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Mother-In-Law Stories
Worst Gift Archives
April 2002
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Worst gift:  Oh boy.  I have been married to my husband for two years.  Shall we say that his mother is slightly *involved* in our lives (mainly because she has nothing better to do with her time - she doesn't work, no friends, etc.).  I am 5'5 and weigh 125 lbs., with a pretty decent body.  For Xmas this year, I received a GIRDLE from her.  I opened it up in front of the whole family.  Um, thank you, I guess?  What exactly is it that you are trying to say?  My own mother thought it was hilarious (and now I do, too).

        Signed - Sadly Laughing At A Bitter Woman

RESPONSE:  Sadly Laughing At A Bitter Woman
For Mother's Day, don't hesitate to give her really slinky, tiny, tacky lingerie as a present.

RESPONSE:  Sadly Laughing At A Bitter Woman
In her presence, I would constantly make references about how your girdle is killing you.

RESPONSE:  Sadly Laughing At A Bitter Woman
Good luck with that one.  Hey, maybe one day you can recycle that gift right back to her.  J

Worst gift:  The worst gift.  Well, I guess I can say I don't bother going into the $1.00 store anymore because those are my new gifts (Christmas and birthday - well, this year I got a small box of old candy from my in-laws, with the, "we don't know what to get you" tagged behind it.  Can anyone relate?

        Signed - $1.00 Gift Daughter-In-Law

RESPONSE:  $1.00 Gift Daughter-in-law
Get one of those US State Collector Quarter Boards from someplace for the next holiday.  And each holiday thereafter, give her the latest quarter to put in the board as her one and only gift.  Tell her that you didn't know what else to get her.  You can get one of those boards for about $15, and each holiday thereafter will cost you a quarter.  Don't feel guilty about it.  She doesn't.

RESPONSE:  $1.00 Gift Daughter-in-law
Yes I can!  I thought I was the only one who had the problem of the discount and $1.00 store gifts.  I just take my cheap gifts over to my mom's and let her pick through for the pot holders.  And, I throw the rest out!

RESPONSE:  $1.00 Gift Daughter-in-law
I can relate.  Every year I get extremely cheap jewelry - earrings.  And MIL knows that I don't wear earrings.  Do what I do.  When they leave, just throw the present away.  Now, you are back to the same situation before you opened the present.  If she ever asks me about the earrings, I will just say that I lent them to someone, and I haven't gotten them back yet.  No feelings are hurt - right?

Worst gift:  During an in-law visit, my MIL kept mentioning how much she loved Kaleidoscopes, and how SHE has always wanted to get one.  Her son, my husband, and I acknowledged her interest without adding any enthusiasm.  While wandering the mall, she managed to get me away from my husband and announced that she wanted to get us something, and asked what would we like?  Always a loaded question.  "Well, we could really use some everyday cutlery."  Just as I said this, she ducked into a "Kaleidoscopes-R-Us", and started staring wildly at the showcases.  You know, I kind of thought she meant the cardboard ones you get as a kid, thrilling to me at the time.  No, these were blown glass, hand made, and cost hundreds of dollars.  She asked my opinion, and I tried my best to be honest, yet helpful, on a subject I care little for.  I hope I am not offending you Kaleidoscope keepers out there.  Any hoo, I got the bright idea that when she finally choose one of these monstrosities, I would pay for half as our gift to her.  "Wrap it well, it's going on a plane," I remember saying.  "Well, it's for YOU!!",  she said.  My face went quite white, I was told later by the shop clerk.  She swore me to silence until we got home, when she could present it to my husband.  Of course, the minute my husband saw me, he said, "Are you ok?"  I quietly spilled my guts.  The kaleidoscope sits in our china cabinet.  In case we have company, "I will have something to show them."  The glass fruit basket with plastic handle sits in storage, deemed too tacky to get any real estate in the china cabinet.

        Signed - Fearful of Christmas and Birthdays

RESPONSE:  Fearful of Christmas and Birthdays
The first gift I received from my MIL was a hand crocheted afghan, made by her, intended for a woman my husband was engaged to before he met me.  Thoughtful woman, don't you think?

