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Mother-In-Law Stories
Worst Gift Archives
May 2001
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Worst gift: Posted: 21-APR-01
My MIL is usually very good with gifts - everyone is treated equal at Christmas, and she doesn't forget birthdays, etc.  But for our wedding, she gave us a wedding card with a blue "sticky" note that read "IOU", and explained she didn't have $$, and that she wanted to take us shopping after the wedding.  That was 6 months ago.  Still haven't gone shopping.  But the "IOU" was from her and my DH's brother and sister, who were IN the wedding - none of them got us a gift.  Not that it's all about the gift, of course, but an IOU??  Am I the only one who thinks that is TACKY?

        Signed - I Owe You -- Oh Never Mind ...

RESPONSE:  I Owe You -- Oh Never Mind ...
Posted: 23-APR-01
No, I have to agree with you that it was completely tacky of them to put an IOU on a wedding card.  The fact that they still haven't taken you shopping or given you a gift only furthers the impression that it was done maliciously.  I feel for you.  They sound like they are being intentionally hurtful, disrespectful, and rude.

RESPONSE:  I Owe You -- Oh Never Mind ...
Posted: 17-MAY-01
You ought to hang the IOU on your fridge.  That way, when she comes to visit, she'll see it there and it'll remind her of how tacky she has been.

RESPONSE:  I Owe You -- Oh Never Mind ...
Posted: 18-MAY-01
I think I'd just forget about it.  If they are that halfhearted about giving a gift, who wants a gift from them anyway?  Maybe their finances are all screwed up and they are dysfunctional with money - and, therefore, they just can't come up with it?

RESPONSE:  I Owe You -- Oh Never Mind ...
Posted: 18-MAY-01
This is so tacky, and I have a similar story.  Our wedding gift from my BIL was a 5 gallon bucket of paint - White paint.  It was nice paint, and we had just moved into a house that needed to be painted.  I didn't mind the paint, just the color.  I'm turned into the evil witch who doesn't see what a wonderful gesture it is.  Truly, we needed paint, just not "white" paint.  Who picks out colors for someone else?  Anyway, BIL made a big production about taking the paint back (made US wait 45 minutes at the paint store to "meet" him there) and promised us a gift certificate to a well-known national home improvement center instead.  We are still waiting for the certificate - six months after the wedding!!  What did I get from the in-laws?  Nada.  I'm really not gift grubbing, and truly they are wonderful people otherwise.  But what does it say about a BIL and MIL and FIL that get great wedding gifts for my other BIL and his wife, and nothing for my DH and me?  I'm obviously not married to the favorite child.

RESPONSE:  I Owe You -- Oh Never Mind ...
Posted: 18-MAY-01
I like the fridge idea!  Better yet, clear off all the other clutter on your fridge and just stick her IOU smack in the middle, all by itself.  That way it will really stick out and there is no way she (and everyone else) will not notice it.  Even if it doesn't get you a gift, you get the satisfaction of displaying what your MIL is really about without looking like the "bad guy".  Best of luck.

Worst gift: Posted: 11-Mar-01
Well, it isn't exactly a bad gift, but once again, it's another way to make me feel bad in her petty little way.  My husband and I have birthdays that are less that 3 weeks apart.  When he got his check this year, we were both amazed, because she used to send us less, although in equal amounts for each of us.  You guessed it - when I got mine (a week late), we realized where the windfall had come from - she had deducted $10 from mine.  Nice, huh?  I get so tired of being the one who shops for the gifts for his side of the family, including the nieces and nephews, and sending cards and flowers for Mother's Day and other holidays, and getting nothing but grief in return.  They always call me controlling, and every time we go for a visit it's a big joke about what I'll "let" my hubby do.  I guess the idea of an intelligent, equal partner in a marriage is too scary for them.  I'm through trying.  We've been married 7 and half years and I still can't believe that someone so great (my hubby) could come from such immature selfishness.

        Signed - Sick Of Trying ...

RESPONSE:  Sick Of Trying ...
Posted: 12-Mar-01
Dear Sick of Trying.  I completely understand your dilemma, but you cannot allow your husband to impose gift-buying and card-buying on you.  I'm sure he is a wonderful guy, but all too often men leave those responsibilities up to their wives.  I also deeply resent the expectation that women are supposed to maintain these ties.  So, I just let my husband do it (or not do it).

RESPONSE:  Sick Of Trying ...
Posted: 13-Mar-01
I completely understand your dilemma, and sympathize.  I am in the same exact situation.  I love my husband; he is a very nice person, and I, like you, wonder how from someone nice like him could come such immature selfishness, as you rightly put it. I buy them very nice gifts, and they always try to hurt me with their gifts.  I just entered a story about the gifts they've recently sent me for my birthday, the mother sent me an ugly tablecloth, and the sister an ugly set of four napkins.  The colors of the tablecloth and the napkins did not match.  Their point was to hurt me, and to teach me "good manners," since I did not have a tablecloth on my table when the mother visited.  I chose, instead, to have large hand-painted placemats which covered my table.  How stupid could these people be?  I've been married to my husband for almost two years, and I am terrified of these people.  They are abroad, and I am here, and they still manage to hurt me.

RESPONSE:  Sick Of Trying ...
Posted: 18-Mar-01
I feel your pain!  My H and I have been married 2 years, and I REFUSE to buy MIL one SINGLE GIFT.  I came to this conclusion when she went to one of my bridal showers and insulted the giver of the shower and didn't talk to anyone.  When, my H questioned her about it, she left two ugly, uncalled for messages on our answering machine.  Then, at the rehearsal dinner, I gave her and my mother a crystal rose trimmed in 10 karat gold that read "mom".  At our wedding, she acted rudely to my guests and family.  She has never WELCOMED ME into her family.  After our wedding, when mother's day came, my H asked her what she wanted and she said (as rudely as can be), "I don't want anything that says 'mom'.  I know who I am."  From that point, I told my H that from now on, if she gets a gift, he'll be buying it for her.  I will not buy that unappreciative woman another thing.  And my SIL is just like her, and they can have each other.  As long as I respect them, they will respect ME!  Make your H buy the gifts.  I buy for my family, and he will buy for his.  I still place his name on it, and he does the same.  If he forgets, or buys a cheap gift for them, that's not my problem.

RESPONSE:  Sick Of Trying ...
Posted: 22-Mar-01
Really, it seems like all in-laws think the wives are controlling.  Sometimes even your hubbies friends.  They see your husband having respect for you, and asking if it's ok if they do something, as you being in control!  Some people must be unhappy with their own relationships to continue to pick on others.  It makes me feel horrible.

RESPONSE:  Sick Of Trying ...
Posted: 1-APR-01
If it is such an equal partnership, then stop shopping and sending cards for him.  He's a big boy.  He needs to step up to the plate and carry his part of the "equal" time.  Maybe then, the outlaws won't be so intimidated by their own shortcomings.  Or you.  But then again, who cares what "they" think?  Do what you need to do with your own family (who are more important anyway), and leave his behind.  Let him deal with them.  After all, you did not marry them!  Signed: They are ungrateful any damn way!

RESPONSE:  Sick Of Trying ...
Posted: 24-APR-01
I know exactly how you feel.  My MIL buys me nothing for B-days, etc.  Because of the way my husband and I manage our budget, all the fun, gift, and misc. money comes out of my paycheck.  So, in essence, I pay for all of his relative's gifts, when I get nothing in return from them.  After the third year of tolerating this, and being hurt constantly when it came to my birthday, I told him, "No more."  I would pay for the bills he had to cover during Mother's Day, Father's Day, his little sister's birthday, etc., so that he could pay for gifts.  That way, he would pick out the gifts as well.  I didn't want to pick out gifts for people who think so little of me.

