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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Granddaughter’s tastes stretching grandma’s budget

Washington Post

Dear Carolyn: I’m blessed with 10 grandchildren, each of whom I take clothes-shopping once or twice a year, which I enjoy, especially as money is tight in a few of their homes. My problem is that the eldest has developed expensive tastes. When I steer her toward the discount stores where I ordinarily shop, she expresses disdain, makes excuses such as, “They never have my size,” and heads for Nordstrom.

Naturally I’ve considered just handing her the sum I’d feel OK spending, but the fun part for me is the smiles upon finding items they like, the delighted anticipation at checkout, and the expressions of appreciation that I get from her cousins when I take them shopping.

On the other hand, while I’ve ceased to enjoy taking her shopping, how would it look if I simply didn’t take her, yet continued taking her cousins? I don’t want to be “that grandparent” who plays favorites. – Shopping Grandma

I’m more worried about “that grandparent” who won’t use her standing to gently rein in a brat.

“My budget is the same no matter where we shop, so if you want retail quality you get retail quantity, too. Your decision.” Make clear what your limit is (in both senses of the word). If “the expressions of appreciation that I get from her cousins” fail to issue forth from her, then learn from that: “I sense you don’t appreciate these shopping trips anymore, so shall we skip it? I’ll understand. Maybe dinner instead?”

Email Carolyn at tellme@washpost.com, follow her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ carolyn.hax or chat with her online at 9 a.m.each Friday at www.washington post.com.
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