RESPONSE:  Fearful of Christmas and Birthdays
I don't understand why you just can't tell her that it is very cool that she likes those - but you and DH aren't really wild about them.  I guess I would have told her right away, "No thanks."  It's funny - we DILs are so afraid of telling our MILs our own taste.  You wouldn't have acted that way around a girlfriend - so why around her?  I think all that you are doing is not letting her see the real you.  So, she's a little upset that you don't like them as much as she does.  Oh well, people get upset - it's part of life.

RESPONSE:  Fearful of Christmas and Birthdays
Well, it isn't as bad as it may seem.  At least she was thoughtful enough to get you something she would want.  My MIL gets me anything cheap enough to deem presentable.  Only my DH gets anything he may want.  But, still, every Xmas I get her something I either know she wants, or something (usually practical) that I would want.  And wait for my clearance sweater to present itself.  LUCKY ME.

RESPONSE:  Fearful of Christmas and Birthdays
If this wacko ever asks you what you want again, tell her that you want lots and lots of COLD HARD CASH.  And smile.  You, apparently, aren't going to get what you ask for.  You are going to get **sarcasm**.  So, in my humble opinion, for Mother's Day, I'd have no qualms with re-gifting that kaleidoscope, and telling her that it just reminds you sooo much of her, and you really wanted her to have it.  What an imbecile she is!!!  Hey, don't be fearful of Christmas and birthdays, because you can always return her acts of kindness.  What comes around goes around.  Or, you can avoid her as much as you can.  It sounds like you have a real winner.  Best of luck.

 

Worst gift:  My husband and I will be married for a year in April 2002.  We have been together for 4 years now.  Each gift giving holiday, regardless of what it is, I receive a $50 gift certificate to a nice department store.  Now, don't get me wrong, in essence it is a nice gift - IF you enjoy shopping at that store.  I only go to this store for two things - perfume and houseware items.  My husband and I are currently saving money for a home, and are living with my mother,  We have no storage space to store any more houseware items!!  Every year, my MIL asks ME what my husband needs/wants for Christmas or his birthday, and she has even gone so far as to ask me what my MOTHER would like, etc.  Never once has she asked my husband or my mother about my needs or wants.  When the subject is brought up to her, she gets very defensive about it, and says that what is important is the fact that she thought of me on my birthday or at Christmas, and not what she gave me.  To top things off, for my bridal shower I received a set of everyday silverware from her.  That was their only gift to us for our wedding.  The one thing that I am thankful for is that my husband's view of his mother isn't much better than mine, and it doesn't cause any problems between us.  Come to think of it, I've never seen his birth certificate.  It makes me wonder - hmmmmmmmmmm.

        Signed - Married To A Man Who Was Obviously Hatched and Raised By Humans

RESPONSE:  Married To A Man Who Was Obviously Hatched and Raised By Humans
Sorry, but I don't really see what you are complaining about.  At least she gives you something.  There are a lot of women on this site who would like a nice gesture like that from their MIL.

RESPONSE:  Married To A Man Who Was Obviously Hatched and Raised By Humans
I don't know if this will be any help (and it sounds like your MIL is a pain in other ways), but, you might want to lighten up about this.  I don't mean that in a bad way - I just mean that I don't think gifts need to bother us so deeply.  Even the most well-meaning people can be lousy at gift-giving.  I've given some poor (but very well-meaning) gifts, and I've certainly received them.  Why don't you "re-gift" those certificates to one of your friends (or someone else) if you really can't use them?  It's not really a bad gift.  Have you seen some of the other hair-raising gifts people have mentioned on this site?  I don't think we really have the right to be angry and demanding about gifts.  We're lucky to get them.  And, if they aren't downright hostile, they aren't really something we have the right to be angry about.  I think they should be taken pretty lightly, unless they're an outright slap in the face.  I'm sorry if that sounds preachy (I know it does).  I'm directing it to myself as well as you.  I could have burst into tears when my in-laws gave me a leather motorcycle bag - it's so NOT ME!  But, they aren't mind-readers, and I'm sure they have probably been equally distressed by some of the very well-meaning things I've given them.  Also, I don't think people owe it to us to ask our relatives what we want.  A gift is a gift, and the giver is allowed to follow his/her own inspiration.  Or else what's the fun of it?  I'd say that you should just take it with a grain of salt.  And if your MIL is awful to you in other ways, deal with those.  But this, in itself, isn't really a big deal.  Don't sweat it!

