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Mother-In-Law Stories
Worst Gift Archives
October 2001
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Worst gift: Posted: 4-SEP-01
My MIL is almost too much for me these days.  If she calls me to tell me about something DH and I should do, and I tell her, "Thanks, but no thanks," she gets angry and hangs up on me.  She told me, once, that she thought I was only nice to her so that she would watch my son for me (which I thought she did because she loves him and wanted to).  My gifts have been a t-shirt for Xmas with a country singer's picture on the front.  I don't even like country music.  She told everyone who was there when I opened it that it was on the sale rack at a discount department store for $1.99, that I could sleep in it, and it was a small.  At a family gathering, I had once said that when I was little, I always wanted boy's toys.  And that there was a certain race track that I wanted and my mom didn't buy it for me because we were girls.  At Xmas, she got me a child's race track.  I couldn't believe it.  How old am I?  I really have to watch what I say to her.  Some might think these things are thoughtful, but when you see my SILs get cotton terry robes, new thick bath towels, and useful things, I'm aware of how she feels about me.  She also enjoys insulting me, in front of guests, about my hair or anything she can think of.

        signed - Terrible MIL Enjoys Insulting Me
        ( respond to a story )        ( I can top this )

RESPONSE:  Terrible MIL Enjoys Insulting Me
Posted: 25-SEP-01
Yes, it certainly sounds like the woman has nothing better to do than to belittle your character.  Since you don't want to stoop down to her level, why not try just completely ignoring that type of behavior.  That way, she cannot get a rise out of you.  I would assume that she makes herself look bad to everyone around you when she behaves like that.  She is obviously intimidated, and you should feel sorry for her and that pathetic behavior.  Well, just keep up the good work!

RESPONSE:  Terrible MIL Enjoys Insulting Me
Posted: 27-SEP-01
She sounds like a nightmare.  Why not give her a taste of her own medicine?  How about a "Manners for Idiots" book, or something like that?

RESPONSE:  Terrible MIL Enjoys Insulting Me
Posted: 12-OCT-01
She sounds mean.  My MIL gets me dollar store items for Christmas while getting DH nice stuff.  I ignore it, because then I don't feel I owe her anything.  Start speaking up when she puts you down.  They usually start back peddling once they know you're not going to take it!

Worst gift: Posted: 14-OCT-01
My "exMotherInLaw", as I gladly call her (my hubby died 6 years ago), has always found a way to put me down, or embarrass me somehow.  She is a real witch, and the worst gift I ever received was on Christmas day.  It was a purple sweater three sizes larger than what I wear, and it looked like a terry cloth towel that the fuzz ball monster attacked on the way home.  I tried to seem pleased and grateful, but I was so shocked at the size of the sweater alone, I just about fell on the floor.  First thing out of her mouth was, "I told you she wouldn't like it!!!"  Then, she complained because I never wore it!  I wanted to tell her I am really not into purple fuzz ball sweaters, but what could I say without something wrong coming out?

        Signed - No Fuzz For Me

RESPONSE:  No Fuzz For Me
Posted: 15-OCT-01
I noticed the same thing!  On the 16th and 17th of September, there was one responder who was downright nasty and ridiculous.  She actually told the poor DIL who got a used toenail clipper for a gift that she was a spoiled brat and should be grateful!  LOL, what a wacko!

RESPONSE:  No Fuzz For Me
Posted: 15-OCT-01
This is your EX MIL?  Ha!  Good.  To he!! with her!  Hope you donated the ugly sweater to charity!

RESPONSE:  No Fuzz For Me
Posted: 15-OCT-01
I don't know that you CAN say anything, but IMHO, it depends on how well you get along with her now, how close you and your family are to her, and how close you WANT to be.  If you mostly get along with her and don't much feel like rocking the boat, you could say, "I'm sorry, but it didn't fit, and it wasn't my style."  If you don't care how huffy you make her, you can always tell her the thing is butt ugly and tent sized.

Worst gift: Posted: 26-JUL-01
My MIL didn't seem so bad until after we got married.  Isn't that usually the case?  You find out after it's too late to run?  I can't count the number of heinous, inappropriate, or otherwise flat out rude gifts she has so graciously brought me.  But I'll give a small sampling.  At my wedding shower, she made a big show of bringing in an armload of gifts.  I gave her the usual, "Goodness you shouldn't have gone to so much trouble for me," line.  To wit she responded, "Oh, but I didn't."  I was puzzled by that cryptic comment until the time came to open the gifts.  All of the gifts she brought were for babies.  A stroller, a wrapped package of Pampers, baby clothes, pacifiers, a BREAST PUMP??  I tried to be polite, but finally smiled and said, "But MIL, I'm not even pregnant!"  She lost her smile and said, "That will change."  Oooookay.  The law had been laid down.  To MIL, I was nothing more than a factory to produce grandchildren for her, a fact that has gone from, "Oh it's just your imagination," to my husband openly gaping, "Man she's really going over the top, isn't she?"  Back when my DH was still my DBF, we had discussed our feelings on having children.  Neither of us wanted them.  Period.  There's absolutely no reason for a child to be raised by people who never wanted him/her in the first place, so we had no intentions of changing our minds (still don't!).  We made this clear to MIL prior to the wedding.  It seems to have only fueled her determination to see me pregnant.  For my birthday, I received maternity clothes.  LOTS of them.  For Christmas, I received a crib and a changing table.  For Valentine's day, I received a fertility monitor with a note attached saying, "This should help speed things up."  But the topper of all was the "gift" I received for Mother's Day three years into what is otherwise a fabulous marriage.  A prepaid exam to a fertility specialist!!!  The card said, "Hope they can find out what the problem with you is.  Love, MIL"  I was very irritated at this point, and called to tell her we wound not be needing this "gift", and for her to get her money back.  The floodgates blew open then!  She berated me for being immature and selfish.  And she told me that it was my JOB to give her son (who didn't want kids, but hey, that's beside the point) and herself some precious babies to love.  She angrily demanded why I'd be the cause of the family name dying out (he has two brothers, both have had children), and said that I must be a "heartless b!tch" to not want to be a mother.  And she had no clue what her son had been drinking when he agreed to marry me.  My wonderful DH promptly got on the phone and told her that if she wanted a baby so much, the state homes were filled with children who desperately needed loving homes.  But that we were not about to make a lifetime commitment to something we were 100% sure we didn't want, just so she could get off on purchasing baby items.  Then he hung up.  The saga will continue, of that I have no doubt.  But luckily for me, my DH has decided to stand along side me, instead of cowing down to his mother like some of the husbands posted about on here are doing.  For that, I am grateful.

        Signed - MIL With Baby Rabies

RESPONSE:  MIL With Baby Rabies
Posted: 30-JUL-01
I know EXACTLY what you're going through!  I am shocked at how many people insist that it's every woman's "duty" to have children, regardless of how she feels about being a mother.  I won't even go into environmental issues, but it's very sad for a child to be raised by a mother who would rather be child-free, but believes she had no choice but to get married and have children.  Believe me, I know.  In my case, it was my FIL who insisted it was DH's duty to carry on the family name (he has all sisters).  Even though DH had told him even before we got married that he didn't want kids, FIL kept at him about it until his mother finally said, "For God's sake, FIL, leave the boy alone!"  Hooray for her!  At least we don't have to listen to that anymore.  Stick to your guns, and keep sending back her thoughtless gifts.  What a b!tch!

