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Mother-In-Law Stories
Worst Gift Archives
June 2002
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Worst gift:  This gift was from my well meaning, but clueless MIL.  It was for my bridal shower.  She believes in re-gifting, and has been trying to get me to do the same.  I feel that it is tacky to re-gift, and that you should match the gift to the person.  I feel that you should not save things, waiting for a gift giving occasion.  She had me open her last gift at my shower.  The first part was some nice casserole dishes, that I had also gotten about 10 years earlier.  These items were not on our registry, but she had gotten it free (or cheaply) years earlier, and was holding onto it for a gift giving occasion.  The second part was a small, kitchy bell, that had a bride and groom for the handle.  And the handle was dirty.  She brought this bell out separately, as though it was the greatest gift in the world.  And, she said that it was for my bell collection (I have no such collection, but she had given me another cheap bell the previous Christmas).  Neither my husband nor I like it, and I think we eventually threw it away or it got lost.

        Signed - Shaking My Head Every Time I See Her

RESPONSE:  Shaking My Head Every Time I See Her
It's a lesson to me never to decide that someone has a "collection", even if they like something.  My cousin has overwhelmed me with a kind of doll I like, assuming that my liking that doll means I want a doll collection (no space for it!).  It's sweet of her, and she's a good person.  But, it seems so insensitive of your MIL to decide that you should have a bell collection, just because she gave you a bell before!  That is really something.  I don't mind the re-gifting (that's one way my MIL and I get along great - we're both thrift store/pass-it-on people).  But I do think I shouldn't do it if the recipient doesn't feel the same way.  Some people definitely prefer the gifts you describe - new ones that are carefully chosen for the recipient, and the occasion.

Worst gift:  My ILs liked me until they found out that my DH and I were getting married.  After we got engaged, my MIL told my DH the most awful lies.  First, she told him that we were cousins.  NOT TRUE!  I think we would have known this if it were true.  She told this same to just about every girlfriend my DH ever had.  She just didn't want him to be happy.  Well, this didn't work.  So she told him that my 2nd oldest brother wasn't really my brother.  She said my mother had an affair on my father, and my brother didn't belong to my father.  NOT TRUE!!!!!!  How dare she say this about my family.  My brothers and I ALL look like my father.  This didn't work for her either.  Then, she told DH that my family was poor white trash, and that at one time, we lived in a chicken pen.  I swear that this is true, she actually said that we lived in a chicken pen.  This one was so far out there, I didn't even bother to answer it.  My family is upper middle class, and she just wishes she had what they had.  The lies went on and on until we were married.  We have been married for 15 years.  The other day, my DH told me that I had become like my MIL in some ways.  When we were first married, I was extremely shy and soft spoken.  I admit that I had no spine.  Well, after having the MIL from he!! for 15 years, you learn to stand up for yourself.  If you don't stand up for yourself, they walk all over you.  If MIL insults me, I just throw it right back.  The ILs live in another state.  My DH is thinking about moving to the south, due to health problems.  They want him to move closer to them.  It is not going to happen.  Well, last week I emailed them and told them about the place we are going to move to.  I received no response.  Then, when we saw the ILs on Mother's Day, not one of them spoke to me.  I was just hurt so badly - yeah right.  They think I'm making DH move farther from them.  I'm not.  I would if I could, but I'm not.  Oh, for Christmas I got a small, 4 inch garden fountain.  It was used, and in an old box with newspaper.  We live in an apartment, so I don't even have a garden.  I let DH buy gifts for his family last Christmas (all but for GMIL).  I picked out a box of candy for her.  For Christmas of 2000, GMIL bought a $2 box of candy for us.  The woman does not have money problems.  Everyone else got $50 apiece.  So, from now on, GMIL is getting candy.  Who knows, maybe MIL and FIL will get thrift store things for Christmas.  Maybe a used garden fountain.  Sorry it's so long, hope it makes sense.  Thanks for listening.

        Signed - From Now On, GMIL Is Getting Candy

RESPONSE:  From Now On, GMIL Is Getting Candy
Hee hee!  The candy for GMIL is classic - I think you're gonna make it!  Glad you got some backbone and refused to let these people run all over you.  The MIL sounds totally loony!

