-than-ideal situation and just be the best dad that you can.

LW3: I would not wear the necklace if I knew for sure that I'd be seeing the ex. Otherwise, I'd wear it as often as I liked.

“Where is Tonka?”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me! Charlie

#16 Oct 18, 2013
Gas, Grass orAss baby! Nobody rides for free.
Toj wrote:
<quoted text>
Your gifts have strings attached?
boundary painter

Waco, TX

#17 Oct 18, 2013
Actually, if LW2 can diplomatically find a way to
get the ex-wife and her fiance to award custody to him "so you two can build a new life", I think he'd be doing his daughter a favor.

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#18 Oct 18, 2013
RACE wrote:
3 Give him back his stuff, you broke things off, so you should return anything that has a monetary value.
An engagement ring? Yes. Any other gift? Hell no.
pde

Gilberts, IL

#19 Oct 18, 2013
RACE wrote:
Gas, Grass orAss baby! Nobody rides for free.
<quoted text>
If she was your girlfriend at the time she received the gift, then I'd assume she'd already "paid" you for it under these terms before the breakup.

“Where is Tonka?”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me! Charlie

#20 Oct 19, 2013
I'm sorry, logical thought processing is not allowed.
Please post jibberish or snark.
pde wrote:
<quoted text>
If she was your girlfriend at the time she received the gift, then I'd assume she'd already "paid" you for it under these terms before the breakup.

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