RESPONSE:  MIL With Baby Rabies
Posted: 30-JUL-01
Wow!  This is the worst story of MIL pressure about pregnancy that I've ever heard.  She is too much.  At least your DH recognizes that her behavior and gifts are WAY out of line.  Now I think you need to stop accepting gifts that are in any way geared toward maternity or motherhood.  Any time she gives you one, I would hand it back to her and say, firmly but kindly, "Dear MIL, We've already explained several times our thoughts about having children.  Frankly, our reproductive agenda is none of your business, and so I'd appreciate it if you would stop giving me gifts that involve child rearing.  Thank you."  It sounds like she's the kind of woman with whom you must be blatantly up front.  And if she gets mad, that's her problem, especially since you and your DH are a united front.  Good luck with that psycho woman!

RESPONSE:  MIL With Baby Rabies
Posted: 30-JUL-01
What a nut!!  I hope you return all the gifts and put the money in savings for a vasectomy!  Then you can tell her, "Thanks for helping!"

RESPONSE:  MIL With Baby Rabies
Posted: 30-JUL-01
I have a wonderful solution for you.  My brother and his wife also chose not to have children.  With my family that was fine.  As you stated, why commit yourself to something you are 100% sure you don't want.  Anyway, when her mother kept on about them having babies, they shared their "plans" for his vasectomy with her.  Likewise, my ex-husband and his wife didn't want any more children than the two he and I had together.  Similar to my brother's situation, her mom couldn't stand it that she wouldn't have any biological children of her own.  Only then did she share that she was having her tubes tied.  Trust me, it works like a charm.  You may even want to have it done to ensure that you DON'T have children.

RESPONSE:  MIL With Baby Rabies
Posted: 31-JUL-01
Take all of the baby stuff and donate it.  Have the charity send a card to your MIL thanking her for the gift.

RESPONSE:  MIL With Baby Rabies
Posted: 31-JUL-01
That's horrible!  I can't even imagine having to deal with that woman.  My DH and I do not want children either.  I have never had that inclination.  It simply amazes me how accusatory and judgmental people are about this topic.  Why should it offend anyone if we don't want children?  You're absolutely correct that no child should be born into a home that does not want him or her with every fiber in their being.  In the past, my MIL would make all sorts of comments about grandchildren to me, fully expecting that some day soon we would produce one for her.  At first I found it mildly amusing, then irritating, and finally infuriating.  This woman didn't care how many times I told her that I didn't want children.  She just turned up the pressure.  Finally, DH had to go to her home and have a little chat with her about it, and she hasn't said a word about it to me since.  I'm sure she still holds out hope, but at least she's not pestering me anymore.  What could these MIL's be thinking?  Your story shocked me.  You have been infinitely patient with this crazy lady, you're to be commended.

RESPONSE:  MIL With Baby Rabies
Posted: 31-JUL-01
If you are 100% sure you do not want children, one of you should make the decision to get sterilized, thus making it a moot point.  I'm sure she'll have a meltdown over it, but it IS your life, your decision not to procreate, and not hers.  There should be no unwanted children on this planet, and sadly, there are too many.  Hang tough.  I hope she doesn't drag your BILs in to this fiasco.  I strongly suspect she sounds like the type who will, so be prepared.

RESPONSE:  MIL With Baby Rabies
Posted: 31-JUL-01
That's APPALLING.  I thought I'd heard it all!  Over the top is RIGHT!  I think you've been awfully patient with her.  What a piece of work!

RESPONSE:  MIL With Baby Rabies
Posted: 31-JUL-01
It is your (you and your DH) decision if you don't want kids.  I have never heard of a MIL, or ANYONE, being so forward about pushing someone to get pregnant.  I am sorry to say that I did get quite a laugh out of your MIL's antics!!  TOTALLY UNBELIEVABLE!!  I am also sorry to say that I think she will never let up, but even if she does let up some, she will always blame you and curse you under her breathe for not having babies.  I think you need to move FAR away from her.  Or better yet, just lie outright to her and tell her that her lovable son's sperm count is way too low and the doctors say you will not be able to pregnant by him.  I say blame it on her adorable son so she can't badmouth you anymore!!

RESPONSE:  MIL With Baby Rabies
Posted: 4-AUG-01
Good grief!  Your MIL sounds like one CRAZY woman.  In my opinion, she has psychological problems and needs some SERIOUS counseling!

RESPONSE:  MIL With Baby Rabies
Posted: 4-AUG-01
Every time your MIL gives you another baby gift, you should just donate it to a local shelter, or agency for children, in her name.  Then have them send her a thank you letter.

RESPONSE:  MIL With Baby Rabies
Posted: 5-AUG-01
As WACKY and out of line as you know (and it sure is obvious to US!) she is, please don't take what she said to heart on any level.  Sometimes, no matter how wacky and out of line people are, I know they still have the power to hurt me, a lot of times.  She is completely wrong to say that it's "heartless" of you not to have children.  Heartless when the world is already overpopulated?  Heartless when there are already (as your DH mentioned to her) so many unwanted, unloved babies out there?  Which is more heartless, taking the responsibility not to have children when you don't feel that calling, or going ahead and having them and letting the chips fall where they may?  I WISH my father hadn't had children.  He was physically and psychologically abusive, and my childhood was hell.  I don't think I'll ever be o.k.  But, I guess your MIL would think being like him (selfish and abusive) is a lot better than being like you (responsible and conscientious).  Well, she can just go jump in a lake.  Talk about SELFISH.  She already has a passel of grandchildren, and she berates YOU for not giving her more babies to love.  It's all about her, her, her.  She sounds like the poster child for selfishness, if you ask me.  Don't let her get to you, PLEASE.  SHE is being abusive.  I hope you can think of her as just a silly babbling three-year-old, or something.  Or a mental patient!  It's lucky your DH turned out as well as he did, coming from an immature and selfish mother like that.  It's mind-boggling!

RESPONSE:  MIL With Baby Rabies
Posted: 10-AUG-01
This might be helpful to some other DILs who aren't planning to have children.  My DH and I are not planning to have children, but we keep that a secret.  It's really nobody's business but our own.  When someone asks us about it, we give some vague answer like, "I guess we'll see, won't we?"  So NOBODY is hassling us about children.  My DH's friends, however, are being hassled a great deal for coming out and announcing point blank that they aren't going to have children.  It's nobody's business but your own.  Keep it to yourselves, and people will stay out of your hair a little more!  Keep them guessing.  I think if we came right out and told my MIL point blank that we're not planning on children, she'd need to go on some kind of heavy antidepressant, or something.  We wouldn't want that!