RESPONSE:  From Now On, GMIL Is Getting Candy
She said you and your brother were not really brother and sister, and that your family once lived in a chicken pen, huh?  Are your MIL and my MIL friends? My MIL said similar things about me!  At my wedding, my MIL told her family that my brother had a different father because my mom, dad, and I all have dark hair, and my brother has light hair.  When I told her that my dad's mother had light hair, she told me that didn't matter.  Also, I had two different bridal showers - one MIL gave me with her family, and one my mother gave me in my home state with my family.  MIL was mad that my mother was throwing me one too, so she told her entire family that the one my mother was throwing me was a pig roast, and everyone had to help kill the pig.  Not one word of my story is a lie!

Worst gift:  My MIL gave my husband and I a bath mat one year for Christmas.  To top it off, it was used and had dog hair on it.  She said," I just had to try it out."  Did she give the dog a bath, or what??  Gross!!

        Signed - Grossed Out

RESPONSE:  Grossed Out
That's just plain nasty!  I hope you guys let her know how tacky she was.

Worst gift:  One day I was out shopping with my MIL, and I spotted a top that I really liked.  MIL said that she really liked it too, and wished she could buy it.  But, it happened to only be in my size, so I bought it for myself.  Over the next six months, every time she saw me in it, she would comment, jealously, that she had wanted that particular top.  Christmas rolled around, and I opened my gift.  And yep, you guessed it, she had bought me the exact same top - in her size (she is a size smaller than I am).  I couldn't believe it!  I confronted her about it, saying that she had seen me many times in the top, and always commented on it.  She denied it.  In the end she said, "Oh well, I'll take it back and exchange it."  Of course she didn't - she kept it and wore it herself!

        Signed - She Kept It

RESPONSE:  She Kept It
Hee!  Next Christmas you should give her a taste of her own medicine.  Tell her that you wanted to do something "extra special" for her because you were so touched by her thoughtfulness last year.  Then, do the same thing she did to you.  It may not be very realistic, but doesn't it make you feel a little better?  Hee!  Your MIL is a wench.

RESPONSE:  She Kept It
Boy, your MIL sounds very petty and competitive!!  That was just plain stupidity on her part.

Worst gift:  This past Christmas, my MIL was passing out gifts for everyone.  She had finished passing out all the gifts, and I did not have a present.  I didn't say anything (because I really don't care), but my SIL said, "Hey mom, where is SIL's gift?"  My MIL looked around, took a present out from under the tree with my SIL's name on it, and said, "You can just have this one."  It was a gray sweatshirt, about 3 sizes to big for me, as it was intended for my SIL!!!

        Signed - Beautiful DIL

RESPONSE:  Beautiful DIL
What a mean thing to do.  What did DH do?  I hope he gave MIL a piece of his mind for that stunt.  That's beyond just rude - that's downright cruel.

Worst gift:  My MIL once gave me two tea towels for Christmas.  But, to her son, she gave an expensive jacket, jeans, and boxer shorts!  Talk about trying to make a point.

        Signed - I Hate My MIL Too

RESPONSE:  I Hate My MIL Too
That just burns me up.  I absolutely hate it when women get things for the home, while their husbands get good things.  Does having a uterus, instead of a penis, make me a maid?  As if your husband didn't live in your house too!  I think you're obviously old fashioned MIL was trying to put you in "your place" as domestic servant, AND undeserving DIL.  Give her a kick for womankind and DILs!  SIGNED:  Gender Roles Are For Jerks.

RESPONSE:  I Hate My MIL Too
This sounds so familiar.  The first Christmas after my DH and I were married, MIL gave me two tea towels with the faces of pigs on them.  They were not cute, and it was a message - loud and clear.  On the other hand, she gave DH a very expensive electric razor, and a very expensive new suite to wear to church on that Christmas morning.  She also had a dress with the same color scheme as the new suite.  What she didn't anticipate was this:  from then on, until those towels were nothing more than rags, each time she came to visit, I put them in the guest bathroom for her to dry her hands on.  She never gave me "gag" gifts again.  She would get me little things that were appreciated (i.e., after we had started a family, she got picture frames with pictures of our kids in them - pictures that she had taken, or small bottles of cologne, etc.).  I would prefer absolutely nothing from her, rather than a spiteful gift.  The dollar value really isn't the issue at all, it's the cutting insult behind the gift that got to me.  Even if she spent a small fortune on me, I still would not like her!

