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Worst Gift Archives
November 2001
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Worst gift: Posted: 7-NOV-01
My MIL gave me a sweater for Xmas that was given to her the year before.  And the year after that, she gave me a device that you plug in to keep MICE away.  I don't even have mice.

        Signed - I Don't Even Have Mice

RESPONSE:  I Don't Even Have Mice
Posted: 12-NOV-01
Buy dead mice from the pet-shop (for feeding snakes) and show them to her as proof of how effective her mousetrap was.  And, get her the biggest, nastiest rat-trap you can find for Christmas.  Either that, or a free visit from a fumigating service.  Hit the ol' bag where it hurts!!!  Heh, heh, heh!

RESPONSE:  I Don't Even Have Mice
Posted: 12-NOV-01
She sounds loopy.  Maybe you will soon be visited by mice from her.  I don't know - she's just weird.

RESPONSE:  I Don't Even Have Mice
Posted: 13-NOV-01
You may not have mice, but be assured you have a big rat problem.  Make sure you find the right bait to solve this one.

Worst gift: Posted: 30-OCT-01
I don't really care whether my MIL gives me a gift or not, but she recently topped herself by bringing a box full of toys to my 2 year old daughter's birthday party, and then TAKING THEM BACK HOME!  They were new toys, some still in shrink wrap.  Fortunately, my daughter got busy playing with other toys she was given and did not miss these when they were taken away.  Also, she has the attention span of a 2 year old.  I dread her 4th or 5th birthday, when she will want to know why grandma is being so mean.

        Signed - Maybe I Won't Invite Her Next Birthday

RESPONSE:  Maybe I Won't Invite Her Next Birthday
Posted: 4-NOV-01
What the heck was her reasoning for that?  My father has some toys for the grandchildren to play with at his house, but that is where they stay.  He didn't show them off and then take them home.

Worst gift: Posted: 1-NOV-01
Worst gifts from ILs:  BIL gave DH a set of four fish-head soda can holders!  They were yucky plastic with green and silver bumpy things (with eyes opened and all)!  They were sooooo gross.  They went in the trash the very next day.  One year, he gave DH a bass-fishing game.  DH hasn't fished in years, and doesn't intend to.  BIL, on the other hand, loves to fish.  Another gift from BIL was a remote control holder that was put together as a cat - the kind you lay over the arm of a chair.  It, too, was just so off the wall.  It's like he doesn't even know what DH likes or is interested in!  MIL didn't even acknowledge our wedding with a gift.  That was 4 1/2 years ago.  But, she crows about how she bought DH and his 1st wife a washer and dryer that we still used up until a few months ago when the dryer died.  She got all upset about asking what was wrong with it!  MIL gives me blouses that she bought 2 years before, and makes fun of how big they have to be.  She also got me an Alaskan knife for my birthday after DH told her we had bought one on our Alaskan cruise for our honeymoon!  Oh, but what do we get these two for their gifts?  BIL gets at least a $50 gift certificate to his favorite fishing/camping/hunting store every year, along with either a nice shirt or new fleece jacket.  MIL always gets at least $40 worth of specialty chocolate, plus DH usually makes her something such as a curio cabinet, a shadow box, a jewelry box, etc.  One year, the gift certificate for BIL was late getting here, and he had the guts to whine about it!!!!

        Signed - He Had The Guts To Whine About It!!!

RESPONSE:  He Had The Guts To Whine About It!!!
Posted: 4-NOV-01
I wouldn't put much thought into gift giving this year for your ILs.  They obviously don't have you and your DH in mind when they are choosing gifts.  Take the money you save on gifts and have a nice night out with your DH.

