OT: Do we celebrate mediocrity? semi-Vent

Discussion in 'Budget Board' started by eliza61, Sep 3, 2008.

  1. eliza61

    eliza61 DIS Veteran

    Jun 2, 2003
    All summer long, I have been getting hit with the most ridiculous (in my opinion) invitations celebrating events with really, really tacky request.
    Unfortunately they've been coming from family members so I'm stuck with these boozos (sorry)

    My cousin daughter (we are very close as my entire family grew up in the same borough-Manhattan) is turning 16 and is having a huge blowout. Not only that she sent out invites asking in lieu of a gift please give cash to help purchase a new car. EXCUSE ME!!! Of course what ticked me off, I told her mom (my cousin) I'd kick in to her college fund she said, I can't afford to send that girl to college? Nice. When did turning a year older become a reason for a national holiday?
    Another relative had a "shower" for her college bound daughter, complete with registry at Bed, bath & beyond.

    Let me say up front, I'm over 50. :rolleyes: so I'm not use to this. When I grew up.
    No one had major celebrations 'cause a kid graduated from kindergarten.
    Graduating from H.S. got you a party. It was considered the minimum that you had to do to be a functioning member of society. Not a reason for the pope to come over. No way were we going to ask for a car for a gift.
    Going to college was the thing that actually made you special. After you graduate people expected you to get a job, not fund your 1 week trip to Mexico.

    Help! :mad:
  2. DMickey28

    DMickey28 <font color=blue>DIS Veteran<br>Comes from a very

    Mar 24, 2001
    This is honestly the first time I have heard of a 'going to college' shower. That's silly ... isn't that what the graduation party was for? At least in my experience in the past you usually got stuff for college at your graduation party. Everyone in my circle did that anway ... early/mid 90's.

    It's just the everyone owes me something mentality everywhere. Sad but true ...

    You know, even if I can't afford to send my child to college completely doesn't mean I won't help out the best I can. I would be thrilled if family wanted to contribute as a gift through my child's life.
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  4. sarahlovesmickey

    sarahlovesmickey <font color=darkorchid>I could probably make Shake

    Mar 9, 2006
    I am only 30 and have NEVER heard of a "going to college shower"! I did have a graduation party that my mom threw and at that party people gave me cash or a gift for my college dorm room. I didn't register anywhere! A couple people didn't give me gifts and that was fine too...I was just happy to be celebrating with them.
  5. lovesmurfs

    lovesmurfs DIS Veteran

    Jun 24, 2006
    Agree that a going to college shower is what the graduation party was for (and registering for one? Eww).

    My grandmother threw a huge Sweet 16 surprise birthday party for me (I'm 40), and her parents did for her (back in the 1930's), so I don't suppose a 16th birthday party is uncalled for, to my mind. However, that said, I do have issues with the expectation of cash in lieu of gifts.
  6. KristinU

    KristinU DIS Veteran

    Mar 25, 2000
    You know, I was in Kohl's the other day and their PA system advertising was talking about their registries - baby, wedding, or "all occasion" - which it said was great for birthdays, anniversaries, etc. (it may even have said something about going off to college). Unbelievable...I can just see myself - "hey friends and family - I'm registered at Kohl's for my upcoming 30-somethingth birthday...I love me and I think you should too!" :rotfl2: :rotfl2: :rotfl2:
  7. 50 years Too!

    50 years Too! DIS Veteran

    Jan 11, 2005
    I so agree, Eliza.
    Especially that "can't afford to go to college, but we're sending our sweetie on a trip to Hawaii, she's working to not save for an education but a car, etc".
    So short term in the thinking.
    Ridiculous party requests are happening on the west coast too. A national epidemic, I'm afraid! :confused3

  8. puffkin

    puffkin DVC Owner- SSR & AKV

    Apr 30, 2001
    The trend around here is the HUGE, HUGE, HUGE 1st birthday parties. Where you invite every distant relative, co-worker, friend, business aquaintance etc. that you have. Mountains and mountains of toys are received and the child has no clue. And....since it is a 1st birthday, there usually isn't much going on for the kids in attendance so they get miserable watching a 1 year old smash cake and show no interest in the thousands of presents scattered around them. Commercialism at its best :confused3

    I am all for the first birthday party, but I within reason. I can't stand the blatant gift grabbing and usually just send my regrets to those parties.
  9. Karenj2

    Karenj2 Hot dog, hot dog, hot diggity dog!

