real life

'I broke a wine glass at my in-laws' home. Then I received an email with a $280 invoice.'

It was a simple accident; a single dropped wine glass. But it could cost one British woman $280 and a smooth relationship with her in-laws.

According to her post on the forum Mumsnet, here’s how it went down.

“Went to [my parents-in-law’s] home last weekend, had a glass of wine and I accidentally dropped it. No big deal, they shrugged it off,” she wrote.

Well, not entirely. It turns out the glass wasn’t any old Ikea goblet. It was a high-end piece worth £156 (roughly AU$280); a cost her partner’s folks weren’t prepared to bear.

How do you tell your in-laws to stop interfering with your child’s diet? (Post continues.)

Several days later, the woman opened her emails to find a note from her father-in-law requesting that she transfer funds to cover the replacement of the glass or purchase a new one.

“He even attached a link and included their address, should I not know it by now,” she wrote.

“At first I thought it was a joke, only to realise that these people have no sense of humour, so they obviously must be expect me to pay them ASAP.”

The woman, who is five months pregnant with her first child, explained that she has been with her partner for four years gets on well with her in-laws. Plus, she added, they’re not short of quid.

“They’re well off.. as in, VERY well off,” she wrote. “[My partner] and I on the other hand live in a rented three-bed semi-detached property, so definitely not as well off.

“Really shocked at this, as they are not known for being stingy.”

Rattled, the woman asked other forum users whether she’s obligated to hand over the cash. (“I am tempted to buy a £20 glass off Amazon!)

While most told her to refuse (“He has the money to buy expensive glasses, but not the class to go with it,” one person commented), a handful suggested that her father-in-law shouldn’t be left out of pocket.

“If I broke something at someone else’s house I would offer to replace it and expect to do so,” wrote one responder.

“Your FIL is rude to ask, but it’s even poorer form that the [original poster] didn’t offer in the first place.”

What do you think? Is the father-in-law being reasonable in his request? Or should she tell him to stick a cork in it?
(Frankly, we’re more concerned about the spilt wine…)