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Innisfree
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if auntie doesn't have the address, how did the daughter get the packages?

Does dh understand that auntie is a difficult person? 

Also, all decisions need to be referred to daughter. "If you want dd's address, you need to email or call her and ask her directly. I don't give out adult people's address."

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9 minutes ago, Danae said:

“I’m sorry, but DD has asked us not to give her address to anyone, and since she’s an adult we will abide by her choice.”

This is almost exactly what I said when in a similar situation.

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Is auntie neuroatypical?

honestly if someone is trying hard, dealing with neurodivergence, and is truly loving(not malicious) but just doesn’t have social awareness—I’d have the care packages sent to your house and ask your daughter to at least send thank you cards minus her address.  I wouldn’t ever give someone else’s address out without permission, but this sounds like a case where gentle kindness might be the best.

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I would direct aunt to speak directly with young adult. I actually had to do this with my own ds and sister earlier this year. FYI, it was a disaster because my sister reacted horribly but it was what needed to happen. I’m no longer going to be the go between with my young adults and my sister. It stinks but there’s really nothing else to do.

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If dd needs to thank aunt via email for care package sent, she should do so. It is fine to include a line that she doesn't give her personal address out, and any packages in the future can be sent to her parent's address. She can also send snail mail letter saying the same thing (something I would do because no quick response like emails get!) - and use her parent's address as the return address. Explanations are not needed, and if aunt asks for them, ignore it. 

If aunt asked your dh, he should say that dd doesn't give out her personal address, and that is that. 

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I don't think I would direct auntie to speak with the YA, because this feels like a situation in which is is acceptable for someone else to act as a buffer or advocate. Giving out YA's contact information (email address, for example) likely opens her up to exactly the kind of interaction with auntie that she already finds difficult. 

I also don't think I would lie about packages being stolen. I think it's perfectly acceptable to say that YA is trying to limit or manage the amount of mail she receives (which is true, in the sense that she wants to limit what she receives from auntie) and has asked that her parents not give out the mailing address. 

Repeat as gently and firmly (and as often) as necessary.

Then pass the bean dip. 

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2 minutes ago, Innisfree said:

For those who think dd ought to be sending thanks in some form, how hard would you lean on a young adult who's unwilling to continue contact? Dd agonizes over this relationship. It's torture to stay in and torture to get out.

Will auntie be expecting thanks? Is it something where you or DH could just email a one line thank you?

This is all under the assumption that auntie is loving but socially unaware and struggling and a little compassion is a good thing; not malicious or intentionally hurtful. In that case I’d just be done.

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4 minutes ago, Innisfree said:

For those who think dd ought to be sending thanks in some form, how hard would you lean on a young adult who's unwilling to continue contact? Dd agonizes over this relationship. It's torture to stay in and torture to get out.

Assuming the YA is otherwise a kind and responsible person, I wouldn't lean at all.

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"Oh, we don't give out our adult kids' contact information. You could send the package here if you want." 

Just now, Jenny in Florida said:

Assuming the YA is otherwise a kind and responsible person, I wouldn't lean at all.

Yeah, there is no reason for a parent to control their adult children's relationships / pressure an adult child to keep up an unwanted relationship.

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Posted (edited)
8 minutes ago, Mrs Tiggywinkle said:

Will auntie be expecting thanks? Is it something where you or DH could just email a one line thank you?

This is all under the assumption that auntie is loving but socially unaware and struggling and a little compassion is a good thing; not malicious or intentionally hurtful. In that case I’d just be done.

Auntie absolutely expects thanks. She is loving, but has a very rigid understanding of etiquette. There's never intentional hurtfulness, but a great deal of criticism of people who don't meet her expectations. This starts getting into why she can be difficult. I mean, obviously people should thank others for presents, but the criticism can be constant. Sometimes I think she loves to give presents mostly because it's the only way she can compel a relationship.

 Eta: However, I can absolutely send brief thanks myself.

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1 minute ago, Innisfree said:

Sometimes I think she loves to give presents mostly because it's the only way she can compel a relationship.

My grandmother used to do this, except it often wasn't even a "gift," but just a greeting card. Apparently, if she sent you a card, you were supposed to call and thank her for the card -- or send a card thanking her for the card. 

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Just now, Jenny in Florida said:

My grandmother used to do this, except it often wasn't even a "gift," but just a greeting card. Apparently, if she sent you a card, you were supposed to call and thank her for the card -- or send a card thanking her for the card. 