    Jul 8, 2002

    My sister is registered at Target plus some other stores for just a general Wish List - so if anyone ever gets a wild idea to buy something for her, they know exactly where to look... :rolleyes: She has a link to it off of her website.

    She's getting married, and my parents & sister are throwing a shower for her. She now lives in TX, but is coming up to PA for the shower. She asked me to let people know that she'd prefer gift cards. :eek: I didn't put ANYTHING on the invites, and I'll tell folks where she's registered, and if she gets items at the shower, we'll ship it down to her. I'm NOT telling folks to get her gift cards!!
  10. Worfiedoodles

    Worfiedoodles DIS Veteran

    May 19, 2005
    My ds10 is already lamenting the fact that as a boy he won't be getting a Sweet 16 party. The girls he knows are already talking about and planning theirs! :scared1:

    I also personally disagree with registering your child (not new infant, child) at a toy store. We get e-mails that so and so is registered at a store for Christmas/First Communion/Easter/Confirmation/Arbor Day, etc. I was raised to be grateful for anything I got from relatives, wish lists were for my parents, only. Now I see them from acquaintances and friends, which kind of takes away the fun of giving...
  11. princessdaisy

    princessdaisy DIS Veteran

    Jun 3, 2003

    Oh my gosh, I spit up my coffee laughing at that line! it is so true! most people around my area are more concerned that their teen is "happy" now and college? "eh, they will get around to that later":confused: :confused3

    So sad...
  12. eliza61

    eliza61 DIS Veteran

    Jun 2, 2003
    Husbands niece had one 2 weeks ago. She's going to Villanova and had a college "shower". When my dh mentioned to his sister that she already had a graduation party she said "Oh that was mainly for ms. sunshines friends, this is more for the family". Once again we were royally pissed because Dh & his other 2 siblings chipped in and brought her a brand new, state of the art laptop & printer.

    I'm probably overreacting because I've just opened the mail and got my cousins sweet 16 "commemoration" (that's exactly how the invitation is worded). What the heck are we commemorating, the child is 16. It's not the 'friggin day she discovered a cure for cancer. :sad2:
  13. Worfiedoodles

    Worfiedoodles DIS Veteran

    May 19, 2005
    I am so mean....you make your own happiness. I'm much more concerned that ds will be able to move out, buy a house, and pay for his own family's Disney vacations -- College is not optional in our house! Of course, he's only 10, I haven't been through the teen terrors yet...:confused3
  14. DiznEeyore

    DiznEeyore <font color=navy>Donkey-Huggin' DVC Member<br><fon

    May 1, 2000
    Trust me ... when he becomes a teenager, you will be even MORE concerned that he will be able to move out/go to college/fend for himself, LOL!! Ours is almost 16 and some days I ask my dh, "Tell me again when he's moving out?" :rotfl:
  15. TheBeadPirate

    TheBeadPirate Button Maker Magician & Blinkie toting Sherpa

    Aug 20, 2006
    I'm sorry Eliza that you're dealing with this, but this is hysterical.:lmao:

    When I was 16 I was happy to have a party where my grandmother didn't make the cake. It came from the store- like normal teenager cakes come from. I saved and bought my own car.

    And for HS graduation in, on 1991 (yeah, ancient I know. Just ask DH he'll tell ya) I got a new set of luggage from my grandparents(this was after "borrowing" hideous luggage my sophmore year for a Europe trip- that I SAVED for) and my Aunt and Uncle gave me a laundry basket full of odds and ends for college dorm living. What I didn't get from them was hand me downs from family and older friends! Heck my first toaster only had one side that worked!

    What money I got for graduation went into an "allowance" account to get me through books and my first couple semesters.

    Now I sound like one of those oldsters walking 10 miles barefoot through the snow one way......but dang it, nowadays it seems like it!;) :rotfl:
  16. dis75ney

    dis75ney <font color=blue>Member of the Royal Society For P

    Dec 19, 2007
    I have to admit, we are having a half-birthday party for our DS8 in February...not because he's spoiled or anything, but because we feel bad that he has an end-of-summer birthday and his birthday tends to get lost in the shuffle of the start of school, weddings, and other birthdays (I kid you not when I say that every day of August has a birthday of a friend or family member - I was determined to have DS born on the ONE day that did not have someone else's birthday). :blush:

    However, we're doing things a little differently for the half-birthday party. We will be asking the kids to bring a toy or book (new or gently used) to be donated to our local children's hospital. DS was listening to a radiothon that takes place every year (right around his birthday), and he wanted to do something for the kids "that are sick and need toys and books so they won't hurt anymore." So we'll be collecting toys and books at the party and heading to the hospital the day after his party to give the items to the kids. I'm crying just thinking about it! :love: :hug:

    But this whole "shower" for college is ridiculous, IMO. Yes, my cousins had two parties when they graduated high school - one for their friends and one for family (since I guess they didn't want us old farts ruining their happening bashes), but the friends didn't bring gifts - that was more of an occasion for all their friends to celebrate graduation from all of their respective schools. Us respectable family members got gifts for the girls...mostly gift cards or cash, but they also received some really neat things to help decorate their dorm rooms.

    *Sigh* Things sure have changed since I was a teenager... :confused3
  17. secretpantssam

    secretpantssam DIS Veteran

    Jul 15, 2008
    Yeah I hate when people expect certain gifts for non occasions. A girl my sister knew was having a house warming party and registered and told everyone they had to bring a gift. The worst part to me was that she was just moving into an apartment out of college, which to me isn't a huge step, and she had the party a week before she actually move in! So it was still at her parents house! I think she was just trying to rook everyone she knew...and it worked because my sister actually bought her something.
  18. czycropper

    czycropper DIS Veteran

    Mar 29, 2005
    OK, now I have REALLY heard everything, a "shower" for college :scared1: PLEASE, use the $$ you got from the HS graduation party for college don't depend on family & friends to supply your college dorm!

    When I went to college (bezillion years ago :) ) I saved all summer to get the bedding I wanted not the simple one that my parents wanted to get me :lmao:

    Yes, Sweet 16 parties are getting out of control - here in Central Jersey I think it's because the girls are competiting with the girls that had bat mitzvah's. I'm 1/2 Hispanic and I had a small quinceanera - again nothing like some of the girls around here are having. A friend of mine's daugher had a Sweet 16th that cost an arm & a leg - she had 10 of her DD friends go to NYC to see a show in a limo, then go out to dinner, then slept over at the Helmsley, breakfast the next day & back home in a limo - it cost her almost $10,000. I told her I would have put that into a CD for my DD for after she graduated college! The funny part is that her DH agreed with me, yes, we're still friends she even admits that she went a little overboard :laughing: and is thankful that her son (my DDs age-10) won't be having a Sweet 16.
  19. ExPirateShopGirl

    ExPirateShopGirl <font color=blue>My posts are sanitized for your p

    Feb 20, 2005
    You hit the nail on the head, Eliza. The world is getting scarier and NO ONE seems to have a copy of (let alone bothered to read) an etiquette book. Gifts are not acknowledged with thank-you cards any longer. Kids (and in some cases their parents) have such senses of entitlement, it's no wonder people are deeper in consumer debt than ever. Should we applaud them for not going further into debt by asking for donations to every cause disguised as a family celebration?

    My older daughter had a one day trip to Disneyland with 2 of her friends and a slumber party for her 16th birthday. We had no blow-out, we sent no invites other than to the two girls who joined her. She got no car and was, instead, afforded a full ride (courtesy of me) at a college in a big city with perfectly acceptable public transportation. A far better way to spend my (not my folks' or friends') money. My younger daughter will get the same thing.

    When I receive invitations in the mail for events I have no intention of attending, I make sure to send a lovely card. Depending on the validity of the event in question (as in a real wedding shower or a made-up college shower) I may include a savings bond. I don't seem to get any more grief from family members than anyone else.. .then again, the invites haven't stopped arriving, so we'll see. I do often think of small gifts to get for my young nephews when we travel, I don't need to supply them with things their parents ought to be purchasing.
  20. Sally

    Sally Mouseketeer

    Mar 5, 2005
    I got an invitation for a post - wedding party, my niece said it was for the gifts they registered for but didn't get when they got married 3 months ago. I giggled and hung up the phone. I thought you were suppose to use the cash gifts you got for items you needed for your new home/ starting out.
  21. WendyisDarling

    WendyisDarling DIS Veteran

    Mar 29, 2007
    :rotfl2: Arbor Day :rotfl2: So funny, but please don't give anyone the idea. ;)
    I can see it now, "we are landscaping our new home and are registered at Home Depot for Arbor Day" It seriously wouldn't surprise me.

    All of the gift giving is way out of control. The MTV sweet sixteen parties have really done a number on parents of some girls, I'm afraid.
    OP--I believe I would give the precious dear a savings bond.

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