RESPONSE:  MIL With Baby Rabies
Posted: 13-AUG-01
This might be helpful to some other DILs who aren't planning to have children.  My DH and I are not planning to have children, but we keep that a secret.  It's really nobody's business but our own.  When someone asks us about it, we give some vague answer like, "I guess we'll see, won't we?"  So NOBODY is hassling us about children.  My DH's friends, however, are being hassled a great deal for coming out and announcing point blank that they aren't going to have children.  It's nobody's business but your own.  Keep it to yourselves, and people will stay out of your hair a little more!  Keep them guessing.  I think if we came right out and told my MIL point blank that we're not planning on children, she'd need to go on some kind of heavy antidepressant, or something.  We wouldn't want that!

RESPONSE:  MIL With Baby Rabies
Posted: 16-AUG-01
"Hope they can find out what the problem with you is.  Love, MIL"  Wow.  What a stupid b!tch.  Somebody put that lady out of her misery.  If she wants a baby so badly, why doesn't she adopt one?  Why should you have to go through the pain of childbirth, and the cost of raising a child for her?  I think guns are legal in your case.

RESPONSE:  MIL With Baby Rabies
Posted: 24-AUG-01
I was originally going to say that you should get your tubes tied, but then I realized that that would make you (to your MIL), "That b!tch that won't let my son have children."  Your DH should get a vasectomy.  Besides, it is faster, safer and cheaper.

RESPONSE:  MIL With Baby Rabies
Posted: 25-AUG-01
That's just terrible.  Like it's any of her business, anyway!  My DH and I DO plan to have children one day.  We've discussed it at great lengths.  And, we've decided that we'd like no more than two (but we'll be incredibly happy with any number, as many people are lucky to just get one).  So, in casual conversation, my DH mentioned that we feel that two is a good number.  She gasped and said, "What's wrong with three (because SHE had three)?"  She must have felt that we were insulting her or something.  But, she always says things like, "When you guys have kids," and she says it A LOT.  That makes me uncomfortable.  That is OUR business, not hers.  So, lately, I've been playing a game with her.  Every time MIL says anything that begins or ends with, "When you guys have kids,"  I say, "Kids?  What kids?  No way, too much work.  We have our cats, that's enough for us."  I've noticed my DH starting to play along also, but he only thinks it's funny - I'm doing it to send the message of, "Hey, lady, back off and quit talking about 'when we have kids', all right!"  I don't understand people who feel they have to grill you about your own private reproductive life.  Why do they even talk about it?  It's not like it involves or affects them in any way.  My DH and I have been married almost 10 months now, and as soon as people find out that we recently got married, the first thing they want to know is:  DO we plan on kids, and if so, WHEN.  I find this appalling, and ever since I discovered just how much I hate it, I've vowed never ever to ask those kinds of questions again.

RESPONSE:  MIL With Baby Rabies
Posted: 25-AUG-01
Certainly, this breaks the all time record for lack of subtlety.  Given that you have the support of your husband, either set fire to any baby presents, or send them back to her (adding a brick if they aren't heavy enough) without paying the postage.

RESPONSE:  MIL With Baby Rabies
Posted: 25-AUG-01
He he he he.  Sorry to laugh, but I mean it with empathy.  You could be living my life.  For a long time, I declined to deal with her obsession in a hostile manner.  That is, until I finally saw the light and realized her own actions were hostile, and I should feel free to respond in kind.  I told her, the next time she tried such a stunt, my husband and I would both cease all communication with her immediately.  She went bawling to my husband, who told her the same thing.  It seems to have worked, but we are absolutely prepared to follow through with the threat, if necessary.

RESPONSE:  MIL With Baby Rabies
Posted: 17-SEP-01
I understand you both.  Have a baby and give it to your MIL so she can raise him (and at the same time, have her grandchild).  Oh, you are right.  Some couples are not good parents, and don't need children.

RESPONSE:  MIL With Baby Rabies
Posted: 7-OCT-01
Is she crazy?  Oh yes indeedy!  Can't you send her back a prepaid certificate from a psychiatrist with the message "Hope they find out what's wrong with YOU"?  Wouldn't you just love to see her face?  You and your husband have made your decision together.  She needs to learn her boundaries and leave you alone.

RESPONSE:  MIL With Baby Rabies
Posted: 7-OCT-01
I have a question for the September 17 respondent.  Are you actually saying that the couple should go through nine months of pregnancy and have a baby just so the MIL can have it to raise, and have another grandchild?  Do you think they should do that just for her?  Don't you think it would be a better idea (if she wants a baby SO badly) if the MIL adopted a baby, or took in a foster child, or something?  Are you that MIL who wrote in a little while ago?  With all due respect, I think there are very few human beings who would go through nine months of pregnancy just so their MIL could have a kid.  I think any MIL who is THAT selfish and demanding will be awfully disappointed.  She'll NEVER get them to do that for her!  Can we say, "ASKING TOO MUCH"?!!!!

RESPONSE:  MIL With Baby Rabies
Posted: 14-OCT-01
Is there something about the 17th of the month that brings out the wack-jobs?  Check out all the answers from the grouchy ol' MIL on that date.  Get a life, "MIL Dread", or whatever your real name is.

RESPONSE:  MIL With Baby Rabies
Posted: 15-OCT-01
For Christmas this year, you should give your MIL a prepaid visit to a psychiatrist with a card that reads,"Hope they find out what your problem is!"  LOL.  That should shut her up once and for all.  She really needs to get a life, and so does the poster who told you to have a baby and give it to MIL to raise.  Where do these people come from?

Worst gift: Posted: 16-OCT-01
I can honestly say that my MIL is a piece of work.  Thank God she doesn't live close by.  It's to the point that, when the phone rings and I check the caller ID (thank God for Caller ID), if it's the "In Laws", I won't answer the phone.  One year my Christmas gift was a soap dish.  As she handed it to me she said, "You use soap, don't you?"  Another year, my gift was a skirt made entirely of my father in law's old ties, many of which were stained, with a piece of some sort of twine to tie, in order to keep it up.  These people go on trips around the world, so they have money to buy an acceptable gift.  I have never been anything but nice to them, yet I'm treated like cr@p.  One year after a trip to the Middle East, they sent me half a package of dried apricots (equivalent to about a cup).  Do you believe that?  Half a package wrapped up in Christmas paper.  My husband is afraid to say anything to them for fear of getting written out of the will, which I can totally understand.  Then, there's the thing about grandchildren.  They want grandchildren by hook or crook.  I have had three miscarriages.  After I told them about the second one, my MIL shouted over the phone that the third time is a charm.  My husband and I don't even want children.  But, unfortunately, our protection doesn't always work.  She refuses to understand that even if we did want children, I can't carry one.  To say nothing of the fact that I have fibromyalgia, IBS, migraines, chronic bronchitis, and arthritis.  Stress can make me very ill for a week.  My white count gets so high I have to be hospitalized.  For me, stress is the trigger for my fibromyalgia.  She believes that my illnesses are in my head and should be ignored.  I wouldn't wish my health on my worst enemy.  So I try to tune her out, and every night I pray for her.  I've finally realized that there's nothing that I can do to change my FIL or her.  She's coming in a few weeks, so PLEASE say a prayer for me tonight.  I hope I haven't depressed everyone.  This is the first time I've ever posted anything on the internet.  Thanks for listening to me rattle on.  Have a great day, and thanks again!

