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Responding to Unrealistic Request

Thursday, December 28, 2017

This letter is my personal response that I doubt I'll ever send. The fact that Laura, the Mom, is my stepdaughter, means that I'll probably keep this response to myself.

Dear Brandon,
Your request for our truck has taught me a valuable lesson about giving and receiving. Maybe by putting your needs ahead of our own, we have devalued ourselves in your eyes. Maybe I gave you the idea that you are of greater importance than we are. I seriously wonder if we have given your family too much already, and that is why both you and your Mom felt entitled to ask for our truck.
The request for the truck was hurtful, especially since you disrespectfully called your grandfather "The Old Man". We really could use your family's help with his winter wood supply. After your grandfather's knee surgery, we asked for some help with our winter wood. You and your family could not help because of other priorities. There's no way that we could get our household work done without the truck. The Old Man needs the old truck to take his Old Lady camping and mountain climbing. My heart is hurting that you would selfishly consider asking us for our work vehicle.
You request was presumptuous. What do you think your grandfather would drive? You were already given a nice little car. Drive the car, get a job, and save your money for your own truck. We will help you negotiate a good truck deal, but we will not pay for any part of the truck.
Learning to save money is a great discipline that will help you for your whole life. I am sure that you earned over $1,000 last summer. You told me that you have no money saved. Hopefully, this summer you will find a way to save some cash for a truck. If not, be happy with your little car.
The Old Man and I spent an afternoon hunting for the perfect book on Wildlife Conservation Officers. I don't believe that you thanked us for it. Please let us know if you like it. Our budget allowed us to buy you a $20 book. I felt as though you consider us inadequate as grandparents since you did not get a $20 K truck.
I'm really discouraged, Brandon. Your request took the "Merry" right out of my Christmas.
Do I need to ask: Are you trying to get in your "wish-list" for when The Old Man dies? If so, it was incredibly insensitive of you, and completely out of line.
With love,
The Old Lady.

My husband's response is to just leave the whole thing alone. This letter is something that helps me to sort out my own feelings.
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  • EILEEN828
    It was weird situation, and I have to wonder if the mom was actually the one behind it and pushed her son into asking for it. Maybe she needs a car and wants her sons car and he can have grandpas old truck. She can’t ask for it and get away with it, but her naive very young son could get away with it. At the time I would have laughed and said hell no or, sure once you’ve earned enough money to pay for it. You didn’t really say much about what she said at the time but focused very much on the son. Think back how did he react really? How did she? Did you provide him with his car in first place? Then my response would have been, no one is enough if you don’t like it you’ll have to get your own. Did they take your no well? Maybe all it was was just a stupid question in the first place, because he likes the truck. Regardless, he had no business demanding it from you, and I have to think that by sixteen years old he should have known that he can’t just have stuff because he wants it. His mother should be brought to task on this more than the son. She was there and encouraged him to ask for it or she wouldn’t have been there otherwise. Call him dumb and her rude, and don’t either of them bother asking for anything again because the answer is certainly now a resounding NO.
    702 days ago
    This is a well thought out letter and will help you get through this difficult time.
    704 days ago
    Well reasoned letter that gives you a place to speak your mind. Personally, I would not send it, but would be ready with answers if he broaches the subject again.
    705 days ago
    I've read both the initial blog and responses, and this one. I wouldn't send the letter. What I WOULD do is invite them over and have a sit down, face to face open discussion with the two of them, the step-daughter, and the grandson, together. I definitely wouldn't "let it go". Needs to be nipped in the bud before bad feelings develop.
    706 days ago
    I think sending the letter would be perfectly reasonable from what you've said. But I understand why you and 'the old man' may choose not to do so. Hopefully though the act of writing it will have helped you deal with the hurt.
    706 days ago
  • LINDA!
    Wow. I do know that there are so many entitled people in our society anymore. It really hurts when it comes from someone in your own family. emoticon My heart goes out to you and your husband. Your letter is not out of line. I envy you that you had such a great response. You were direct and that is what he needed. (I say send the letter)
    706 days ago
    Whether you send the letter or not, I don't think it is really out of line. He should try to get his priorities in line and his attitude as well. Hoping this will happen, but also hoping for patience on all ends if it does not. Hugs.
    706 days ago
    I occasionally have unsent replies to my kids. Sometimes it's just good to express it and get it off your chest. I agree with that first thing about a good heart. I totally get what you mean!
    706 days ago
    So sorry you had to go through this. Your letter is cathartic. You have expressed your feelings so well. Please do not let this incident spoil your memories of the holiday or the days leading up to the holiday.

