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Mother-In-Law Stories
Worst Gift Archives
July 2001
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Worst gift: Posted: 12-JUL-01
The worst gift I received from my MIL was hair clips, a scrungie, and a lipstick that was already used.

        Signed - Oh My God

Worst gift: Posted: 22-MAY-01
My MIL gave me a photo album full of pictures of my husband's Ex-wife!  Enough said!

        Signed - TOO MAD TO SPEAK

RESPONSE:  TOO MAD TO SPEAK
Posted: 23-MAY-01
That is the kind of gift that you should definitely speak up about, if you haven't already done so.  She deserves an earful for that one.  I've experienced a similar "slap in the face" with my MIL, but it wasn't a gift.  She has a photo album filled with pictures of my DH and his ex-girlfriends.  This would be fine, if she could just keep it to herself.  What annoys me is that, in the past, especially while we were dating, she used every and any excuse to pull that album out.  I must have seen those pictures a thousand times.  What's even more interesting is that there is no album filled with pictures of my DH and me during our dating period, our engagement, or even our married years together.  The camera never comes out now, except to take pictures of our children or my DH and our children.  MILs can be such witches with a capitol B!  The album stopped coming out at my DHs request (he finally got tired of it himself).  That was about a year ago.  Good luck!!

RESPONSE:  TOO MAD TO SPEAK
Posted: 25-MAY-01
It sounds like your MIL has it in for you!  Mine never did anything that bad, but I know how you feel, in a way.  I am my DH's second wife, and my MIL used to always bring up the first one's name, saying that she ran into her somewhere, or someone told her that she had a baby, or whatever.  We told her we couldn't care less, and didn't want to hear it.  My DH was cheated on by the first wife, and they divorced on unfriendly terms.  Eventually, my MIL stopped bringing up her name when we ignored her.  If I were you, I would confront your MIL.  Asking why she doesn't have any pictures of you as a family in the photo album!  Or you could buy her an album as a gift, filled with your pictures!  Make sure YOU are in a lot of them!  She sounds spiteful!

RESPONSE:  TOO MAD TO SPEAK
Posted: 30-MAY-01
I feel your pain.  My MIL always brings up the ex-wife.  Last Christmas she went to the ex's house and called to wish us a Merry Christmas (we all live in the same town).  On Mother's Day this year, she called to wish the ex a happy Mother's Day from our house.  She waited until I left the room for a second, then sat there like she had done nothing.  Where do these evil b!tches come from?

RESPONSE:  TOO MAD TO SPEAK
Posted: 7-JUL-01
I hope you threw it at her.

RESPONSE:  TOO MAD TO SPEAK
Posted: 10-JUL-01
What a B!tch!  That woman would no longer be allowed in my presence!  I wouldn't care how much I love my husband, a person can only tolerate so much.

RESPONSE:  TOO MAD TO SPEAK
Posted: 14-JUL-01
That is terrible!  I would make that woman pay.  It's a deliberate act of cruelty.  People don't deserve to get away with that sort of thing.  My question is:  How did your husband respond?  She should have succeeded in alienating herself if he has half a brain.  It took my husband a while to see it.  But in the end, my MIL only destroyed their relationship by treating me badly.  Good riddance!  Big smile.

Worst gift: Posted: 11-JUL-01
One Xmas, I spent most of my paycheck buying toys for friends of an uncle.  The kids' parents were broke, and I wanted to make sure they got Xmas gifts.  My uncle told me that they wouldn't have much of an Xmas if it weren't for me.  At our Xmas party, all I received from uncle was a book (written by a popular children's author) with one page ripped almost completely out.  The book was for middle-schoolers, and I was out of school.  It was also the only gift I received that year.

        Signed - Book Minus A Page

RESPONSE:  Book Minus A Page
Posted: 16-JUL-01
While the book is quite an insult, you seemed to want to help others out in the true meaning of Xmas - which of course you did.  So I guess I don't see how the fact that your uncle is cheap and inconsiderate should discount your voluntary act of kindness.