RESPONSE:  Sick Of Trying ...
Posted: 20-MAY-01
WOW!  I thought I was the only one with a CRAZY MIL!!!!  My MIL has hated me from the day my DH put the ring on my finger.  She offered money to our best man to break up the wedding.  She had an ex-girlfriend of my DH call me to make up stories about him so I would cancel the wedding.  She wore sweats to my bridal shower, and caused one he!! of a scene, because she didn't like the food my aunt was serving.  My DH called her afterwards and told her not to attend the wedding (she would just make us all miserable!).  HER mother ( DH's grandmother) made her apologize to me so that DH would allow her to come to the wedding!  She wore BLACK to our wedding, and didn't say a single word to me the entire time (which could have been a blessing!).  She cut in on our dance, and then told my DH that she is expecting him back home with her in 3 months because she knows we won't last!  Thank goodness we have a wonderful marriage in SPITE of her!  And, thank goodness that we have a WONDERFUL relationship with my parents!

Worst gift: Posted: 18-MAY-01
Last Christmas, DH's mother bought me a one piece pair of pajamas with Teddy Bears all over them.  I AM 20 YEARS OLD.  They were flannel, one piece pajamas, pink and all pastels.  Do you want to know what I got her???  I got her a Toaster Oven!!!  And all I got back from her was flannel, teddy bear pajamas at 20 years old.

        Signed - I Got Her A Toaster Oven!!!

RESPONSE:  I Got Her A Toaster Oven!!!
Posted: 20-MAY-01
I think that's really cute!!  I bet your husband would think you were adorable when you wore them to bed on cold winter nights! J  I'm sure she didn't mean anything by it.

RESPONSE:  I Got Her A Toaster Oven!!!
Posted: 21-MAY-01
I am 29, and I would love it if my MIL got me teddy pajamas.  I love bears and she knows that.  She probably just thought they were cute.  You don't have to wear them, she'll never know.

Posted: 22-MAY-01
I can see why you were upset with what seemed to you like a childish gift.  My MIL gave me a bride doll at my wedding shower.  I was pretty offended that she didn't get me a "grown-up" present off our registry.  I was 26!  It may sound kind of tacky to some to be picky about the gifts we get, but I think that gift exchanges are a fundamental way our society builds connections between people.  And I also believe that there are often unspoken "customs" of gift giving which indicate what kind of present is appropriate for what kind of party, holiday, etc.  I think that our MILs ought to be fairly cognizant of those unspoken customs, and I think that a lot of why we get hurt is because they passive-aggressively choose to ignore the customs.  I don't know if your MIL's gift was inspired by outright malice, by passive-aggressive resentment, by sheer ignorance, or even by the best good wishes in the world.  But I do understand why the gift hurt you, and I think you're allowed to feel how you feel.

Worst gift: Posted: 23-MAY-01
For our wedding, my IL's gave us a microwave oven and a sandwich maker - both were used.  I know this, because I had to clean the old food out of them before we could use them, and the microwave only had a few numbers that actually worked!  Rehearsal dinner?  My parents paid for that.  His mom was so mad at the thought that she almost made me run out and not marry him!  We had a great rehearsal dinner.  Of course none of the IL's were invited!!

        Signed - Used Microwave

Worst gift:  Posted: 13-Mar-01
I need your advice about this.  I knew, before, how much of a control freak mil can be.  So, when she came to visit us last January, I made sure that everything was neat and tidy around the house.  One thing I forgot to put out is my new tablecloth and napkins.  I was not there for the first three days of her visit, anyway, and since she was eating out with my husband most of the time, I did not pay attention to that.  Anyway, of course she made sure to scrutinize the house in my absence, and what was missing was the tablecloth and the napkins.  I had beautiful, hand-painted, big placemats that covered most of the table, and they looked much better on their own than with a tablecloth.  For my birthday, which was yesterday, she sent me an ugly tablecloth for a gift.  Guess what SIL sent me (this is the first time she is going to send me a gift for my birthday, since I knew her brother for five years) - ugly napkins.  Do you think it is kind of insulting and annoying to send those gifts, or am I just exaggerating?  I have had it with these people.  This time, I am going to let them know.  Please, any advice you have will help.

        signed - Ugly Napkins

RESPONSE:  Ugly Napkins
Posted: 14-Mar-01
Well, I don't know these women, and I believe you 100% that they are bad, annoying people (or else why would you be here?).  But the gifts, taken alone, wouldn't offend me, because that's how I give gifts too.  If I notice someone doesn't have something, and I think they might like to have it, I'll give it to them.  It's a crapshoot whether or not they'll like it, because we all have different tastes.  On my side of the family, people give each other specifically what they've asked for, or gift certificates.  Everyone is happy, but no one is surprised.  On my DH's side, everyone tries to figure out secretly what the others want.  They've given me some ugly things, but I just pretend I like them and then put them away.  Also, I, and most people I know, have several different tablecloths.  So, you can't be expected to stick with the one they gave you all the time.  I'd say that you should use it once a year, or when they visit.  Again, I want to stress that I believe you when you say that they are bad people.  And you have every right to take offense, but you asked for other people's opinions and I just wanted to help.  All families do things differently, and it's possible that they had good intentions but bad taste.  It is weird that your SIL never gave you gifts before.  But maybe she didn't know what you needed, so she thought, "Why bother?"  Or maybe your MIL bugged her into doing it.  I'm not trying to be unsupportive.  I'm just trying to help you feel better and avoid conflict if possible.  By all means, if I am wrong about their intentions, then ignore me!

 RESPONSE:  Ugly Napkins
Posted: 14-Mar-01
Is it possible that your MIL and SIL just thought you might like (or need) the tablecloth and napkins?  You seem to be jumping to an awful lot of conclusions about your MIL and SIL's motives, and you really don't know what they're thinking.  So why not give them the benefit of the doubt?  Perhaps their actions in the past have made you suspicious of their motives.  But, based solely on what you wrote, you seem to be on the defensive.  You said that this time you're going to let them know that you don't like the gift.  Well, that's your choice, of course.  But if you do, I think that you are going to come off as rude and ungrateful.  These were gifts, after all.  And lots of people have received tablecloths and napkins, and have been perfectly delighted with them.  In other words, the gifts themselves are not inappropriate or insulting, so any criticism you make of them will put you in a bad light.  Your husband may not understand, and he may feel that you are being overly sensitive and rude to his family.  Your best bet is to probably just thank them graciously, and just put the gifts away until they come for a visit.
3/14
RESPONSE:  Ugly Napkins
Posted: 14-Mar-01
I agree with you.  This sounds very insulting to me.  Some people are always looking to point out where they think someone is coming up short.  My MIL once ate at my home.  While she was there, I poured some sugar into a bowl and put a spoon in the bowl for her to use for her coffee.  The next time she visited, she bought me a sugar and creamer set.  She has done lots of other things like this to me and my dh over the years.  This includes, but is not limited to, patio chairs and bedding.  I guess that having a nice visit with us and her grandchildren isn't enough for her. She always has to point out (and then provide) what is missing.  I feel for you.  I think your MIL and SIL have behaved very rudely.

RESPONSE:  Ugly Napkins
Posted: 17-Mar-01
Yes, the napkins and tablecloth are terrible gifts, and while this is not as insulting as it is bilious in a careless way, it still wreaks of ill feeling from my MIL to me.  On our first married Christmas (after having been together for over six years), my mother-in-law thought an appropriate gift for me was a presto spray bottle and a bottle of olive oil.  My husband and I live on the west coast and his family lives in Chicago.  I guess she thought that it would be as convenient as it was sentimental, and I would schlep it on the plane.  I just gave it away before we left.  Signature: Thanks For The Groceries.

RESPONSE:  Ugly Napkins
Posted: 1-APR-01
Throw them in the goodwill box, and be done with it.  No one will ever have to see them again.  That includes MIL and SIL, who were probably in cahoots.  Chalk it up to the evil experience, and move on!

