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Mother-In-Law Stories
Worst Gift Archives
May 2002
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Worst gift:  My MIL gave me a packet of cotton undies with cutesy cartoon characters on them.  I guess that she thought this would turn DH off.  I haven't worn them, and he is still turned on after 7 years!

        Signed - No Undies at All

RESPONSE:  No Undies at All
That's so loony, I don't know WHAT to say.  I just keep shaking my head.

Worst gift:  One Christmas, my ex-MIL sent me a free sample that she had received in the mail.  It was nicely wrapped up.  What was it?  A MAXI PAD!  Gee, thanks, I'll think of you when I use it!  As well, she sent our daughter one gift for her birthday and Christmas (her birthday is 2 days before Christmas), and she expected her to be totally thrilled by the baby clothes and toys that she would send every year.  Didn't she realize that babies actually grow up?

        Signed - Sheesh!

Worst gift:  I found this board yesterday, and I'm so happy to see that I'm not alone.  I was beginning to feel like everything was my fault, until I found you all.  Anyway, as for worst gifts - my MIL is a very self centered, snooty person, who never puts any thought into the gifts she buys me.  My BIL's girlfriend is the one she caters to.  Two Christmas' ago, I received a pair of pajamas with popcorn boxes all over them.  My MIL must have noticed the look on my face, and proceeded to tell everyone, "I got those for you because your DH and DD love to watch movies together."  Well, hello!!  That's my DH and DD, not me!  What did she get my BIL's GF?  She got a nice watch, and a leather briefcase.  This year topped it.  I got a throw for my couch.  My DH got a book and some socks, and my BIL and his GF got tickets to the Daytona 500!!  Give me a break!  We always went overboard with my MIL's gifts, but no more.  I've had it!!

        Signed - Can't Take It Anymore!

RESPONSE:  Can't Take It Anymore!
I guess it's pretty obvious to you who your MIL's favorite child is, and it's NOT your DH.  I hope he can see that for himself now, too.  How can a mother treat her own child like this?  Beats me, but your DH certainly has my sympathy.

Worst gift:  My MIL acts like she doesn't care about us.  She didn't come to our wedding (it was a 5 hour drive, but we would have paid for the hotel, and she knew that).  We have never gotten a "congrats" on our wedding, or for our 2 children.  She even would not come and help us out when DH asked her to (when he had to have back surgery).  OK, that being said, MIL always gives us massive amounts of money for Christmas, and she gives it to my husband when I'm out of the room, and no one says anything about it.  When we are together, she gives us a few things.  Last Christmas, in front of me, she gave him some socks and some stocking hangers for the mantle of our new house.  But, when we get in the car, DH always tells me that she slipped him a wad of cash.  I guess I just find it strange.  They aren't well off.  Their house isn't worth over $30,000, and they don't own a car worth more than $1,000, but she slips DH $600 cash, and gives him a $300 gift card to a toy store for our son.  Plus, she sent our son a birthday card (his birthday is December 26th) with $150 in it.  HE TURNED 2 - WHAT DOES HE NEED $150 FOR!!!!?  The whole thing makes me so uncomfortable.  DH makes at least 3 times as much as his parents.  One more thing - I just had another baby, and no one said congrats to us, but we did get handed $200.

        Signed - Wanting Love and Respect, Not Money

RESPONSE:  Wanting Love and Respect, Not Money
It is hard to figure.  Maybe MIL is trying to make up for the ignoring?  Maybe she is trying to buy you folks off?  I would ask her, if you feel like it.  Otherwise, bank the money for your child's college education.

RESPONSE:  Wanting Love and Respect, Not Money
Some of us are upset because we do not get anything.  Some are upset because we get too much.  I am really confused as to what is the right thing to do.  They are going to look bad anyway.  I think that since she has so little money, and is still doing that much, it is a good thing.  I can also understand why you are feeling uncomfortable at the same time.  I would too.  But, by saying anything, you will hurt their feelings.  Maybe they do not want you to feel that they are giving less because they have less than you do.

