My husband is in the military and when we were pregnant over Christmas, we decided it was best to not travel and instead spend Christmas by ourselves. We couldn’t afford to fly home and a seventeen hour drive was not looking so good to me being that I was six months pregnant. My in-laws decided to punish my husband for this decision.
Christmas morning we opened the gifts that our in-laws sent. They sent us a couple of cheap Christmas ornaments and a part for the instrument my husband plays in the Navy band. FIL bragged that he only paid fifteen dollars for it. Since it was Christmas morning, we couldn’t really use the ornaments and besides that, we had an unfortunate incident with our ceiling in our military house collapsing due to water damage. Our Christmas tree was ruined. We were moved into a new house a week before Christmas and didn’t bother getting another tree. The in-laws knew this.
After opening the gifts we called the in-laws to thank them. We found out that my husband’s brother and sister both got video iPods, among other things for Christmas. Let me get one thing straight. When I am given a gift, I am always grateful but after hearing that the in-laws spent thirty dollars max on us, it was hard to be grateful when the other kids had over $400 spent on each of them. This really pisses me off because my husband is the oldest child and the least spoiled. He’s the only kid in his family that didn’t get his college paid for by his parents and the only one that still doesn’t rely on his parents sending money when he needs it.
A few months later at the big confrontation with my in-laws, I brought up the fact that it hurt my husband (who is the only child that is a musician and would appreciate and use the iPod more efficiently than the other kids) was hurt by this. FIL’s response? “If I knew it would only take me getting you guys an iPod to come home for Christmas, I would have gotten you one.” No idiot, the promise of an iPod would still not make us drive all that way, the fact that you did it to punish my husband is what hurt so much. So glad we don’t associate with these people anymore. I just can’t deal with all the passive aggressiveness.
Just to add salt to the wound, FIL would call my husband, who is the techie in the family, every now and then to ask technical questions about the iPod he had gotten himself. What a jerk.