Worst gift: Posted: 30-JUN-01
I really do like my MIL, but every once in awhile, she will go through a loopy, bizarre stage, and nothing will be normal when dealing with her.  One Christmas, she had asked what we wanted for a gift.  My husband had a short list of choices, but all I could come up with was flannel sheets.  I LOVE flannel sheets in the winter!  Anyway, gift giving time comes, and she tosses me a ratty garbage bag with a gift tag.  Inside was a very old set of flannel sheets.  She said that she had so many sheets that she didn't want to buy us new ones.  I was very surprised, but to be honest, the sheets were great and we still use them.  Another shock came when she handed me a small gift box.  Inside was a stunning opal and ruby necklace.

        Signed - Loopy, Bizarre Stage Once In A While

RESPONSE:  Loopy, Bizarre Stage Once In A While
Posted: 5-JUL-01
I was intrigued to hear that your MIL gave you an OLD gift and then a great necklace.  It sounds like she was just testing you and your reaction.  Your reaction must have passed her test, and therefore it warranted the better gift.  Just a thought.

RESPONSE:  Loopy, Bizarre Stage Once In A While
Posted: 5-JUL-01
Can I have your MIL???  PLEASE????  The first Christmas that DH and I were married, I got a pair of flannel pj's!!!  My MIL never asks what I want.  She usually buys us a "joint" gift for DH and I, and it is whatever he wants.

RESPONSE:  Loopy, Bizarre Stage Once In A While
Posted: 7-JUL-01
I will gladly trade MILs with you, as I have been married for 13 years, and MIL has never given me anything.  But she will give DH gifts and expect me to pay her back.  Can you believe that?????  It's true!!!  She will say, "Well it don't hurt to ask????"

RESPONSE:  Loopy, Bizarre Stage Once In A While
Posted: 10-JUL-01
I would like that!  I think it's hard for people to get used to other people's gift-giving practices - everyone's different.  But she sounds kind of informal in her gift-giving, like she just wants you to have what you need and want, whether it's new or used!  I get the feeling she really likes you.  If the gifts make you happy, don't sweat it!  What's bizarre in one family, is normal in another.  I respectfully disagree with the first poster.  I don't think your MIL meant any "test" by her gifts.  If she hated you, she wouldn't give you valuable jewelry!  I think she just knew she had the linens you needed, and wanted to give them to you.  That is, if you basically feel she's supportive of you.

RESPONSE:  Loopy, Bizarre Stage Once In A While
Posted: 10-JUL-01
That's just about the first situation I've read about on this board that sounds like FUN!  It sounds like you and your MIL really like each other.  Never mind if it seems unusual.  If it works for you two, more power to you!  To tell you the truth, I love quirky gifts (from kind people, that is - it's all about the giver!), and secondhand gifts, too!  Someone who gave me things like that would pretty much win my heart!  My MIL could JUST give me secondhand things in garbage bags, and I wouldn't mind.  I feel badly because she buys me new things she can't afford.  She doesn't know that if it's given to me with kindness, I'd love it whether it was new or old!  I always liked that commercial that says, "Craziness makes me feel sane."  I love unusual people and unusual gifts.  That is, as long as they're goodhearted people.

RESPONSE:  Loopy, Bizarre Stage Once In A While
Posted: 15-JUL-01
Oh, I would love your MIL.  Mine has given me things from thrift stores that are truly junk items.  She then tells everyone the item is from her mother or her grandfather, whatever.  The sad thing was that she truly forgets, and thinks the trash is important and that it is from her mother, or so forth.  DH has to try and set her straight, telling her, "I was there when I picked you up from work at the thrift store, and you showed me what you got."  She still does not believe it.  I have never gotten anything nice from MIL, and I have given her a lot.