Worst gift:  My husband and I will be married for a year in April 2002.  We have been together for 4 years now.  Each gift giving holiday, regardless of what it is, I receive a $50 gift certificate to a nice department store.  Now, don't get me wrong, in essence it is a nice gift - IF you enjoy shopping at that store.  I only go to this store for two things - perfume and houseware items.  My husband and I are currently saving money for a home, and are living with my mother,  We have no storage space to store any more houseware items!!  Every year, my MIL asks ME what my husband needs/wants for Christmas or his birthday, and she has even gone so far as to ask me what my MOTHER would like, etc.  Never once has she asked my husband or my mother about my needs or wants.  When the subject is brought up to her, she gets very defensive about it, and says that what is important is the fact that she thought of me on my birthday or at Christmas, and not what she gave me.  To top things off, for my bridal shower I received a set of everyday silverware from her.  That was their only gift to us for our wedding.  The one thing that I am thankful for is that my husband's view of his mother isn't much better than mine, and it doesn't cause any problems between us.  Come to think of it, I've never seen his birth certificate.  It makes me wonder - hmmmmmmmmmm.

        Signed - Married To A Man Who Was Obviously Hatched and Raised By Humans

RESPONSE:  Married To A Man Who Was Obviously Hatched and Raised By Humans
Sorry, but I don't really see what you are complaining about.  At least she gives you something.  There are a lot of women on this site who would like a nice gesture like that from their MIL.

RESPONSE:  Married To A Man Who Was Obviously Hatched and Raised By Humans
I don't know if this will be any help (and it sounds like your MIL is a pain in other ways), but, you might want to lighten up about this.  I don't mean that in a bad way - I just mean that I don't think gifts need to bother us so deeply.  Even the most well-meaning people can be lousy at gift-giving.  I've given some poor (but very well-meaning) gifts, and I've certainly received them.  Why don't you "re-gift" those certificates to one of your friends (or someone else) if you really can't use them?  It's not really a bad gift.  Have you seen some of the other hair-raising gifts people have mentioned on this site?  I don't think we really have the right to be angry and demanding about gifts.  We're lucky to get them.  And, if they aren't downright hostile, they aren't really something we have the right to be angry about.  I think they should be taken pretty lightly, unless they're an outright slap in the face.  I'm sorry if that sounds preachy (I know it does).  I'm directing it to myself as well as you.  I could have burst into tears when my in-laws gave me a leather motorcycle bag - it's so NOT ME!  But, they aren't mind-readers, and I'm sure they have probably been equally distressed by some of the very well-meaning things I've given them.  Also, I don't think people owe it to us to ask our relatives what we want.  A gift is a gift, and the giver is allowed to follow his/her own inspiration.  Or else what's the fun of it?  I'd say that you should just take it with a grain of salt.  And if your MIL is awful to you in other ways, deal with those.  But this, in itself, isn't really a big deal.  Don't sweat it!

Worst gift:  My MIL came over recently.  After she left, she called up to say that she had developed a rash.  She asked if we had fleas in the house.  We don't own a pet, and the house is spotlessly clean (and only 6 months olds).  For my birthday, she wrapped up a container of flea powder!!  She was serious.

        Signed - Flea Powder

RESPONSE:  Flea Powder
I am sorry that you have to put up with a rude @ss like that for a MIL.  I would just let her know that, since your home is obviously not up to her standards, she should tell you which hotel she will be staying in so you guys can squeeze some time out of your busy schedule to stop by and see her.

RESPONSE:  Flea Powder
Maybe you could turn this to your advantage.  After all, she can't visit until you get the "flea problem" resolved, right?  Good luck.

RESPONSE:  Flea Powder
What a B!TCH!!!  I would have handed it back, no THROWN it back at her.  But, for the record, you CAN bring fleas in on your feet.  And, in some areas, there are sand fleas (like Florida).  What did your DH say to these childish antics from his mommy?  I am curious.

RESPONSE:  Flea Powder
Time for the "Geriatric Gift Basket"!  Get a pretty basket, put in some pretty tissue, then some products MIL may need:  Foot powder (for odor), corn pads, incontinence pads, wrinkle cream, age spot fading cream, and my personal favorite - wart remover.  Add anything else you can think of.  A lot of this stuff can be gotten from a dollar store.  Then, put a huge bow on it and give it with a big smile on your face, like you think it is just a GREAT basket.  You might want to include lice shampoo because of that little flea powder stunt.

