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Man refuses to carry on ex-wife's weird luggage tradition; family is offended. AITA? UPDATED 3X

Man refuses to carry on ex-wife's weird luggage tradition; family is offended. AITA? UPDATED 3X

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When this man is annoyed with his ex and her weird family tradition, he asks Reddit:

"AITA for not carrying on another family's tradition?"

In our house, we have two birthdays coming up. My wife's son Marcel (turning 16) and her daughter Marceline (turning 13).

Asking them what they want for their birthday, they both said that just the "normal gift" was great. Seeing that I was confused, my wife helpfully reminded me of the "traditional luggage gift", and then I realized.

There was a family tradition of giving kids a luggage set for their 16th birthday, yes, but that was my ex-wife's family, not mine. I was never even involved. It was always a thing for them.

Looks like the jury's out on this one. What do YOU think?

A few decades ago, one of my ex's sisters got a job at a high-end luggage company, and took over for the next gen of the family (my daughter and her cousins) because she could get it for really cheap with her discount.

My daughter is the youngest of the kids on that side, and around the time she was turning 13, between the aunt knowing she would be retiring soon and some personal drama, they decided to give my daughter her set for her 13th birthday so she wouldn't be left out.

I've always thought that tradition was stupid and a stupid amount of money to spend. Even $1,000 is way too much to spend on luggage for anyone, especially a kid. I wouldn't spend that much on myself. I tried to tell them all of this.

My ex-wife thinks that by letting my daughter participate (by accepting the gift), I've made it my family tradition as well, and now I'm just singling her kids out. I'm not.

Not caring about her accepting a gift from her own aunts doesn't mean I don't still think it's stupid. There's a LOT of difference between "you can't have this because it's not worth buying" and "you can't have this because I think it's inappropriate or dangerous".

Also, it would be even more expensive for us to buy it for them than even the aunt spent on my daughter. My daughter's set cost me $0, and her aunt $1,000 as she had a discount. Buying the other kids' sets would cost me $2,000 each, so $4,000.

Now everyone is upset at me because I'm apparently making it clear that I don't care about Marcel and Marceline as much as my daughter because I'm breaking tradition and telling them they don't "deserve anything" that my daughter had. Am I wrong for thinking this is ridiculous?

Then, OP provides this first update:

Three of the bags could be and were carry-ons. The only time I paid for the checked bag was when she was moving in with me because she was, well, moving all of her stuff.

7 years ago. Not long after getting it, she started living with me full time (unrelated) and she's since moved into a dorm and into an apartment.

Moving in with me, she was able to bring everything in the set, moving into the dorm needed 2 plastic tubs, and the apartment move needed 4. The next move will probably be worse because now she has bedroom furniture to move, but more boxes wouldn't fix it.

I mean I will say that aside from furniture, that set and 4 of those plastic tubs has been enough for her to move house twice, so it is pretty great in that regard. Nope. It's literally a set of luggage.

A backpack, a duffle thing, a carry-on suitcase, and a large suitcase. No metaphors here. She and my daughter haven't spoken since she moved in with me. Mutual decision. Which is why her moving in with me ended up being a LOT of stuff.

Let's see what readers thought about this.

nocustomer0 writes:

WAIT!!! Your daughter’s mother’s family bought the gift for her 7 years ago. Shortly after that was the last time your daughter’s mother talked to her?

So your wife is claiming unfairness because the other kids aren’t getting luggage meanwhile your daughter lost contact with her mom???!!!!

your family thinks they are getting the short end of the stick because they aren’t gettimg the traditional gift of luggage. A tradition from your daughter’s lost family???!!! (I know the luggage and the lost contact aren’t connected but it does put things into perspective).

This is the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard and what a selfish asshole Take. “Its not fair because when your daughter used to have a mother her family had a tradition and that our two other kids didn’t get “ Seriously?

Even if the aunt still could get you a deal, maybe it’s not a good idea to shower the other kids with traditional gifts from Your daughter’s mothers side. A gift she got shortly before her mother stopped talking to her, Maybe just maybe that’s not a good idea ???

Tell them that that The tradition was on the mothers side and it died just like the daughter’s relationship with her mother died. Ask them if they are still upset about some stupid bags.

wonderfulman8 writes:

NTA. Your daughter received a birthday gift from your ex’s family. You did not buy it. This gift has nothing to do with your step children. Knowing this, your wife should have managed her children’s expectations.

Her thinking that they should get the same thing for their birthday as your children and their cousins on their mother’s side set her own children up for disappointment.

The cost of the luggage set is irrelevant, but unless you are in the top 5% income bracket the price tag on that luggage set is ridiculous and impractical. That luggage set goes into the trunk of a Bentley.

theo9 writes:

NTA. If you're wife and her kids are aware that a) the tradition was part of your ex-wife's family, not yours and b) the price you'd have to pay to get them the same set as your daughter is significantly higher, I think it's pretty unreasonable to expect you to get them the set, too.

Just because you're daughter accepted a nice gift from her aunt, which I'm assuming is your ex-wife's sister and not your own, you definitely not suddenly carry over the tradition into this new family. Have you talked about getting them a more affordable set?

ellemania writes:

NTA!! After reading some of your comments, I noticed that your daughter is now grown, and this happened with the luggage being purchased 7 years ago.. that means the luggage she is asking you to buy now is probably way more expensive. Do these children even travel?

Or do they just want it because your daughter had it.. 7 years ago! I think this is just ridiculous, and if this is the hill your wife wants to die on, I would probably rethink a lot of things about this.

Your daughter is now a whole grown ass adult in her own place that had luggage from a tradition that had absolutely nothing to do with you. Tell your wife to start her own damn traditions, and if her children need it that bad as their mother, she should have no qualms about purchasing it and gifting it to them.

But if she can't even afford to buy them the luggage how is she affording to pay for trips for them to use said luggage?

fullmoontwister writes:

NTA. It's not the biggest sticking point, but... the original tradition was a set at 16. If your wife is trying to stick to ""tradition"", at max only one child should be recieving said specific gift.

There's no such time limit (like her aunt retiring) that would prompt breaking that tradition? So why was the 13 year old told that she would be getting a luggage set at all??

It's so weird to me. I can see maybe getting an appropriate suitcase for the sixteen year old for whatever vacations/trips you tend to take? A suitcase isn't extravagant and could be useful.

If you don't take many trips, it would be wild to do even that much. Why are the kids even excited for luggage? What kid is excited for luggage? What kid is more excited for luggage over whatever cool shit a fraction of that expense could get them??

concretism writes:

Your daughter's aunt had a go-to gift for a few years. That's not a tradition. Let alone your family's tradition.

I have a hard time believing teenagers became obsessed over getting luggage for their birthday without prodding from your wife.

This feels like a first step to ensure you financially cover any differences between your daughter and stepkids when the real expenses arrive in a few years.

If your daughter receives college tuition or a down payment for a house from her maternal family, will you also be expected to cover the same for the other two? Keeping tally from different sources isn't fair or possible. This is likely a larger conversation with your wife about her expectations. NTA

Sources: Reddit
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