Worst gift:  My wife always tells me that her family is always there for her.  But I can prove she's wrong.  We were recently married, and only her mother and stepfather came to the wedding (which was held with the Bishop's permission).  This was a beautiful ceremony for two people who've had their share of life's ups and downs, but still believe in the ideal of married love.  My family came, and they were wonderful to us both.  But, none of her family came, as I said, and here's the "worst gift" part:  None of them gave us even a card, let alone a gift.  I am very sad on behalf of my wife.  She is a wonderful, caring person, who's suffered much more than her share of disappointment.  Perhaps the reason that her family IS there for her when she's in trouble, or needs their help, is to use those times as grist for their gossip mill.  They don't deserve her!  And, she SURE doesn't deserve to be treated like that.

        Signed - They Don't Deserve Her!

RESPONSE:  They Don't Deserve Her!
That's horrid!  This is a wedding, a (hopefully) once in a lifetime celebration of love.  I could see them not sending presents if they were poor, but no one even showed up?!  They also gossip about her problems?  I think my problems with my ILs are bad enough, but to be treated like this by your own family, it's sick!  Perhaps she'd just be happier if the two of you cut off all contact with them.  Signature:  Disturbed.

Worst gift:  MIL gave me toenail clippers and a box of soap for Christmas last year.  I actually thanked her because I'm nice.  When we got married a few years ago, SIL didn't buy us a gift at all because she decided to spend her gift money on a dress to wear to the wedding.  We understand, don't we?  Of course, when she got married, we bought her and her DH a nice gift.

        Signed - God Love 'Em - Cuz Nobody Else Does

RESPONSE:  God Love 'Em - Cuz Nobody Else Does
That's horrible!  I wouldn't give them anything anymore!  That's just tasteless.  Don't waste your money.

Worst gift:  The mega-beast Monster-In-Law strikes again.  It is not enough that the old bat and her shriveled up mother (the Grand-Monster-In-Law) ruined DH's birthday, but now MIL had to take yet another jab at me.  She certainly hasn't done enough by running her mouth full of nasty lies in the little bitty town DH grew up in, where everyone knows every time someone flushes their toilet.  For my birthday, I received a card in yesterday's mail with a check for $100.00.  It was made out to me, using my maiden name.  An accident????  I think not.  On the bright side, DH sees these childish games for what they are.  I can't understand it though.  DH has severed ties with her, and yet she continues to be nasty to me.  What is she thinking?  Does she think she will win him over by continually being nasty to his wife?  I realize that she didn't want him to marry me in the first place, but addressing me by my former name does not nullify our marriage.  What a sad, silly, bitter old b!tch.

        Signed - Still Have DH's Name, Whether She Accepts It Or Not

RESPONSE:  Still Have DH's Name, Whether She Accepts It Or Not
You should shred the check, and mail it back to her.

RESPONSE:  Still Have DH's Name, Whether She Accepts It Or Not
At least your husband is seeing her for what she is.  Think of these little stabs at you as a good thing.  Maybe if your husband sees it enough without it looking like you're the problem or the cause (so it doesn't look like wife and mother, but rather just mother) then maybe he will finally put his foot down!

RESPONSE:  Still Have DH's Name, Whether She Accepts It Or Not
Every time you send something or introduce her, use her maiden name.

Worst gift:  I've been married for 10 months.  The worst gift that I've received from my MIL was when she came back from her trip - she was taking care of her father in another state.  She opened up her suitcase and took out a shirt.  It was a see-through blouse.  She told me, "This is the blouse I had bought last year.  Now I don't need it anymore.  Who better than you to wear it?"  I was shocked, really, and annoyed as well.  But, I thanked her a lot, and kissed her.  WHAT SHOULD I DO? L.

        Signed - After 10 Months

RESPONSE:  After 10 Months
"WHAT SHOULD I DO?"  Start a Goodwill bag.

RESPONSE:  After 10 Months
DON'T WEAR THE BLOUSE.  She probably thought you would like it.

RESPONSE:  After 10 Months
I think it was gracious of you to thank her and KISS her.  But now she thinks she can treat you that way, and you will take it.  So, I would expect that she will continue to give you bad gifts.  You did not "nip" the problem in the bud at all!  When people are crass like that, you have to launch on them right away.