Worst gift:  One year my in-laws went to Vegas for their vacation right before Xmas.  When they got back, they had presents for everyone from Las Vegas.  Everyone seemed to be getting really nice presents - like beautiful sweaters, books, CDs, etc.  So, when it got to be my turn to open my gift, I had just one present in a small box.  It turned out to be a pin of a clown face with blinking purple lights for its eyes!!!!!!  And, that was all I got!  It was like an evil clown demon!  I kept it so I could show all my friends when they complain about their in-laws.

        Signed - Clown-Hater

Worst gift:  My worst gift from my MIL would have to be the gift I received second Christmas after my DH and I were married.  We live in a different state than she does, so she sent a box full of gifts to us.  There were gifts for DH and my son, along with a note saying that she "forgot" about me.  Like, she couldn't have just thrown something in there for me.  I would have been happy with a pack of gum, because it would have shown that she thought about me.  I have since learned that others "married" into that family are treated the same by the people born into the family.  My MIL never remembers my birthday, although I always remember hers.  But, why should she remember mine when she doesn't even remember her own son's?  She buys my son things that she already knows he has.  She will call my house, but as soon as she finds out DH isn't home, she has to go right away.  If I call her to tell her something new that my son has done, she can't even take the time out to hear about it (she just sits around the house all day, so it's not like she is busy).  She even forgot my son's first birthday.  I could understand it if she had 20 grandchildren, but since my DH is an only child, my son is her only grandchild.  When we are in town, she can't even play with my son for 5 minutes.  She just acts like he isn't even around.  I don't think that is normal, since she only gets to see him once a year.  I have decided that, since she shows no interest in my son, I won't bother her with any more pictures of him, nor will I call to let her know about something new that he did.  And, I won't bother letting her see him whenever we are in town.  I have told my DH about how I feel, and that I won't bother her with anything to do with our son.  He says that it will be her loss.

        Signed - MIL Doesn't Care

RESPONSE:  MIL Doesn't Care
Good for you.  Don't waste your time trying to make her take interest.

RESPONSE:  MIL Doesn't Care
Your DH is right.  It is her loss.  Your child does need to feel like he is nothing by his grandmother.  I would stop sending her pictures out of the blue.  But, if she calls, you could tell her you've had some taken, and ask if she wants any sent.  It makes you look less vindictive, and puts the ball back in her court.  Since she shows no interest in your son, don't call her about him, or mention him to her when she calls.  Let her ask about him.  Call your own mother, DH, sister, or friend if he has done something noteworthy.

RESPONSE:  MIL Doesn't Care
I'm sorry that you have a selfish old witch for a MIL.  I know how you feel (HUGS), because I also have a noninvolved in-law who really doesn't even deserve the title of "grandmother".  Like yours, she sits around the house all day, but never calls.  She sulks at his birthday parties (she is the world's biggest baby), and has no real bond with my son.  I believe that deep down, these monsters are actually jealous of their grandkids, and the attention they receive from others.  I know that my in-law definitely has narcissistic traits, and can not stand it when the spot light is not on her.  I wish that my son had a normal grandmother who would come over and play with him and love him.  But, since my husband's mom is too warped to be normal, I have to protect him from hurtful people like that.  She is doing me a favor by removing herself from our everyday lives, because she has nothing productive to offer anyway.  Our children deserve so much better.

RESPONSE:  MIL Doesn't Care
It's so strange that we have the exact opposite MILs.  My husband is an only child too, but his mother is so smothering that we wouldn't have a moment's peace if we had children (she even goes into hysterics over our dog).  Want to trade?

RESPONSE:  MIL Doesn't Care
Your DH is exactly right.  It is your MIL's loss if she doesn't care about you and your son.  This way, you don't owe your MIL a thing.  I know it is sad that she doesn't take the time to get to know you or her only grandchild, but see it as an opportunity to get away from her.  Don't call her anymore.  Don't talk to her when she calls.  Don't send her gifts for Christmas for birthday.  Leave that up to DH.  And, if he forgets, oh well.  She will whine and complain that you forgot her, then you can let her have it with, "What about me and DS????"  Play her own game, but play it better.  Good luck.