        Signed - Hoping For A Quiet Visit

RESPONSE:  Hoping For A Quiet Visit
Posted: 17-OCT-01
I'm sorry to hear about your health.  It must be miserable to be sick and then deal with sick in-laws at the same time.  You should continue to limit contact with these people for the sake of your health.  And, if hubby gets written out of the will, then too bad.  Is money that important?  If these people are that petty, then who needs them.  Take care of yourself!

RESPONSE:  Hoping For A Quiet Visit
Posted: 17-OCT-01
Someone that I am very close to suffers from severe Fibromyalgia.  I know all too well what you are going through.  Everyone thinks that her problems are all in her head, too.  I wish you the best, and I hope that you are able to tune out your MIL's foolishness throughout this visit.  It may be time, however, for your DH to stand up to his parents and confront them about their behavior, regardless of the will.  Your health and your sanity are worth more.  I believe that their behavior can be discussed without being accusatory or ugly.  A mature conversation is in order.  If they are incapable of conducting such a conversation, then you are better off cutting the strings now.  Good luck to you!!!!

RESPONSE:  Hoping For A Quiet Visit
Posted: 17-OCT-01
I feel so badly for you.  I think your husband should protect you from his parents.  You're more valuable than any inheritance.  Your husband should realize money isn't everything, and show some respect for you.  I don't mean to sound harsh about your spouse, but most IL trouble would be solved if the husband/wife would correct their parent's shabby behavior.

Worst gift: Posted: 26-JUL-01
Here's an oddball one for you.  My DH comes from a ranching family.  They're your typical red meat and potatoes farmer types.  DH was just like them until we began dating.  I'm a vegan for ethical reasons.  Seeing a chunk of a formerly live animal on my plate just grosses me out.  DH gave up eating meat, at least when he's around me, all on his own.  My FIL cannot accept that I won't eat meat.  And every time I get a cold, he says it's because I'm unhealthy.  Never mind that I run 5 miles a day and am in excellent health.  I must be unhealthy because I don't eat meat.  When we eat at their house (it's rare, but it happens), he always makes a huge production out of eating his bleeding, raw steak.  He carries on about how great it is, and asks, "Wouldn't I like a piece?"  It makes me sick to my stomach.  My MIL doesn't say anything about it beyond telling him to leave me alone.  I think my diet is a non-issue for her.  But last Christmas, guess what they gave us for a present?  A cow on ice.  Yes, a cow, nicely processed and packaged.  I'm torn between feeling repulsed at having it in our freezer (it took the entire chest freezer!), and feeling dutifully grateful because I know they could have sold that beef for around a thousand bucks.  They raise organic, free range cattle.  They sell directly to private buyers, and get serious money for it.  I realize that in their eyes, this was a huge gift that was also very practical.  But in my eyes, it's as tacky as if they'd killed my dog, and then offered me a leg to gnaw on.  DH actually solved the problem for me.  He sold 3/4 of it to one if his coworkers, gave me the money to go buy what I wanted, and kept some of the steaks hidden away for himself for when I wasn't around to see him eat it.  Whenever FIL asks about the beef, DH just smiles and says we're still working on it.

        Signed - Not Gonna Eat Meat

RESPONSE:  Not Gonna Eat Meat
Posted: 30-JUL-01
What are their dislikes?  Is there a certain meal FIL hates, a particular sport he doesn't like, or maybe a movie he detests?  If it's a meal he hates, invite them over for dinner and serve it.  Oops!  You hate that meal?  I forgot.  If he hates golf, buy him golf balls.  Encourage him to like the sport!  How about that movie he can't stand?  Buy the video for him for Christmas!!!!  Have a little fun teaching an old dog a trick or two.  Who knows?  Maybe he'll learn something!

RESPONSE:  Not Gonna Eat Meat
Posted: 30-JUL-01
The only thing I can say is that you have a wonderful husband who respects your feelings.  Thank god, for there are a few unlucky ones who do not even have that.  If I were in your place, this gesture from my husband would have removed all the hurt that came because of this by my ILs.  Who cares, as long as your husband is with you.  Imagine if your husband had insisted that you cook that for him because it is from his dear parents.  And, believe me, there are men like that (a lot of them).

RESPONSE:  Not Gonna Eat Meat
Posted: 30-JUL-01
Your FIL's life is beef, basically.  He has probably been in disbelief that his son married someone who won't even eat it.  I'm sure that your FIL believes that he means well, but he is not respecting you by trying to push the stuff on you.  How rotten of him to give you and your husband a whole freezer full of it when he knows that you don't eat it!  I think some people just really have a hard time accepting that some people think about things in a different way.  Your husband sounds great though.  I think I would find something that FIL dislikes and try to cram it down his throat (so to speak).  When he protests, tell him that you decided that he should like it because you do.

RESPONSE:  Not Gonna Eat Meat
Posted: 30-JUL-01
I see your dilemma.  But I just have one comment.  I know that you're a vegetarian, and there's nothing wrong with that, but I think its going a little overboard that it bothers you to see your husband eat meat.  You stated that you don't like your eating habits questioned, but at the same time, you're critical of your husband and in-laws because they eat meat.  I think it's also going a little overboard to be repulsed just by the sight of it.  Its not like they're forcing you to eat meat.  I do agree, though, that they shouldn't rub it in your face whenever they do eat meat.  That's just kind of mean.  I really don't know what to make of the gift, though.  From what you've described, it seems that this is the only main issue between you and your in-laws.  Maybe they forgot you're a vegetarian, and that's why they gave you a whole cow.

RESPONSE:  Not Gonna Eat Meat
Posted: 30-JUL-01
I just wanted to tell you that, while you have a despicable FIL, you have a wonderful DH!  I'm sure you already knew that.  He should probably tell FIL that he's out of line and should not give you gifts like that, but it sounds like FIL is the type who's not going to bother listening to that anyway.

RESPONSE:  Not Gonna Eat Meat
Posted: 31-JUL-01
I don't understand why people get so bent out of shape because someone is a vegetarian or vegan.  I adore animals, and I'm trying to take the steps to cut all meats and poultry products out of my diet for ethical reasons as well.  For the past four years, however, I have not eaten any pork products, and it never ceases to amaze me how offended some individuals are by this.  For example, my SIL invited DH and myself over for dinner.  She asked him if lasagna was okay, and he said it was fine.  But he told her that I don't eat pork.  She replied that she usually made it with sausage, but that she would leave it out for me.  Well the day of the dinner, she announced to all that she rarely made this dish because it took so much time to prepare, and that she supposed it turned out okay, but it is so much better with the pork.  Maybe it's just me, but I felt so embarrassed that I wanted to get up and leave.  In regards to your situation, I can appreciate how your FIL's actions make you feel.  I imagine that it's quite devastating for you to see that animal's carcass in your freezer.  I believe that your FIL is being passive-aggressive towards you.  Perhaps your husband could speak to him on your behalf?

