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Woman shares the saga of her 'psycho cousin Courtney' 'You want me to do WHAT for your wedding?!' AITA? UPDATED 3X

Woman shares the saga of her 'psycho cousin Courtney' 'You want me to do WHAT for your wedding?!' AITA? UPDATED 3X


When this woman is determined to share the saga of her entitled cousin Courtney, she asks the internet:

"I cannot stand my psychotic cousin. AITA?"

Strap in and let me tell you about my Entitled Cousin and Entitled Aunt. We're going to call them Cousin Courtney and Aunt Ellen.

My mother passed away a few years back. Being an only child whose father had passed a decade earlier, everything got left to me. This should surprise nobody. It surprised Aunt Ellen and her hellspawn Cousin Courtney. In fact, they thought it was horrifically unfair.

My mother was mentally ill, untreated and abusive. I was frequently low contact with her over the course of my adult life, and she often tried to make me feel bad about this by fawning over Cousin Courtney. Why? Who the heck knows.

She was mentally ill. Trying to make sense of my late mother is not a productive activity. Before she passed, she'd often take Cousin Courtney on trips with her because double occupancy isn't much more than going by yourself.

Whatever, no skin off my nose. However, once she passed Aunt Ellen got it in her head that Cousin Courtney should get a share of the estate so she could keep taking trips on my mother's dime. Um, wut? No. Hard no. This caused a good bit of fit tossing and family strife.

Cousin Courtney even tried to sue me in small claims for the cost of a trip my mother had been talking about taking her on before she passed. Cousin Courtney didn't show up to the court date and lost by default.

Apparently she didn't think she needed to for some reason and was very upset about it. I wasn't real thrilled by the lost vacation day, so my sympathy was beyond limited.

Anyway, I mostly ignore all this and roll on with my life. I'm used to crazy and ignoring it. Cut to last month. Aunt Ellen calls me to inform me that Cousin Courtney has gotten engaged. I make appropriate noises while thinking to myself the poor sod has made a terrible mistake.

Aunt Ellen then makes this bizarre comment about sending her a check. I'm all, "Wut?" According to Aunt Ellen, my mother had promised Cousin Courtney money for her wedding should she ever get married. Now this seems ridiculous to me on multiple fronts. I am not my mother.

My mother gave many a rant on how foolish it was to waste down-payment of a house level money on a wedding. She's a bit dead at this point, so whatever she promised died with her. I say no a lot and stop answering calls/emails from this diseased branch of the family tree.

Some backstory, Aunt Ellen and I already had bad blood about weddings. She uninvited me to a previous family wedding, then told everybody there I was a rude no show (another whole shaggy dog story of insanity).

My level of interest in writing her a large check for Cousin Courtney's wedding is somewhere below my interest in poking a nest of yellowjackets while naked, and the chances of it happening after the lawsuit are somewhere around my cats not yowling at the fridge when dinner's late.

Let's also pause to acknowledge that the wedding plans are intense. We're talking destination wedding at an expensive resort, multiple photographers, out of season flowers, designer everything and so forth.

Her idea of what she needs for a wedding approximates something they'd cover on one of those cable channels that has convinced people 10K dresses are reasonable. My own wedding was extremely small because we prioritized paying off student loans.

There's no reason anybody reasonable would think I'd buy into this level of Instagram dream wedding being necessary, but this community isn't about reasonable people.

Cousin Courtney then lands on my doorstep. I foolishly let her in and hear her out. Mind you, this is an adult who is engaged to be married and a doctor in a particularly highly compensated specialty.

She probably makes triple what I do unless she's being screwed by her employer. She doesn't know what to do. Aunt Ellen has cut her off. I can't fathom Aunt Ellen would ever do this, so I'm a bit gobsmacked.

Cousin Courtney has gotten everything she's ever requested in life by tossing tantrums until Aunt Ellen or her husband hand it over. Well, for once Aunt Ellen has drawn the line.

Apparently Cousin Courtney planned the entire wedding without consulting with Aunt Ellen under the assumption she'd get as much money as her half-sister had for her wedding (the one I was uninvited from). Turns out, no.