RESPONSE:  After 10 Months
You could have just told her that it's not you, said thanks but no thanks, and left it at that.  I don't know why you would thank her and kiss her like that.  She will probably give you all kinds of weird stuff now that she thinks you like it!

RESPONSE:  After 10 Months
Thank her for thinking of you, and politely decline the gift because it "is not my style".  At least that is what I would do.

RESPONSE:  After 10 Months
"I was shocked, really, and annoyed as well.  But, I thanked her a lot, and kissed her."  I can't believe you did that.  She obviously thinks you're trampy enough to wear see-through blouses, and now she thinks you appreciate trashy gifts!  Any gift slights or veiled "trailer trash" comments you get from here on in, you pretty much brought on yourself.  However, if she starts giving you hideous hooker clothing regularly, tell her your style has changed (you started it by thanking her profusely for the first shirt), and you don't really care for that "bare" look anymore.

Worst gift:  After 9 years of teeth-gritting tolerance of one another, my "adorable" (and yet it transpires, evil minded) MIL phoned ME - for the first time.  She was so nice, asking what the four kids would like for Xmas presents.  I said, "nothing noisy", as it's noisy enough without outside assistance.  They got a drum kit, a robot that never stopped beeping, and a karaoke machine.

        Signed - Sending A Pet Rat This Xmas

RESPONSE:  Sending A Pet Rat This Xmas
Four words for you:  Sell it on eBay.

RESPONSE:  Sending A Pet Rat This Xmas
You are misleading her by thanking her.  She thinks you actually like her gifts.  Why don't you give her a clearer message?

RESPONSE:  Sending A Pet Rat This Xmas
I'm sorry, but I had to laugh when I read this!  You should bring those toys to keep at MIL's house.  When the kids visit, they can make all the noise at grandma's house!!

RESPONSE:  Sending A Pet Rat This Xmas
Every time you and the kids visit her, bring those toys along.  Or, when she visits you, make sure the kids play with those toys for the entire visit.  After all, wouldn't grandma just love to see that her grandkids just love those toys.

RESPONSE:  Sending A Pet Rat This Xmas
Do your children visit their grandmother very often?  If so, you can bring the noisy presents to her house, so that the "the kids will have something to play with when they visit".  Works like a charm.

RESPONSE:  Sending A Pet Rat This Xmas
Make sure your children have their Christmas presents (with fresh batteries, where needed) on hand whenever they visit MIL, especially if she is going to baby-sit!

RESPONSE:  Sending A Pet Rat This Xmas
People seem to think that it is funny to do things like that for some deranged reason.  The next time she asks you, tell her "Well, since you will do what you damn well please anyway, just go ahead and get what you want."

RESPONSE:  Sending A Pet Rat This Xmas
You are completely right to be annoyed.  I can't stand some of the more obnoxious noisy toys myself, and there is a toy that was given by my MIL to my daughter which can NEVER have the batteries put into it.  It makes a loud siren noise, and I cannot live in the same house as that siren.  My life is too short to be tormented by that he!!ish racket.  My daughter is still young enough that I can withhold batteries from a noisy toy without a crisis, but with older children, it's not as easy to censor loud toys.  You may want to open presents from her in the future privately, before passing them on to the kids.  And, you might want to pull some gifts before the children see them.  I don't know if that is practical for you, but clearly your MIL is out to annoy you.  LAST NOTE:  I hope you were joking about sending a pet rat.  I keep pet rats myself, and they are wonderful, loving little animals who should never be given as gifts to someone who doesn't want one.  They need love, attention, good food, etc.  And, it's unfair to use one as a means of revenge.  It might be a funny joke to the humans involved, but the rat's suffering would not be funny.  So please don't do that!  Send her something noisy and awful, but nothing alive, please.

RESPONSE:  Sending A Pet Rat This Xmas
Oh, MAN!  I would be tempted to kill - and to destroy the toys.  He!!, around here, "Be nice to me, or I'll give your kid a drum for Christmas" is a standing joke.  However, for the record, rats make terrific pets, especially for small children.  They are smarter and friendlier than hamsters, guinea pigs or gerbils, gentle, clean.  My sister's a 2nd grade teacher, and has long found rats to be the most satisfactory classroom pet.