It's so sad. I feel awful for her at the same time I get mad because I'm feeling manipulated.

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It sounds to me like YA is making an adult decision to set a firm boundary. It sounds like she has good reason to do this. She is trying to cut off contact, probably for her own mental health. I would support her in this decision and try not to undermine her decision. You and dh will have to decide how to navigate your relationship with aunt, leaving dd out of it. Sorry it's hard, but I'd try to support dd in this, if you know in your heart that she is justified in this.

 

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5 minutes ago, Tiberia said:

It sounds to me like YA is making an adult decision to set a firm boundary. It sounds like she has good reason to do this. She is trying to cut off contact, probably for her own mental health. I would support her in this decision and try not to undermine her decision. You and dh will have to decide how to navigate your relationship with aunt, leaving dd out of it. Sorry it's hard, but I'd try to support dd in this, if you know in your heart that she is justified in this.

 

This.

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No one is owed a thank you for an unwanted gift.  So, if somehow that aunt does send your dd a gift you should not in any way try to pressure your dd to send a thank you note.  You should encourage your dd to make her boundaries clear with her aunt and not make you and dh tip toe around the issue.  But if she is unwilling to do so then you just need to stop being the in between for them.  If the aunt continues to ask questions about your dd your dh's response should only be, '  that is up for dd to share not me.' Rinse and repeat.

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I will be honest.  I do not have the mental headspace to constantly be receiving unwanted gifts from someone I have an awkward relationship with and then having to extend the relationship by sending thank you emails or letters, which will likely result in another interaction.....  The whole IDEA of this is making me feel panicky and overwhelmed in terms of executive functioning.  

Christmas and birthdays give me literal hives, and I have made a mutual nonaggression pact with most people I have a real relationship with for traditional gift giving occasions.  

I'm sure auntie means well at some level, and I certainly understand how you think the easiest thing to do is to accept the gift and write the thank you note, but there is just NO WAY I could handle that occurring on a regular basis.  I can adore people on their own merits and not be able to handle returning text messages promptly.  This kind of etiquette requirements would feel like assault and blackmail to me.  

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I think that it’s polite to thank for gifts.

But also, it’s impolite to complain if someone does not thank for gifts.

That’s aside from all of the interpersonal history here, but it does highlight that there are two sides to the politeness coin and the aunt is only paying attention to one of them.

I believe that if the aunt is sending a bunch of unsolicited gifts through you to the niece, and the niece does not respond, and the aunt complains to you, the right answer would be, “We did pass those on.  We don’t tell her what to do as she is an adult.”  Or possibly, “We don’t see her that often but we do pass things on whenever we do.  Beyond that, we don’t involve ourselves.”  Or possibly, “Thank you notes seem to be out of style right now.  We do make sure that she gets everything sent to her here, within a couple of weeks.  That’s the extent of our responsibility.”  If there are follow up questions:  “No, we are not keeping track of exactly when we receive and pass things along.  We stack up her mail and pass it along when we see her and that is the extent of it.”  If she asks why she did not receive a TYN, “I have no idea.”—and then change the subject.  Lather, rinse, repeat.

 

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Re: the above (I didn't want to quote)

It seems that everything is geared towards keeping the aunt happy. Dd is ready to get out of that mess, even though it would be easier to keep playing the game. It sounds like aunt is not an evil person, but you are all seemingly bending over backwards to not cross her. I could be getting all this wrong, but it seems like aunt is manipulating a lot of emotions from you all. She may not have evil intent, but it's still destructive to dd. You'll have to decide your own relationship with aunt. If dd wants out, I'd help her get out. Even if dd is wrong, it's still her decision to make. 

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4 minutes ago, Terabith said:

I will be honest.  I do not have the mental headspace to constantly be receiving unwanted gifts from someone I have an awkward relationship with and then having to extend the relationship by sending thank you emails or letters, which will likely result in another interaction.....  The whole IDEA of this is making me feel panicky and overwhelmed in terms of executive functioning.  

Christmas and birthdays give me literal hives, and I have made a mutual nonaggression pact with most people I have a real relationship with for traditional gift giving occasions.  

I'm sure auntie means well at some level, and I certainly understand how you think the easiest thing to do is to accept the gift and write the thank you note, but there is just NO WAY I could handle that occurring on a regular basis.  I can adore people on their own merits and not be able to handle returning text messages promptly.  This kind of etiquette requirements would feel like assault and blackmail to me.  

I think this is exactly how dd feels. Thank you for spelling it out for me. 

