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Chapter 12: Bratty McBratFace: College Graduate!

caninelover's picture

In May of 2018, Bratty McBratFace was set to graduate with a B.A. in Gender Studies.  SO and I were invited to attend the ceremonies, along with a couple of aunts and uncles.  Bratty was really excited and planned activities for family that were travelling in from out of town.  SO travelled out a few days earlier than I did – as I was still getting comfortable in my new job I couldn’t take a lot of time off.  So I flew out separately for the long weekend, primarily to attend the ceremony.

I put quite a bit of thought into a gift for Bratty.  In the past, she had not been very excited or frankly even gracious about birthday and Christmas presents that I had given her (though they were always relatively small gifts).  College graduation was a big event and I thought worthy of a nicer gift.

During the Summer of Terror 2.0 Bratty had often wished for backpacking-type backpack to use for travel and backcountry camping.  She lamented at the high cost of these backpacks and often scoured the neighborhood Goodwill store to see if any used ones were available for sale.  As her budget was $5, she shockingly was unable to locate even a used pack within this very limited budget.

So for graduation I thought I would purchase a new pack for Bratty.  I asked SO what he thought of the idea and he said it was thoughtful and Bratty would probably be excited.  So I went ahead and found a nice pack at REI that looked like it would fit her frame.  I brought it with me to her graduation.

The night before the ceremony, Bratty’s uncle (who lived an hour or so away) hosted a dinner party to celebrate.  I left the actual pack at our hotel but did put a picture of it in Bratty’s card.  When gifts were handed out after dinner, I handed Bratty the card with the photo of the pack.  Bratty looked at it and said a very cool ‘thank you’.

The next morning we stopped by Bratty’s off-campus apartment to drop off the pack and drive her to campus.  Bratty looked at, took it, and placed it aside.  We then drove Bratty to campus and took some pictures of her in cap and gown around the campus.  Bratty LOVES posing for pictures and will spend an hour in the same place experimenting with slightly different positions.  SO patiently snapped the photos while I held Bratty’s coat and bag.  Which was pretty much my role that weekend – coat-and-bag holder.  Which was no problem, I understood the weekend was not about me and I was happy to support SO. 

Bratty eventually finished up with photos and then separated to prepare for the commencement ceremony.  We grabbed coffee nearby and met up with Bratty’s aunts and uncles.  It was a cool day outside and the ceremony was in an indoor gymnasium.  It was a typical commencement ceremony – filled with pomp and circumstance while anxious family wait for the name of their graduate to be called.  Bratty looked excited and SO was extremely proud, as any parent would be watching their child achieve such an important life milestone.

After commencement, we all went to a local restaurant for dinner.  Now, Bratty made a point to tell (brag?) to everyone that she had picked a nice restaurant for her graduation dinner and made the reservations all by herself using the OpenTable app on her phone. 

When we got to the restaurant, we checked in with the hostess.  She looked at her reservations list, and said ‘Sorry Ms. McBratFace, we don’t see any reservations under your name’.  Bratty then whipped out her phone looking for a confirmation email but couldn’t find one.  Bratty was now starting to panic.  Inexplicably, Bratty turns to me and asks me if I can check my phone.  Um, huh?  I was the designated coat-and-bag-holder and now apparently the reservation-maker.  Above my pay-grade.  I told Bratty she was welcome to use the OpenTable app on my phone but I didn’t know anything about her reservation.  Bratty frowned and kept checking her phone.  Finally SO asked the hostess if they were able to accommodate our party anyway.  The manager came over and let us know they luckily a last minute cancellation and were able to fit us in.  All’s well that ends well.

During dinner Bratty gave each couple a framed picture of herself in her cap and gown as a thank you for attending.  Narcissistic Gift Giving 101:  Nothing says thank you like a framed picture of yourself.  SO got a special poster-sized version as well as a ‘regular’ sized one.  Probably an indication of my dislike for Bratty but I was thinking in that moment – no way SO is hanging that giant thing anywhere I can see it LOL.  But of course, it was not the time or the place and I didn’t say a word except the requisite thank you, what a nice picture, etc.