RESPONSE From Poster:  Not Gonna Eat Meat
Posted: 21-AUG-01
To the respondent who said, "I know that you're a vegetarian, and there's nothing wrong with that, but I think its going a little overboard that it bothers you to see your husband eat meat."  First of all, my husband made the choice to not eat it in front of me.  I never asked him to do this, it was HIS idea.  Some guys choose to stop scratching their balls around their wives, mine chose to stop eating meat around me.  Many vegans REFUSE to even date meat eaters, so I don't see that I'm going overboard.  I've often told him that it's OK, he can eat as he pleases.  But he said he doesn't mind.  "You stated that you don't like your eating habits questioned, but at the same time, you're critical of your husband and in-laws because they eat meat."  Where am I being critical of their eating habits?  When I eat at their house, I don't expect them to whip out the lentil casserole.  I accept that they will eat meat, and I simply load up on the baked potatoes and green beans and whatever else is offered.  I just don't appreciate my FIL waving his loaded fork around my nose asking, "Are you SURE?  Are you POSITIVE?"  I highly doubt you'd appreciate it if someone did that to you knowing full well you didn't like, oh, say steamed broccoli or turnips.  "I think it's also going a little overboard to be repulsed just by the sight of it."  Then how about you take a little trip down to the land of OZ, and have dinner with some Aborigines?  When they offer you a wriggling grub, remember how overboard it is to be repulsed at the sight of food you find unpalatable.  "I do agree, though, that they shouldn't rub it in your face whenever they do eat meat."  Gee, thanks.  That was my entire complaint.

RESPONSE:  Not Gonna Eat Meat
Posted: 4-SEP-01
I just wanted to say that I understand and I agree with you.  For some reason, being vegetarian is just something that seems to upset people that don't understand it - like you are making a statement on their way of life.  I understand a bit how you feel, because I can't stand seafood.  I have tried it over the years, but I just can't stand it, and refuse to eat it.  I don't make a big deal out of it, and have even started telling people I'm allergic to it (as that's the only "acceptable" excuse).  I dread the encounter with new folks, where we have to go through the song and dance of "are you sure?"  "You should try salmon.  It's really good."  Or "Come on, you're just being silly."  It's insulting and demoralizing for people to assume that you aren't old enough to make decisions for yourself.  I don't scream and shout, "Don't SERVE ME THAT!"  I quietly eat around it, or share it with my husband, who loves it.  Someone, invariably, notices and makes a big deal.  I find it's the same with alcohol.  Ever been in a crowd and refused an alcoholic drink while everyone else imbibes?  There's always some doofus in the crowd that wants to INSIST that you drink too.  Basically, people make choices, and are allowed to have differing tastes and beliefs.  They shouldn't be punished for it, or forced to see someone else's viewpoint.  For your in-laws to make it such an "issue" is their own fault, and is quite hurtful.  It sounds like your DH is on your side and supportive.  That's good.

RESPONSE:  Not Gonna Eat Meat
Posted: 25-SEP-01
I was almost a vegetarian when I got married.  I wouldn't eat any meat except a hamburger (once in a blue moon), or a pork chop.  When I did eat it, I would pick at it, and end up only eating half.  My DH's family loves steak, ribs, and ham.  I would eat the side dishes, and they ridiculed me and put me down.  They just came right out and called me weird.  I couldn't take it.  To this day, if I make spaghetti, I eat the pasta and sauce (and the meat is still sitting on the plate afterwards).  Meat makes me think of the death of the animal, and it repulses me to think of eating the insides of something.  Well, it's my DH who embarrasses me.  He will get right in front of people and try to "make me" try something.  He sticks his fork right in front of my face, waving it around.  I say, "No thank you," but he doesn't give up.  Finally, I will notice everybody staring at me, as if to say, "Shut this guy up and just taste it," so I do.  I hate that.  Like the other poster, I hate seafood too.  It stinks, and the texture is disgusting.  He made me taste calamari.  And, every single time he gets shrimp, he waves it in my face.  I do know how you feel.  Just take it day by day, and remember how great your DH is for respecting you.  Take Care.

RESPONSE:  Not Gonna Eat Meat
Posted: 3-OCT-01
Unlike you, who sound reasonable and principled (you love animals), some Vegetarians can be plain obnoxious.  I'm thinking of a former friend who was a vegetarian just because.  He decided to eschew meat, but not out of caring for animals.  As a result, we had to wait to order in restaurants while he interrogated waiters and waitresses to find out how the food was prepared (chicken broth in a vegetable soup?  Oh no, can't have that - and he wasn't even vegan!).  Why?  Just because.  We would also have buffets groaning with food at cookouts - potato salad, beans, pasta salad without meat.  He would insist we had to furnish him with veggie burgers.  Why?  Just because.  And the truly IRRITATING thing?  HE DIDN'T LIKE VEGETABLES, EITHER.  He only liked potatoes.  And corn.  And broccoli.  And cheese.  At our last cookout, we toasted his moving away and the lack of veggie burgers on the menu.

RESPONSE:  Not Gonna Eat Meat
Posted: 18-OCT-01
While not exactly the nicest gift, I have to say that your DH handled it extremely well (while preventing a fight).  However, knowing (as they do) that you are a vegan makes it a rude gift, no matter how much it might have been worth.

Worst gift: Posted: 17-OCT-01
The worst engagement present I got was from my in-laws.  Apparently, a national office supply store was having a sale, because I got 36 No.  2 Pencils.  Yes, the bright yellow wooden things.  And, just in case I didn't have a pencil sharpener, they gave me theirs from the 70s(?) - used of course.  It was the kind you had in elementary school - it screws into the wall.

        Signed - I Hope It Gets Better Than This

RESPONSE:  I Hope It Gets Better Than This
Posted: 18-OCT-01
Hmmm?  Maybe they are encouraging you to be a writer?

Worst gift: Posted: 18-OCT-01
My MIL and her family don't even try and buy me something nice.  For Christmas, my in-laws gave me 2 pairs of old panty hose that my SIL had left behind when she lived at home.  They were for 5'3" gals, and I am 5'8".  For my birthday, they gave me a 50 cent 2" plant they picked up from a discount store.  And, one year, my MIL gave me a feather duster.  Oh, and I can't forget the year they gave me a pair of binoculars that they received free for signing up for some credit card.  I don't ever recall receiving a real gift from them, nor have they even bothered to wrap the cr@p they give me that they find lying around the house.  Oh yeah, I forgot, they did buy me a nice big sweat shirt one year.  In fact, it was a XXL and I wear a size 6 or 8.  When I took it back, I found it was on a clearance rack from a discount store, and they paid a whopping $1.98 for it.  How hurtful!!  Luckily for me, my husband is the most wonderful man in the world, and has showered me with lovely gifts.  But, most of all, he has showered me with his love.  That makes up for all the hateful and mean things his family has done to me (and continues to do).

        Signed - Such A Nice Man From Such A Terrible Family??

RESPONSE:  Such A Nice Man From Such A Terrible Family??
Posted: 19-OCT-01
Well at least they thought to get you something, even though they have no tact.  I don't know what's wrong with people.  Better to get you nothing than to give you (basically) a slap in the face.  Are they poor people?  Maybe that would explain it.

Worst gift: Posted: 4-OCT-01
My MIL is a "conservationist".  She recycles all right - but it's gifts that she recycles!  Once, she went on a holiday in the beginning of the year and bought a fake D & G T-shirt for my hubby.  He told her that he did not like the T-shirt and didn't want it.  She asked if I wanted it instead, and I told her politely that the T-shirt was waaay oversized for me.  Guess what I received from her that Christmas?  Yup, that unmistakably HUGE fake D & G T-shirt, complete with the bad spelling!