Worst gift: Posted: 16-JUL-01
My MIL told me many times during the first 10-15 years of my marriage that HER MIL always treated her poorly and would give her sheets for Christmas.  Guess what I got one year?  Nothing but sheets.  My husband ignored it, along with everything else he has ignored over the years.

        Signed - Now I Know Better

Worst gift: Posted: 10-JUL-01
My MIL, ahem, was not a very nice person.  But I kept giving her the benefit of the doubt and tried to be "nice"'.  During the first year of the marriage, she threw me a birthday party.  She invited all of her side of the family, and my mother.  I was ecstatic.  I thought she finally started to like me.  The party was on a Saturday night.  Went out to dinner and came home to eat cake and open presents.  After I got through opening all the presents, my MIL handed me a box and a card.  I opened the box first.  It contained a book titled, "How to be a better lover."  I turned red.  Before I started to cry, I opened the envelope from her.  All the while, everyone but my mother was laughing.  The card was nice, except for the minor detail of her little note, "DIL, no hard feelings, but the reason DH isn't here is because he is on a date with SIL's friend.  Oh, and I thought this book had your name written all over it.  Happy Birthday!"  Everyone knew and no one cared (except my mother, she had no idea until I told her).  I was the mother of his 6 week old child, been with him for 3 years, and he was cheating on me.  The worst part was that I was given this information as a gift on my 21st birthday.

        Signed - Birthday Bomb

RESPONSE:  Birthday Bomb
Posted: 12-JUL-01
This has to be one of the worst stories I have ever read on this board.  What a complete monster your MIL was.  You referred to your MIL in the past tense.  I hope it's because you divorced her scum of a son.  And then I hope she dropped dead, because there is a special place in he!! for her!!  I'm so sorry you had to go through that.  What a terrible thing to do to someone.  If my brother ever cheated on his wife, my mother would kick his @ss up one side and down the other.  Your MIL has no sense of decency at all.

RESPONSE:  Birthday Bomb
Posted: 12-JUL-01
That is heart stoppingly cruel.  And as you have probably discovered since, a woman can be a lot more sexually responsive to one man than another.  Maybe that one just didn't "do" it for you, but someone else did, or WILL.  Please tell us this story got better - that better things came along for you.  Being treated like that is enough to put someone in therapy.  If your ex-husband was like the rest of his family, you are SO well rid of him!!  What is WRONG with those people?!!!  Well, I'm sure everyone who reads this board is sending you heartfelt good wishes and sympathy.

RESPONSE:  Birthday Bomb
Posted: 12-JUL-01
How pathetic this woman is to reveal such a thing at a family gathering.  If you separated from your husband, then you have gotten rid of two major problems in your life.  Don't ever look back.  She is not only not nice, but she is a blistering b!tch.  Just remember that "Happiness is the best revenge".  Your skills as a lover need no improvement.  Cheating is a behavior many men repeat over and over.  They cannot change.  Give her the book back, and tell her that she needs the book more than you do, obviously.  How did you react after you opened the "gift"?

RESPONSE:  Birthday Bomb
Posted: 12-JUL-01
This has to be the worst story I've ever heard!  I am so sorry that your 21st birthday turned out this way.  I read your story and wanted to cry.  Your MIL will get hers when she sits in hell with your (hopefully ex) Damned H.  My heart goes out to you and your baby.

RESPONSE:  Birthday Bomb
Posted: 12-JUL-01
I'm appalled at your MIL!!!  What a mean spirited thing to do!!  I hope you left that cheating blankety, blank, blank!!!

RESPONSE:  Birthday Bomb
Posted: 12-JUL-01
I have got to tell you, that was by far, the worst story I have ever read.  I hope you and your child got out of that family fast.  I also hope you have a new family that treats you better.

>RESPONSE:  Birthday Bomb
Posted: 12-JUL-01
Okay, you win.  I think that's one of the worst things I've seen on this site.  I would say your story is unbelievable, but unfortunately I know it's not.  I hope the fact that you say your MIL "was" not a nice person means you are no longer related to her by marriage.  What a family of LOSERS!!!!