RESPONSE:  He Had The Guts To Whine About It!!!
Posted: 4-NOV-01
I'm sorry - I had to laugh about those can holders.  They sound gross.  A great thing to give at our white elephant exchange!  LOL!  BUT, you are serious, and I am sorry you folks are getting such lousy gifts.  If I were you, I would cut back a bit on your gifts.  No sense giving such nice ones in your situation.  Just scale them back 'til you feel a bit better.  Ours got scaled back to nothing.  LOL!  When DH and I married, DH asked MIL if his side was giving a wedding shower.  We were just trying to make sure everything would work out time-wise.  He was told by MIL that his family would feel that they already gave him a shower when he married his first wife (30 years before), and he isn't entitled to a second wedding shower.  ROFL!  My DH said he sure was glad that was my reaction.  I laughed 'til I cried.  So, then my son was born a few years later, and I said to MIL, "Guess your side won't be giving me a baby shower either, huh, since you gave one for his first wife's first child 25 years ago?"  She looked at me kind of funny, like she couldn't tell if I was being sarcastic or not.  My DH was just about falling off his chair trying not to laugh.  MIL said, "Well, it's true that DH has already had his "first child shower", and I think the family would resent having to give him another gift."  I couldn't stop from laughing at that point.  My MIL turned to DH and said, "I told you - she laughs at the strangest times."  Then, she got mad because DH started laughing, too.  Oh, well.  I haven't always laughed about ILs.  I have wasted many a tear on them.  But, I have learned not to set myself up for bad feelings.  I would recommend you cut those gifts back all the way to nothing if that would make you and your DH feel better.

RESPONSE:  He Had The Guts To Whine About It!!!
Posted: 5-NOV-01
Well, to be truthful, it sounds like you are jealous of your BIL and the way MIL coddles him.  However, I can also see how your BIL's whining would be irritating.  My BIL has been known to be an ungrateful brat.  Last year for his son's birthday, I bought him a bunch of toys and clothes and mailed it to his house (we live two states away).  When he got it, he actually complained to my DH about the clothes not being "name brand" (I had bought some brands from well known, nationwide stores - I thought the clothes were cute).  I couldn't believe it!  No thank you, or anything.  Truthfully, I don't even think that my nephew even got to wear anything that I bought him (t-shirts and shorts) due to the fact that the clothes were not "name brand".  Well, BIL and SIL just had another baby last month.  We live six hours away from them.  And, when my SIL returned home from the hospital, I called to congratulate her, and to see how she was doing.  Last week my BIL called DH and complained that we should have sent a card and present for his wife and the new baby.  Even my DH was annoyed, because we had already bought a couple of cute outfits for the baby as soon as we heard, but we will not be able to see them until two weeks from now for Thanksgiving vacation, and we are going to bring our presents then.  BTW, this time we bought "name brands" (since he made such a big stink last time about the brand).  Now I feel like throwing the gifts at his face for being such a jerk to complain the way he does.  We always get nice gifts for BIL, SIL and their son (and now daughter), but they have never gotten us anything nice.  We always go out of our way to get them something thoughtful, and in return, they usually stop by the outlet mall on the way to Christmas at MIL's and grab something there.  In fact, they are not even wrapped (this includes their gifts for the rest of the family too)!  Two years ago, when DH and I lived in the southeast, we bought a beautiful mirror with a handcrafted metal frame (it was expensive for our budget) that we thought would be a wonderful housewarming gift for BIL and SIL's new house.  Well, when we gave it to them, my SIL was thrilled - she loved it.  But BIL did not seem to like it.  He did not even say thank you.  Keep in mind, it took a lot of trouble to make sure the mirror made it three states back in one piece.  Last time we were at their house (they moved into a another new house), we noticed that the mirror was nowhere to be seen.  DH and I were so annoyed.  DH was tempted to ask for the mirror back, especially since we really like it ourselves.  Last year, we could not make it home for the holidays due to the bad weather, so we brought everyone's Christmas gifts with us when we visited a few months later.  It turns out that since we were not there for Christmas, my BIL decided to return the gifts (shirts from the outlet mall again) to the store!  I am not upset about the shirts, but I am upset about his attitude to just return the gifts, since we were not able to make it for the holiday.  That is how cheap and thoughtless he is!  In fact, nobody (MIL, FIL, BIL, SIL) said thank you for their gifts.  I actually asked SIL if MIL gave them the gifts (we dropped them off at MIL's).  He said that, instead, he would get us a nice housewarming gift, which I pretty much just assumed to mean that we were never getting anything.  Well, when he, SIL, and their son came to visit us at our new house a few months ago, he did not bring anything, as expected.  Keep in mind, this guy is not hurting for money (he is a VP at a well known company, and definitely lives, drives, and dresses the part).  He is so selfish that he spends extravagant amounts of money on himself buying name brand items.  When he arrived at our house, he insisted that I move my car out of the garage so HE could park his luxury car there instead of parking it on street (because he was convinced that someone would try to steal it).  We laughed, and told him to deal with it.  He ran out to check on his car every two hours, despite the fact that DH and I commented that we have seen people park other luxury cars on the street without problems before.  When my DH jokingly asked him about the nonexistent housewarming gift, my BIL commented that he wasn't going to get us one, because my DH had sold some old speakers that he (BIL) had given DH many years ago (since then, BIL has bought three new sets of speakers).  DH spent the money, that he got for the speakers, on day lilies for our rock garden in our front lawn.  So, BIL thought that was adequate (he thought that the flowers were a waste of money, and actually wanted his speakers back!).  He said that the day lilies counted as HIS housewarming gift!  This year, we are only getting gifts for our niece and nephew, and we are not going to even bother getting anything for BIL and SIL.  They, obviously, do not care for the gifts we buy them, and they, obviously, think it is too difficult to buy family members sincere gifts.  I will not punish their kids by not getting them gifts, but I am tired of my BIL's and SIL's attitude towards us and gifts.  My BIL is obviously too caught up with himself.  It is difficult to believe that he has a wife and two children.  He acts like an immature sixteen year old.  What's worse, is that DH and I are trying to conceive #1.  And, when I was shopping for a gift for our new niece, my DH kept commenting that I was wasting my time, because he says his brother is such a jerk that, when we have kids, BIL probably wouldn't buy our kids anything.  Sadly, this is probably true.  And, I think it is too bad that my DH, who is normally such a generous person, feels this way.  Sorry this is so long.