Worst gift:  This year for Christmas, I was given a dollar store notepad that has a magnet on the back as my gift.  I have been asking for years that we not exchange gifts - we are adults - go buy your own cr@p.  But the beauty of this moment was when I was asked to open my gift so I could take notes on what my MIL needed for groceries.

        Signed - Hoping God Needs My MIL, Soon!!!

RESPONSE:  Hoping God Needs My MIL, Soon!!!
You should have graciously taken down her list.  Then, tell her you are adding a few things for yourself, and that she can drop them off at your house anytime!!

Worst gift:  My SIL's birthday is one day before mine, so we celebrate them together, as we have some mutual friends.  We were at MIL's house earlier that day to do the birthday dinner and the whole gift thing.  I was expecting to get nothing, and that would have been fine with me.  Well, MIL came out of the house with our gifts.  My gift was a plastic shoe box with tampons, shampoo, soap, and toe nail clippers in it.  SIL got a printer for her computer, a camera, a new TV, and a promise that she would get MIL's car in 2 months (the car was only a year old).  SIL didn't even need the car, she already had two!  I told my husband that receiving soap was more insulting than getting nothing.  On a good note, MIL got the plastic shoebox and soap stuff back for Christmas!  He he he.

        Signed - Not Good Enough For MIL

Worst gift:  One Christmas, when we first moved into our house, my MIL came over for Xmas dinner (invited herself, of course).  So, later that afternoon, when she arrived, she handed me a present (after going out with her son for 8 years, and being married to him for 3, she must have felt obligated to do this, as I have never received a present before).  This is what she said, "Here you go.  I don't like this.  I think it smells like toilet spray, but I think you will like it!"  I opened the package, and it was a cheap bottle of perfume.  I was so angry.  And, as usual, my DH was not around to witness this.  I was nearly going to tell her to go and get you know what, but for my DH's sake, I didn't say anything.  I will never like her, and I just wish that my DH would stand up for me and tell her where to get off.  It didn't bother me that the perfume was el-cheapo.  It was just what she said that hurt the most.

        Signed - I Want To Throw Mama-In-Law From The Train

RESPONSE:  I Want To Throw Mama-In-Law From The Train
Go ahead, you know you want to!  USE the damn thing as a toilet spray!  Display it on top of the toilet water tank, maybe along with one of those cutesey baskets of pot pourri, and instruct all your household members to use it vividly when they have smelled up the bathroom.  Make sure MIL gets a "whiff" of how you use it, too (maybe you just want to use it when she's on visit).  Praise the perfume highly, and thank her profoundly, pretending to have misunderstood her by thinking it was actually meant to be "room fragrance"- ralph lauren, calvin klein and laura ashley all sell their own brand "room fragrances", in bottles that look like perfume bottles.  Mention this so you have an excuse.

RESPONSE:  I Want To Throw Mama-In-Law From The Train
I think that maybe throwing her from the train was toooooo light!  She needs more than that ... I also think that you should pipe up once in awhile and say, "I'm so glad that you think it smells this way ... thank god we actually have something in common, because SO DO I!!!!!!!"  Sorry ... Some MIL's should just be put in their place.  Just because they gave birth to them, doesn't mean that they can be rude and take advantage of our loves.  Much luck.  "A crazy MIL for myself"

RESPONSE:  I Want To Throw Mama-In-Law From The Train
I agree, how horrible!  You sound very honorable in saying that you don't care about the gift, it's the comments and feelings she conveyed to you.  I know how that feels, I have the same problem.  Call her on it!  And, do it in front of your husband.

Worst gift:  My MIL has not been on good terms with DH and me for over a year.  We were trying to smooth things over right before Christmas.  She sent us a box of presents - some were for us, some were for the kids.  One of my daughter's presents was a Nutcracker video.  It was nice, except that it was the same video she gave DD last year, and we had to send it back, because it didn't work.  So, she had gotten a new one, wrapped it back up, and sent it again!  The present for DH and I took the cake, though.  It was a framed 8x10 of her face.  Needless to say, it was sent back, and we no longer have contact with her.