RESPONSE:  Ugly Napkins
Posted: 3-APR-01
Those first two responses must have been from your MIL and your SIL, because their comments were as thoughtless as those gifts!

RESPONSE:  Ugly Napkins
Posted: 3-APR-01
It puzzles me how the last respondent could think that the first two responses were thoughtless!  Did she READ them?  I bet the poster didn't find them thoughtless, did you?  On the contrary!  I think they tried very hard to be thoughtFUL.  I've posted on this web site many times, and I think it's very thoughtful when people take the time to politely (as these two respondents were!) tell me their thoughts.  I don't find it "thoughtless" when people don't just say, "How horrible!  Your MIL is a *****!" when the issue is more complex than that.  I appreciate people taking the time to express some real, sincere thoughts about the problem, as these two have done.  And, no, I have nothing to do with this particular post or any of the responses - I'm just reading them!  The first two responses are full of thought and consideration.

RESPONSE:  Ugly Napkins
Posted: 17-APR-01
I can relate to what you're saying, but I can also relate to the first two respondents as well.  Nothing I ever give my MIL is good enough for her to actually use.  Generally, anything I give her is never seen again, whether it's expensive perfume, a tablecloth and napkins, a scarf, etc.  The only things that see the light of day are framed photographs of the children.  I can't believe the amount of time I spend shopping to find something she will like, especially when I know it's impossible.  Maybe it's just a difference in taste.  I know my MIL thinks my taste is nonexistent.  When I tried leaving it up to my husband, he didn't buy anything.  But guess who she was mad at?  Yep, it was me.  Then, I didn't get ANYTHING for Christmas or my birthday.  Birthdays are still hit-or-miss.  If they're going to be seeing me and would appear to be cloddish, they will bring a gift.  Otherwise, I never hear anything from them for my birthday.  If they're happy with me, I get a cash Christmas gift equal to my husband's.  If not, I get less.  Great way to show how you feel about someone, isn't it?

RESPONSE:  Ugly Napkins
Posted: 22-MAY-01
You know, if you think about this, you can use your experience with your MIL and the ugly napkins/tablecloth to your benefit.  Go to Goodwill and buy the ugliest furniture you can find, and then invite your MIL over for a visit!  Put funky sheets and blankets on the bed she'll be sleeping on, all mismatching, of course!  You'll never have to buy another item for your house!  My birthday was last Friday, and I never received anything from my husband's side of the family - not even a freakin' phone call to say Happy Birthday!  Do you think that MILs have a web site like this where they b!tch about their DIL's?  I'd LOVE to see a story from my MIL on there about me!  I'd wet my pants from laughing so hard!  My MIL is a religious freak who loves to cram the Bible and her views and opinions down my throat!  The worst part about it is that my husband is the only boy out of 6 kids, and won't say a thing to his mom.  Ladies, just be patient - MIL's day is coming!  Signed:  I'M NOT ONE OF YOUR KIDS LADY, SO BACK OFF!

RESPONSE:  Ugly Napkins
Posted: 24-MAY-01
I'm with the woman who told you to take them to the Goodwill.  That's what I do (someone else might think they're beautiful).  I don't care if my MIL gives me things I don't like.  But when she gives used gifts to my children, that's when I freak!  My in-laws are fairly well off, enough to afford an exceptionally expensive car.  Last Christmas, they gave their first born grandchild a well-used tot bike!  When I confronted MIL (asking her if she had the receipt), she claimed it was the floor model and could not be returned to the store.  The bike, needless to say, went straight to Goodwill.  I'm just glad my daughter is young enough not to know any better.  I don't care anymore if the woman is cheap with me, but I'd rather she not give my daughter anything instead of giving her well-used toys.  I'm sorry if this sounds ungrateful, but it really made me sad and angry.

RESPONSE:  Ugly Napkins
Posted: 24-MAY-01
I know EXACTLY what you mean.  As far as gifts go, my MIL doesn't get me what I want.  She only gets me what she thinks I need.  This has made for some very ugly and horrific gifts!  We have turned the tables on her, though.  After having to sleep on dirty sheets (we went out and bought our own clean ones) and use dirty towels last Christmas, my husband suggested that this is what we should get her for her birthday and Christmas - for FOREVER!  Although, I reminded him that, even if they are new, by next Christmas they will be dirty.  But he said that we can open her gift early and use it ourselves - you just gotta love him.  She also stayed with us once and could not find the coffee maker in the morning to make her coffee.  I have never heard the end of that, and she has only stayed with us once since then!!!!!

Worst gift: Posted: 3-MAY-01
The worst gift that my MIL ever gave me was a dress.  It wasn't just any dress, it was supposed to be a birthday present.  Well, I was several months pregnant at the time, and she gave me a size small, tight fitting dress that wouldn't even have fit me if I wasn't pg.  I never asked her about it, but I think I'll burn it or shred it this weekend.
       
Signed - Fed Up DIL - Think I'll Burn It
( respond to this story )        ( I can top this )

RESPONSE:  Fed Up DIL - Think I'll Burn It
Posted: 5-MAY-01
My MIL gave me some of her "fat" clothes when I was pregnant.  She had lost weight, and thought maybe I could use these clothes, since she didn't need them.  I threw them in the trash, then cleaned out the refrigerator on top of them.  It made me feel better.

RESPONSE:  Fed Up DIL - Think I'll Burn It
Posted: 6-MAY-01
I think that's a great idea, to burn the dress.  It was clearly meant to be a slap in the face, and to burn it will probably get rid of the bad energy that came with it.  My MIL used to try to give me "hand-me downs" - clothes that didn't fit her anymore.  I got sick of feeling forced to take her old clothes when I knew she meant them as an insult.  So, the last time she tried to give them to me, I got a little snippy back and told her to keep them because I'd probably never wear them (implying that they were ugly).  I said it in a sweet way, but she still wasn't very happy that I had the guts to be assertive about it.  It worked like a charm, too, because she has never tried to insult me with clothes since then!

Worst gift: Posted: 1-MAY-01
My MIL just sent my husband and I an Easter basket.  She sent it certified mail, so I had to sign for it.  The Easter basket, addressed to both of us, was filled with underwear (tighty whities) for him, socks for him, and t-shirts for him.  Nothing for dear old DIL, except a big slap in the face.  Nice, huh?

        Signed - Easter Basket Filled For Him

RESPONSE:  Easter Basket Filled For Him
Posted: 2-MAY-01
An Easter basket with UNDERWEAR????  Ewwwww.  Now that's creepy.  I guess you should be glad she left you out, huh?

RESPONSE:  Easter Basket Filled For Him
Posted: 3-MAY-01
My MIL doesn't even address anything to me, but I still have to sign for it.  I have seriously considered not signing for it, and having it sent back.  Then, when she asks about it, just tell her I only open and sign for my own mail.  It wasn't addressed to me J.  I feel for you.

RESPONSE:  Easter Basket Filled For Him
Posted: 5-MAY-01
That basket was a slap in the face.  Not only did she not include anything for you in it (which is hurtful enough), but I think there was also an underlying message that she still thinks of your husband as a child, incapable of taking care of himself.  Maybe that's why she can't respect his marriage to you.  She's sick.  I definitely feel for you!

RESPONSE:  Easter Basket Filled For Him
Posted: 7-MAY-01
I have to agree that an Easter basket full of underwear is weird!!  Very weird!!  Send her something equally inappropriate - a box of training bra's perhaps?

RESPONSE:  Easter Basket Filled For Him
Posted: 7-MAY-01
Your MIL was obviously trying to hurt you.  I don't blame you for being upset!  I hope you don't have a relationship with such a catty woman.

RESPONSE:  Easter Basket Filled For Him
Posted: 8-MAY-01
Get one of those laundry bags, like the ones the hotels use, and put the underwear in (make sure its soiled good), and send it to her for cleaning!  That will wake her up!