That money had come from the other side of the family, and Cousin Courtney has to pay up or she'll lose her deposits. Aunt Ellen has refused to help claiming she can't remortgage the house again. She's done it too many times already to buy things for Cousin Courtney, and the money just isn't there.

My position is that this is not my problem, but Cousin Courtney has never budgeted in her life. Has no idea how. Aunt Ellen is still kicking in money to her rent monthly so she can live in a "safe" building with a doorman.

So I make a terrible mistake. See, I advise college students professionally. One of the modules I have is on financial planning. So I whip that baby out and sit down with Cousin Courtney to talk about how to set up a budget and save for her dream wedding.

There's no way she and hubby-to-be can't do this with their combined incomes if they buckle down and plan for it. This is where things get really nuts.

Cousin Courtney's expenses are batshit crazy. She lives on takeout and multiple caramel soy calorie bomb coffee drinks a day. She needs those because her work as a doctor is so stressful!

She has a country club membership that costs a thousand a month (most of that is a food minimum at the restaurant). She can't cancel that! The initiation fee was a graduation present!

She'd have to pay it again to re-join and where would she golf? It's members only and the closest to her hospital. Don't I know she has to be nearby when she's on call? Her cable/internet bill is absurd as she gets every channel and the highest speed even though she's rarely home.

She needs those because, uh, even she can't explain this one. She just needs it and she's not canceling one bit of it. What if she wants to watch something?

The real kicker is her cell phone plan. It's an absurd unlimited plan that's priced higher than current rates with her carrier. All she's gotta do to save herself some money each month is call them up and switch to the new plan.

She won't do it. Why? Mommy always deals with her cell plan, she hates calling customer service people, she hates being on hold, it's just not that much money and she can't ask mommy to do it because she's not talking to mommy since she got cut off. Really? Yes, really.

This is around where I realized all she's done this entire time is whine about how expensive everything is and refuse to do anything constructive. Her reason for agreeing to go through this budgeting exercise was to show me how poor she is and how much she needs me to cough up the money for her wedding.

My motive was to get her to finally do a bit of adulting. She was decidedly uninterested in that. You can't help somebody who won't help themselves. It's just not possible. Once she realized I wasn't going to be writing a check, she dried up the crocodile tears and flounced. There was some very unfortunate name calling as well.

The final straw to this absurd drama is that she made up with mom. No, mommy didn't switch her to a cheaper cell phone plan and get her sorted out with a budget. Aunt Ellen called using an unfamiliar number to tell me how mean I was to her...

precious spoiled brat, and that my mother (who was obsessed with her) would have wanted her to have a perfect wedding. Uh... no. She's probably very mad I hung up on her, but feh. I have new numbers to block.

Hopefully the story ends here. I'm used to being the black sheep. Add this to the list of reasons I'm horrid.

If you're wondering what I did with the money, it's not just sitting around waiting for a greedy cousin to take it. My mortgage is much smaller now.

Thank you for listening. I needed to get that out of my system. tl;dr: Massively entitled cousin thinks I should give her my inheritance to pay for vacations and her wedding because she can't possibly cancel her country club membership or be held to a budget.

Where would she golf? But her super expensive coffee habit! Her mother enables. I say no a lot.

Before we give you OP's updates, let's take a look at some of the top responses:

fafag6 writes:

Sorry to hear that but good on ya for sticking up to them. I always say that being the black sheep is always the better option with toxic families. I too have always been the black sheep especially amongst my numerous siblings and the original middle child. Parents are great but always been treated like the outsider by my siblings.

Cut to ears of living and working abroad. I have built a good life and a “family” of my own. But now I have become the defacto person to run to when the siblings need major help.

The upside is the rest of the extended family is bow seeing the side of the siblings that I have always known. It was good to finally be validated that my siblings can be a bunch of arses. An aunt even asked why have they always treated me differently? I just dont know.

aimsayj writes:

My husband's family is just like this we are NC or LC now so it's not really an issue anymore but long story short he received a payout from a car accident he was in as a kid and they think they are entitled to it or at the very least control how he spends it (It's controlled by a court appointed trust so they can't actually get their hands on it, only spend his allowance and steal his stuff).