RESPONSE:  Birthday Bomb
Posted: 12-JUL-01
OH MY!!  I don't even have words for how terrible of a thing that was for your MIL to do to you, or for anyone to do to someone.  The only good thing about all of that is that your cheating husband and his family are no longer an every day part of your life.  I would definitely limit the time your child spends with MIL.  You don't want your child to grow up evil like her!!

RESPONSE:  Birthday Bomb
Posted: 12-JUL-01
Wow!  I don't think anyone will be able to top that story.  At least I hope not.  I mean that I hope there aren't that many insensitive jerk in-laws out there.  What horrible, terrible people they must be!  As if what's going on between you and your H is any of their business ANYWAY!  Oh, and to do that to you in front of your mother too?  What a bunch of evil jerks!  I feel very badly that you had to go through that.  Best of luck to you and your child, and to he!! with those people.

RESPONSE:  Birthday Bomb
Posted: 12-JUL-01
I have thought and rethought about what I would write in order to give you my utmost sympathy.  That is the coldest, hardest, most b!tchiest thing I have ever heard.  I hope you dumped him, and his stupid family.  I wouldn't allow your children anywhere near her.  She'll probably poison their minds against you.  I'm so sorry that this had to happen to you.  I do have a few questions though:  1.)  Are you still married to him?  2.)  Did you leave immediately?  3.)  Did you beat the snot out of her?

RESPONSE:  Birthday Bomb
Posted: 12-JUL-01
Yuck!  That is THE worst!

RESPONSE:  Birthday Bomb
Posted: 12-JUL-01
Your story had me in tears.  I am so sorry that this happened to you.  Are you still with this man?  Do you get along with any of his twisted family?  What was your husband's excuse for the date?  The fact that MIL knew, and you didn't, makes it even worse.  How could he do something like that to his partner?  How could your MIL do that in front of everyone?  How are you dealing with this?  I don't even know you, but I am worried.  I would love to hear what happened after that day, and if you are still around any of these people?  Also, are they treating you any better than that?  I wish you the best of luck. Big Hugs.

RESPONSE:  Birthday Bomb
Posted: 12-JUL-01
I am sorry that happened to you.  The thing to remember when people hurt you like that, is that they are unhappy people.  And I truly believe, "What goes around, comes around".  I hope you went on to have a happy life.

RESPONSE:  Birthday Bomb
Posted: 12-JUL-01
I would have thrown the book at her head.  They would have had to pry me off her.  That is the absolute worst story I have ever heard.  I would never let her see her grandchild again.

RESPONSE:  Birthday Bomb
Posted: 12-JUL-01
I would have thrown the book at her head.  They would have had to pry me off her.  That is the absolute worst story I have ever heard.  I would never let her see her grandchild again.

RESPONSE:  Birthday Bomb
Posted: 14-JUL-01
I can't tell you how sorry I am to hear about your MIL's extreme cruelty (not to mention your husband's, that bonehead!).  Please tell me that you ran away from these horrible people and married a nice man with a normal family.  If not, I really don't know why you would choose to remain with this band of psychos.  Since you don't say she's your ex-MIL, I hope that at least your hubby has reformed, and you and he are living happily, 3000 miles away from the still psycho family.  I hope that's it, because you don't deserve such awful treatment.  You should have ripped the pages out of the book and plugged up her toilets and sink with them, then smiled and said, "I didn't have any toilet paper to wipe with.  I hope you don't mind that I used that book.  I thought of you every minute while I was wiping my @Ss"

RESPONSE:  Birthday Bomb
Posted: 15-JUL-01
It's no wonder that your ex-DH (I HOPE you divorced the S.O.B.!) turned out the way he did with a mother like that.  Talk about devil seed being passed down!  I've never heard of anything so cruel, and I hope you're far away from those dysfunctional (to say the least) people!!!

