I posted on here a few weeks ago about my DH and I splitting the cost of my Dad's 60th birthday party with my younger (26-year-old) brother. An update on that: my brother actively asked to pay a third of the overall price, and I agreed. I thought my brother quibbled over costs a little too much, but I let it go--the amount of money wasn't more than 250 total, and I didn't feel it was worth arguing about. DH and I did, however, decide between ourselves not to split present costs with my brother in the future, as we both didn't appreciate how tedious the whole process became.
Anyway, something else has come up now, and I'm starting to become truly annoyed. A few weeks ago, my brother told me that a famous comedian is going to be doing a live stand up routine during the month of my birthday, and he asked if I was interested in going. He sort of implied that he could take me for my birthday, and I said sure, that would be great. I have not brought it up since.
This morning, my brother calls me and says that he already bought me another, more sentimental birthday gift, but that if I still want to go to the comedy show, he'll pay for the tickets as an additional gift if I'm willing to split the cost of the 1 appetizer + 2 drink minimum + parking with him.
Now, this totally rubbed me the wrong way. I think it's poor taste to offer someone a gift, but then attach strings to it. It's like saying "I'll take you out to dinner for your birthday, but if you want desert you have to pay for it."
I told my brother that he was putting me in an awkward position; obviously, I'm not going to tell him to spend more money on me for my birthday, but now it will be difficult for me to really enjoy the gift because he's making it sound like he'll have to strain to afford it. We discussed the possibility of us going to the concert, taking my birthday off the table, and just splitting everything down the middle (it would just be me and him attending; my DH will not be there). I also suggested that in the future we set a birthday present minimum, given that DH and I will be on a more fixed budget when our first baby arrives soon (I won't be working at all until December, and even then I'm only going back part time).
My brother, who must have been feeling bad at that point, started to back peddle, and said that he could afford the whole comedy show. He then (without my asking) told me that he currently has 10,000 dollars in Apple stock, and that's not counting what he has in savings. I know this info is none of my business, but I couldn't help but feel frustrated. You have all that money saved up, and you call me to quibble over an extra 50 dollars for my birhday? Really?
In the end, I told him I would have to think about whether I still wanted to go the comedy show, and whether or not it should be a birthday gift. The fact is, I really don't care about the show either way--I'm more upset that my brother is so darn cheap, and is becoming unpleasant. I would like him to know that it's in poor taste to split hairs over what should be a birthday gift (especially to split hairs with the person whose gift it is). I'm also very tempted to tell him that I think he's crossed the line from being financially careful to downright stingy.
I told DH all this, and he thinks I should confront the issue before it gets worse.
What do you all think? Confront? Or is it not my problem?