RESPONSE:  He Had The Guts To Whine About It!!!
Posted: 8-NOV-01
To the November 5th respondent.  I can't believe you told the poster that she sounds like she is jealous because her MIL coddles her BIL.  Where the heck do you get that?  Then, you go on and on about your own problems with your BIL.  Maybe it is you who is jealous, and you are projecting your own emotions onto this poster.  Or, maybe you both have jerky BILs and you could be a little more understanding, considering you are pretty much in the same boat.  Sheesh.

Worst gift: Posted: 5-NOV-01
Yup:  I'm a scientist working at the cutting edge of artificial intelligence, writing papers, giving seminars, etc., etc.  What did MIL give me for Xmas?  A cute little peg basket for hanging up all of hubby's shirts nicely!

        Signed - Basket Full Of Frustration

RESPONSE:  Basket Full Of Frustration
Posted: 8-NOV-01
Your story sounds like mine.  I am a second year medical resident, and I got a new ironing board for the holidays.

RESPONSE:  Basket Full Of Frustration
Posted: 9-NOV-01
That's hilarious.  What are you going to do with it?  I'd give it away.  J My mother sent me a hideous clothespin bag for my birthday (grrr), and my MIL was appalled that I gave it away as fast as I did (no respect!!).  OOOOOOooooh, here's an idea:  I'm guessing she's not a rocket-scientist, so how about giving her a book on quantum physics or something for her next birthday!?  It's fun to think about, even if you don't do it.  J

Worst gift: Posted: 30-OCT-01
I've been married for 13 years.  My MIL has had a chip on her shoulder for the majority of that time.  She seemed to like me, at first, but then something changed.  What it was, I haven't a clue.  For the past 7 years now, she has stopped her visits to our house.  She has another DIL, too, who coincidentally arrived in the picture around the time she stopped having much to do with my DH and I.  I used to care and wonder what it was that we did to her to make her stop coming over or having much to do with us.  A friend suggested that maybe she's scared of losing my DH, who isn't in the best of health, and that maybe she was distancing herself from him to make it less painful, in the event that something happens to him.  We don't have any kids.  My DH's brother has one child.  I used to be jealous of the fact that they had a child and we could not, so I didn't like my SIL.  Just recently, however, we have become friends!  Now, we compare our witchy MIL stories.  I wanted to share the most recent one with you.  My MIL and I work together, and she gives me a ride to work.  One day, she pulled up just as I had come out of my house.  I had just shut/locked the front door.  She was carrying a restaurant take out box, and I said that I had already locked the door.  She has a copy of our house key on her keys.  Instead of getting her copy for me, she said, "Fine, if you don't want it, I'll throw it in the trash!"  And, she threw it in the trash can in front of my house!!!!  I was boiling, and I said, "Why do you gotta be so damned b!tchy?!"  That is just one example of MIL.  Need I say more?