Worst gift: Posted: 7-MAY-01
Here is a worst gift story for you.  I just got a Mother's Day gift in the mail from my MIL.  It was an unwrapped shoebox with two pair of worn tennis shoes and a post-it note that read, "Happy Mother's Day".  Think I should send her a couple of pairs of used socks?

        Signed - She's Got Sole

RESPONSE:  She's Got Sole
Posted: 8-MAY-01
Wrap it back up, make it look just as it did when it arrived, and wait for your husband to get home.  Then say, "Honey, look.  I got a mother's day present from your mom!  Let's open it together!

RESPONSE:  She's Got Sole
Posted: 8-MAY-01
That sounds so tacky!  I think a card would have been nicer.  What did your husband think about that?  Is that unusual, or typical of her to give such tacky gifts?  I'm so sorry for you, but don't let it get you down.  Look at it as proof that your MIL is a wacko!

Worst gift: Posted: 8-MAY-01
On my 30th birthday, my mother in law came over to my house with a birthday gift for me.  She begged me to open it immediately.  It was 2 bags, each containing 6 pairs of men's white tube socks.  They were for my husband.  The mother-in-law said that she thought I would like the gift, because now I wouldn't have to worry about buying him new socks all year.  I never bought him socks.  He has always bought his own socks.  She was disgusted by the fact that her son had to go out and buy his own socks.  She left before we ate dinner.

        Signed - Very Happy She Moved To Another State Last Year

RESPONSE:  Very Happy She Moved To Another State Last Year
Posted: 9-MAY-01
She sure sounds tacky to me.  Check this.  My mother-in-law sends a pair of cord pants to my husband with an inseam of 34.  His inseam size is 30 and she darn well knows that.  She responded to me with, "honey, you can always sew them up with a hem."  I told her that she did this on purpose, and that I did not find it funny.

RESPONSE:  Very Happy She Moved To Another State Last Year
Posted: 9-MAY-01
I can't even begin to try and rationalize that she was somehow thoughtful in giving you that gift, whatever her motives.  You sure are very lucky, though.  I wish and pray every day that my MIL would move to another country, preferably another planet, but I'd settle for another state!!

RESPONSE:  Very Happy She Moved To Another State Last Year
Posted: 9-MAY-01
Next opportunity, give her a subscription to a nudie magazine so that her husband or companion can enjoy himself.

RESPONSE:  Very Happy She Moved To Another State Last Year
Posted: 10-MAY-01
LOL!!  That is one of the most absurd gifts I've read of here.  I just burst into laughter.  She didn't have her thinking cap on when she bought that gift - or maybe she was being a little passive-aggressive?  What could you SAY?  "Gee, you shouldn't have!"  Although that underwear in the Easter basket is the funniest ever!

Worst gift: Posted: 24-APR-01
This story is about the worst gift that my MIL gave me.  This one still hurts.  It was Christmas, 12 years ago.  I'd had a child a few months earlier (Oct.) and had just started to really feel good about my figure again.  My SIL (her daughter, size 12) opened her VERY large box with a full outfit enclosed - cashmere sweater and silk pants (all in a beautiful sage green), nylons and matching shoes and a gorgeous necklace and earrings.  All were purchased at an upscale department store.  This was followed by my other SIL (by marriage, BUT a size 5, so she's the one they like).  She opened an identical box with the same outfit, just in a soft yellow.  Also, the jewelry came with it.  I was ready.  I thought that maybe my MIL was reaching out after 5 years of her opinion always being the only one that mattered.  DON'T EVER FALL FOR THE SMILE!!!  MY MIL sat there with this huge grin and announced that it was my turn.  So, now we have ALL the family watching me (I was a size 14 by then) open my present.  The box was just as big as the first two, so I was excited.  I opened the box to see my gift.  What a rag.  It was a 2 piece top and skirt, a size 30/32 in polyester.  Picture this:  2" yellow and black stripes alternating up and down on both pieces.  In each stripe, there were sunflowers - yellow in the black and black in the yellow.  The price tag was still on it.  It was a clearance item for 25.00, NOT returnable.  I thanked her and left the room to get the baby something (MY mother taught me manners), but I do have a FANTASTIC DH!!  He said, "Mom, this really shows your fashion taste.  Who picked out the other two outfits?"  My DH went one step farther and announced that he had a headache and we had to leave.  This was before dinner.  Now, it gets worse.  I took the outfit back to the store, hoping I could get something.  I put the box up on the counter and the cashier asked me, "Do you have a good sense of humor?"  I said, "Sure, of course, why?"  She said, "Well, we had a bet going here that this outfit was gonna come back.  The bet was for which day after Christmas."  She then asked me who bought it for me?  I answered, "My MIL."  She said, "You don't get along with her, do you?"  "Not really," I said, "Why do you ask?"  Then, the cashier spilled her guts.  "Well," she said, "Your MIL came in here 2 days before Christmas and just asked for the largest, ugliest and cheapest thing we had, and she made sure it was nonreturnable."  I got the $25.00 back out of sympathy (I think) and decided right then and there that these people DO NOT EXIST, not as humans.  Ladies, your biggest obstacle is having your husband see what's happening.  It's not just to you, but he should also see the lack of respect that they are showing HIM!!  He chose you as his wife.  ALL communication MUST go through the child of the MIL /FIL.  And above all, NO ONE MAKES YOU DO ANYTHING.  You have the right to say NO.  Or better yet, if you are gonna go, bring a book, knitting, face mask, anything to keep yourself busy.  And every time your MIL/FIL says something stupid or hurtful, ask them right then and there, "You did/said this.  Did you mean it to be as rude as it came out?"  And don't forget to write down details (date/time) of things that happen.  It helps to relieve the stress.  Later, you may find it helpful to rethink what was said.  You may find it funny.  But, best yet, you will have cataloged all the ignorant things said and done, so when they have selective memories, you're prepared.  I'm 17 years into this marriage, and going strong.  My DH's turning point came when he wanted some time (on Fri.) to think about our relationship.  MIL and FIL had a date lined up for him for Saturday and a Lawyer for Monday morning.  He then realized that I was not crazy, and he has been so supportive ever since, with no provocation from me.

        Signed - NOT Pushed Or Pressured Anymore

RESPONSE:  NOT Pushed Or Pressured Anymore
Posted: 25-APR-01
I'm so glad your DH is supportive of you, and you give some great advice on how to handle the ILs!!  You sound like a strong person who knows how to keep your head up and walk with dignity amongst swine like your MIL.  I am absolutely FUMING after reading about what she did to you that Christmas.  What a horrible, cruel witch!!  I hope you and your husband have many more happy years together, and you can take great satisfaction in knowing that, for all her efforts, your MIL can't take your strong, healthy marriage away from you.  Live well, that is the best revenge of all!!!

RESPONSE:  NOT Pushed Or Pressured Anymore
Posted: 25-APR-01
You are an amazing woman!  To have endured such outright abhorrent behavior is not only a testimony of your courage, but a substantiation of the strength of the love you have for your husband.  As ironic as this may sound, you are blessed because you are empowered!!!  Take care, and good luck!!!

RESPONSE:  NOT Pushed Or Pressured Anymore
Posted: 26-APR-01
OMG!  You win!  Your MIL is a certified B*TCH to go so far just to hurt your feelings.  I have no advice for you, but I just wanted to say that you have my sympathy!  At least you have a good story to tell people about your MIL.  I'm sorry to say it, but I thought that the bet the girls at the store made was hilarious.  At least they, too, know how horrible your MIL is.  Just curious, what were your SILs' reactions when you opened your gift?  If I was your SIL, I would have felt soooo bad that MIL did that to you.

RESPONSE:  NOT Pushed Or Pressured Anymore
Posted: 26-APR-01
Your story WINS!  That is the worst gift I have ever heard of, and the surrounding events are horrible!  At least you can say you have the best "something", even if your MIL is the worst.  You poor thing.  Try to keep your sense of humor.