After dinner, SO and I dropped Bratty off at her apartment and went back to our room.  As we were packing a few things to get ready for our flight the next morning, SO gently tells me that Bratty mentioned she didn’t like the backpack I had given her and thought it was too large.  She was annoyed because it was one more thing she would have move out of her apartment. 

I was quiet for moment but then got extremely upset.  First, I thought it was incredibly rude for Bratty to say anything other than thank you for that gift.  Also, I was really pissed at SO.  Why didn’t he tell Bratty to appreciate the thought behind the gift regardless?  Why did he even say anything at all to me?  It’s not like I would know if Bratty returned it, sold it, re-gifted it, threw it out – whatever.  Bratty saying anything, and then SO saying it back to me, was incredibly hurtful.  I told SO Bratty could throw it off a bridge for all I cared, as it was the last gift I would ever get for Bratty.  

And I stayed true to my words.  For Bratty’s birthday (which was a couple of months after her graduation) I mailed her a card but no gift.  For Christmas, I sent her nothing as she made a big deal about announcing that she is no longer celebrating Christmas as she was no longer Christian.  She asked SO what she should get me for Christmas that year and I said I wanted nothing from her.  Then she asked SO if she should get us something ‘for the house’ (my house) to help decorate it.  As my home was still new, we had a lot of wall space still left to decorate.  So Bratty apparently thought she was allowed to participate in that.  I told SO hell no and anything Bratty gets ‘for the house’ will be promptly thrown away.  So I think we can say that after 2018, I was (and still am) done with any gift-giving to Bratty.

Back to the graduation weekend - our flight home was uneventful.  Fortunately Bratty was staying near her college that summer as her program was at a university nearby, making it more practical to stay local and look for a new place to rent for the following semester.  One would think Bratty would consider working that summer but of course she didn’t.  In the next Chapter, we’ll see what Bratty did during her summer, including her summer fling.


tog redux's picture

Yeah, your SO's coddling parent is shining through. By her age, she should know to say thanks and be grateful even if she doesn't like the gift. And she could have easily returned the backpack for one that would fit her better. AND, as you said, he should have set her straight long ago when she complained about gifts.

caninelover's picture

This is one of those things where I've learned disengagement is really the only solution.  I can't parent Bratty - I am 'not her mother' as we recall - and SO is so permissive that he rarely challenges Bratty.  I realized if I continued with the gifts, Bratty would continue to use it to make stupid and unnecessary drama.  So, I stopped.  I also expect nothing from Bratty either.  No more hurt feelings on my side and I could care less what Bratty thinks.

Stepdrama2020's picture

At her age she should know how to be thankful even if your DH is a suckhole parent. At some point we can longer use a parent as an excuse as to why we are a bitch.  I do get though that DH shaped her this way. 

caninelover's picture

She still to this very day blames everything on her parents.  Mostly her Biomom but SO gets some shrapnel from time to time.

GrudgingSM's picture

I'm just so impressed at how well you read the situations and place your boundaries. You give her a fair chance but you don't put up with nonsense.


also My sister also loved giving pics of herself when she was younger. Like, gurl, your grandparents do not want to hang sultry pictures of you in their house!

caninelover's picture

Yeah I have a low tolerance for BS in general.  That line was really stretched with Bratty for a few years before I finally decided I was done.

Gimlet's picture

Those sorts of backpacks are expensive!  REI is so generous with exchanges, all she had to do was go into the store and get fitted for a different one.  My DD has an Osprey that she got at an REI garage sale, she would have been over the moon with your gift!