RESPONSE:  Birthday Bomb
Posted: 16-JUL-01
I have never heard of such rotten behavior.  BUT, count yourself lucky!  You are YOUNG.  You still have a shot at a good life with someone else.  Thank God they didn't hide their feelings from you for 20-30 years and S L O W L Y torture you.  They came right out and acted like the idiots they were!!!

RESPONSE:  Birthday Bomb
Posted: 16-JUL-01
I can't begin to tell you how sorry I feel for you!  This is a horrible woman, and her son didn't fall far from the tree.  One bit of advice - keep your child far away from this person.  If she has no more respect from you than this, she doesn't deserve to be around her grandchild.  I am sure you deserve a lot better than this piece of cr@p husband.  You need to tell her that she did you a big favor by opening your eyes to what your DH was doing, and it's a shame she didn't raise her son any better than this!

RESPONSE:  Birthday Bomb
Posted: 17-JUL-01
I heartily agree with the other posters.  Your MIL is the biggest "rectal orifice" I have ever read about.  Her so called "gift" was meant to be nasty and to hurt you intentionally.  She also had no business even encouraging an extramarital relationship of her son.  And your DH deserves a crack on the head for mentioning any difficulty about his marriage to you with his mother!  I hope you distanced yourself from them because this is a blatant form of mental abuse.

RESPONSE:  Birthday Bomb
Posted: 17-JUL-01
You know I want to cry for you!  Your MIL is a pig.  There's no better word to describe her.  Stand up for yourself and be strong!  Don't let that disgusting family get to you!  How horrible!  The best thing for you and your child is to be far away from such gross people, including your husband.  Good luck!

Worst gift: Posted: 17-JUL-01
One Christmas, a few years ago at my parent's house, my SIL presented her "gift" to the family.  She sang us a song (how special, except she isn't a very good singer).  As she prepared for this awful presentation of the so-called gift, my grown nephew said to his wife, "Let's get outta here before the Fat Lady sings!"  And with that, everyone leapt to their feet and headed for the door.  You would have thought the place was on fire.

        Signed - Let's Get Outta Here

RESPONSE:  Let's Get Outta Here
Posted: 20-JUL-01
I know!  It would be the same way if I sang.  I have a friend, though, who offers songs as gifts - and she's actually pleasing to listen to!  The only gift about my singing is when I stop.  It's not pretty!

Worst gift: Posted: 9-JUL-01
For Christmas this past year, I got a sweatshirt that is too small, with a university logo of a rival university.  I also got an electric ice-scraper that plugs into your cigarette lighter.  The really cruel gift was a certificate at a local shop that caters to infants and toddlers.  This gift was given to me despite the fact that DH and I just found out we couldn't have children because of my infertility.  Guess I no longer have to guess if she is trying to hurt me or not.

        Signed - Evil Hog

RESPONSE:  Evil Hog
Posted: 11-JUL-01
That's too bad.  I know my MIL doesn't hate me, she's only trying to control me.  Unfortunately, it's her nature.  And maybe a lot of these other MIL's are just crazy and jealous, but they don't really dislike their DIL's.  You always hope there is good in everyone.  I hope that, for your sake, your MIL is just really ignorant, because how sad a person she is to be so insensitive.  Keep your chin up, there is always a light at the end of the tunnel!  Be a better person than her, you'll feel better for it!

RESPONSE:  Evil Hog
Posted: 12-JUL-01
In response to the July 11 poster, I disagree with you.  It sounds like the MIL in question very definitely DOESN'T like her DIL.  Why else would she be so blatantly hurtful?  I'm sure many of us are tired of people making excuses for the abusive behavior of our MILs.  There is NO excuse for such treatment, and it shouldn't be tolerated.  Sometimes in this world there ARE people who are evil.  How else do you explain people like Hitler?  I think we should take cruelty for what it is, and not try to sugar coat it.  This poster is infertile, and for the MIL to send the "gift" that she did is nothing short of evil, in my opinion.