        Signed - Gave Up A Long Time Ago
        ( respond to this story )        ( here is my story )

Worst gift: Posted: 1-OCT-01
My MIL gave me a rather cheap, chipped glass ashtray for Christmas.  I don't smoke - Never Have.  Perhaps she is hinting for my demise!

        Signed - NON-Smoker

RESPONSE:  Nonsmoker
Posted: 30-OCT-01
An ashtray when you don't smoke - nice!  My husband and I were both smokers when my delightful MIL bought me a pack of 200 duty free cigarettes from her holiday in Europe.  As she handed them to me, she explained that she hadn't bought my husband any, as she hadn't wanted to encourage him to get cancer.  I stood speechless as she walked away with a smug smile on her face.

Worst gift: Posted: 20-OCT-01
I consider myself to be attentive when it comes to gift giving.  I'm always making mental notations throughout the year on what certain people may like to receive.  I'm probably doing it subconsciously.  So, naturally, when it comes to my BF's family, I go all out.  One of the biggest problems is that my future MIL (ugh, perish the thought) will tell you straight to your face not to get her anything, because no one knows what she likes, and she'll probably hate what you get her anyway!  Nice holiday spirit, huh?  What ever happened to "It's the thought that counts"??  Anyway, since she said that, I have made sure to get her, or at least make her, something that I KNOW she will actually like.  BUT, every year she takes all of maybe 2 seconds to look at the gift before she pushes it aside without the slightest bit of a smile on her face (and not even a mumbled thank you)!  Not only that, but when she greets us at the door for any holiday, we had better not dare expect a hug or even an HELLO!  No way!  That would be a greeting you'd receive from a very warm, or just plain normal, person!  Instead, she'd say something like, "Oh, about time you got here," or, "Oh, I didn't think you were coming, it's so late now!"  Blah blah blah.  To make a long story a little shorter, while she and her children open all their gifts, I sit there (without anything to drink/eat because I wasn't offered a single thing - not even a cup of water!) trying to force a fake smile on my face until it happens - the worst moment of my life every year - the time when she graces me with my gift from her!!!!  Are you ready to read this?  OK, she gives me this ridiculous, completely thoughtless "gift" that I wouldn't even give to a shelter to use, with the $3.99 price tag still stuck to it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I'm not a selfish person, and I do know and believe in the meaning of Christmas.  I was also raised to be polite (maybe TOO polite), but what is this woman thinking?  She also signs the gift card "Mrs. X." !!!  Can you get much colder than that????????????????????????????????????  I could go on and on, but the more specific I am, the easier this will be recognized, and then my life will be more of a he!!!  Sad thing is, my BF knows, inside, how upset I get, but he'll turn around and look at the gift and say, "Wow, that's really nice!", and he'll really mean it too!  Am I crazy, or is this woman trying to tell me something??  She's got more money than she could ever know what to do with, too.

        Signed - My Future With The Ice Queen

RESPONSE:  My Future With The Ice Queen
Posted: 21-OCT-01
She sounds like a dysfunctional, miserable person!  Are you SURE you want a future with this boyfriend?  Believe me, other guys will come along!