Worst gift:  My neighbor's MIL gave her diet pills for Christmas.  It may have been more expensive than a refrigerator magnet, but the insult!  And, she's only a little overweight.

        Signed - "Chunky's" Neighbor

Worst gift:  My Grandmother, who I think of as my mother's MIL, is always giving my cousins more attention, better presents, etc.  I wouldn't mind, but it hurts my sister, who is 9.  She knows what is going on, but doesn't know why.  My granddad worked in a soap factory.  So for a few years, we all got soap.  However, my real problem is not with her, it is with my uncle (her favorite son).  For many years, only I have gotten birthday presents.  My brother and sister haven't gotten anything.  I only get something because he is my godfather.  We only get Xmas presents when our grandma is visiting and can bring them (they are always inappropriate, but it's the thought that counts - and we write thank you letters every boxing day).  We go up to their house to bring them their presents a couple of weeks before Xmas, but we get small thanks then (ok, they don't know what they have gotten until Xmas day), and no thank you letters (even though Uncle swears they are sent!).  My mother rang my uncle to ask if he'd rather we stopped exchanging gifts - if he found it to be too much trouble (she said it politely, of course).  He said that it was his wife's job to get presents.  He said that he gave her money for them, and she said that she'd sent them.  The next thing we knew, grandma was ringing, saying how dare we imply that her son wasn't sending gifts, etc., because to her, he is perfect.  This was just before Christmas, and this year my sister got a gift.  So, we thought that maybe the message has gotten through.  My uncle rang a week before my brother's birthday to see what he wanted, all good - but is it?  Two months later, there was still no present.  Oh well, thanks for letting me let off steam.

        Signed - Don't Want Your Cr@ppy Presents Anyway

RESPONSE:  Don't Want Your Cr@ppy Presents Anyway
I have the same problem with my mom's MIL (see the second post, June 16), except she's sneaky about it (so only mom and I know).  I live five minutes away, so I'm forced to see her pretty often.  I have no advice, except to keep away from your toxic relatives.  Obviously, the rest of your family must see it too.

Worst gift:  I don't have a MIL gift story, but I do have a mother gift story.  Granted, I have not been living at home for 12 years, but you would think your own mother would know you.  One year at Xmas after moving out, I got earrings for pierced ears.  Great gift, right?  No, I don't have pierced ears, because I was never allowed to have them done, and have never gotten them pierced.  Second, I received make-up.  I have never worn make-up, nor do I like wearing it.  Third, I received scented bath washes.  I have been allergic to those ever since I was born.  I have been receiving gifts like that for the last 10 years.  She must have thought that I would totally change after I left home.

        Signed - Aliens Have Abducted My Real Mother

RESPONSE:  Aliens Have Abducted My Real Mother
I know how you feel.  My mother can never remember my preferences either, if they differ from her own.  I haven't worn makeup for years, but very single time I see her, she asks, "You don't even wear lipstick?"  When it was discovered that I'm allergic to penicillin, she said, "Why are you allergic?  Your father and I aren't allergic!"  I could go on and on.  Maybe the same aliens who abducted your real mother have mine too!

RESPONSE:  Aliens Have Abducted My Real Mother
I can relate to you, although it wasn't aliens who abducted my mother, it was the people around her who forced her to give me up for adoption.  I am 5'2".  My adoptive family is full of tall people (including my siblings, who are not adopted).  When I was still receiving presents (in my early 20s), my adoptive mother would always give me clothes that were at least 2 sizes too big and too long!  Hello, have you ever actually looked at me?

RESPONSE:  Aliens Have Abducted My Real Mother
I have the same problem with my mother.  At each birthday and at Christmas, she asks what I want.  Then she responds to whatever I suggest by saying that I can't have it because "it's boring".  For my 40th birthday last year I received no cards referring to it being a special birthday because my elder sister (40 the year before) "didn't like to think she was getting old, and didn't want cards like that".  What's that got to do with me?!  I don't have an age hang-up.  The worst thing, though, is when she gives me used or broken gifts.  My two sisters always get new presents, but I get things that she has used and doesn't like, or has bought from a charity shop.  I spend the day after my birthday taking them back to the charity shop - at least someone benefits!