RESPONSE:  Evil Hog
Posted: 13-JUL-01
I'm not usually the confrontational type, but you need to be asking this woman what the heck she meant by that gift certificate.  The other gifts are easily blown off (and somewhat practical - you can use the sweatshirt to wash your car), but a baby shop gift certificate to an infertile woman is pretty cruel.  Take my word, if you don't set your boundaries for toleration with that gift certificate, she is going to come up with even worse ways to hurt you.  And you better get your husband to tell her it ultimately hurts him too.  Nip it in the bud now.  I don't care if it is 7 months after Xmas.  That's perverse.

Worst gift: Posted: 26-JUN-01
Worst gift from in-laws?  Hard to pick just one, but it would have to be this past Christmas - I got a broken magnet from the dollar store.  MIL knew it was broken and gave it to me anyway, saying she didn't notice it until she got home from the store !!!

        Signed - Garbage Gift Collector

RESPONSE:  Garbage Gift Collector
Posted: 30-JUN-01
Was that all she gave you?  My MIL gives me things like that too, but she doesn't have much money, and she isn't trying to be mean.  But if you sense that your MIL IS trying to be mean, I bet you're right.  I don't mean to tell you about your own MIL!

Worst gift: Posted: 11-JUN-01
I just wanted to share "one" of my worst gift stories.  My IL's show little, if any, acknowledgment of my birthday (my husband and I have been together for 7 years, married for the last 3 of those 7 years).  Anyway, this past March, my FIL decided to leave me a message on our answering machine at home to wish me a happy birthday.  That was my gift.  Then, several weeks later, my husband had to deal with his temper tantrum because I didn't call him back to say thank you.  Next time (if there ever is a next time), I think I'll send out a formal thank you card in the mail expressing my great appreciation of his phone message!!!  Do you think he'll get my sarcasm?  Me either.  People who are that rude just never seem to "get it."  They expect to be worshipped for their tiny little efforts.  Does it make me a terrible person to dream about the future and my IL's imminent death?

        Signed - Dying To Get As Far Away As Possible

RESPONSE:  Dying To Get As Far Away As Possible
Posted: 12-JUN-01
I feel the same way.  I had an instance where my husband's grandmother supposedly called me during a power outage and left a message on our machine.  Well, we have a digital answering machine.  If the power goes out, the message is lost.  So, obviously, I didn't return the message.  Well, my MIL called my husband up telling him how rude I was not to return her phone call, and that I don't have any manners.  And for a moment he questioned me.  He told her there was a power outage, because otherwise I would definitely have returned the call.  By the way, what business is it of hers anyway?.  Your in-laws are rude to make a federal case about it.  Plus, they never talk to your face.  I hope they leave soon too, for your sake and the sake of your marriage.  Good luck!

RESPONSE:  Dying To Get As Far Away As Possible
Posted: 12-JUN-01
How about being given stale candy?  How about when your husband's birthday falls three weeks later, and you are told that the card that was sent to him and the money was meant for both of you?  And if I don't thank them enough for their dollar store presents for me or the kids, they get pissed for months on end?  I sent a thank you for the cheap magazine subscription renewal gifts she sent the kids (cheesy electronic gadgets that fell apart on impact).  She picked up on the sarcasm and was furious.

RESPONSE:  Dying To Get As Far Away As Possible
Posted: 12-JUN-01
My MIL sends me a card with a check each year, which is fine.  They don't live far away, though, and she avoids calling me year round.  She calls my husband at work for fear she will get me.  I guess I bite through the telephone lines or something??  Anyhow, I send her a formal "Thank You" back.  I figure that if the mail system works for her, it works for me too!  I used to buy her gifts for all occasions (which I feel is hubby's job, but he doesn't do it - so who takes the blame?), but she has been such a b!tch lately (and rude and mean), that I decided to say, "screw it."  If he doesn't care, why should I?  It's his mother, so she gets nothing.  We'll see what I get this year!