RESPONSE:  My Future With The Ice Queen
Posted: 21-OCT-01
Is there any possible way that you can move far away from this woman?  Believe me, it only gets worse.  My MIL has never forgiven me for "taking away her son".  And, when my husband and I moved 600 miles away to save our marriage, she decided she absolutely hated me.  My husband and I have a wonderful relationship, but it was such a strain when we lived in the same small town with his mom and sisters, too.  Don't get me started on them!  I love my husband very much.  He's happy.  We have beautiful children.  The only reason she has to hate me is that she never wanted him to marry.  She wanted him to wait on her forever.  She is coming to visit again tomorrow (she visits every 3 months for almost a week), and I am almost physically ill thinking about it.  Complaining to your DH/BF usually just causes problems for the two of you.  So try your best to ignore her, and don't bother with the presents next year!!

RESPONSE:  My Future With The Ice Queen
Posted: 23-OCT-01
I think the future MIL is trying to tell you something - you are not what she dreamed for her son. (sorry).  Wait until you have a baby and he/she gets married.  You'll understand then.  Try some love and extra attention towards this woman, who is losing her role as mom and doesn't know what lies ahead.  Try some kindness and make her feel valued.  She might come around.

RESPONSE:  My Future With The Ice Queen
Posted: 23-OCT-01
It is hard, but simple.  STOP buying her a gift.  Leave it to DH.  That is what I do.  I, too, get offered not even a cup of water, so I simply get up and say, "I'm just going to make myself a cuppa.  Anyone else want one?"  My MIL always says no and looks put out, but I ignore her and make myself a cuppa.  I am like your MIL, in that I have told her repeatedly not to get me a gift, because clothes are a personal choice.  She loves buying me underwear, PJs, etc., in the wrong size and very unflattering colors.  She thinks she is treating me like a daughter.  But since it is all a sham, it means nothing to me.  My MIL, until very recently, insisted on hugging me and kissing me, even though she doesn't hug and kiss my DH.  She ignored my stiff response for years, and kept on doing it.  I hated it, because it was all for show.  I am not a fake.  If I don't like someone, I am honest enough not to hug them and slobber all over them.  Seems to me that your MIL's dislike of you is being made quite clear.  Give up on her, and save yourself the grief.  I am.  This year will be the first Xmas where I will not be present.  It will not be the last.  As a present to myself, I will only spend Xmas with those who love me and care about me.  DH understands, and will pop in for 30 minutes with the kids on Xmas day to say hi, and pick up the presents - ha, ha.  Then, off to my family for a loving, happy celebration.

RESPONSE:  My Future With The Ice Queen
Posted: 26-OCT-01
Why buy her anything?  She has already told you she doesn't want a present, yet you insist on buying her something.  One poster earlier disliked being given Xmas gifts by her MIL after asking her not to.  She sounds like an extremely ungracious woman, to be sure.  But you're the one who buys her things when you don't have to.  Respect her request to lay off the presents.  Next time, say that you took note of her wishes.  Maybe just give her a card instead - or tell your husband to buy her something if he feels he should.  If your MIL insisted on buying you presents after you insisted you didn't want one, no matter how nice the gift was, you'd probably feel annoyed.  You're just giving her another excuse to be rude and wasting your money in the process.

RESPONSE:  My Future With The Ice Queen
Posted: 26-OCT-01
Have you ever considered that, maybe, she treats everyone the same way around the holidays?  Have you noticed how she treats other people when they are greeted at the door?  Does she ask anyone else if they want food or drink?  What kind of presents does she get everyone besides you?  Does she act like this all year round (example:  birthdays, etc.)?  Now, if the answers to these questions are yes, then perhaps she really is an ice queen.  On the other hand, if she only does this around Christmas, Thanksgiving, etc., then maybe she really doesn't like the hoildays.  Of course, this doesn't excuse it.  But, I may have a solution.  Instead of really trying to make bah humbug lady come around, beat her at her own game.  You have been trying the entire time to give her a gift she likes - this isn't going to happen.  She is so stuck in this slum that, even if you gave her something she really likes, she isn't going to admit it anyway!  You have 2 choices.  You can continue shopping your heart out (not getting anything in return), or you can stop trying, and get her whatever you want without even thinking about whether she will like it.  If she is only going to get you something worth $3.99, get her something worth the same amount.  After all, it's the thought that counts.  You can always do what certain people in my family do for my grandmother.  They get her the same thing every year - a gift basket (you know the kind, meat, cheese, whatever).  She hates it.  But nothing says "hard to buy for" more than the same gift every year.  As for the food and drink issue, either speak up and ask for something (if you're thirsty, you're thirsty), or, get up and get it yourself.  Either way, it will at least get her attention.  Better yet, get it before everyone starts opening presents.  Don't get dehydrated waiting for Ms. Impolite to say something.  Personally, I wouldn't sweat it.  If she wants to have a cr@ppy attitude, it is her loss!  Don't let her bad attitude spoil your holiday.  I'm sure you remember 1 gift you received that you didn't care for, but pretended to like.  Maybe she doesn't know how to pretend, or maybe she doesn't know how to be grateful.  Just keep in mind that you don't have to suffer because of her.  If she is that hard to please, you're not going to be able to please her no matter what you get her.  Enjoy your holiday.  Thank her for your $3.99 present, and call her bah humbug b!tch when she isn't looking.

