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I taught for several years at a residential school for children with emotional disabilities before staying home after the birth of my second daughter. I returned to teaching, finished my Educational Leadership program in May of 2012, and now work as our district's Writing and Social Studies Coordinator. I have always loved writing and find constant inspiration from my family. Maybe someday, I will get to see my name on the cover of a book!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Slice #10 of 31: The Perils of a Group Gift

This month, I have committed to writing every day through the community at Two Writing Teachers. All are welcome to the March Slice of Life Challenge! It's not too late to join in with comments-- or just read... 




At times, I think I've got this parenting thing down, and then something happens that humbles me. Leaves me scratching my head. Inspires me to ask for advice.

One of my daughters and all of her friends decided to order rings for each other to celebrate birthdays and friendship. Monogrammed rings (aka unreturnable...). Somehow, I was the nominated mother to fund the purchase (6 friends times $59.99). Initially, not completely understanding the plot, I protested the use of my credit card, so another parent got the nod to purchase half of them. Unbeknownst to me, the company ran a sale, the other parent bought three of them for about $40 each. Now that they are back at full price, I am on deck to front the money for the other three.

Now, as the plot thickens and the story goes, there is friction over what everyone should pay, since these are supposed to be group gifts to each other. Do they pay the total cost of the 6 rings divided by 6, or does one group pay less since some were purchased at a sale price?

At the risk of sounding like money doesn't matter, I have offered to cover the difference in the prices for the three rings, but my daughter remains furious with especially one of her friends. All six girls are weighing in on different sides of the issue, entangling and complicating, and siphoning the joy out of a celebratory gift of friendship.

Somewhere in this drama, a short story lurks, with a plot that focuses on the beautiful monogrammed rings that sit at the bottom of six separate jewelry boxes. I hope that a different story is able to overcome this impostor.  I'd welcome any advice that could lead to a happy ending.

Happy Slicing!



9 comments:

  1. Oh, no. I hear you. You are so good to put up the difference, but I also understand your daughter's anger that you must do so. Wow. What to do? It seems like these kinds of things bring out the worst in people when it is intended to show the best. I want to hear how it all turns out. Sorry I can't think of any advice. You are already doing your best to keep it under control.

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  2. Oh dear. Sometimes things get way too complicated! It sounds like you have already done what you can do, by offering to pay the difference. The girls (their parents) will need to figure out what value they place on their friendship.

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  3. Like Carol, I would hope that all the parents would help their daughters see the importance of the friendship over the money. We just talked about point of view yesterday in class, deciding that each person, being unique, brings a different set of experiences that influence decisions. Best wishes to your daughter and her friends figuring out what's important in the long run. Good for you for trying to help, Melanie.

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  4. This is where parenting can make a difference - but only if all parents are on the same page. I have a feeling that the girls are hearing different strategies from their parents - and that some are not as focused as you are, Melanie, on the true meaning of what those rings symbolize.

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  5. This is where parenting can make a difference - but only if all parents are on the same page. I have a feeling that the girls are hearing different strategies from their parents - and that some are not as focused as you are, Melanie, on the true meaning of what those rings symbolize.

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  6. I think the fair thing at this point is to average the cost of all six and focus on the happy ending...friendship. Hopefully everyone can work together to find a common solution!

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  7. I wish I had advice. I remember buying those broken heart BFF necklaces in the mall as a kid, but those were split evenly, in cash, at the time of the purchase.

    This will definitely find its way into a YA book you'll write someday.

    BTW: #pitchmad is tomorrow. Are you in?

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  8. Oh boy, we had the same group of six girls, I swear, floating around, creating all kinds of drama for everyone else. And then magically, I blinked my eyes, time flew by and the drama and the girls were gone. I don't miss the drama now, but boy...do I miss the girls!
    If you blink, this will be in the rearview mirror before you know it. Time will heal, and they'll have those rings, hopefully, on all six of their fingers!

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  9. Something like this was never an issue with boys. What I want to know is why didn't the other parent let you know they were on sale? Good luck, Melanie!

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