        Signed - Recyclee (person who receives from a recycler!)

Worst gift: Posted: 11-AUG-01
Last year on my birthday, I was 2 days overdue with our child.  It was July.  It was hot, and I was down in the dumps and feeling fat.  My birthday came and went, without even so much as a card or phone call from any in-law family members.  The next day, they did call to annoy me and to ask if I felt any baby contractions.  Then, after my DH was upset with them for ignoring my birthday, I thought that this year they would really make up for last year.  My MIL made it even worse.  She gave me a pair of used toenail clippers.  I get biweekly pedicures so my feet aren't needing those.  What message should I take from these last two birthdays?

        Signed - Barefoot, Pregnant, and No Gift

RESPONSE:  Barefoot, Pregnant, and No Gift
Posted: 18-AUG-01
Oh my God.  You must be kidding!!  Whatever you get, pedicures or not, is not the issue.  The issue is what kind of gift is toe nail clippers?  They don't exactly come gift wrapped from Hallmark.  I wouldn't even begin to understand what her intentions were for this gift.  But if I were you, I wouldn't even associate with her.  She obviously doesn't think very highly of you, or even care what you want for your birthday.

RESPONSE:  Barefoot, Pregnant, and No Gift
Posted: 26-AUG-01
Your MIL is scum.  What is she thinking?  I wouldn't even give a toenail clipper as a gag gift.  That is just plain gross!  I suggest that you give her a small package of emery boards from the local drugstore for her next birthday gift.  Tell her you thought she'd like them because she seems fixated with nails!  There are some people out there that would say you should just be thankful for whatever gift you get, and just be happy someone got you a gift.  Well, HELLO out there to those folks!!!  Some gifts just smack of being totally insulting and classless.  There is NO WAY you should get her a nice gift on her next birthday.  Some people might say, "Don't stoop to her level," but if you keep giving her nice gifts when she treats you so badly, then she will NEVER learn.  Good luck!

RESPONSE:  Barefoot, Pregnant, and No Gift
Posted: 16-SEP-01
It sound like you are a spoiled brat.  She gave you a gift, it's the thought that counts.  Sometime we must show appreciation for the small things to get the large things.

RESPONSE:  Barefoot, Pregnant, and No Gift
Posted: 17-SEP-01
I thought that my DH's grandmother's Christmas gift a couple years ago (a little basket full of USED sample trial sizes of lotion, face cream, makeup, etc.) was tasteless, but your MIL and her toenail clippers really take the cake!  In my opinion, if you have to give a cr@ppy gift like that, don't even bother!  Just a simple card with a $5 bill enclosed (or even no money at all, for that matter) would be better than a tacky, tasteless gift (especially if it's used).  You know what?  Don't even let the no-gift thing bother you.  If she gave you used toenail clippers, imagine what you'd get if she really put some thought into it!  UGH, perish the thought!  LOL.

RESPONSE:  Barefoot, Pregnant, and No Gift
Posted: 6-OCT-01
To the September 16th respondent:  You are absolutely right.  It is the thought that counts.  And anyone with half a brain can see that the poster's MIL gave NO THOUGHT WHATSOEVER to this gift!!  USED toenail clippers!  Did you read that part?  You have a nerve calling the poster a spoiled brat when it is so obvious that the gift was tasteless, thoughtless, and clearly meant to hurt her feelings.  Could you, by chance, be a MIL?  Whoever you are, get real!!!

RESPONSE:  Barefoot, Pregnant, and No Gift
Posted: 6-OCT-01
You are NOT a spoiled brat.  Toenail clippers are a stupid gift, and it was mean.  I would wrap them up and give them to her for Christmas.

RESPONSE:  Barefoot, Pregnant, and No Gift
Posted: 6-OCT-01
This is in response to the September 16th response.  You're joking, right?  You think she should be grateful for used nail clippers?  The only thought the MIL put into that gift was to hurt her DIL's feelings.

RESPONSE:  Barefoot, Pregnant, and No Gift
Posted: 6-OCT-01
In response to the respondent who called the poster a "spoiled brat", WHAT IS YOUR PROBLEM?!  There is no need for nastiness.  Were you having a bad day or something?  I don't see how your post added any help or value.  If I received USED toenail clippers as a gift from ANYONE, I would be greatly upset.  How dare you invalidate the poster's very real feelings?  You must be a MIL ("Wendy"?  "Mildred"?  "Bethie"?) because only someone who is used to belittling others and making people feel badly would write such a nasty post.  I suggest you learn something from the latest world events (i.e., HATRED), and spew your negativity elsewhere.  There's enough hostility and ignorance in the world without adding to it.  J J J J J J J J J J J J J J J J J

RESPONSE:  Barefoot, Pregnant, and No Gift
Posted: 7-OCT-01
To the 9-16-01 respondent:  Please tell us when your birthday is.  I would love to chip in to get you a "thoughtful" gift of used tissues, used toilet paper, some old dental floss, used underwear, or an old bottle of mouthwash.  How about it?  What?  That's DISGUSTING, you say?  What a spoiled brat you are!  Some people don't appreciate kindness.

Worst gift: Posted: 6-SEP-01
Worst Gift Stories:  I am fortunate compared to many of the other posters here.  My MIL isn't so mean-spirited when it comes to gifts.  She's just whacko.  One Christmas, she gave everyone in the family (DH, his sisters and brothers, and their spouses) identical nose-hair clippers.  Yes, nose-hair clippers.  She had seen on some TV show that these were the best nose-hair clippers in existence.  Isn't that a festive holiday gift?

        Signed - Never Used 'Em

RESPONSE:  Never Used 'Em
Posted: 28-SEP-01
Use them as a re-gift - BACK TO HER!!  That would be so funny!!J.

RESPONSE:  Never Used 'Em
Posted: 28-SEP-01
Uh???  Yeah???  That's a little strange.  At least she spreads the weirdness around equally.

RESPONSE:  Never Used 'Em
Posted: 29-SEP-01
Your story made me laugh, because it actually reminds me of my own father.  My dad is possibly one of THE worst gift givers I have ever met.  He sincerely means well, but has very poor taste.  My brothers and I got so used to getting odd gifts growing up, I think we have a pretty high tolerance.  One of the funniest gifts he gave to my brothers and my DH (Christmas of 1999) were these tacky Y2K survival packs.  It was a big flashlight thing, with a radio, etc., built in.  What's so funny is, out of the three that he bought, only ONE worked - my DH's!!!  We joked that, had there really been a Y2K meltdown, DH would have been the only one to survive among the three of them.  LOL!  Sometimes gifts are so bad, they are funny.  Speaking of Y2K, my cousins (from my dad's side, bad gift giving must run in their blood) gave DH and I matching guy/gal Y2K watches with fake diamonds on it.  It was so tacky that we used it as a prank gift to my BIL and SIL.  The watches looked like something that you would win at one of those carnival game vending machines.

