Meet Joan and her husband, seasoned in their seventies, with a brood of five grandchildren—three girls and two boys. They prided themselves on being there for their grandkids whenever they were needed.

Their youngest granddaughter, Emily, recently tied the knot. True to tradition, post-nuptials, Joan and her husband would procure the least expensive item from the wedding registry, coupled with a generous $40,000.

The tradition was a well-guarded secret, known only to the grandparents and successfully kept under wraps until now.

However, Emily’s reaction was unexpected. “Seriously, Grandma? An air fryer? That’s the best you could do from my registry?” she lamented when Joan called her.

Attempting to justify their choice, Joan pointed out the utility of the gift. But Emily wasn’t having it. “Utility? Come on! Everyone knows you’re loaded. This feels like you’re shortchanging me. It’s humiliating”, she retorted.

Joan reached her limit. “Fine, you’re right. We’re cheapskates. The only thing you didn’t know was that we planned to hand you a $40,000 check the day before your wedding”, she confessed.

The argument escalated. “It’s clear you don’t care enough about me. You know the stress I’m under with the wedding, and then this? It’s like you don’t give a damn”, Emily exclaimed before hanging up.

In the aftermath, Joan and her husband decided against gifting the money to Emily. A week later, Emily called again, learning that all her cousins had indeed received the $40,000.

“Why didn’t I get anything?” she queried.

“We felt, given your reaction, it wasn’t appropriate to proceed with the gift”, the grandparents explained.

“Are you punishing me for being upset about an air fryer?” Emily pleaded.

“It’s not about the fryer, Emily. It’s about respect. We hoped you’d appreciate family and love over material possessions”, Joan reasoned.

“It’s so unfair! I was stressed, Grandma. Planning a wedding is hard, and I just snapped. I didn’t mean any of it”, Emily tearfully confessed.

“We understand, but actions have consequences. We hope you’ll understand why we made this decision”, Joan responded.

“But you don’t understand! Can’t we just forget this happened? I need that money, Grandma”, Emily pressed.

She even threatened to skip Christmas, feeling excluded. Joan reassured her of their love and explained their stance wasn’t about cutting her off but hoping she’d reflect on her actions.