RESPONSE:  Dying To Get As Far Away As Possible
Posted: 13-JUN-01
Some ILs will never forgive you if you "lived in sin" with their precious baby before marriage.  Maybe in another few years I'll be "privileged" to get a call like yours from my FIL.  In twenty years, you or I may even get a cheap card!  (And yes, I certainly can relate to your sarcasm!)

RESPONSE:  Dying To Get As Far Away As Possible
Posted: 03-JUL-01
I feel the same way (death part)!!!  My MIL is straight from hell.  She once gave me one of those chip and dip bowls from the 70's.  You know, those that had that ugly little wire thing to hold the dip bowl!!  She gave that to me 2 years ago.  That little metal piece was all tarnished.  She must've gotten it at a garage sale or from her old dishes that she no longer wanted.  This year was even better.  She just happened to come by for a visit on the evening of my birthday.  She called and I told her that we had plans for dinner, and that they could join us (what a moron I am!!).  Well, she told me at the restaurant, "I thought it was your birthday.  Oh well, if you come see us on Sunday, I'll give you a birthday card."  What a witch!!  I know how you feel.

Worst gift: Posted: 29-JUN-01
I am 34 years old, and have been married for 7 years.  My husband is an only son.  My MIL has always bad mouthed me because I am a little bit overweight.  She wants me to be a mannequin (she is very, very overweight).  I have always ignored her words, but my feelings were always hurt.  She used to give me a present on my birthday (a funny one).  This year on my birthday, I was impatient to know what her funny present was.  I was not surprised when I opened it and found that it was - guess what?!  A BALANCE SCALE.

        Signed - Not A Balanced Relationship

RESPONSE:  Not A Balanced Relationship
Posted: 03-JUL-01
Maybe for her birthday you should give her a gift certificate for a weight loss program.  Include a note in the card offering to let her use your scale anytime she'd like.

Worst gift: Posted: 23-JUN-01
I don't know if I can top any stories, but here is mine.  My SIL gave me a cheap, dime store glass salt and pepper shaker set for Xmas, after I shopped for her that year for one of those nice pewter bowls with the engraved fruit and stuff on it (except I chose a Native American theme, because she is Native American and I know she likes this kind of thing).  The year before, I had given her what I gave my brother and his new wife - a "basket" I made in a crate and barrel ice bucket with bar supplies and cute little mini sized alcohol bottles (just something for fun).  That year I got nothing.  It's not that it bothered me that year, really, because I knew she was strapped (not that we have much).  But now she is doing well, and the salt and pepper shaker seems like such a weird thing to give when she is obviously giving more to others.  I'm wondering whether to take the high road and say nothing, or, next Christmas, to just go ahead and ask what the heck she was thinking.

        Signed - What Was She Thinking?

RESPONSE:  What Was She Thinking?
Posted: 24-JUN-01
I had a similar experience.  Our family exchanged names, and I went to so much trouble getting something for my SIL, while her gift to me was just a tiny promotional keychain!  It hurt my feelings a little, even though the last thing I wanted to be was petty and "keep score."  But that was years ago, and here's what I think now:  If you get along ok with your SIL, don't take that gift as having the ultimate meaning.  Gifts aren't always a perfect reflection of people's feelings.  If you don't sense that she's a manipulative person who is always trying to "tell you something" with what she gives you (and I think that's rare!), take heart.  She might have been busy, overwhelmed, having personal problems, or shorter of money than you think (maybe she felt more pressure from the people she got expensive gifts for, and getting those gifts was a burden for her - you don't know!).  I've gotten GREAT gifts from my B and SILs - and I've gotten nothing!  And over the years, I have honestly realized that the "nothing" is not personal!  If you enjoy your relationship with your SIL, don't let this stop you.  Forget it!  It will all even out in the end.