        Signed - Better Off Without A MIL

RESPONSE:  Better Off Without A MIL
About 5 years ago, my ugly MIL gave us an 8x10 framed photo of herself for Xmas.  My husband unwrapped it, and we both burst out laughing when we saw it.  She is SO FULL of herself.  I put the photo out on a hall table and PURPOSELY turned it face down!  She has never treated me well from the day I met her (she didn't want her son to even date me because I am Chinese and he is Caucasian), and has done countless stupid, hurtful, and thoughtless things to BOTH of us.  We have three wonderful kids, but she favors her daughters' kids (BIG-TIME) over our kids, and she is so stupid, because she doesn't realize how obvious she is.  I would like to burn her picture up!!  It is now stuck in a closet somewhere, and I am sure when she visited last time that she wondered where it was.  She thinks the world revolves around her.  I would actually like to put her picture up and put a big black "X" over it - it would make more of a statement that way!

RESPONSE:  Better Off Without A MIL
My MIL gave DH and I a framed picture of her as a gift once.  It was an extreme close-up of her frizzy, home permed hair, her wrinkles from excessive drinking and smoking face, and her crooked, yellow teeth.  Needless to say, it didn't make it on our mantle.  It made it to the garbage.

Worst gift:  We are expecting a baby in two months.  MIL, who lives in another country (this is going to be her second grandchild, and our first child), sent us a small packet of very used, washed out clothes, and a used towel, as a gift for the baby.  I cannot help being insulted by her buying used clothes for my child, given the fact that she is wealthy, and can afford to buy him or her a new outfits.  This woman acts so snooty, and looks down on the poor, and the poor could have behaved more generously than she did.  I am outraged.  I am sure worse things will come out from her once this baby is born.

        Signed - Cheap And Insulting MIL

Worst gift:  My MIL gave me a salted nut roll candy bar (the extra large size) and a can of air freshener.  This kind of gift giving has been going on for years.  I have tried to bite my tongue and be polite in order to save face, but after that incident, I chose to no longer engage in any form of contact.  If my DH wants to give his mom a birthday or Xmas gift, he has to get it himself.  I am done!!!!

        Signed - I Am Done!!!!

Worst gift:  My husband and I have been married for almost eleven years.  I met my MIL a year after we began dating - on her birthday!  My husband (then boyfriend) sprung this news on me as we were on the way to her party.  I was nervous, so I got her a bunch of very nice flowers.  Things went off without a hitch, and she really seemed to like me.  When we got married a year and a half later, she was so nice to me, and helped me with the wedding, which was a very small affair.  I really wanted to elope, but she wanted to see her oldest (and favorite) son get married.  Well, shortly after our wedding, everything changed.  I knew my in-laws were not well off, so I never expected much, but some of her gifts to me were worse than no gift at all.  The first gift was a bathrobe for Christmas.  It looked okay, except it was made from some cheap polyester and had no lining!  She said she bought it at a local discount store, but when I went to return it, they said they didn't carry anything that poorly made.  A few years later, she begged my husband and me to come to her house for Christmas.  I went to a lot of trouble selecting a nice silk robe from Victoria's Secret (I was in my 20's, she was in her 40's).  She loved the robe, and excitedly handed me my gift.  It was a box of note paper and envelopes, with a church and a giant cross on them.  She, and all of my friends, knows that I'm not religious, but these little papers were familiar to me.  I'd seen them at the local dollar store!  The final insult was that she'd given my BIL's girlfriend a lovely bath salt and bubble bath set, that appeared to come from a nice department store!  I guess it's just as well, because I've recently learned that my husband is gay, and we are divorcing.

        Signed - Not So Gay About MIL Today

Worst gift:  Babyshower gift:  When my husband and I were pregnant with our first child, my friends and mother threw me a baby shower.  My MIL did not even come, but she did send a gift - a crib blanket (that I saw at a discount department store for $5.00).  All the guests wanted to know where the "other grandmother " was, AND my husband's sister (just to show that the apple does not fall far from the tree), gave me a bag full of baby clothes that she got at "tag sales and the Salvation Army" (her words).

        Signed - Better Off Without Them!

Worst gift:  Worst gift???  What gift??  My MIL has NEVER given me, my husband, or our two children ANYTHING.  Not even a card or a telephone call.  This goes for birthdays and anniversary's.  Even for our wedding, she gave us NOTHING.  And, she CAN afford a card, at least.  Also, she has never even seen our second child, and she used to live next door!  She was always "too busy" or "sick".  Or, she had some other excuse as to why she could not see him!