RESPONSE:  Wanting Love and Respect, Not Money
I can think of worse things than being slipped a wad of cash.  A two year old may not know what to do with $150, but his mother would know it's good to start a college fund with.  It sounds to me like your MIL is just a woman who doesn't put importance on gifts, and perhaps thinks giving money instead will ensure that you DO get things you need and want.  Don't presume by their home that they aren't "well off".  By living below their means, they are able to give you those wads of cash.

RESPONSE:  Wanting Love and Respect, Not Money
This might be the way that she is expressing her love and respect.  She is willing to sacrifice (you said she has less than you), and provide you with what she can.  $150 for a baby can go into a college fund, as can all of the cash that she hands your husband.  I would thank her if I were you.  Monetary gifts are not unusual.

RESPONSE:  Wanting Love and Respect, Not Money
It sounds like your MIL at least is trying to show good will towards you, in the only way she seems to know how.  Maybe she's not perfect, but if my in-laws did that (and weren't mean to me in any other way), I'd think they were trying to be nice.

RESPONSE:  Wanting Love and Respect, Not Money
Maybe they just saved up their money, and they would rather give you cash than spend it on something that they think you may want.  It is rather strange that they have a cr@ppy car and live the way they do, but always have the big bucks for the occasions.  My parents have never made as much money as I do.  The two of them together have never made as much money as me.  They always have had a decent place to live, and my mother loves shopping at yard sales, etc., looking for treasures.  On the other hand, my DH's parents make good money, and are both college educated.  DH flat out refused to ask his parents for $1,500 for closing on our new house (we got all of it back at closing, so we could give it right back to them).  But, it was no problem for my parents.  My parents have money in their socks.  They have saved everything, since they never made great amounts of money.  And, they are slowly giving it to me and my sister, in small amounts.  They said, "Never mind about giving us back the $1,500."  But, I don't think his parents have $1,500 laying around to loan out, let alone to give flat out to us.  I guess the more you make, the more you spend.  My mom is so frugal.  And, I am thinking that maybe your MIL is the same way.  My mom will usually get me something like a nightgown and bath soap for Xmas, and my DH gets nuts and golf balls, or something, and each of our kids gets a toy.  Then, she will send a card with money in it.  The gift is just a thing to say, "I wanted to send something, but get what you really want with this."  I hope this helps you.  I usually blow off the gift and get right to the money.  But, it is my mom, so I can do that.  I know I hear about the NUTS for my DH before they even get here.  I feel that it is the thought that counts, and you can get something that you want with the cash.  NO BIG DEAL, right?

Worst gift:  What is it with MILs who are so thoughtless when giving gifts to their grandchildren????  My MIL gave my daughter a cute dress when she was 9 months old.  She NEVER told me that the dress was a hand-me-down, and I didn't think anything about the dress not having a tag on it (sometimes the tags fall off, right?).  I thanked her for thinking of my daughter (I was pleasantly surprised at her thoughtfulness, because my MIL had been against my husband and I marrying, because we are different races, and said she didn't want "slanty-eyed grandkids"), and I even sent her a thank-you note for the dress.  Well, imagine my SHOCK when, two months later, I was going through the family photo album and I saw an old picture of my husband's niece wearing that EXACT same dress - that picture was about 8 years old, and the niece was about the same age as my daughter was then - so the dress was about the same size!!!!!!!!!  There is NO WAY that my MIL had just happened to buy the exact same dress in the same size, 8 years later!!!!!  I would not have minded my daughter wearing a hand-me-down dress at all.  It was a cute dress, and it was in great condition - but why did my MIL knowingly pass the dress off as new??  That is the part that got me MAD!!!  I know my husband's sister gave a box of her daughter's old baby clothes to my husband's other sister (who had a daughter the same age as mine), and then that dress got tossed aside, because my stupid SIL is so into her color scheme that she wouldn't allow her fair-haired daughter to wear it, so they decided to pass that one dress off to my daughter.  Yes, they thought of my daughter (the one time they have!!!), but, then, my stupid MIL tried to pass the dress off as new to me!!!  I have saved that dress to this day (my daughter is now 10), just as a reminder of how awful my MIL is!!  Of course, this is only ONE of many stupid, thoughtless things she has done!