Worst gift: Posted: 18-JUN-01
I get soap or lotion.  That's it.  One or the other.  This last time, the bottle of blue lotion said "Sample Only, Not for Individual Resale."  I'm not sure how she came by it.  So far, the Girl Scouts have never been disappointed at our house during their annual toiletries drive for needy people.  So, in reality, I guess my MIL always gives me the joy of giving to others.  Whatever.

        Signed - Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm

RESPONSE:  Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm
Posted: 20-JUN-01
I can relate to that!  I always receive something lame like soap on a rope, or cheap bubble bath, or a $20 gift certificate to rent movies (that way they know my husband benefits as well), while my husband receives $100 gift certificates for men's clothing stores or something that only he can use.  It is just frustrating, because it is me that picks out the gifts for the in-laws.  And historically I have really spent a lot of time picking out something special that I knew would match their interests.  So when they "forgot" my birthday this year, I told my husband that I am through shopping for them (it is not just the shopping, but also the wrapping and shipping, since they live far away).  So what do you think happens?  Yup, you guessed it, the in-laws did not receive so much as a card for Mother's Day or Father's Day.  Oh well, what can you do?

RESPONSE:  Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm
Posted: 24-JUN-01
I found a solution to responding to cheap MIL Christmas gifts.  Almost every town has a Goodwill or thrift shop.  I started my Christmas shopping for DH's family there last week (and DH came along!).  A lot of the items there are brand new and only cost a few dollars.  Even though they'll think we spent a lot, I'll get the personal satisfaction of knowing they didn't get my goat, or my wallet!  Call me, "The Thrift Store Queen."

Worst gift: Posted: 29-JUN-01
My MIL never buys gifts anymore.  The last time she spent any money on her family (at Christmas), guess what she bought?  She purchased a big box (like 80 or more) of HAMBURGER PATTIES!  She divided up the box between herself and her 4 adult children.  She called this everyone's "Christmas present"!  What makes this even better?  I cooked up a couple of these "beef" patties (that she claimed to purchased from an actual butcher who gave her a deal on the price because he had too much) one night for dh and me.  They didn't even taste like beef - they had soy or some kind of gamy meat in them.  I was afraid of them, so I threw them away.  I remember her calling and asking if we tried them yet, saying how good they were.  She has also been known to sign her name on her daughter or DIL's gift on the way to a baby shower.  If she has to go to a grandchild's birthday day, she will stop at a discount department store on the way and buy a $5.00 gift and leave it in the store bag to give it.  Or, she'll just stick $5.00 in a card, or just slip the kid $5 bucks if she hasn't gone to the trouble to get a card.  She is the cheapest, tackiest, most tasteless person I have ever known.

        Signed - Ungrateful, Unappreciative, Lazy, Wasteful, DIL

Worst gift: Posted: 27-JUN-01
How about this one - a few years ago I got a foam puzzle for Christmas.  It says right on the side, "For kids four and up".  I guess I can't complain though; I also got a can of shaving cream!  Merry Christmas to me!!

        Signed - Looking Forward To The Stockings

RESPONSE:  Looking Forward To The Stockings
Posted: 29-JUN-01
Gee, what's a four-year-old (according to the puzzle you received) to do with a can of shaving cream?  It's to your credit that you didn't empty said can on their car.

RESPONSE:  Looking Forward To The Stockings
Posted: 29-JUN-01
Awful!  It would have been better if they'd given you nothing.

RESPONSE:  Looking Forward To The Stockings
Posted: 29-JUN-01
Wow!  You sound very young and hairy to have gotten married, ha ha ha!  Is your MIL a moron?  I'm sorry, but that is funny.  What can you do?

Worst gift: Posted: 27-JUN-01
How about this one - a few years ago I got a foam puzzle for Christmas.  It says right on the side, "For kids four and up".  I guess I can't complain though; I also got a can of shaving cream!  Merry Christmas to me!!

        Signed - Looking Forward To The Stockings

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