An individual had a tough upbringing as a child. Their mother gave birth to them while she was still in high school, and their relationship was characterized by financial difficulties and on-and-off periods.
Grandparents Stepped in
For much of their upbringing, the person’s maternal grandparents took on the primary parenting role. It wasn’t until the individual was twelve that their parents married and began to stabilize their lives. Just two years later, the person’s parents had another child, a baby girl.
A Second Thought
The new family member reiterated what the individual had long since felt: they were always a second thought to their parents. Family vacations were tailored to the needs of the new infant, and their home was filled with items suited for a young child, leaving the person feeling somewhat neglected during their teenage years.
A Successful Career
Despite these challenges, the person managed to complete school, learn a trade, and get a good job. “I got out of school and my grandpa helped me get an apprenticeship as a welder”, they recounted. “I enjoy the work and the money is great. I have my own rig now and just bought a house.”
Back at the person’s old family house, their younger sister had become passionate about ballet and was talented at it. She was offered an opportunity to attend a costly summer program.
A Request For Help
Unable to afford the program, the parents turned to the older sibling for financial assistance. They explained: “They said that I should help her out because she looks up to me. I said no.”
Reaction to Refusal
After the person declined to provide financial assistance, the parents were outraged, claiming that their elder child made “more money than they need.” In response, the individual simply suggested that their parents cover the expenses, even if it means going into debt.
A Sarcastic Offer
In an additional response to their parents’ request, the individual offered to repay all the money spent on their own extracurricular activities during their upbringing as their contribution. However, this was said sarcastically, as this represented almost nothing.
The Parents’ Defence
Outraged by the comments of their eldest child, they accused them of being unreasonable, and that they couldn’t afford the stuff their child was interested in back then. The individual spitefully pointed out that their parents were clearly still facing the same financial challenges despite their older age.
The grandparents acknowledged that the way the individual phrased their response may have been too harsh, but they also acknowledged that the parents’ support during the person’s upbringing was lacking. This left the individual in a situation where they were perceived as unsympathetic to their younger sister’s passion due to their own challenging upbringing.
Considering Both Sides
After this discussion with their grandparents, the individual grappled with their decision to deny financial assistance to their younger sister. Whilst their decision remained the same and it was true that they felt that their parents should take responsibility for their own financial obligations, they also recognized that they had responded rudely.
Asking an Audience
To gain some perspective on the matter, the individual wrote out their story online, waiting for responses. To their surprise, almost everyone took their side. ”If you ever wish to gift your sister anything that’s your prerogative, but absolutely 100% not your responsibility”, somebody wrote. “Omg and to then guilt you for being better off than them?? Forget that, I’m proud of you”.
Not Worth It
Putting the family dynamics aside, one reader expressed to the individual that gifting the ballet school finances would not be worthwhile. “I used to work at a well-known ballet school which did summer programs like this. Just because she’s good at her local school does not mean she’s good in the bigger picture. If she really is good, she’ll get a nice scholarship offer”.
An Outrageous Fee
Throughout the whole story and comment thread, the individual didn’t once mention the cost of the ballet program. When somebody asked, they revealed the price was around $20,000. “That’s beyond excessive”, responded one person in shock.
“WHAT? HOW MUCH? Oh heeeeelllll naw”, responded another commenter comically.
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