DEAR MARGO: My niece had always loved dolls as a little girl. I adore my niece, and a few years ago, when she was 8 or 9, I gave her two handmade dolls for her birthday.
I put a lot of time, energy, money and love into those dolls. A few weeks ago, her mother called to tell me they were having a garage sale, and that “Marilyn” had outgrown the dolls and they were going in the sale. My S-I-L (my niece’s mother) thought I might want the dolls back.
Although I was a little (OK, a lot) hurt that my niece didn’t value the dolls enough to keep them, I was, nevertheless, grateful that I was given the opportunity to get them back instead of having them sold to strangers.
However, when I went to pick up the dolls, I was told that since they’d easily bring $20 apiece in the garage sale, I should pay fair market value. (I paid at least $100 just for materials, but that isn’t the point.)
I forked over the $40 to get the dolls back, but I can’t get over this resentment. Please help me make sense of this. I don’t like this feeling I’m left with. — Raggedy Aunt
DEAR RAG: Two words come to mind: chintzy and insensitive. The mother, if not the kid, was kinda dense to ignore your feelings and the fact that the dolls were a labor of love. To nickel and dime a relative is pretty cheap, and I hope she got a lot for the extra 40 bucks she made.
One thing she lost was the good feeling between you, and should she notice the relationship is not what it once was, I would be open with her as to the reason. — Margo, disenchantedly