I would be making up some story about loosing all the money when they try to come crawling back for whatever else they expect you to pay for so they can live outside their means.

dogstar6 writes:

First I thought it was a mistake to talk to Cousin Courtney again, but no. Even though it was impossible to help her everything was completely sorted out. You got to tell her about all the things she wastes money on and that must be satisfying.

To be able to tell someone in detail where they're screwing up is pretty rare and she can't say it was none of your business after dragging you into it.

I'd say any name-calling at the end on her part was actually fortunate because it's just one more reason that you would not be expected to welcome her back.

About your mom taking her on trips I have seen a similar thing in my own family except it was sisters who didn't get along trying to bond with their sibling's estranged offspring. Saw this in another family, too. Son and his mother having typical teenage years problems so in steps the cool aunt to take his side.

It's good that Aunt Ellen and Cousin Courtney didn't get your mother to leave everything to them or turn up with a dubious alleged will. I guess they just took it for granted which makes sense as they don't seem great at planning.

syntheticgod5 writes:

I have a hard time believing this caricature of a person is, on one hand, so pampered, entitled, and spoiled that she cannot handle any amount of self-reliance but, on the other hand, is somehow also a doctor that made it through medical school with a degree and is making absurd amounts of money.

Clearly, I think the truth is in one extreme or the other: she's either capable of being an adult but chooses to play stupid for free gifts, or she's as much a "doctor" as the receptionist at a doctor's practice. Sounds like the former, but if there was any justice in the world it would be the latter.

This is the sort of person I wish would have everything taken away from her just so she can receive a nuclear dose of reality dropped from orbit. But somehow I don't think even that would be penetrate her skull.

And now, OP's first update:

An update on the post where my Cousin Courtney and Aunt Ellen for some reason think my late mother's estate money should pay for Cousin Courtney's wedding. I said no no no. That was long. This is short and sweet.

The wedding is off. The "happy" couple fought so much about the wedding plans they broke up. I'm still the back sheep, but I'm giggling.

Talked to the gossipmonger uncle last night. Hubby to be fled. The story goes that they'd been fighting about the wedding costs for some time, and a big payment was due on the venue.

They had to pay up or lose their initial deposit and booking. She wanted to pay without any idea where they were getting the rest. He wanted to cut their losses and lose the deposit. It all came to a big ugly head and he ended things entirely because she wouldn't back down.

Hopefully, they stay broken up. I'm told they've broken up a few times before, so no guarantee this one sticks.

OP's second update:

I regret to inform you she was briefly back in my life and as absurd as ever.

So it was a workday and I was waiting for a Zoom meeting with my intern, yay social distancing. I've never even met her in person, but my intern is still awesome. She instant messages me she's having trouble connecting and to hang on while she tries some things. The little joys of everybody working from home are truly without number.

An unfamiliar account pops up in my personal room waiting room (which, sadly, my workplace makes really easy to find), so I assume it's my intern trying from some other account she has. Big mistake.

Up pops the window and there is Cousin Courtney with a big smile on her face acting like we're somehow speaking. Now you're probably going to tell me I should have instantly booted her, and you'd be right. I should have. Boredom and curiosity got the better of me, and I knew getting rid of her was only a click or two away.

She flat out pretended we were on great terms and started making socially awkward small talk. I humored this for a bit before asking her why she'd contacted me.

Well, her parents are having their 50th wedding anniversary coming up soon, and she wants to do something special for them. Um, sure. They've always wanted to go on a cruise, and she wants to send them on one!

Let's pause for a moment to note we're in the middle of a pandemic, they're in their late 70s, and this self-centered brat is a doctor. She wants to put them on a cruise ship? Is she looking to get her inheritance faster? Okay, back to the story.

So she starts blathering on about the cruise she's picked out, how amazing it will be, dream come true and blah blah blah rainbows. Uh, sure, what does this have to do with me? Well... she knows things have been "tense" between us and she thinks my donating to the cruise would be a great way to reconcile.

Hold up buttercup, reconcile? Who the in their right mind things I want that? You're on my work zoom because I literally have you and them blocked everywhere else. And you expect me to donate to a cruise?