    706 days ago
    Wow! Sometimes you try so hard to give as much and help as much as you can. You want to ease the burden of loved ones and just assume that your gift will be appreciated and not expected. Best wishes!
    706 days ago

    Thanks a lot for your comments on my Unrealistic Request blog. Your comment encourages me to realize just how immature the request was, and that my response can help my grandson to grow. I look forward to enjoying happier family times in the future!
    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    706 days ago
    I lean towards sending the letter, but, once sent, it can’t be recalled. Hmmm. You thought it out and clearly articulated your feelings. If I had written something like this, and decided to not send it, I would be tempted to put it with a copy of my will.
    706 days ago
    706 days ago
    emoticon emoticon
    706 days ago
    emoticon emoticon
    emoticon for the hurt and disappointment you have both suffered
    706 days ago
    It's a great gift you give someone when you teach them the value of earning your own money and buying your own possessions. I hope that someday he will see that and thank you for saying no to him.
    706 days ago
    Amen to what you write.

    I've used blogging as a venting mechanism for those of my off-line friends who act with such maturity.

    Its good that you have thought through your genuine response. I have not always acted so calmly and graciously when dealing with such people (especially family).

    707 days ago
    It's a good idea to put your feelings in to writing, even if you don't deliver. Our pastor used to say, write the letter and then burn it, giving it to God.
    Seems you've done this. Hopefully, this has helped you forgive the ungrateful kid. emoticon
    707 days ago
    I'm not good at interpersonal relationships, so I just give emoticon
    707 days ago
    Putting your feelings in writing is great and I hope it'll help you put this unfortunate event to rest.
    As far as sending the letter goes, IMO some things are better left unsaid.
    Wishing you peace.
    707 days ago
    Journal writing always helps to sort out & NEUTRALIZE your feelings. Don't you feel better after VENTING those emotions...From 1 old broad to another...REMEMBER you are only as old as you feel!!!! emoticon emoticon

    Early Happy New Year to you!!!!
    707 days ago
    Thanks friends for your input.
    I've come to understand a lot about myself and my family through this exchange.
    707 days ago
  • LIS193
    Writing clears the air, whether you will send the letter or not.
    707 days ago
    Your letter is clear, and using it to define your thinking is a good thing. Now you mention that not only this boy but also his mother are always wanting more? It may be time to get angry with both of them and put the responsibility for their lives back where it belongs: on their own shoulders, with a generous dose of thoroughly justified outrage. Think of yourselves as the agents of some thoroughly deserved consequences for their actions. That's just a thought . . . .
    707 days ago
  • HOLLYM48
    So sorry this happened. I hope it helped to write it down and get it out even if you don't send it.
    707 days ago
    Great Letter, I have written lots of letters that I never sent, did make me feel better. ((HUGS))
    707 days ago
    Great letter. Whether you send it or not is irrelevant, in my opinion. What most important is how you feel and how you manage those emotions. I can also understands your husband's response as I have an ex and kids. When these "conflicts" arise, it a lose/lose situation for me, irrespective of what I do. I wish you the best.
    707 days ago
    Writing letters is a great way to sort out feelings.

    There were many letters written over the years that were never sent and later burned. I not only found writing them therapeutic, I also found the act of burning them therapeutic as well.

    707 days ago
    Great letter, and I'm sure you benefit from thinking it over writing down, even if you do not send it.
    I would probably send it, so that the boy benefits too.
    Perhaps not the last sentence about death - but all the rest is kind, assertive and helpful.