        Signed - I Kid You Not - My MIL Thinks She Is Jackie O.

RESPONSE From Poster:  I Kid You Not - My MIL Thinks She Is Jackie O.
I am the original poster of this story.  I just wanted to add that my DH eventually confronted my MIL about how she tried to pass the dress off as new.  She had NOTHING to say.  She didn't deny it at all, but she didn't apologize either!  I think she was TOTALLY embarrassed that she had been caught!!  She had not known that my husband's oldest sister had sent us a picture of his niece wearing that dress - so I am sure she must have flipped out when she realized we had caught her in a big lie.  Again, I have NOTHING against hand-me-downs (in fact, I wish my husband's oldest sister would think of us enough to have given us hand-me-downs over the years), but it just made me mad how my MIL tried to pass the dress off as new and never said word one to me - and, I had even gone so far as to write her a thank-you card for the dress!!

RESPONSE:  I Kid You Not - My MIL Thinks She Is Jackie O.
After reading your post, I really can't believe that you saved the dress.  So your MIL gave you a dress that used to be your niece's.  She passed it off as new.  And you're more upset about this than the fact that she told you she "didn't want slanty-eyed grandkids"?  I guess I think the dress is a nice gift, and your MIL is just a witch.

Worst gift:  One year at Christmas time, my monster-in-law asked me what my husband needed for Christmas.  I told her that he was in desperate need of new clothing.  On Christmas day, my husband opened his gift from his mother.  When he unwrapped the gift, he held up a black t-shirt with white letters inscribed reading "Beware of all enterprises that require new clothing".

        Signed - Beware

Worst gift:  My MIL once gave me a sexy nightgown (from a well known lingerie store) for my birthday, so that her son could have some fun.  Yuck, I immediately exchanged that.  Who wants to think about their MIL while in the bedroom!!!!?

        Signed - Sheesh!

RESPONSE:  Sheesh!
What a sick woman.

Worst gift:  My MIL gave me a toothbrush, toilet tissue, and a broom.  She said she gave me the toothbrush because it doesn't make any sense for my teeth to have that much butter on them.  She gave the toilet tissue because she says that my daughter doesn't wipe too well, and this should help, since it is softer.  My daughter is only 2.  And, she gave the broom because my house stays dirty, so I should sweep more often.  Ha, ha, ha, ha.  My house is always clean.  Her house is the one that stays dirty.  I mean, can you believe this?  Oh, yeah, for our wedding gift, she got my husband a suit, and she got me some loud, lime green socks with matching hair bows.

        Signed - MRS. DIRTY-HOUSE

Did you get married when you were 5?  Geez, socks with matching hair bows!

She sounds like a real witch.  But I will give her this, she is far more creative than my MIL.

Worst gift:  Many years ago, I gave my ex-boyfriend's mother a very nice plush robe, and her favorite perfume gift set.  I took a lot of time picking out her gifts.  Her church was selling small stuffed animals (like the ones in those amusement park booths that have the little crane that lifts the prize out).  That's what I received from her.  And, she didn't even bother to wrap it.

        Signed - Not Amused With Amusement Toys

RESPONSE:  Not Amused With Amusement Toys
What a lame-o.  For the next gift-giving occasion, give HER that cr@ppy stuffed animal, without wrapping paper.

Worst gift:  I can top all of those gifts.  I got nothing for Christmas, nothing for my birthday, and nothing for any occasion whatsoever.  I have been with her son for three years.  She tells me to come over so she can give me a gift, but she never has anything for me.  She is evil.  She even asked me to bring my own sandwich to a party that she was having.

        Signed - Deli-hater

RESPONSE:  Deli-hater
Next time she tells you to bring your own sandwich, bring a lovely tray of tea sandwiches.  All her guests will ooh and aah.  And, if she is stupid enough to say that she told you to bring YOUR OWN, everyone will see what a witch she really is!  It's a win, win situation!

