Attend cousin’s birthday party or not?

I’ve got a cousin who I had been out of touch with for years, until this past January when she found me on Myspace. We started talking and got to be pretty good friends, but had a falling out in June over a bunch of crap.

Since then we haven’t talked at all, and occasionally would chat on Gmail from time to time. Recently, things haven’t been so hostile between us, and I thought things between us were improving. She even offered to put us up during the massive evacuation for the last hurricane, even though it wasn’t needed.

For her, birthdays are a huge deal. Like, get 20-30 people together to go out for dinner and to a bar huge deal. Like "I don’t celebrate my birthDAY, I celebrate my birth MONTH" big deal. I’ve got a business trip coming up, and I was able to plan it so that I’d be where she lives for her birthday (I had date options in another city as well, and have friends in the other city I could visit, but instead chose to go where she lives for her birthday). I told her about it and she immediately told me she would love for me to be at her party if I could make it. And me being me, I said I would.

Now, over the time frame we had gotten close, I had loaned her a couple hundred bucks when her roommate flaked out on some bills, gave her an old TV and some furniture when she came here to visit, and paid for her to fly here to visit after my baby was born.

Anyway, yesterday was my birthday. And admittedly, I really don’t care about the whole birthday thing. I’m good with a nice dinner with a few friends and a couple gifts from the wife (and daughter now, who somehow picked out Madden ’09 for me, she’s so smart at 5 months).

But from the cousin? A generic one-line email. No card, no phone call, nothing.

Now I’m stuck because she knows that I’ll be in town for her birthday. And I can’t show up at this dinner empty handed, especially when her parents (who are "so thrilled" that her and I have a relationship again), her brother, and all her friends will be there. So I’m obligated to get something of a gift for her.

My wife thinks I should just blow it off, considering the effort she made on my part yesterday. I think that’s pretty nasty, even by my standards. I could go the passive-aggressive route and get something fairly nice for her just to be a dick. Or I could show up with a token bottle of wine or something, and not stay through dinner.

I’m normally quite forgiving and will put on a happy face and do the right thing. But I’m not feeling it this time.

Suggestions?
At least she cared enough to send you an e-mail. Don’t expect people to do things how you want them to because they aren’t you.

If you want to give her something, then give her something. If not, then don’t. To do otherwise would be dishonest and bring you down.
if you dont want to get her a gift, dont. i wouldnt go out of your way to get her a bad gift, thats going further than she did. if you want to be equal, just get her a card. you are, afterall, making the effort to actually be there on her birthday, and that should be gift enough.

while maybe it doesnt seem fair that people who are all about their birthdays and gifts dont do the same for others, its just how she is, and i doubt it was on purpose. if you get her a mean gift or just flake, shes not going to understand it was "payback"

you already have planned to be in town and have said you would be there, just go. show up with a card and have a good time, and dont care if she gets pissed about no gift, cause it just sounds so petty
I should have clarified that she’s the one that goes all out for her friends as well. She did all kinds of shit for her roommate’s birthday, and that chick is a cunt.
Maybe she’s worried about doing too much for you when you’re mad at her, so she’s keeping a polite distance. Maybe she thinks your wife should be doing it instead of her. Just go, have fun, and see if you can rebuild the bridge instead of burn it.

I wouldn’t waste my time coming to her birthday, obviously she makes a big deal about birthdays and she knows your birthday was yesterday but only left a one sentenced saying Happy Birthday shows she doesn’t really give two shits considering the efforts she puts to make a big deal about her own birthday so I have to ask, what was the fall out you two had in June? That might clear up a lot of things.. did it have to do with the fact that you loaned her money and she has yet to pay you back? I could understand then why you feel so strongly about things, maybe a little bit of why you have such hostility towards your cousin..

If anything, happy belated birthday! Had I known, it would’ve been much sooner.

How old did you turn?
wow
what a bitch
she makes a big deal about her birthday, and doesnt bother to appreciate yours.
id say blow it off, but you cant do that
just get her something small and ignore her the whole time
why not just ask her why she didn’t do anything for your birthday? you may come off as childish, but if you’re close enough to where you’ll assume she should have done more for your birthday then you’re close enough to avoid passive agressively not attending her birthday party.
Do not fight evil with evil, as it will create only more evil. You can only fight evil with love.

So buy her a nice gift and attend her birthday party. 9/10 she’ll apologize for not calling you on your birthday. She might even make it up to you.

The point is, that instead of eye for eye tooth for a tooth politics that your wife is trying to push on you, you need to think about it.

If everyone is nasty against eachother, then the total sum of nastyness is incredible nasty. You don’t want that. SOMEONE HAS TO START into investing in being positive.

I mean your situation is almost straight from the bible in accordance on how to act.

Teaching about Retaliation
(Luke 6:29-30)
38“You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’[w] 39But I tell you not to resist an evildoer. On the contrary, whoever slaps you on the right cheek, turn the other to him as well. 40If anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, let him have your coat as well. 41And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go two with him. 42Give to the person who asks you for something, and do not turn away from the person who wants to borrow something from you.”

Teaching about Love for Enemies
(Luke 6:27-28, 32-36)
43“You have heard that it was said, ‘You must love your neighbor’[x] and hate your enemy. 44But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you, 45so that you will become children of your Father in heaven, because he makes his sun rise on both evil and good people, and he lets rain fall on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46If you love those who love you, what reward will you have? Even the tax collectors do the same, don’t they? 47And if you greet only your relatives, that’s no great thing you’re doing, is it? Even the gentiles[y] do the same, don’t they? 48So be perfect,[z] as your heavenly Father is perfect.”[aa]547

Of course I don’t want to shovle the bible thru your throat , but i do think its an essensial understand that in order to start something good, you have to do something good. Regardless of how evil or without care other people are you must not become like them. Individually your soul has to shine love like a star
, and love and help other people which is the meaning of life.

Of course it doesn’t count only for the birthday party but for a lot of personal encounters like that in life.
I think you should do what you want. If you want to go with an inexpensive gift, do so. If you want to get a nice gift, do so. If you want to skip the event, do so.

Do NOT however, act like a child and get her a "bad" gift. You’re a grown man, you can and should always be better than that.
you already showed you are better then her by seemingly being the better/bigger man.
At the end of the day its the thought that counts, do what you think you should do or simply get her a happy birthday card its the thought that counts. Your not close with your cousin obviously so at the end of the day atleast you got her a card.

its not the monetary value that matters.

The way i give presents/etc in this situation is on how close/long i’ve been friends/related

If its a close cousins birthday and im in town/near them I’ll take them out for dinner/etc. If its a cousin i talk to time to time a simply happy birthday is good.

Same goes with friends
what’s the difference between the "passive-aggressive route" and what a decent person would do?

in any case i’d get her something nice.

what’s the difference between the "passive-aggressive route" and what a decent person would do?

in any case i’d get her something nice.

"Passive Aggressive" comes with "even though you blew off my birthday, I thought you’d really like this".
I should have been an asshole. It would have been much more gratifying.

You live and you learn.
well since you told her you were planning to be in town might as well just show up and tell her happy b-day. if you want to get her a gift go for it do what you want to do and if she doesnt appreciate then you’ll know next time not say anything about visiting.

Too late. Over and done with. Gave nice gift. She acted like a cunt. Fuck her.

ah didnt notice barely reading it now lol well there you go.

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