Good for you for not getting her another damn thing.

monkeyseedo's picture

Exactly!!  Why on earth didn't she just tell her dad, I love it dad, and it's such a great and thoughtful gift-the only issue is it's a tad big for my frame.  Would it offend you if I exchanged it for something that fits me better?  See, that's what NORMAL people would do.  What an ungrateful beotch.


caninelover's picture

And - why didn't SO correct her when she complained about it?!?

advice.only2's picture

Wow what a cow! I got luggage for my high school graduation from my parents, was I excited about it? Hell no, but I used the sh*t out of that luggage because that's what they got me. I was still using it when DH and I got married and I finally had to replace it because it was so old and worn out.

tog redux's picture

My parents gave us all luggage our senior year too! The message was clear, lol. No failure to launch in our family.

caninelover's picture

He had asked her what she wanted and she said a watch.  So he ordered one online and shipped it to her.  She didn't like it so returned it and he got her a different one.  Same result.  This time she emailed SO a link to a webpage about watch sizing and trends.  He finally picked out 3 different one and sent them and told her to keep one and return the other 2.  

Now I would have told her to return the first one for a credit and get whatever else she liked instead.  So you can see where the coddling is to the extreme.

advice.only2's picture

The fact that he is willing to do that speaks volumes!

I stopped shopping for Spawn after I disengaged from her and DH is not a good gift giver. Imagine Spawns surprise the first Christmas I was disengaged when all she got was two amusement park tickets won by DH that were expiring the next day...wah wah!

JRI's picture

I still gift everyone now but its always money.  I've heard enough complaints and whining to last a lifetime.  It feels a little cold that I don't select gifts but I've learned.  Still, sending checks causes problems for some, too much effort to cash them and one SGD has no account so she has to have cash.  I keep doing it in memory of my dear grandmother who remembeted all occasions.


caninelover's picture

She got cash from her uncle and complained to SO that they 'must think she's poor'.  Bratty also thinks gift cards are impersonal.

In other words, she is just likes to complain.

My niece and nephew, like most teenagers, actually ask for cash or gift cards now.  They would rather buy stuff themselves.  Becasue they are normal unlike Bratty LOL.

JRI's picture

I guess I was so poor back in the day that I welcomed money in any and all forms.  I hear "suggestions" about gift cards (extra $5 expense each),  cash (did that recently for SGD#6 but it was lost or stolen), etc.  I decided stubbornly to keep doing checks and they can consider it a learning opportunity in how to navigate the banking system.

caninelover's picture

But didn't know it since SO paid for everything back then.  Today she is starting to realize that she can't afford the yuppie urban lifestyle that she aspires to.

Me too - back in the day I was thrilled for cash or practical gift cards (grocery store, Target, etc) to help with day-to-day expenses when I was just starting out.

Yeah I currently do Visa gift cards for my niece and nephew but will probably transition to a straight-up Venmo transfer once they start college.


tog redux's picture

Yes! All my teen/young adult nieces and nephew are thrilled for cash every year. Bratty needs to grow up.

MissK03's picture

"She got cash from her uncle and complained to SO that they 'must think she's poor'."

GEEEEZZZZZ. Clearly nothing makes her happy and just likes to complain. WOW. Who doesn't like cash??! Who flips it in that?! 

My birthday is next month... if anyone wants to mail me cash feel free. LOLL. 

caninelover's picture

Part of her victim mentality - she complains to SO about alot of random stuff for his attention and sympathy. It is really pathetic.

CLove's picture

I wonder if she REALLY did want a backpack at all. Back country packing means WORK and TOIL and I doubt she really meant it. It probably SOUNDED good at the time she said it, or she was crushing on a guy that told her he likes backpacking, and she imagined that maybe she would like it.

I would have snapped that sucker up in a heartbeat. And REI? Classy!!!!! Love REI. Biggrin

What an ungrateful bratt. I stopped giving Feral Forger gifts a while ago. Now, she just used money to buy things for Toxic Troll. 

Luckily Munchkin is grateful about things (for now!)

caninelover's picture

I figured this out later but Bratty had a college friend that I think she was crushing on.  He was very outdoorsy.  Bratty once had a plan to backpack in Canada to see the northern lights.  SO asked her how she planned to stay warm in the cold Canadian winter.  Bratty had it all figured out - she would sleep under a tree with a sleeping bag and a blow-up mattress (that weighed 20 lbs by itself).  She didn't need a stove because she would pack enough peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to cover 3 meals a day for a week.  Oddly the friend didn't seem to want to go anywhere with Bratty because that is what all of her plans are like.