RESPONSE:  Deli-hater
It sounds like my MIL while my DH and I were dating.  You are not alone.

Worst gift:  My husband and I shared our first Christmas together in 1997.  We each have a daughter from a previous marriage, and we were looking forward to spending our first big holiday together as a family.  We all planned to meet at my husbands aunt's home (she is a great person!).  Her sister, my MIL, is a major psycho flake (that's a whole other story).  First of all, she showed up 3 hours late, having just started her Christmas shopping 2 hours ago.  She can't go anywhere on time, since she must make an "entrance" to make sure that all eyes are on her.  She comes in dressed like a hooker (she's 49, has had 5 boob jobs, and has her bellybutton pierced - ok if you can pull it off, but she cant!), with gifts in various store bags, not wrapped, with tags still on them.  My stepdaughter was 5 at the time, and received about 15 pretty nice gifts (a fur cape with matching muffler, dress up jewelry, barbie dolls, etc.)!  When the time came to give my daughter her gift (she was 3), she handed her a box of old, ugly, USED hair bows that were made for an adult (hair was caught in the barrettes - MIL's hair, by the way).  That was it!  Thank God my daughter wasn't old enough to be concerned with what she received.  But, pleassssseee!!!  No thanks!  My poor husband was so embarrassed!  Not to be cr@ppy, but come on!  How about at least a coloring book, or a stuffed animal??  The best came when she gave me my gift!  It was a child's purse!  No joke!  It still had the 70% off tag on it, as well as the price tag ($2.99 before the discount!).  I could not believe it!  At least she could have given my daughter the kid's purse, and me the old crummy hair bows!  Luckily, because of her schizo personal life, she didn't show up for Christmas of 1998.  And, in 1999, she sent her presents with her daughter, and gave one to everyone BUT me.  No loss.  We moved out of state in 2000.  She sent presents to the girls, but nothing for myself or her son.  For the Christmas of 2001, she didn't even send anything for the girls - she said her personal life was too busy right now.  Whatever!  I can't tell you how happy I am that we moved!!

        Signed - MIL Thinks She's A Spice Girl

RESPONSE:  MIL Thinks She's A Spice Girl
I am so glad that you are away from MIL!  It sounds like you need the distance to shield your kids from her hurtful antics.  Have you tried explaining to them that grandmother is not always sure of what she's doing (i.e., she's nuts)?  Good luck!

Worst gift:  At my bridal shower, my MIL had given us a card that we opened after all our other gifts.  The gift was rather large, and was to be delivered to our home later, thus the card.  I had my DF read the card, because it was in our parents' native language ( I am fluent, but can't read her scribbles).  He read that his parents had purchased the surround sound speakers, stereo, TV, etc., for our home (WOW).  While he was reading the card, he said, "All the speakers, surround sound, TV AND our new home."  I quickly added in, "Wow, all the stereo (etc.) FOR our home!", thinking that what he had read was a mistake.  I grabbed the card after, and made out (in her chicken scratch) just what he had said.  His parents had helped us with our down payment for our home with the money from his (DF's) paycheck (family business) that they had saved, while he never saw a penny from age 15 to 23.  While this was a very smart, thoughtful, and generous thing for them to do, she tried to make it seem like our home was a gift from them - in front of our 100 close friends and relatives.  Imagine my embarrassment when I was explaining to all of my friends, and my side of the family, that our home was not a gift.  She purposely asked us to read the card out loud that day.  My poor mother was more mortified than I was.  To this day, over two years later, I still hear comments from people about my HUGE wedding shower gift.  I make it very clear that we bought our home, pay our mortgage, and made our down payment because my husband is a very hard worker, and was not a spoiled adolescent.  Am I being petty, crazy, or too sensitive to all of this?  My MIL drives me so crazy, but every time I write out one of my stories to post here, it sounds so stupid to me.  Maybe I'm making too much of her actions?