    Also, there may be an alternative, less hurtful explanation for his words, and the letter would give him a chance to explain himself.
    707 days ago
    emoticon Some kids today are brought up thinking they are entitled to everything they want. Sad.
    707 days ago
    Well expressed, and I think Brandon and his mother need to see it. I would send a copy to each of them (but if it's your husband's family, he should do it, not you). Now forget it. Don't let it eat away at you. You don't deserve that.
    707 days ago

    Comment edited on: 12/28/2017 9:07:46 AM
    I think both you and your husband responded in ways that benefited each of you. I like what you had to say and wish that your grandson would come to this realization on his own. I also feel that your husband is right to ignore this unrealistic request. It doesn't deserve consideration. A firm no would be enough in my opinion.
    707 days ago

    Comment edited on: 12/28/2017 8:44:53 AM
  • JANET552
    I'm glad you took the time to write out your frustration and disappointment. Even if you don't send it, if it made you feel better in any way it was worth the time you took.
    707 days ago
  • EISSA7
    Well written expression of how you really feel about this entire incident; so sorry that it dampened the merry in your holiday. I hope that it helped you sort through your anger, disappointment, and sadness; now that you know “the lay of the land” with those 2, you will not be blindsided by their next greedy request or insensitive comment.
    707 days ago
  • MARTHA324
    This is the letter that you needed to write and then put away and never send. You'll have opportunities to gently bring this (or similar things) to Brandon's attention over the years.
    707 days ago
    So glad you wrote this letter. It does sound a lot like Grand Torino... you as usual are amazing, an inspiration to people who just have no answer. thanks
    707 days ago
    I think you have totally expressed the hurt I would feel @ such a request as well. I think you've done well to write the letter to get your feelings out. Sadly, even IF you sent it, I doubt seriously it would make a change in either your step-daughter's attitude, nor Brandon's. However, with the behaviors you've seen displayed, you certainly can change YOUR approach to both of them. No, that doesn't mean nastiness (and I KNOW you know that), but certainly approaching them with caution, kindness and firmness -- using the wor NO often would be appropriate.

    So sorry you went thru this. I definitely wouldn't let either of them steal my joy, because that's just giving THEM the power.

    Lessons learned all 'round for sure. I can only imagine your John is disappointed as well.
    707 days ago
    So sorry this happened to you since it is your husband's family I would not say any more though it is so hurtful quite sure he is hurting inside but has decided to ignore it. As someone who I have learned to admire so much said "When they go low we go high". All the best to both of you & I hope this hurt will not leave a big scar
    707 days ago
    Excellent letter. You processed your feelings and expressed the points so well, even if you never send it.
    Really, my heart breaks a little for you and your husband. They were so inconsiderate, unkind, and ungrateful.
    707 days ago
    As a Step Parent myself, it's hard sometimes to not say what needs to be said. But, it can cause a problem with your spouse. I have been there. Anymore, I just bite my tongue unless I am asked for my opinion. The two boys are adults now living out of the house so that makes it easier.
    I don't blame you for being upset. That was just really out of line for the grandson to even ask.
    Don't let his bad behavior get you down. It's his issue not yours.
    Sending the letter might upset your husband, I don't think I would. But, it had to feel good writing it.

    Maybe this Eleanor Roosevelt quote will help.
    "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent."

    emoticon emoticon

    707 days ago

    Comment edited on: 12/28/2017 7:10:25 AM
    Some things you can change but attitude in others is often not one of those. I would not send the letter
    707 days ago
  • LINDA058
    Setting healthy boundaries is so difficult at times. Good luck
    707 days ago
    Praying for yall
    707 days ago
    If they can’t accept your refusal to loan the truck then there’s not much you can do about it
    707 days ago
    I would send him the letter and maybe that would open his eyes!
    707 days ago
    Typical of *men* to ask that this be "left alone" - sigh..........it's eating away at you, though - so much for the opinion of "men"...........I am so sorry that this has happened to you...........
    707 days ago
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