Worst gift:  Last Christmas DH and I planned, quite extensively, what we though each of our family members would like for a gift (as we did not want to be rushing around at the last minute).  We bought some nice items for his brother and sister.  Anyway, Christmas Day came.  I opened up my presents to find 2 huge boxes of chocolates from each of them.  The only problem is that they both knew that at that time, I was on a strict diet program.  Does this seem strange to anyone else?

        Signed - Seem Strange To Anyone Else?

RESPONSE:  Seem Strange To Anyone Else?
Seem strange to anyone else?  Next year I would give them each a case of canned diet shakes.  LOL.  Hey, if you can't beat them, join them.

RESPONSE:  Seem Strange To Anyone Else?
No, this does not seem strange to me, as you are dealing with ILs from he!!, and this is classic IL from he!! behavior.  I don't think you should spend any more time putting thought and effort into their gifts.  They are ignorant jerks, and they don't deserve nice things from you.

RESPONSE:  Seem Strange To Anyone Else?
Maybe it's thoughtless.  People aren't always paying attention when another person says something - they might just have been zoning out when you told them about the strict diet.  Just one guess.

RESPONSE:  Seem Strange To Anyone Else?
This is too familiar!  I don't diet, as I am at my normal weight.  But, to keep it that way, I avoid fatty food and eat healthily.  However, whenever I eat at a particular cousin's house, she cooks the fattiest, most unhealthy meal that she can think of, and piles my plate up high!  I pick at it and leave most of it.  I don't care how rude that looks, as I've told her dozens of times that I don't like that type of food.  She is a very large woman, and I know she is trying to make me fat.  What difference does she think one meal will make?!

RESPONSE:  Seem Strange To Anyone Else?
Some people are just clueless, aren't they?  I have a similar story that I posted here a few months back.  My husband, my three sons and I all received nothing but boxes of chocolate from MIL and her friend.  I am on a diet, my middle son bounces off the walls if he eats chocolate, and my youngest has asthma, which is aggravated by chocolate!  MIL and her friend both supposedly know this.  Yet, at Christmas time we accumulated a total of 16 boxes of chocolate from these two old biddies.  I don't think they were being malicious.  I think they just didn't stop and think - because they gave everyone chocolates for Christmas last year, not just us!

RESPONSE:  Seem Strange To Anyone Else?
I write about diet, nutrition and weight loss for a living, and I'm sad to say that no, this doesn't seem strange to me.  Nasty, out of line, pure sabotage, yes - but unusual?  I'm afraid not.  Many, many people are threatened by others getting their act together and improving their diet and their fitness level.  Heck, I've heard more than one comedian draw big laughs with jokes about how much they hate all those people who diet and exercise.  I've also heard from a woman who was morbidly obese and diabetic.  Her husband, when she went low carb and started to lose weight, started buying chocolates and leaving the open box next to her on the sofa.  It's up to you how much of a fight you want to pick about this.  I'd probably base it on how nice or nasty they are the rest of the time.  If they're generally pretty nice to you, I'd just take the candy to work and leave the open containers on the break room table.  It'll disappear fast enough.  If they're generally hateful, I'd probably throw it away in front of them.  But, of course, your mileage may vary.

RESPONSE:  Seem Strange To Anyone Else?
It's thoughtless, but unfortunately not that strange.  I've received boxes of chocolates at Christmas from people who were well aware that I was dieting.  Many people seem to be under the impression that dieting rules are suspended at the holidays, and that someone struggling to lose weight is just looking for an excuse to eat what they shouldn't.  I can't speak for your BIL and SIL, but it's somewhat possible that they weren't really being evil - just clueless.

Worst gift:  When my husband and I were engaged, my SIL decided that she had to get me a Xmas gift after I had given her a body lotion and soap set.  So, since she is extremely cheap, she decided to do the famous "dig through my closet to find a gift" trick.  She ended up giving me a dusty, scratched up wooden picture frame.  I know it was in my MIL's "gift closet".  I was very disappointed that I obviously mattered so little to my SIL and MIL.  From that point on, the gifts just got worse from her.  It seemed like she took so much joy in finding the worst gifts possible to give me.

        Signed - At Least They Make For Great Stories!

RESPONSE:  At Least They Make For Great Stories!
Just hope that was not the best gift in the closet.

RESPONSE:  At Least They Make For Great Stories!
Is she mean to you otherwise?  People have such different gift-giving customs.  Please don't use just that one thing as a gauge of how she feels about you.