RESPONSE:  NOT Pushed Or Pressured Anymore
Posted: 26-APR-01
OH, my heart absolutely breaks for you!!  How inhumanly horrible of her to do that to you with that "gift".  It is really one of the most cruel things I have ever read - her sitting there with her smug smile while you were humiliated in front of the entire family, and for you to find out the truth about her gift and what she actually said to the sales clerk!  Those IL's would be GONE!!!  I just wanted you to know that I hurt for you.  It makes my MIL look like St. Mary (but not for long)!  J

RESPONSE:  NOT Pushed Or Pressured Anymore
Posted: 26-APR-01
What the heck??  Wow!  A lot of the worst gift stories are horrible, but none compare to this one!  I mean, the woman at the store totally confirmed that your gift was a deliberate slam against you.  What an absolutely awful MIL you have!!!  One thing I didn't understand was that last part.  Was your husband actually contemplating divorce from you just recently?  Was that because of his parents?  Would you mind explaining that a little more?  If you don't want to that's fine.  I don't like to use the word hate, because I think it's such a strong word, but your MIL makes it very close for me wanting to use it against her.  What a witch!!!!

RESPONSE:  NOT Pushed Or Pressured Anymore
Posted: 26-APR-01
After reading this story ... your MIL makes mine look like an angel ... It is almost hard to believe that a person could be that mean ... If there was an award for being pure evil, your MIL would win ... hands down!!!  If you and your husband have faith in each other, your relationship and god ... no one can tear you apart ... Good luck in the future ...

RESPONSE:  NOT Pushed Or Pressured Anymore
Posted: 27-APR-01
Well, count your blessings.  If your husband is as supportive as you say, that's one holiday you probably won't have to spend with your awful IL's anymore.  If he insists that you give MIL a present anyway, I'm sure you'll have no trouble picking out something sufficiently horrendous.  I'm so glad your hubby called her on her awful gift.  Most men wouldn't realize that she had done it on purpose.

RESPONSE:  NOT Pushed Or Pressured Anymore
Posted: 8-MAY-01
I wish I had a situation like yours.  It puts and end to the problem.  The masks are down and war has been declared.  DH had to choose, and he chose you.  YOU WON!!!  Now you have a valid reason not to see them again.  Don't fall for any apologies.  Take this one to the grave.  Even if you feel you should never forgive, believe me, if she gave you that gift you don't ever want to see her again!  Congratulations.  Your MIL problems are over!

RESPONSE:  NOT Pushed Or Pressured Anymore
Posted: 10-MAY-01
I have to say that you are so lucky that she just does it in an outright way and your husband is not a pushover.  What a wonderful man he must be.  Give him a big kiss tonight for me ;)

Worst gift: Posted: 10-MAY-01
The 1st year my husband and I were married, my MIL gave my husband a new palm pilot and a carload of toys for my son, while I received a card with all our names on it ...  However, somehow, this second Christmas was worse.  My MIL signed my name on the computer parts my hubby asked for.  Then, when he told her that was tacky, sent me, a week after Christmas, a bottle of $2.00 hand lotion ... this wouldn't be so bad if that was all she can afford, but that is totally not the case ... she lives in a million dollar home!!

        Signed - Confused And Rejected

RESPONSE:  Confused And Rejected
Posted: 11-MAY-01
Send her a piggy bank and a book on how to save money.  Make her feel that you assume she is strapped for cash.  Her pride will change her behavior.  If you talk to her, tell her you understand that she is going through hard economic times.

Worst gift: Posted: 10-MAY-01
My mother-in-law got me the ugliest off-pink coat.  It had a brand name.  No wonder I got stuck with it.  I was speechless when I opened the box.  YUKKKKKK!!!!!  She said that it didn't fit anyone else, so she gave it to me.  Boy, can she come up with some dillies.

        Signed - Off-Pink Coat

RESPONSE:  Off-Pink Coat
Posted: 11-MAY-01
Pass it on as a gift to charity and give her the receipt!

Worst gift: Posted: 25-APR-01
Gift Exchanges With The In-Laws!  The worst gift I ever received from my mother-in-law was a maternity blouse, and I wasn't pregnant!  It seemed that my sister-in-law actually picked out the blouse, because she worked at a local department store and received a discount.  All the tags were removed, so taking it back was not an option.  My daughter was expecting a baby, so I gave the blouse to her.  At least someone got some use out of it.  Now, I am a bit overweight.  You don't suppose that they were trying to tell me something?  An honest mistake?  At any rate, it was the thought that counts.  Right?  The next year there was another gift exchange!  We picked names from a paper bag.  My daughter picked her father.  Good deal.  I buy the gift and she gets the credit.  OK, fine.  My husband picks his brother.  OK, I chose my bother-in-law's wife, who I like.  No, problem.  I know the perfect present.  I bought the gift.  Just so we haven't lost count, I bought the gift for my daughter to give to her dad, and I bought the gift for my brother-in-law's wife.  Now, I'm not expecting a lot - no big expensive gift, just something not too horrible.  This time, I didn't know who had picked my name.  Good thing!  Gift giving day is upon us.  Everyone loves their gifts.  The only problem is that there is no gift for me.  Now, I always bring a few extra gifts just in case someone gets left out, but somehow this is not consoling when you are the one who is left out.  I can't tell you how hurtful this was, and I will make sure it doesn't happen again, but it still smarts.  It doesn't seem to matter if you are one or twenty.  Please Lord, deliver us from our in-laws.  Just to let you know that I'm not a glutton for punishment, I refuse to play this game again.  Anyway, it's the thought that counts.  Right!

        Signed - Anyway, It's The Thought That Counts ... Right!

Worst gift: Posted: 24-APR-01
Worst gift stories?  Wait 'til you hear this one!  My DH and I had just had our first baby.  We had a 9 1/2 lb baby boy, for which I needed an emergency C-section.  Not the nice little lower, transverse incision, it was the full, classical kind.  I swear, I had 30+ stitches!  Anyway, it was late in the fall, and about 1 month later, it was discovered that I had a large cyst on my tailbone.  I had to have it excised, and the wound needed to be left open to heal from the "inside out".  Needless to say, I was in bad shape coming AND going.  I never saw this thing on my backside, but my mother said it was huge, like the size of her fist.  It did take a LONG time to heal.  All this happened about 3 weeks before Christmas.  Back to my point.  My MIL decided that it would be a great idea if my DH and SIL would drive her car to Arizona (approx. 2000 miles from our home) while she flew home, and then HER FAMILY could all spend Christmas together!!!  Of course, she told me in front of my D(amned)H that I would not be included because of my "injuries".  It just wouldn't be comfortable for me to ride for that long.  Her gift to "US" was that she would pay the airfare home for my DH.  She would make sure he was home in time for Christmas.  Christmas Eve came and I was getting around ok, given that I was left alone in my condition, with a newborn.  Daddy was still not home.  I called and I called.  All the lines were busy.  I finally got through to my DH at his M's house.  We were on the phone about 20 seconds when I heard her scream from the other room to "hang up that phone!  We're about to eat!"  Of course, he complied because she's so wonderful.  So, that was our first Christmas as a new family.  2000 miles apart and me on my own with the baby, all at his mother's demand.  I cried all night, on a night that should have been so magical with a new baby boy of our own and all.  Oh, he waltzed in about noon the next day, big deal, all excited and saying, "See, I told you my mom would have me home by Christmas!"  Too little, too late.  Santa already skipped us this year.  Calling him an SOB is not an insult, its just pure fact.

        Signed - How Many Problems Does One Need?

