Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Speaking of giving...

Have you ever been in the awkward position of possibly being asked for money by a sibling? If so, what did you do?

My dear sibling has had a series of minor health emergencies plague her family. The latest sent her husband to the emergency room for back problems and now they have discovered that he may have to have major back surgery to remedy the issues.

She jokingly commented on the phone that all she wanted her family to give her this year for Christmas was money to pay the medical bills.

And, I fell silent. Because, I drew her name in the family gift drawing this year, and I am pretty sure she knows that.

Two days later, on the phone with her again, she made the same joke.

Was this a subtle hint? Does she need money that badly? My husband and I have never had to loan money to anyone and in general we avoid it because of the problems it generates. And, if you read my last post, you know that it isn't currently growing on trees around here for us either. With that said, we're in a better position than most of my family to give.

So, I really wasn't sure what to do. And, I made the mistake of mentioning this in an email to my mother. Her response was more awkward than if I'd come right out and asked my sister if she wanted me to give her cash instead of a present.

So, now I think I'm going to just avoid the whole thing. Only, does that make me insensitive and greedy? If I get her things off her wish list, which she sent out today to everyone, (all of which seem to be pretty frivolous and unnecessary gifts if she really is financially strapped), will I be in the wrong? Is this one of those times when I could reach out and do something and I'm choosing not to do it?

I guess to fully go into why I probably will not give with you all, I'd have to divulge a lot of back-story here and information about spending habits and track records with money and other things about my family that I don't think I should share in this setting. But, based on what you have heard, what would you do?

And, a little completely-unrelated aside...I'm very excited because I was contacted by the magazine editor tonight for some freelance work I've been trying to get in a local publication. She said she definitely will have something for me in the next few days! It will have a very short turnaround, and the pay is just almost nothing, but it is exposure and something I can use with editors to get my foot through the door with larger magazines. I'm THRILLED!


Blogger Masked Mom said...

Yay you about the freelancing. (Is this the same editor you mentioned before?)

And the money thing? It's just altogether toooooo sticky. My sister-in-law is a big one for "hints" and it's so exhausting just trying to guess what it is she's hinting for. I'm at the point now where I just ignore anything but outright requests (these are usually not for money--mostly time, effort and energy). My goal, though, is to be able to say "no" every now and then without feeling like I'm evil. Wish me luck and I'll do the same for you.

7:27 AM, November 30, 2006  
Blogger Leanne said...

I was indirectly asked for money last weekend (my sister). She really wants our truck, and I gave her a very fair price for it, and she wanted us to agree to payments that no lender in their right mind would agree to. I politely told her no way, because the last thing I want is that kind of stress between us.

I agree - money is the root of all evil, when you lend it to relatives. UNLESS you do it because you want to, because you never expect it back - and you anticipate that she will never make mention of it again. If you don't have it that freely to give, you're better off not going there.


7:32 AM, November 30, 2006  
Blogger Tamara said...

Hey Steph,
Good luck and congrats on the freelance thing - Yay!
On the money thing, you know what - I think I would just give her money for Xmas. Is that really so bad if she needs it? No she should NOT have asked for it. And yes, it's beyond icky. But screw it. What is Xmas about for you? Giving? Helping? Generosity? Put an anonymous envelope on the tree from Santa with some green it and then give her little more than a stocking stuffer as your official gift. What's wrong with that? Look at the Jew trying to tell you what to do to keep the spirit of Xmas alive... ;)

8:04 AM, November 30, 2006  
Anonymous Vicki said...

Congrats on the freelance!

One the money giving - been there and done that, many times. It's a hard one with no easy answers. If you do decide to give money, do it as a present for Christmas. That way you won't feel weird in giving it and she won't feel weird in taking it (and possibly not paying you back).

Good Luck!!

12:43 PM, November 30, 2006  
Blogger Karen Rani said...

Congrats on the freelance thing!

I have no good advice on the other. Whatever you decide, I hope it works out for you.

3:30 PM, November 30, 2006  
Anonymous Nicole said...

Congrats on the freelance gig!

As for the money, you don't say how much we're talking. If it is going to replace the gift you would give and your family limit is $50 (or less), then I don't see how $50 is going to pay any medical bills.

However, if you are considering giving an amount that could really make a dent, I say do it.

6:38 PM, November 30, 2006  
Blogger daysgoby said...

Congrats on your NaBlo win!

8:35 PM, December 04, 2006  

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