4 minutes ago, Tiberia said:

Re: the above (I didn't want to quote)

It seems that everything is geared towards keeping the aunt happy. Dd is ready to get out of that mess, even though it would be easier to keep playing the game. It sounds like aunt is not an evil person, but you are all seemingly bending over backwards to not cross her. I could be getting all this wrong, but it seems like aunt is manipulating a lot of emotions from you all. She may not have evil intent, but it's still destructive to dd. You'll have to decide your own relationship with aunt. If dd wants out, I'd help her get out. Even if dd is wrong, it's still her decision to make. 

Thank you, yes. You're right. And thank you so much for not quoting!

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If she's trying to cut the aunt out of her life, the answer is to stop trying to help the aunt circumvent that.   Let her cut her out. 

DH should tell his sister DD doesn't want gifts or anything else, just stop.  And let the chips fall where they may.

No, it doesn't fit rigid (I'm assuming Southern) etiquette rules, but somewhere along the way Auntie violated all that anyway or they wouldn't be in this situation.  So if you must because DH won't, tell her to stop yourself with a tight smile, and when things get ugly quietly tell her no is a complete answer and you're going to save Auntie's dignity by ducking out of this now.  And when she continues, quietly comment that enough is enough and it's time for Auntie to stop showing her butt.

Note: none of the above paragraph works if you're not actually in the South.  The language is completely different and can be far more rude and firm.

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3 minutes ago, Katy said:

If she's trying to cut the aunt out of her life, the answer is to stop trying to help the aunt circumvent that.   Let her cut her out. 

DH should tell his sister DD doesn't want gifts or anything else, just stop.  And let the chips fall where they may.

No, it doesn't fit rigid (I'm assuming Southern) etiquette rules, but somewhere along the way Auntie violated all that anyway or they wouldn't be in this situation.  So if you must because DH won't, tell her to stop yourself with a tight smile, and when things get ugly quietly tell her no is a complete answer and you're going to save Auntie's dignity by ducking out of this now.  And when she continues, quietly comment that enough is enough and it's time for Auntie to stop showing her butt.

Note: none of the above paragraph works if you're not actually in the South.  The language is completely different and can be far more rude and firm.

This is exactly right.

 

Except depending on the age of Auntie, you would nevah, nevah use the word butt. Fanny, behind or rear end, but never butt....

 

🤪

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1 minute ago, fairfarmhand said:

This is exactly right.

 

Except depending on the age of Auntie, you would nevah, nevah use the word butt. Fanny, behind or rear end, but never butt....

 

🤪

You are so right! 😄

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1 minute ago, fairfarmhand said:

This is exactly right.

 

Except depending on the age of Auntie, you would nevah, nevah use the word butt. Fanny, behind or rear end, but never butt....

 

🤪

Haha, you may be right! Maybe Florida is a bit too influenced by tourists.

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I taught my kids to write thank you notes.  They are adults now. They know there are some people who get miffed if they don't get a "thank you". They can decide on their own if they want to send thank you notes or not. I will not say anything to them either way. They are adults. It's all on them now.  If there was someone they didn't want to send a thank you note to, that's fine with me.  If anyone asked me why they didn't get a thank you note from dd, I'd probably say, "I don't know." and talk about something else. 

 

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Off topic but I remember the first time I said something to my dh about someone showing their butt and he thought I was crazy 😝. He’d never heard that and I didn’t know anyone who hadn’t 

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24 minutes ago, saraha said:

Off topic but I remember the first time I said something to my dh about someone showing their butt and he thought I was crazy 😝. He’d never heard that and I didn’t know anyone who hadn’t 

Is DH not from the same region?

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57 minutes ago, saraha said:

Off topic but I remember the first time I said something to my dh about someone showing their butt and he thought I was crazy 😝. He’d never heard that and I didn’t know anyone who hadn’t 

I remember the first time I ever heard that expression. I'm originally from southern California and had lived for significant periods of time in both the Midwest and northeast, but had never heard that phrase until moving to Florida. (I remember it clearly, because it was at the center of a dust-up between two homeschool moms. In a weird, roundabout way, my minimal involvement in the conflict wound up getting me banned from another homeschool organization.)

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2 hours ago, Katy said:

Is DH not from the same region?

I am from Michigan and he is from southern Ohio. My moms family was from central Ohio, I don’t know why us northerners used this phrase regularly, but I remember my mom, aunts and grandma all using it 🤷🏼‍♀️

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