My parents have always tried very hard to make sure that my sisters and I got roughly the same of everything. Sure, my sister might have taken soccer while I took tap classes while our other sister took flute lessons, but it always seemed very even. We all had to get jobs at 16. They bought our prom dresses, and paid for 4 years of in-state tuition (we made this easy by going to the same school). They have the same amount of money set aside for each of our weddings.
My parents are very scrupulous about this sort of thing, even though none of would care if the others were getting more. If they gave my sister, the grad student, a little extra Christmas money, I probably wouldn’t notice, but I also wouldn’t care. If they paid a little extra on my baby sister’s upcoming wedding, I’d be all for it (I’m considering making a “donation” myself, by buying her wedding shoes or something).
Chad’s family is almost the exact opposite.
They’re very traditional, so his sisters went for lower-paying careers in fields like art and education. One is itching to become a stay-at-home mom, once her husband graduates from law school. Chad went for the traditionally masculine, higher-paying engineering field.
I get the feeling his sisters get a lot of assistance. They’ve also been pretty nice to us, so no complaints, but I definitely see a lot more gifts, monetary and otherwise, going to Chad’s sisters. They paid for all of his sister’s $50,000 wedding, but significantly less than that toward ours. They bought the other one a car, although they have loaned us one until Chad graduates or until they need it.
I used to get sort of upset at what I saw as a great disparity. Not because of the money, but because I felt like things should be fair.
Now, though, I see how well we’ve managed to do (not too difficult with engineers’ salaries), and I feel like it’s actually more fair this way. We don’t need assistance. His sisters might.
At any rate, I mostly enjoy of being free of any obligation – real or imaginary – to his parents. I like knowing that we’ve kind of done things ourselves (unless you’re counting the huge amounts of support we got before we went out into the working world…).
Do your parents make sure that everything is equal, or do they dole out more money to your needier siblings? Do you care? Let me know in the comments!