RESPONSE:  How Many Problems Does One Need?
Posted: 25-APR-01
Your husband is in serious need of a spine.  How could he let his mother manipulate him into missing most of his little boy's first Christmas??  You are a saint to put up with this - I would have told my husband if he went with Mommy, "Don't bother coming back!!!"  Caring for a newborn is draining enough, but to have complications like you had on top of it, and to have your husband leave you alone, is terrible!!  You should have been together as a family for Christmas.  You and your baby are your husband's family now.  Shame on him for not seeing this.  You've got to let him know that you expect to come first, and that your son comes first as well.  It's time for his mommy to get a life of her own!!!

RESPONSE:  How Many Problems Does One Need?
Posted: 26-APR-01
I would have packed up and left him.  You don't need to be treated like that by anyone.  That's horrible of your DH and your MIL.  My husband talked about doing that our first Christmas, because we're both in the military, and I didn't have enough leave to go home.  I told him that if he left me home alone for Christmas, that when he returned, the house would be empty and divorce papers would be sitting on the floor where the table was.  He decided it would be prudent to stay.  This year (three years later), I could not stay past the 26th during Christmastime, and his parents asked him to stay for the whole week.  He told them, "I'm leaving with my wife.  I will not allow her to stay alone during the holidays."  You are married now, and you are the priority.  If he doesn't treat you like the priority, then he doesn't deserve you!  P.S. Your story made me so sad.

RESPONSE:  How Many Problems Does One Need?
Posted: 26-APR-01
OMG!  I don't see how you refrained from whacking him a good one with the nearest blunt object.  How horribly thoughtless of ALL of them, but especially of your DH.  I felt so awful for you reading that story!  I hope you're doing better now, and that he can somehow be made to see that is NOT the way a good husband and father behaves!

RESPONSE:  How Many Problems Does One Need?
Posted: 26-APR-01
I am appalled at your husband!  I'm surprised that you're still married after that!  I don't even know what to say, because there's no words that I can think of to express what a disdainful thing your husband did (besides cuss words).  I can't believe that he left you with a newborn, feeling the way you did!  I hope that someone from your family was able to help you?  Actually, it sounded like you were totally on your own.  I just feel bad.  I send out a big hug to you!!

RESPONSE:  How Many Problems Does One Need?
Posted: 27-APR-01
My MIL offered that "gift" one year when we were first married and I didn't have the time off for Christmas.  My response was, "If you leave me alone here, when you get back the house will be empty and there will be divorce papers where our kitchen table once was."  I managed to get the time off, with much begging and cajoling, and was able to go home for Christmas.  Three years later, the same thing happened and the same offer was made.  My husband simply told them that he would not leave me alone during the holidays.  And if they wanted to see him, they could make the trip out here (it's 8 1/2 hours away, and we make the trips 99% of the time).

Worst gift: Posted: 25-APR-01
Well, to me, my story is a very hurtful one, but I have decided to share it.  I miscarried a week before Christmas.  I was 17 weeks pregnant.  It was our first child, and very painful.  I really didn't care to attend the entire family Christmas function, but I did.  We opened our gifts, one person at a time, so of course the attention of everyone was on that one person.  When it was time for me to open my gift, MIL got full attention turned to me.  I then proceeded to open baby clothes and maternity clothes.

        Signed - Baby Clothes After Miscarriage

RESPONSE:  Baby Clothes After Miscarriage
Posted: 26-APR-01
At the very best what a thoughtless bitch! At the worst, what a hateful, cold, calculating thing to do to someone in pain. What did you do? How did your DH respond? My heart goes out to you.

RESPONSE:  Baby Clothes After Miscarriage
Posted: 27-APR-01
That is terrible and hateful!!  I would never speak to that woman again, or acknowledge her.  There is absolutely no excuse for that kind of a hateful action.  I had a stillborn baby (full term) 10 years ago, and it was painful waiting for his parents to come to the hospital to see her, and hurtful to hear his mom asking the priest later (within my hearing range of course, being inconspicuous) if my daughter was in purgatory because she had never been baptized.  But those are just examples of ignorance!!  Your mother-in-law was just downright hurtful, and deserves to never hear from you again.

RESPONSE:  Baby Clothes After Miscarriage
Posted: 27-APR-01
I am so sorry that you lost your baby.  You have my deepest sympathy.  I am also sorry that you have a MIL who is so cruel.  This has to be the worst story of MIL cruelty I have ever read here.  What did your husband think about what his mother did?  I don't even know what to tell you, other than how sorry I am for all the pain you have gone through.  The message board on this sight is an excellent place to talk with others, and they offer so much support!  I hope you have the support of your DH as well, and that you protect yourself from your MIL - even if it means never seeing her.  I can't believe anyone could be so insensitive.  Did she say anything about why she would give you those gifts after you suffered such a terrible loss?  My MIL treated me very cruelly when my father was terminally ill and then passed away.  I never, ever, forgave her for it.  It is very painful to have someone blatantly minimize your loss (my MIL practically gloated over it).  Talking about it really helps a lot.  I saw a therapist and got a lot of anger about my MIL out of my system.  My therapist also helped me learn how to stand strong and protect myself from my IL abuse.  I hope you have someone you can talk to, and again, I am so sorry for your loss.  Please let us know how you are doing!

RESPONSE:  Baby Clothes After Miscarriage
Posted: 27-APR-01
First, I want to express my sincere condolences regarding the loss of your pregnancy.  I miscarried at 9 weeks and know how painful it is both physically and emotionally.  It must have been horrible to go through that in your second trimester.  I can't believe how downright CRUEL your MIL was!  When I miscarried, my MIL said to me, "Well, it's better that it happened now instead of later on in the pregnancy."  I told her that it would've been better if it didn't happen at all.  I couldn't imagine going through what you did (on CHRISTMAS for God's sake)!  What was your reaction when you opened the gifts?  What did your husband do?  This is one of the most hurtful things I have ever read on these boards.  I don't understand such despicable behavior.  What was she thinking?  Don't allow this woman to cause you anymore pain.  Cut her out of your life.  I wish you all the best for the future.

RESPONSE:  Baby Clothes After Miscarriage
Posted: 27-APR-01
I am so sorry for you.  I miscarried my first child as well, so I know how emotionally painful it is, especially if you have been trying to have a baby.  It disgusts me how some people can be so insensitive to others.  I hope that your husband is supportive of you and realized how awful that must have been for you.  Many hugs from me to you, and thank you for sharing.  I know it still hurts.

RESPONSE:  Baby Clothes After Miscarriage
Posted: 27-APR-01
I cannot believe it.  Not that I doubt you, it's just - how cruel.  I know this had to be painful.  Did they know you had miscarried?  Did she or anyone else offer any form of explanation as to why they let you open that gift.  I gasped when I read your submission.  I am so sorry for you, and hope that one day your pain will be lessened with time, healing and forgiveness.

RESPONSE:  Baby Clothes After Miscarriage
Posted: 27-APR-01
Oh my god, that was so incredibly hurtful of your MIL.  I can't believe that she didn't even think about what she was giving you.  I think this is one of the worst/most painful stories I've read on here.  How did you respond to her "gifts"?

Worst gift: Posted: 16-Jan-01
Worst gift?  For our wedding, the in-laws gave us an iron and two lawn chairs that MIL got free from selling Tupperware.  They didn't even contribute anything to the wedding.  I didn't expect them or anyone else to, but my husband even bought her dress and and his sister's bridesmaid's dress, and he arranged and paid for the rehearsal dinner.  Chicken Cordon Bleu was the entree he chose - and it was very good.  When it was served, she complained "I didn't want ham tonight."

        Signed - Should Have Seen It Coming.