Yes, she really did. That way we could be faaamily again! Long sales pitch of nonsense short, she wanted $2000 from me to fund this. Even worse, she mentioned others she'd been asking to donate and includes her half-sister in the list.

Her half-sister was laid off in March because she works in an industry shut down by the pandemic and has two kids she's desperately trying to support. Asking me is a pointless waste of time.

Asking her half-sister is downright cruel. I told her this flat out. She whined a lot about how I just don't understand what it means to be married (sorry, hubby, you apparently don't count) and how important celebrating that is.

Around when she was working herself up into tears, my intern managed to send me a connection request. I was very firm that I wouldn't be donating, asked her not to contact me at work ever again, hung up on Cousin Courtney, and had a lovely chat with my intern.

I was admittedly a little baffled by Cousin Courtney even wanting to give her parents an expensive gift. She's never been known for being generous.

Since it's a pandemic and I'm bored, I decided to call my gossip-monger uncle who always knows everything and ask what he knew about this (other than the gossip, he's pretty great; just have to keep him on an info diet).

Turns out she was soliciting the whole family for donations, and she was planning on going on the cruise with them.

Worse, since she lost so much money in deposits when she cancelled her wedding and something I didn't totally get involving an abandoned lease with the now ex since they're broken up, her gift was going to be planning everything. Everybody else donating was doing the paying for her dream cruise vacation with her parents.

Suddenly the world makes perfect sense. I'd also like to report there's no way to block people with Zoom, and my workplace basically publishes our personal room links. This seems sub-ideal. If you're in a similar situation, turn on your waiting room by default and be careful out there!

OP's 3rd update:

Last we heard from Courtney, she was trying to pull together a 50th wedding anniversary cruise for her parents (and her) and make me pay for a large chunk of it. I wasn't down with that. She whined a lot about family and how important it is to celebrate a marriage that lasted this long. I blew her off.

Well, hold onto your hats and glasses, Aunt Ellen and Uncle Dimwit aren't legally married. To each other anyhow. Uncle Dimwit is still legally married to the woman we all thought was his ex-wife and mother of Cousin Courtney's half-sister...

Cousin Jessica. Yes, you read that right, they are having a 50th anniversary of having held a ceremony that was not a legal wedding and the"groom" is still to this day married to his "ex" wife.

This all came out because Cousin Courtney apparently really was trying to send them (including her) on a cruise and found a cheaper option that was some kind of special deal for couples having a big anniversary (I read this as pandemic lack of bookings caused all sorts of random deals to be rolled out).

So she needed a copy of the marriage license. After a lot of awkwardness, they eventually had to admit they had none.

The story goes that Uncle Dimwit's ex didn't want to go to the trouble of or pay for a divorce and he's too much of a dimwit to think to get one in abstentia, so they just ignored that he was still married.

He figured the ex would want to remarry one day and be willing to do the paperwork then. Aunt Ellen was in her we live in a commune and don't want the government in our lives flower child days, so had no objection to the wedding not being legal. Time passed and it never got handled.

Nobody in the family ever knew. They thought they went to a real wedding. Pretty much everybody is really angry about being lied to for all these years. Cousin Courtney is completely thrown out of whack by this and fairly inconsolable - for once in my life I have some genuine sympathy for her.

They've been lying to her for her whole life and it does actually have to be totally bewildering for her.

I'm apparently still the black sheep (baaaa) because I should have somehow known and told Cousin Courtney. Um, I was not born yet when they married. How the hell was I supposed to know this?

Why would I have ever checked on their marital status? My entire life I was told they were married. I saw wedding pictures?

There's also a weird side of Aunt Ellen blaming me for her finding out because it never would have happened if I'd just donated to the more expensive cruise in the first place. It just can't be a Cousin Courtney story without a side of WTF?

Luckily I've successfully ducked Cousin Courtney and the rest having drama about all this. I only know they're mad from emails I'm not replying to and chats with Gossipmonger Uncle. This is the plan going forward. Do not engage with crazy.

Am I absolutely horrible for laughing my ass off here? Aunt Ellen has been so holier-than-thou and self-righteous at me about everything my entire life, and she's been lying about her marital status since before I was born!

What do YOU make of OP's saga? Any advice for her?

Sources: Reddit
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