RESPONSE:  My Future With The Ice Queen
Posted: 27-OCT-01
I would like to hear more about the October 1 poster's situation (did I get that date right).  The one who didn't like her MIL hugging her.  I'm sure I don't understand the situation just from that one post.  Are you sure she wasn't reaching out to you, that she didn't want a good relationship with you?  That's ONE thing I really like about my MIL - she hugs me, and doesn't mind if I hug her.  You could say this is fake, etc., but I think of it as comfort and an attempt at good will.  I guess I'm a hugger.  If I hug someone, although I'm an awkward person, it's because I mean well toward them, and WANT things to be good with them.  I guess if things are awkward, someone could think it was "fake".  But, I think it would be wrong to judge it that way.  I think it would be a lot worse, and more hurtful, to refuse to hug my relatives (it always seems like hugs do a little to mend hurt feelings, etc., even in troubled relationships).  When my father died, my cousin, who I've had a lot of trouble getting along with, gave me a big, long hug despite our problems.  And, I deeply appreciated it.  You know, I'll take a hug any time (except from creepy men who have "ulterior motives"!), and assume there is at least a little bit of good will behind it.  But, I think there is more to this poster's story.  Are you the one whose MIL went chasing after your DH on his first day of work to make sure he stopped and gave her a hug?  Yikes!  I think we've corresponded before, and I do remember THAT story!

RESPONSE:  My Future With The Ice Queen
Posted: 30-OCT-01
Please don't feel badly about the October 23 poster.  I think she is the MIL who wrote in, unhappy about the young woman her son is planning to marry (another post).  That was kind of an unhelpful post.  Maybe she's right, and your BF's mother would come around if treated with kindness.  But, I DID treat my MIL with kindness, and she just exploited it until I had to distance myself.  But, that's a long story.  Don't let the MIL's response get you down.  She's only speaking from her own experience - not liking her DIL.  You have a whole different situation.

Worst gift: Posted: 24-SEP-01
Worst Gift.  At my wedding shower, my MIL gave me kitchen glasses.  What's wrong with kitchen glasses?  Well, when I opened up the box, I recognized my own handwriting on the box.  But it wasn't until I pulled the gift out of the box that I realized that they were my own personal, used kitchen glasses.  My husband had stored them in my MIL's garage until we moved into our apartment together.  I couldn't believe it.  She had given my own glasses back to me.  I guess at least she had wrapped them nicely!

        Signed - Recycled Giver

RESPONSE:  Recycled Giver
Posted: 18-OCT-01
I'm sorry, but this story made me laugh so hard and gave me great memories of my childhood.  My cousin always used to give my granddad his own stuff back for Christmas.  It was wrapped nicely, of course - it was a gag gift.  Everyone laughed, except for grandpa, come to think of it.

RESPONSE:  Recycled Giver
Posted: 30-OCT-01
Your story is just too funny!  I, myself, have given recycled gifts a few times (when someone has given me something that I don't like/can't use).  Your MIL is so tacky!  She should keep better track of where the gift that she has recycled came from.  In this case, though, it is obvious that it was intentional.  What a b!tch!

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