RESPONSE:  At Least They Make For Great Stories!
I would have a little "fun" with her then.  Someone over on the boards did that.  Her SIL was giving worse and worse gifts.  Just as she figured the SIL would think she was so insulted she would not give a gift again, the poster found the "perfect" gift.  SIL collects some animal, and she found an extremely ugly statue of one.  She wrapped it and gave it to SIL for Christmas.  SIL expected that she had upset the poster enough that the poster would never give SIL a gift, so she didn't bring one for the poster.  The SIL made herself look bad, and the poster's FIL and DH told her so!  ZING!  Bull's-eye!!!  LOL!  Sometimes you have to make a point that you are aware of what the person is doing.  You are not as stupid as they think.

Worst gift:  When I was pregnant with our first child (her first grandchild), my MIL gave me an expired baby acetaminophen and baby cold medicine, and some old looking yard sale clothes for a baby shower gift.

        Signed - Expired Medicine

RESPONSE:  Expired Medicine
Okay, I think your worst gift story takes the cake.  As much as I hate my MIL, your MIL is PATHETIC!!  I hope your husband said something, or maybe you should speak up.  How awful to be treated that way.  It is one thing if your MIL gives you a bad gift, but it is worse when she treats her grandchild, who is her flesh and blood, like that.

Worst gift:  Well, for my birthday this year, my MIL gave me a pair of her own pants.  She mailed them to me in a manila envelope, unwrapped, with no card, and smelling like MOTHBALLS!  Nice, huh???  And, then, she asked my husband if I had received them.  And, she asked me if I have worn them yet!?  Worn them??  I put them in a resealable bag to preserve the scent, because no one believed me that she actually gave that to me!  I don't know why I'm surprised - all of her gifts come form the thrift store, and have had lives before we got them!  YIKES!!

        Signed - Recycled

RESPONSE:  Recycled
EWWWWWW!  I hope she wears underwear.

RESPONSE:  Recycled
That is so tacky!!  If you have a dog, maybe you can use the pants to line the dog's bed!  Or, clean your floors or car with them.  If all else fails, mail them back to her - POSTAGE DUE!

RESPONSE:  Recycled
Gee, thanks for making me feel better!  My MIL doesn't even know when my birthday is.  She has never asked.  And, when it was mentioned to her, she conveniently forgot when it was (let alone send a gift, a card, a phone call - nothing, ever)!  It has been nine years and counting!  I'd rather have that than her stinky pants!  Sorry!!!!!!

Worst gift:  I read many of your worst gift stories, and my best gift is "NOTHING"!  Though it does tend to hurt my feelings, my MIL has only once, in the 11 years that I have been with my husband, ever gotten me anything.  And, I think it was the first year.  She never gets me anything for Christmas (she does give my husband, but usually a week or day before, and it is UNWRAPPED). I'm not sure why she does this.  Maybe it is so that it looks like she's not giving him anything either.  For my birthday, she doesn't even send a card or call.  But, we are always expected, or at least I feel obligated, to get her a gift for both Christmas and her birthday.  My MIL is always bragging about how much her portfolio is worth, and how she has so much - so why doesn't she share a little?  The funny thing is that my family always gets my husband gifts.  My single mother, who is on disability, does not.  But she calls, and she even sang my husband "happy birthday".  My father and his wife always bring dinner and a card (sometimes a small gift) to my husband.  And, at Christmas, there are always the same amount of gifts for me, my husband, my brother, and his wife.  And, they always go all out with a stack of presents.  Eleven years, and I still don't get a card!  I would say that you could consider yourselves lucky with your discount presents, but who am I kidding.  That's just tacky!!  They would be better off saving their pennies - literally!

        Signed - Better Off Saving Their Pennies

RESPONSE:  Better Off Saving Their Pennies
For a couple of years in a row, my MIL sent FIL around with a card and money for my DH's birthday.  There was no phone call to wish him a happy birthday.  When her birthday came around, she was out of town (staying at SIL's place).  I reminded DH that it was his mother's birthday, and that he should phone her.  Of course, he didn't.  Two days later, my mother phoned me to say that my MIL was so upset because DH didn't phone her on her birthday.  My mother proceeded to tell me that it was my job, as his wife, to ensure that he does these things.  SORRY, but why is that?  He is an adult, and is quite capable of doing it himself.  When I reported to DH that his mother was upset because he didn't call, and he said, "Well she didn't call me on my birthday."  What could I say?  "Good for you?"