RESPONSE:  Should Have Seen It Coming.
Posted: 5-Apr-01
Hey, at least you GOT a wedding gift!  When I got married, she gave zilch to us.  Oh, how nice.  Her sister (my husband's aunt) gave us $500.  Guess who I favor during the holidays? >:-)

RESPONSE:  Should Have Seen It Coming.
Posted: 6-Apr-01
DH and I received zilch from our ILs too for our wedding.  They didn't even contribute to the cost of our wedding (even though her guest list was twice as large as my parent's, because she wanted to invite everyone and their brother).  They paid for the rehearsal dinner (DH had to tell them it was the groom's family's responsibility, normally).  MIL even complained about the gown that she bought for the wedding.  She said that she didn't want to buy something too expensive, especially since she was only going to wear it once.  Keep in mind, she is financially well off.  She'll spend $300 on a stupid pair of cat bookends, but not a gown for her own son's wedding!  She also wanted to wear black because she thought it looked best on her.  Maybe it is because she is a witch.  I couldn't talk her out of it.  What's strange is that she is one of the most superstitious people that I have ever met.  She said that I was, "silly," which ticked me off even more.  But when she bragged to her coworkers about it (they were horrified that she wanted to wear black to her own son's wedding, and she works in fashion business), that's when she decided that maybe she shouldn't wear black.  I guess my opinion doesn't count.  Some people just don't have any social grace.

RESPONSE:  Should Have Seen It Coming.
Posted: 7-Apr-01
I was thinking that at least you got a gift.  For our wedding, my husband ended up buying dresses for his whole family and extended family.  My MIL insisted that he buy dresses for everyone.  My husband bought dresses for relatives who couldn't even attend the wedding.  Since my husband worked in another country, we left after 2 weeks.  She didn't even let us take the gifts that others had given us.  Being a new bride, I only thought of getting out of there without arguments.  To this day, I haven't received a single gift from my in-laws, even though we buy gifts for them.

RESPONSE:  Should Have Seen It Coming.
Posted: 19-APR-01
I'm with the "at least you got a gift" crowd.  Not only did we get nothing from the in-laws for a wedding gift, nothing was contributed to the wedding.  DH gets no birthday gift, and rarely even an acknowledgment of his birthday.  I get nothing, of course.  My DH's other siblings get birthday parties, wedding gifts, etc., but not him.  They are not on bad terms.  His mother just chooses favorites, and his father just doesn't bother to find out whether gifts were given.  My parents, on the other hand, give everyone a gift.  I've told DH that I'm done shopping for his family.  If he wants to get them gifts, it's up to him.

RESPONSE:  Should Have Seen It Coming.
Posted: 21-APR-01
Those gifts are truly terrible!!!  And how dare she complain about the wedding entree!  That's pretty bad.  Well, don't run yourself ragged buying gifts for them on their birthday, or on holidays.

Worst gift: Posted: 5-APR-01
Here's a lovely gift story.  After I had my first child, my SIL and MIL showed up at the hospital the next day.  My SIL was put out because she was not allowed into the delivery room with us.  She is a nurse, but we have never been close due to the fact that she constantly talks behind my back, and resents my very existence!  Anyway, SIL gave me a box of candy and made it a point to tell me that she hand picked them herself at the candy shop.  The candy is all different kinds of nuts covered with chocolate.  After MIL and SIL left, one of my nurses came in and saw the candy and said I shouldn't eat it.  Nuts and chocolate were the worst things I could eat after giving birth.  They are too much on the digestive system, especially since I had a difficult time.  I laughed and told the nurse they were hand picked by my SIL, the MATERNITY nurse.  My nurse said, "Wow, she must really like you, huh"?  Needless to say, I did not write my SIL a thank you note for that little stunt.

        Signed - A Pair of Slippers Would Have Been Nice.

RESPONSE:  A Pair of Slippers Would Have Been Nice
Posted: 9-APR-01
Wow!  Your SIL is really hateful and vengeful.  She could've really caused you some discomfort (and even some serious health problems) at what should have been one of your happiest times.  What a B!tch.  Of course, you shouldn't write her a thank you note.

RESPONSE:  A Pair of Slippers Would Have Been Nice
Posted: 10-APR-01
Well, you could always go with this, several months after the birth of your baby ...

Dear SIL,
Thank you for the box of candy you delivered to me in the hospital after the birth of my child.  I AM sorry it has taken this long to write a thank-you note, but I'm sure you understand how busy things get with a new baby.  I did enjoy the chocolates very much after I got home, and after the time period my maternity nurse said I should give my system before I subjected my digestive system to chocolate and nuts.

Thank you for your kind thoughts,
Me

: : grin : :  Let her know you know EXACTLY what she tried to pull, and that it didn't bother you in the least ... AND that you DID have a nurse who knew what she was doing.  But, that's me.  You may want to just let things lie.

RESPONSE:  A Pair of Slippers Would Have Been Nice
Posted: 10-APR-01
You know your SIL, and how she treats you in general, but I think the nurse was out of line to think she deliberately got the chocolates to hurt you.  Maybe, if she's a real monster, she did.  But I am 39 years old, and I never knew you shouldn't give chocolates to an expectant mother.  I would have done the same thing, thinking chocolate is about the best thing in the world -- not having a clue that it was horribly wrong as a maternity gift. (I've never done this, luckily, and am glad to learn from you!)  Don't be so sure it was deliberate -- it might just have been not knowing.  If I can be this dense, your SIL might be similarly clueless!

RESPONSE From Poster:  A Pair of Slippers Would Have Been Nice
Posted: 11-APR-01
I am the original poster of "A Pair of Slippers Would Have Been Nice".  The reason I knew my SIL's gift was meant to cause me discomfort is that, not only do I have a bad relationship with her to begin with, but my SIL is a Maternity nurse herself.  She takes care of postpartum mothers for a living!!  She was put out because I would not let her in the delivery room with me and my husband.  (We did not invite ANYONE for the birth - not even my mother - because we wanted it to be private).  My SIL thinks that she is the ultimate authority on childbirth, and therefore must be present when any family member has a baby.  However, her behavior is inappropriate.  When our other SIL gave birth, Nurse SIL constantly contradicted everything the doctor said, because she thinks she knows better than any doctor!  She tried to get our SIL to give birth at the hospital she works at, instead of the one she wanted to go to, because she wanted to control how the birth went, and "be the one to take the baby from the doctor when it was born."  When other SIL decided to go to the hospital she wanted to, the nurse SIL yelled at her that she was crazy.  One time, she argued with me when I was pregnant, because I did not want to drink a wine cooler at a cookout at her house.  She said one wine cooler wouldn't hurt the baby - doctors overreact when they say you can't drink any alcohol during pregnancy.  I refused to drink the wine cooler, and she gave me such a hard time about it!  It is scary how much she uses the fact that she is a nurse to try and control people, especially at the expense of their health!  So, that's how I know those chocolate covered nuts were NOT meant to be enjoyed.  But, I want to thank the poster who responded with the suggestion for the thank you note - what a hoot!  And also the response asking if maybe my SIL might have made a mistake.  I appreciate your point - it's always good to look at both sides of a story.  I wish it had been a simple mistake on SIL's part, but it definitely wasn't.

RESPONSE:  A Pair of Slippers Would Have Been Nice
Posted: 24-APR-01
How about this for a thank you note:  Dear Sis,  I would have thanked you sooner, however, with all the business of a new baby, I kind of forgot.  Sorry.  I did not get to enjoy your gift.  The reason I did not get to enjoy it is because my doctor came in and saw the chocolates in my room.  He got extremely irate, and wanted to know how they got there.  He explained how dangerous they were for me, and wanted to know who gave them to me.  When he found out that a medical professional gave them to me, he demanded to know exactly who it was, so I told him.  I hope this doesn't cause you any future hardships in your career.  Thanks again!!

Worst gift: Posted: 15-JAN-01
It was the first Christmas I had ever spent with my husband's family.  We were all sitting around opening our gifts and my husband's mother gives him his gift and it's a beautiful shirt.  Then my gift is handed to me.  I open it, and it is one padded hanger that you hang something on.  I was embarrassed for her, but she knew what she was doing.  She wanted to make sure I knew that would be the extent of her gift giving to me.