        Signed - Still Waiting After 15 Years

Worst gift:  My MIL isn't all bad, for the record.  She does things that hurt me and drive me nuts, but she is human after all.  The worst gift I ever received from her was not bad in itself, but the meaning behind it was bizarre!  It was Christmas 1999.  She was all freaking out, calling us and asking if we had an emergency kit ready in case the world comes to an end, or something.  We should have plenty of canned goods, bottled water, formula for the baby, yada, yada, yada!  Anyway, for Christmas, she handed me and my SIL a big bag.  In it was an oil lamp, a bottle of oil, and candles - in case of a black out!  Merry Christmas!  Sheesh!

        Signed - MIL Not So Bad

Worst gift:  This is about ONE of the WORST gifts we received from my MIL (one of many - but this takes the cake).  A few Christmases ago, DH and I received a pair of winter fleece vests - while living in Hawaii!!!  Anyone with half a brain would know you have no use for them in a tropical climate, besides the fact that they are totally out of style.  Put that up next to the babes in triangle bikinis on the beach, ha.  That wasn't even worth the postage used to send it.  I'd take a 10 cent piece over it any day, and not feel so insulted.

        Signed - Island Girl in City of Roses

Worst gift:  My birthday is on Christmas Day.  My MIL always did keep in touch with my husband's ex-wife and his old girlfriends.  One Christmas, my husband's ex-wife was at the house.  Guess who got the present and who didn't?  Why did not getting a gift hurt my feelings?  I don't know.  I have been with my husband for 9 years, and not once ever got a gift from her.

        Signed - One For Her, None For Me

Worst gift:  I've known my husband and his family, including his mother, most of my life.  When he and I first started dating, he had just gotten divorced.  We spent Christmas at his brother and sister-in-law's house, along with his mother.  At this time, he had been living in his dad's RV (his parents are divorced - a pretty interesting story itself) because he was still paying all the household expenses for his ex-wife and their two children.  But, he was getting ready to move into an apartment.  He had nothing - no furniture, no dishes, nothing!  She gave him a mug tree with 4 mugs, a chef's hat, and a plastic apron with a lobster on it.  Just what the man with nothing really needs.  She gave me a bag full of used tissue paper (the kind you use in a gift bag).  Some were just little scraps of tissue.  She also threw in some little paper doilies, like you would put on a plate to set cookies on.  It wasn't even a whole packet of them, just a few she had left over from something or other.  I looked at this junk, and then looked at her.  She gave me a little smile, and said she thought I'd be able to get some use out of it!  I also found out later that, during our visit there, my future SIL said that in all the years she'd known him, she had never seen my husband happy.  And, she was so glad for him that he had found me.  My MIL told her that I'd "just been lying in wait for him to get divorced".  Good grief.  I was 38 then.  I'd known him since I was 15.  Talk about a long wait!

        Signed - Fed Up To Here

Worst gift:  My MIL is quite the auction and junk sale shopper.  Last year for Christmas, she gave me and her other DIL a large bag of assorted items, including 6 bottles (yes, 6) of Cajun seasoning (more than a chef would use in 2 years), aerosol air freshener, dishwashing liquid, and other household cleaning items.  Is my food bland, or my house not clean enough???

        Signed - Cooking and Cleaning

Worst gift:  My husband and I have been married for 3 years, and together for 5 years.  Anyway, my MIL is very cheap, even though they are very well off.  Christmas is a very bad time to be in this family.  Last Christmas, we did not go to their house.  Ha, they live 8 houses down on the same side of the street, and we have always rented from her, even though my husband makes good money.  Last Christmas, he went down to her house and brought back the gifts.  There were several thin blankets still in a wrapper that said $4.95 on them.  She gave bubbles to the kids that said 3/$1.00, etc.  The worst part was when I noticed several shoe boxes with newspaper crumbled up in them.  The little #number tags were still on them.  It was stuff like 4 coffee mugs and nail clippers.  It was some of her free bingo gifts that she had won through the year.  Also, it was insulting, because my husband received some cologne.  The same cologne that I had given his father last year.  She is sooooo cheap.  But, at least my husband does understand this, and buys us our own gifts here.

        Signed - Suffering

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