Ungrateful child throws gift away not knowing $100 was enclosed, parents ask giver to get him something else

Mary Duncan

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*This is a work of nonfiction based on actual events I experienced firsthand; used with permission.*

I don’t like to think of times when I was completely enraged with a family member, but I can’t help thinking about my cousin Courtney and her son, Everett, without my blood pressure rising.

Courtney was my mom’s sister’s daughter, and my closest cousin growing up, both geographically and socially as we were the same age. We only lived a few towns apart so would always see each other at family functions and since my mom was very close to this sister, I’d see her a lot more when our parent’s hung out. When I was younger I loved hanging out with Courtney and actually looked up to her. Even though we were the same age she was much more mature and worldly than me, and I just had a feeling at a young age that she would go places in life.

Well, to her, going places in life meant finding a rich husband who would provide her the kind of lifestyle where she didn’t have to work and could stay home and have babies. She only ever had one baby, her son, Everett, and maybe that was a good thing because he was the most spoiled little boy I’ve ever known in my life.


That kid got whatever he wanted whenever he wanted and would throw fits if he didn’t get his way. I thought as he grew older his behavior would get better, but it didn’t, it only seemed to get worse. This demonstrated itself to me quite blatantly at his twelfth birthday party.

I was sick of seeing the young boy tied constantly to his electronics, so I went wild and got him a set of books for his birthday. I got him a new set of The Chronicles of Narnia, opened it, and slipped a $20 bill into five of the seven books so that he would find a little treat as he read them.

On the day of his birthday we all sat around Courtney’s posh living room and watched Everett open his gifts. When he got to mine, he opened it with excitement, probably because it was rather large and heavy being a set of books. When he saw what it was though, his face turned into a sneer, he scoffed, and tossed the box of books behind him where they thudded to the floor alone.

“Haha, books,” he said, as if books was a dirty word, he said it with such disdain.

I was fuming mad at the entitled child, and even more mad at Courtney who looked at me across the room with a blank stare and not apologetic at all.

A few weeks later I visited my aunt, Courtney’s mom, and Courtney happened to be visiting her as well. We sat down at the table to have coffee and I felt so uncomfortable as I was so annoyed and angry with Courtney for letting her son behave so horribly all the time.

“Is Everett enjoying his books?” I asked, poking the bear.


Courtney sighed and rolled her eyes.

“Everett just threw those right in the trash. You should have known he’s not a reader by now. You should really get him something else instead.”

I practically exploded with rage and yelled across the table at my cousin.

“If your son wasn’t such an entitled little brat he might have found the hundred dollars I tucked away inside of those books for him,” I said.

Her face blanched, her eyes widened, and I could tell that Courtney was now squirming with embarrassment, which is the least of what I thought she deserved at the time.

Needless to say, my relationship with Courtney was never the same after that, and I never attended another one of Everett’s birthday parties.

How would you have reacted if you were me?

Hi, I hope you enjoyed this story! I am a freelance writing single mom trying to create a better life for me and my daughter through words. If you enjoyed this, please consider leaving a small donation: https://ko-fi.com/maryduncan

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I write about relationships and parenting, life, society, people, and sometimes also beer.

Connecticut State
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