Worst gift: Posted: 9-AUG-01
Last year I was doing some Christmas shopping at the mall.  I do all the shopping for his and my family, which turns out to be a burden since they treat me so badly on his side.  His mother's birthday is very close to Christmas, and she freaks if he doesn't acknowledge it in time, because she is good at gift giving to him and our children (nothing for me, usually).  I found a really nice pair of 14k gold hoops, and decided they were perfect for her birthday.  I began writing the check at the cash register when I asked the date.  The cashier told me it was the 7th, the day of the birthday.  OUCh.  My DH was going to pay for this.  He was thinking it was the 6th, and he couldn't call her since he was working 12 hours a day.  So I called her to save his butt, to avoid the nasty phone call, and to avoid her getting out the bullhorn to tell all his family members how horrible he is.  I sang, "Happy Birthday to you", and told her it was from both of us.  She said,"Where's DH?!"  I said, "Oh, he is working, but he'll call you as soon as he gets home.  But it will be late - if that is OK"  She started screaming, "YOU'RE NOT MY SON!"  She kept screaming that in my ear over and over again.  And it the midst of my shock, she slammed the phone in my ear.  I told DH that night what she'd done, so he called her right away and APOLOGIZED for not calling her sooner.  He wished her a happy birthday, had a lovely chat, and ended the conversation.  I told him that I picked those earrings out for her earlier that day.  He said, "Oh, nice."  I said, "I don't even have a pair of gold earrings and I'm keeping them.  She is not going to treat me like that and get something for her birthday that I picked for her.  He then said, "Oh, it's Christmas.  Don't try to ruin it."  He then, right in front of me, wrapped the earrings and sent them to her the next day (she lives an hour away).  To make matters worse, when we did see her to exchange Christmas presents, I asked her if she ever received anything for her birthday, since she never said thank you.  She gave me a dirty look and jiggled her ear to show she was wearing them.  And then she complained that they were kind of small for her fat earlobes.  Ahhhhh!!!!!  So the worst gift I received last year for Christmas?!  A slap in the face from my DH!!!!

        Signed - Not Her Son, I Can't Win

RESPONSE:  Not Her Son, I Can't Win
Posted: 15-AUG-01
This is how I solved it (and the advice came from my SIL and my sister).  I am responsible for my side of the family, DH is responsible for his.  I used to be criticized for the types of cards I chose, the particular card I sent, the date it arrived (heaven forbid it arrived more than a day before the birthday), and on and on.  Once I made up my mind to have DH do it, since he was getting all the accolades and none of the grief (AND he was telling me to "lighten up" about his mother's continual gripes), I informed him that he was responsible for mailing all cards to his family.  I handed him a calendar with all his family's birthdays marked, a box of cards, and a book of stamps.  He was angry and said, "Fine!"  Not ONE of those cards got sent!!  Christmas came and I handed him another box of cards - none got sent.  I got phone calls, I got nasty comments, I got whining.  You would think his family couldn't live without those cards.  To every single comment I answered, "Oh, didn't you get one?  We have a new policy - he sends to his family and I send to mine.  You will need to speak to DH."  Can you believe no one learned?  Well, I suppose you would.  Sure enough, the complaining about gifts continued, and my DH just kept skating.  So, 2 years after I handed him the cards, I told him he was buying his family's gifts.  Wow!  Gift-giving sure did drop!!  LOL!  And, I even let him go shopping alone (I took our son when I went).  Only MIL got a gift for the next couple years.  Then, he must've gotten tired of the complaints too, because even that stopped.  I offered that he just call a florist and send her flowers (at considerable cost, as you all know), but he only did that once.  You got it - she complained.  She only got phone calls for the year after the gifts stopped.  Then, he even stopped calling.  MILs like mine never seem to learn.  I almost feel sorry for her.  I would STOP being responsible for both families - starting with Christmas this year.

RESPONSE:  Not Her Son, I Can't Win
Posted: 15-AUG-01
Inform your husband NOW that, from now on, HE can do the birthday and Christmas shopping for his entire family, especially for his mom.  Explain, calmly, that you feel upset about the fact that, even though you put time and effort into choosing gifts for his family, they've never bothered to think of you on YOUR special days.  And this next December, don't bother to remember his mother's birthday.  Let your answering machine deal with her hysterics.  Caller ID and answering machines are a DIL's best friend!

RESPONSE:  Not Her Son, I Can't Win
Posted: 15-AUG-01
My blood is boiling just reading your story.  I can't believe the way your MIL treated you, and then your H added insult to injury.  Next year, I wouldn't do a thing about his mother's birthday.  Here you are trying to cover his butt with his mommy, and he lets you take all her cr@p and then does nothing to defend you!  SCREW THAT!!  Let his mommy have a widdle tantrum next year at him when he forgets to get her anything.  When he asks you why you didn't shop for her, just say, "I'm not her son, remember?"

RESPONSE:  Not Her Son, I Can't Win
Posted: 15-AUG-01
Your MIL is a B!tch, and her son isn't far off from that.  What a rude woman.  She should be thankful that you at least called her.  Her own son didn't remember.  How ungrateful!  Don't bother buying her another gift.  Let your husband do that chore.  I make mine do it!  His mother, his problem!  Don't let her have a chance to insult you!  If he doesn't like it, too bad.  He didn't support you before, why risk it again!  She sounds awful!

RESPONSE:  Not Her Son, I Can't Win
Posted: 15-AUG-01
I am so very, very sorry about how your MIL treats you, and that your DH is not even on your side.  Your story nearly brought me to tears.  What a horrible old witch.  From now on, do not shop for his side of the family.  Why should you?  It brings you no joy, only more hurt.  Let him shop for them.  If he forgets, that's too bad.  It's his family, and what do you have to lose?  I would not tolerate the humiliation and the hurt that this has caused you.  I think you should take this up with your husband, and tell him that you will not allow his mother to talk to you like that, and you will not stand for him downplaying your feelings.  As a matter of fact, I think you should go shopping and buy yourself something nice to compensate for what you are lacking (what you gave up when you were generous enough to take time and money to buy a gift for an ungrateful old hag).  Good luck to you, and if you get the notion, slap her for ME, if nothing else.

RESPONSE:  Not Her Son, I Can't Win
Posted: 15-AUG-01
STOP SHOPPING FOR YOUR IN-LAWS.  Let your husband take over that responsibility.  And don't make birthday calls - or any other calls - to "save his butt."  Your DH is an adult.  If he wants to maintain a healthy relationship with his parents, then he will do so.  He'll call them, get them gifts, etc., if he wants to.  If he doesn't, then that's his choice.  And you are not responsible for his choice about how to treat his own parents.  Take yourself out of the loop.  I think that you'll then save yourself from being the fall-guy when he forgets to call, send a gift, etc.

