I hosted a family dinner over the weekend. My brother brought my nephews (4 and 8) over as well.
I used to wear my engagement ring all the time, but lately I keep it in my walk in closet and mainly wear it for special occasions. While I was cleaning up the dinner table, my nephews went to go play while the adults were still in the outdoor patio/outdoor kitchen area. My brother was not supervising his kids.
During this time, my nephews went into the master bedroom without anyone knowing and started playing with everything. Including my engagement ring. When we came to look for them, they panicked because they know they aren't supposed to be upstairs, ran into the master bathroom and flushed my ring.
We called a plumber in case it was somehow in the u trap of the toilet and not actually gone. But nope. Unfortunately it was gone for good.
We still had the original receipt, so I called my brother. I emailed him a scanned copy as proof of the cost and asked him to reimburse me for the ring my nephew flushed. Immediately he started calling me an a**hole because we were family and he was just a child. He has refused to repay the cost of my ring.
I told him I will be taking him to court for this and now my entire family is blowing up my phone saying family shouldn't sue each other and just let it go.
Edit: No, the ring was not insured. I found out the day after my nephew flushed it. My husband says he forgot and in the end never actually insured it.
Edit 2: My brother says he does not have the money to repay even $100 per month and has refused any kind of repayment plan. He said I live in a nice enough house and if I want a replacement, I should just sell my car.
Edit 3: My brother, to this day, has not truly apologized. It was a Canadian sorry. Sorry, not sorry. He said kids will do what is normal for kids, and they shouldn't be held responsible for a ring. They were supposed to supervise their kids outdoors with the rest of the family while I was busy cleaning up.
Edit 4: I don't believe for a second my brother and his wife cannot pay for the cost of my engagement ring. They don't make anything near my husband but they have a combined income of around 250k.
They don't pay rent or anything because my parents gifted them their old house valued at 3.5 million in Toronto, ON, CA back when I bought my parents a new home years ago. There is no mortgage on the home my brother lives in. The only things my brother and his wife would have to pay for is the cost of raising their children, normal bills, and food.
I feel so distraught because my ring holds great sentimental value. I've already been speaking with my husband's family lawyer, but at this point, I'm ready to hire a PI to find out if they really don't have the money.
Here's what people had to say:
NTA. His circus, his monkeys. He wasn't watching them, that's on him. 100% he should replace your ring. As for all the family who are blowing up at you, it's easy, when it didn't happen to them, to preach forgiveness. Ignore them.
Also, 8/4 are more than old enough to know better. My 3yo knows not to touch someone else's things in their home without asking. Choices have consequences, and sometimes those consequences are expensive! Sorry this happened to you.
NTA. I Hope you do follow through with taking him to court. If it was anyone else's house and property his kids destroyed, I'm sure he wouldn't be shirking his responsibility and failures so hard. This is appalling on your brother's behalf. Btw, the fact you have no insurance on the ring is absolutely irrelevant, although it is a shame that you didn't.
throwaway1846189 OP responded:
Thank you. I see the comments calling me an AH for not having my ring insured, but I was under the assumption that it was. Up till after it was flushed, and my husband told me he had actually forgotten about that and didn't insure it. Whether or not it is insured doesn't change the fact that it held great sentimental value. It is irreplaceable.
ESH. I think his kids are responsible for their actions, but it's ridiculous to expect his family to take an enormous financial hit because you failed to take the simple step of insuring an incredibly expensive object. That's almost as much as an average year of college. At some point your personal irresponsibility is relevant.
I can’t believe all the NTAs. Having a valuable ring somewhere accessible when you have kids visiting is really asking for trouble. Sh*t happens, and sometimes no one has eyes on kids for a few minutes that’s all it takes. It’s the same principle as if you’d left dangerous chemicals, or matches laying around where kids could stumble across them.
Yes your brother should’ve been paying attention to where they were, but you need to exercise some common sense when you have small children in your home.
I’m just going to leave this here: I had a friend who worked at the municipal sewer plant in our town. There is a good chance that the ring could have been recovered (or even has been) if OP had called and told the sewer company to look out for it because of how…..um……things are processed.
These things happen more than people think, and in reality, people can get their flushed jewelry back and then have it sterilized.