        Signed - Hanging In There

RESPONSE:  Hanging In There
Posted: 17-JAN-01
Well, here's your big chance to give her gift back!  Next birthday or Mother's Day, find a really tacky flea market t-shirt.  You know, something wildly inappropriate that says "Sexy Grandma" or "Foxy Mama" with ugly colors, and a size way too big for her.  Hang it on the hanger, and present it to her as a token of your affection.

RESPONSE:  Hanging In There
Posted: 25-MAR-01
I bet the hanger was actually to hang your husband's new shirt on.

RESPONSE:  Hanging In There
Posted: 25-APR-01
What a B!tch.  I would have said, "Thanks. It must have been hard for you to take off that shirt and wrap it up!"  Then, next year, give her a really skimpy, sexy, way too small dress and put it on the hanger!

Worst gift: Posted: 16-Jan-01
Worst gift?  For our wedding, the in-laws gave us an iron and two lawn chairs that MIL got free from selling Tupperware.  They didn't even contribute anything to the wedding.  I didn't expect them or anyone else to, but my husband even bought her dress and and his sister's bridesmaid's dress, and he arranged and paid for the rehearsal dinner.  Chicken Cordon Bleu was the entree he chose - and it was very good.  When it was served, she complained "I didn't want ham tonight."

        Signed - Should Have Seen It Coming.

RESPONSE:  Should Have Seen It Coming.
Posted: 5-APR-01
Hey, at least you GOT a wedding gift!  When I got married, she gave zilch to us.  Oh, how nice.  Her sister (my husband's aunt) gave us $500.  Guess who I favor during the holidays? >:-)

RESPONSE:  Should Have Seen It Coming.
Posted: 6-APR-01
DH and I received zilch from our ILs too for our wedding.  They didn't even contribute to the cost of our wedding (even though her guest list was twice as large as my parent's, because she wanted to invite everyone and their brother).  They paid for the rehearsal dinner (DH had to tell them it was the groom's family's responsibility, normally).  MIL even complained about the gown that she bought for the wedding.  She said that she didn't want to buy something too expensive, especially since she was only going to wear it once.  Keep in mind, she is financially well off.  She'll spend $300 on a stupid pair of cat bookends, but not a gown for her own son's wedding!  She also wanted to wear black because she thought it looked best on her.  Maybe it is because she is a witch.  I couldn't talk her out of it.  What's strange is that she is one of the most superstitious people that I have ever met.  She said that I was, "silly," which ticked me off even more.  But when she bragged to her coworkers about it (they were horrified that she wanted to wear black to her own son's wedding, and she works in fashion business), that's when she decided that maybe she shouldn't wear black.  I guess my opinion doesn't count.  Some people just don't have any social grace.

RESPONSE:  Should Have Seen It Coming.
Posted: 7-APR-01
I was thinking that at least you got a gift.  For our wedding, my husband ended up buying dresses for his whole family and extended family.  My MIL insisted that he buy dresses for everyone.  My husband bought dresses for relatives who couldn't even attend the wedding.  Since my husband worked in another country, we left after 2 weeks.  She didn't even let us take the gifts that others had given us.  Being a new bride, I only thought of getting out of there without arguments.  To this day, I haven't received a single gift from my in-laws, even though we buy gifts for them.

RESPONSE:  Should Have Seen It Coming.
Posted: 24-APR-01
Well, I feel better that there are other's out there who got nada from the in-laws.  All I can say is that, in the long run, who really wants anything from them anyway.  The only thing that they had that was worth anything was the son I married.  (And, honestly, that's better than anything the two of them have ever given us!!!)

RESPONSE:  Should Have Seen It Coming.
Posted: 24-APR-01
Me and DH had a quick JP marriage with just the two of us there.  I had just had twins, we lost one of them, and our other baby was still in the hospital, so we just decided to go off and get married.  There were no gifts whatsoever from his side of the family, with the excuse - "you eloped."  That's ok, it was worth it not to have them poke their noses in.  Now, my BIL is getting married, and MIL is absolutely hounding him to try and get involved in the wedding planning.  Luckily BILs fiancé is strong, and refuses to be bullied.  Don't let MIL bully you!

RESPONSE:  Should Have Seen It Coming.
Posted: 25-APR-01
To the April 24 respondent - I appreciated your post, because our wedding was similar.  We had nobody but our small, immediate family.  We didn't send out announcements or anything.  We didn't get a lot of gifts, because people who would have given us gifts out of obligation didn't have to bother.  But we felt good about the ones we did get, because we felt like they were sincere - the people didn't "have" to send them, because we didn't announce the wedding or invite them.  That's one way to get gifts only "from the heart".  I guess some of the people still felt like they had to get us things though - but we didn't make them feel that way!

Worst gift: Posted: 24-APR-01
For my wedding, the out-law's gift to us was the fact that they bought themselves NEW clothes.  At the last minute, they decided that THEY didn't like who I chose for the photographer, so they fired him (I signed the contract) and hired a friend of MIL, who by the way, showed up AFTER the wedding.

        Signed - Has Husband's Approval Not To Care Anymore

RESPONSE:  Has Husband's Approval Not To Care Anymore
Posted: 25-APR-01
Man!  What a B!TCH!!!  It must be H#LL living with her around!  So, did the photographer at least get some pictures of the reception?  I would have asked if the old bag wanted some wedding cake!!!!  There's usually so much left over anyway that will go to waste, so she should have been wearing some (accidentally of course).  If your husband is supportive, that is 95% of survival!  Good Luck.  And remember, they are older than you.  Chances are that relief will come in your lifetime, not theirs.

Worst gift: Posted: 24-APR-01
Let me begin by saying that I am THRILLED to find this site!  I have been dealing with the biggest WITCH of a MIL possible for the past 6 1/2 years.  My worst gift: this past Christmas, my husband's mother (I don't even want to claim her as my MIL) sent us a check, and a book.  The check is their usual gift, since all of her previously given tacky gifts have been tossed out or donated to Goodwill.  The book, however, was the terrible piece.  It was a book from my beloved husband's childhood, and had a long inscription from her about how kind and loving he USED to be, how generous and sweet he USED to be.  She made it perfectly clear in the inscription that he had changed for the worse, and that she hoped that he would "come to terms with his life, and the horrible choices he had made".  (The quotes are hers.)  She then "asked the Lord to convict her son's heart to know that his parents love him, regardless of his faults."  This prayer for a man who has an incredible career, a supportive, loving wife, lots of friends, is civically involved and recognized, and generally loves his life!  Thank goodness, he called her on it and told her that he did not want any contact with her until she straightened up!  Actually, I should say that this was the BEST present, since we have now had little contact with them since then!

        Signed - So Tired Of The Games

Worst gift: Posted: 25-APR-01
My husband and I got married in January in Mexico.  In February, I had my wedding shower.  No one in his family came, nor did we get a gift from his parents or grandparents.  No one in his family gave us a present.  It was all from my family and my family's friends.

        Signed - His Family Was No-Show

RESPONSE:  His Family Was No-Show
Posted: 26-APR-01
Was this his first marriage?  I ask you that, because I had the same treatment.  My DH married five years previously.  The marriage only lasted two years (no children) and she cheated on him, moved in with the other guy, and took all the gifts.  His family had given her several different showers.  When we announced our wedding, his MIL made it very clear that, not only did "her family and friends" give generously to the ex-wife, but also made it very clear not to solicit gifts from them, and definitely do not plan a shower and include them in on it.  I felt like a heel!  In fact, I felt so bad about it that I canceled the shower my family had planned for me, because I was so upset and embarrassed that I was marrying a divorced man.  Stupid me for thinking this. This was my first (and hopefully only) marriage, and I got cheated out of any showers, teas, etc.  I should have never let her get the best of me.  Needless to say, we are expecting our first baby, and I have three showers planned for me (my family, work and friends). Guess what?  MIL is not invited to any of them.

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