Worst gift:  The worst gift my MIL ever gave to me (and believe me, there have been some really bad ones) was a pair of shoes.  Now, this might sound perfectly generous from a MIL, but let me explain.  On my 28th birthday, MIL called to ask what I really wanted for my birthday.  This was surprising enough, considering I knew she never liked me.  But, nonetheless, I told her that I did not expect a gift from her.  But, I said that if she really wanted to get me something, I needed a new pair of tennis shoes.  I explained that mine were quite worn out, and that I was planning on buying a pair that weekend.  Well, she told me that I should not go buy a pair, and that she would send a pair of tennis shoes as a gift.  I happily waited for my new shoes to arrive, grateful that my DH's mother had finally come around and realized that I was indeed her family now.  On my birthday, a box arrived.  Inside was a nicely wrapped shoe box, with the price tag still attached.  The price was $49.96.  I was so surprised that she would spend so much!!  Excitedly, I opened the box to find a dirty, used pair of tennis shoes, neatly tucked into the new shoebox.  Confused, I tossed the box aside.  That evening, MIL and FIL joined us for dinner.  Lo and behold, the new tennis shoes were on HER FEET, and she had given me her old ones.  The worst (and most disgusting) part is that MIL and FIL own a farm, and the old tennis shoes were not only used and dirty, but there was PIG POOP encrusted on the bottom.  Talk about a stinky birthday!!!

        Signed - Stinking Feet, Rotten MIL

RESPONSE:  Stinking Feet, Rotten MIL
That is awful.

RESPONSE:  Stinking Feet, Rotten MIL
She's a piece of work, all right.  That is a prizewinning "worst gift".  She sounds awful!

RESPONSE:  Stinking Feet, Rotten MIL
Yeah, they never really include you in the family.  Next time, just tell her to send you money, since you don't want her used cr@p.  I would give them back to her for Xmas, in a different box.

RESPONSE:  Stinking Feet, Rotten MIL
I would have brought the box to dinner and opened it in front of my DH and FIL, just to show them what MIL gave me.  I would have even went as far as to pull out the shoe with the big poop on the bottom.  I would have loved to have seen her squirm her way out of this one!  That's just plain rude.

RESPONSE:  Stinking Feet, Rotten MIL
HOW RUDE!  I would have given them back to her, saying something like, "Thank you for the thoughtful gift, but these shoes are just not my style.  Perhaps you could get more use out of them than I would."  And I would give them back to her in front of others (at least in front of your DH and FIL).  I am assuming that your DH would stand up for you if she has the nerve to say anything when you give the shoes back.

Worst gift:  My 3 year old daughter's birthday occurred recently.  MIL called me up and asked me what size she wore.  I told her not to buy her anything smaller than a 3T.  My daughter received a bunch of clothes that were all a 2T or smaller.  There was even an outfit in size 18 months!  I told MIL that these were all too small, and I asked her if we could exchange them.  She said that we couldn't exchange them because she didn't have the receipts.  She ripped the tags off, and couldn't remember where she bought them!  A few days later, she called me to ask me how she looks in her new clothes.  I again told her that they didn't fit.  She kept telling me over and over again, "Tsk, tsk, such a waste!"  Argh! 

        Signed - Wrong Size

RESPONSE:  Wrong Size
What a nut!  At least you can donate the clothes to charity.  Your MIL needs to get some common sense.

RESPONSE:  Wrong Size
ARGH, your MIL is so out of it!  I guess you'd better not count on her getting your kids any outfits that will actually fit.

RESPONSE:  Wrong Size
Your MIL sounds just plain loony!  I don't think she even listened to a word you said.  Either she's just plain out there, or she is doing this deliberately.  Maybe you could donate the clothes to a women's shelter or other charity.  If MIL asks about them again, just let her know the clothes didn't "go to waste!".

RESPONSE:  Wrong Size
Sell them on eBay, or donate them to charity.  Do you have any friends with little girls that size?  Give the clothes to them, and tell your MIL, "That dress looks so cute on my friend's daughter.  Now somebody can get some use out of those adorable clothes!"

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