Side note - I used to be an avid backpacker when I was younger.  I still do a easy summer weekend backpack every year :)  I taught SO all about backpacking and now he's into it too.  I would NEVER take Bratty because she is irresponsible and immature and that combination can be dangerous in the backcountry.

IDontCare3117's picture

Hold up a sec.  Wouldn't it have been misogynistic for Bratty's crush to escort her around, well, ANYWHERE???

I'm confused.

caninelover's picture

was a non-binary person, so they are fine per Bratty's logic.  Only straight, binary men/women are a problem.  And middle-aged women are the devil.

Lifer33's picture

and ungrateful she is

I did chuckle at the 'I am the gift!' framed photos mind. Wow. 

caninelover's picture

That's what I would have done.  And I probably would have re-gifted the frame to random co-workers, LOL.

Kaylee's picture

Rude little brat.

I instilled in my kids that they needed to be polite and grateful when people gave them gifts, no matter what! 


caninelover's picture

If she were my kid there is no way I would let her get away with complaining about a gift.  But - not my circus, not my monkey.

Kaylee's picture

Also I agree with someone else who said your husband was insensitive to repeat to you what Bratty had said about the gift.

But in a way it was ok because at least you knew then that you would never bother again with getting the ungrateful little madam anything at all.

caninelover's picture

He had a major brain fart.  He said he didn't want me to be upset if Bratty mentioned returning it, etc. but really he should have told Bratty - 'Bratty, dear, appreciate the thought behind the gift and make sure you write a nice thank you note anyway'

Yep, at least I know that gifts are weaponized by Bratty to create drama - and it is easily eliminated.

IDontCare3117's picture

Just wanted to let you know the parent company of Estancia wine appreciates your posts.  *hic*  I'm keeping their stock at a premium price because of your writings.  Look for a gift basket at Easter.  *hic*

caninelover's picture

I have another hour before I can escape Laptopistan and then I'll be right there with you!!

monkeyseedo's picture

FYI-side bar speaking of backpacks.  My husband and I had a long trip to Mexico planned but had passport delays and realizing we can't fully enjoy all we want to do with the Covid restrictions and possibly endangering others if we got it and had to stay and taking away hospital treatment from locals...we postponed till Nov now-hoping it is all better by then.  We wanted a backpack/rolling combo.  We looked at all kinds, Osprey was our top pick but VERY expensive. Then we ran into Deuter Helion 60...this is a bad a** travel bag.  We are thrilled with it, can't wait to use them!  FYI they have a killer sale on these on Amazon right now.  THey also have an 80-85L but it was a little large for our needs/taste.  

Gimlet's picture

I will check that out!  DH and I plan to hike around Ireland/Scotland when things open up again and I've heard good things about Deuter.

Olivia2020's picture

What an ungrateful little wench. Some people are happy being unhappy. She's unhappy. 

Ireland/Scotland are my first stops when I get back overseas when the borders open! Passport renewed and vaccines done. Now I need to go to REI tomorrow Wink

caninelover's picture

Sounds like fun - safe travels Olivia Smile

Step away from me's picture

How ungrateful re: the backpack.

Apologies for blog hogging but I had to laugh on Bratty giving everyone photos of herself. OSD23 is always giving SO photos of herself and the other skids. They are all around his home even in the bedroom. She gave her friend a photo of them both for the friend's 21st where she looked good and the friend looked awful! I mean who does that?

caninelover's picture

I immediately said 'not the giant one'.  He chuckled and said he knew which one I meant and no it would be a small one.  I said no problem then.

I actually think the regular 4x6 frames as a thank you to the aunts and uncles for attending was nice.  The poster-sized one of herself to SO was way over the top, LOL.