RESPONSE:  Not Her Son, I Can't Win
Posted: 16-AUG-01
You have my condolences, dear.  Your DH is a certified mama's boy and a wimp.  He won't even speak up for himself, much less speak up for his wife who gets crapped on by his Mommy.  What I want to know is:  How long are you prepared to go on being treated like a second-class citizen in your DH's life?  You deserve better than this kind of treatment!  You're much too nice to that old witch, and way too tolerant of your husband.  He won't even say anything when his dear old mommy constantly leaves you out of the gift-giving at Christmas!  You SHOULD have kept the earrings yourself, and your husband was a jerk to take them away after you announced that you weren't giving them to his selfish mommy.  Please don't EVER let him get away with that cr@p again - tell him to get off his butt and find his own damn present for his mommie dearest.  Why were YOU running around getting gifts for that hag, anyway?  Let her son take care of it, as he should have been doing in the first place.  Don't remind him of her birthday anymore, and don't cover his @ss when he forgets (and believe me, if YOU weren't doing the gift shopping, it would NEVER get done - it would serve the b!tch's withered old @Ss right).  It's HIS mother, and HIS duty to get her a gift if he thinks she deserves it so much.  Just because he ACTS like a little boy, doesn't mean he IS one.  Let him grow up for a change.  God knows, his mommy's not about to do that.  And does your husband really think that your kids don't notice that everyone, EXCEPT mom, gets great presents from the monster-in-law?  If I were you, I wouldn't spend birthdays OR holidays with her.  How much fun is it for you to watch everyone else open presents while you get insulted by a jealous shrew?  Let your hubby go over there with some cr@ppy presents he found at the dollar store just because he was in a hurry.  And, shame on him for not getting YOU a nice pair of earrings for all the years you put up with that old bag without giving her a swift boot in the @Ss!  And, just because the MIL gives everyone else nice things is no excuse for her treatment of you.  When the kids ask why you don't get anything, direct their questions to the certified wimp, and watch him stammer out a pathetic explanation.  Kids are smarter than you think.  Chances are, in the next few years, the DH will be making his Christmas visits to the hag's house alone, because the kids won't be able to stand her either.

RESPONSE:  Not Her Son, I Can't Win
Posted: 20-AUG-01
She's not your mom, and you're not her daughter - a situation she obviously delights in.  You can learn something from this, and achieve freedom, to wit:  Stop buying her presents.  DH can take care of it.  And if he doesn't, he'll deserve her wrath.  She's justified in giving him cr@p for not remembering her birthday.  He's justified in not giving her anything if she expects it.  Stay out of it.  That's my advice.  You're danged if you do and danged if you don't, but at least you won't have spent minutes of your life trying to make a miserable woman happy.

RESPONSE:  Not Her Son, I Can't Win
Posted: 9-SEP-01
When I got married, I had grand dreams of both of us being an integral part of two families, and I tried so hard to integrate DH into mine.  They live in another city, and meet us once in six months.  They are caring towards him, so it should have been easy, right?  We were living in before marriage, so we decided that, of our three week holiday, we should spend about a week at my parent's place.  The other half would have to be spent with his parents.  Still, my parents insisted we have a short honeymoon too.  It went all wrong.  He was touchy, irritable, and really hurting.  Now, four years later, he says he was angry and hurt, because we did not have a honeymoon, but went to my parent's place for three days.  This, when I wanted him to get to know them, and he had agreed to it.  His parents live in the same city, and we were visiting them thrice a week despite our hectic schedule (we are both surgeons).  For birthdays in my family, since we were far away, I ended up not getting any gifts, only cards.  And if I did have to, I would keep asking him for his opinion (not that he turned out to be very helpful).  For birthdays in his family, I would ask him in advance about what to buy.  The moon and the stars, of course.  On being asked to consider our bank accounts, he would sulk for days and pooh-pooh every suggestion of mine.  Finally I would, in sheer desperation to avoid being labeled the careless bitch, get something.  Not just "something", but a gift with lots of thought and effort.  He never approved of any, always thought it too "beneath them", sort of.  Well, I finally gave up and refused to get a gift for his brother's birthday.  Can you believe it?  He forgot all about it.  I gave a cash gift to BIL, explained how it was that there wasn't anything for him this time, and sent him a sms claiming to be from DH, just to cover his @Ss  I did it for his anniversary too, which was the next event in the family.  After that, for FIL's birthday, I got a gift and stuff on my own, didn't ask DH, and he hasn't criticized me ever since.  Isn't it too bad that it should come to this pass?

RESPONSE:  Not Her Son, I Can't Win
Posted: 2-OCT-01
Please read this carefully:  Nothing will change when you get married.  It will only get worse.  I know.  I've been living it for 2 1/2 years now.  I thought I could change DH, but I was SO wrong.  Now I live in fear, and wonder when DH's parents will decide to visit.

Worst gift: Posted: 23-SEP-01
I've received so many bad gifts from my in-laws that it is difficult to choose just one!  So, I'll tell you about a couple of them!  First there was the poodle toilet brush holder.  Even IF I was a person who would use it, it was bright pink and my bathrooms are both blue!  And, yes, it was only the holder - no actual toilet brush in it!!  Then, there is the Christmas that I received body hair removal cream - yup, you heard correctly.  Facial hair removal cream.  Though I am a very polite person, I could not get even slightly enthused over it.  When I opened it (in front of the whole family), I simply said, "Oh, hair removal cream.  Thank you," and looked at the next person.  Then, there is my all time favorite gift.  It was three lipsticks.  No, not nice designer lipsticks that I might have enjoyed (although, buying lipstick for someone as a gift is pretty weird in itself!) - they were orange, pink and white!!  These babies went out of style in the 60's!!  I couldn't even give them to the women's shelter - I just threw them away!  Last Christmas DH, DD, and I received sweat suits.  The prices were left on them - $6 for each piece from a wholesale club.  They were all too small - well, actually the one they bought for hubby was large enough for DD - she wears it to lounge in.  They are equal opportunity bad-gift-buyers - they don't buy their son anything better than they buy for me!!  However, they do go all out for their DD's family - last year (the year of the sweat suits) they bought their daughter and SIL a snow blower!!  We've been together for 13 years.  For the first ten years, I really knocked myself out buying gifts for them.  I like buying gifts, but when they are reciprocated with cr@p, then it gets tiring.  A couple of years ago, I told DH he was on his own for gifts for his family.  Sad to say, he hasn't bought them one gift since then.  It has been hard for me to live with this, but I haven't broken down and bought them anything!  This is wayyy too long, but I just wanted to say one more thing:   These people are NOT poor!  In fact, they are very wealthy - FIL was able to retire at age 45, even though he still dabbles in real estate.  And MIL never had to work.  So it is NOT a money thing!  Thanks for letting me get this off my chest!

        Signed - May-As-Well Laugh at My In-Laws Gifts!!

Worst gift: Posted: 24-SEP-01
Worst gift ever from MIL - She went to the Salvation Army and bought me a 25 cent tablecloth - with a hole in the middle.  Then, she wondered why we never used it.

        Signed - Try to Grin and Bear It

Worst gift: Posted: 24-SEP-01
On my 1st wedding anniversary, my MIL gave us a llama.  It was a wonderful, humorous gift.  The trouble was that my husband, new baby, and I lived in a city apartment.  But, of course, she had intended this eccentric "gift" to live on her daughter's hobby farm in a rural community that is located 3 hours from our dwelling.  My response to her, "Gee thanks, your daughter's kids will love it!"

        Signed - Your Daughter's Kids Will Love It!

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