        Signed - MIL's "Now I Have A Daughter of My Own"

RESPONSE:  MIL's "Now I Have A Daughter of My Own"
You are in NO way making too much out of this!  How dare they:  A) Tell your business to everyone that way.  B) Make it seem like they gave you EVERYTHING you own.  I probably would have never spoken to them again after that.  That was done to show you up, and there was no need for that.  That is why it's bad to take things from ILs like them.  It is too late now, though.  What a b!tch!

RESPONSE:  MIL's "Now I Have A Daughter of My Own"
You're not silly.  Your MIL is crazy.  She should have more respect for you and your DH.  Although it was thoughtful of them to save money for DH for your down payment, the two of you acknowledged this and were grateful.  It is rude for them to take credit for the entire house, which you work hard to pay the mortgage on.

RESPONSE:  MIL's "Now I Have A Daughter of My Own"
People are idiots.  Just ignore them.  Who cares what others think about your home.  Relax and laugh it off.  You will find that it will bring less stress in your life.

Worst gift:  My MIL once gave me her "fat clothes" when I was pregnant.  She brought them over and said, "I think you should be able to wear these."  She totally ignored the fact that she is almost a foot shorter than I was, and that I weighed almost the same at the time.  I was too stunned to say anything.  They went in the trash, and then I cleaned out the refrigerator.  When I miscarried, she wanted the clothes back.  I told her that I gave them away, that they just didn't fit me right.

        Signed - Not Short or Fat

RESPONSE:  Not Short or Fat
Let me tell you that we are not here to please MIL.  And, I know that every woman has this very same problem.  So, do what you do best, and continue that, because you are going to be "you", no matter what happens.

Worst gift:  My MIL has gone from a size 8, to a size 4, in 3 years.  Always the fashionable type, she has offered her clothes to me, which were just from the previous catalog.  There was no problem, until I had her first grandchild.  She thinks she's too young to be a grandmother anyway.  I had a tough time to begin with, and had to be on bed-rest the last few weeks.  That took me to a size 10, I'm not complaining.  For Christmas, she gave me a new sweater that was a size 3.  Then, she told me that if it didn't fit, she would keep it and give me $20 to choose something for myself.  Since when can you buy a nice shirt for $20???

        Signed - Still Mystified

RESPONSE:  Still Mystified
How about getting one of the items from the MIL Mall on this site?  Wouldn't you just love to show it off to Your MIL?

Worst gift:  When DH and I married, MIL/FIL gave us $100.  One week later, on girlfriend of BIL's birthday, she was presented with a check for $500.  I don't care about the money, it was the symbolism that got me.  That Christmas, I was given a $20 gift certificate to a discount department store, while BIL's girlfriend was given a vacuum cleaner, new dishes, silverware for her home, and $300 to help her with her child from another man.  Not that I care about the money, again, the symbolism got me.  MIL gave me lingerie with a note saying, "Maybe you can get pregnant in this".  My husband and I have been trying to get pregnant for four years.  We go to professional fertility counselors.  I guess I felt like she was insinuating that it was my lack of being attractive to my husband that is the problem.  My husband helped me make the bonfire for that one.  We used it to decorate our Yule log - with the tags still attached.  P.S.   I Don't Like Her Either.

        Signed - Enough Symbolism - I'm Getting the Hint

RESPONSE:  Enough Symbolism - I'm Getting the Hint
This happens to me too - it is hurtful, and I dread Christmas, especially as this year I have to spend it with the ice queen!  Well, all I can say is that every time I am treated as "an unimportant person, who has no feelings", I just think "NURSING HOME FOR YOU!!"

Worst gift:  A book entitled, "How to Read and Why", for my thirtieth birthday.  I have expressed several times that we borrow books and read publications at the library because our apartment is too small to store books and periodicals, which my husband can't part with.  When they ask what we would like, we say, "no books or periodicals, please."  And then we suggest things that we do need, or we refer them to our bridal registry.  So, of course, 90% of their gifts are books and periodicals (which we like to read, but don't have room for).  I decided to have a sense of humor about it and join in the fun by giving my atheist FIL the book, "Was Darwin Right?"  He was too disturbed to finish reading it, but that didn't stop him from angry criticism.  The second worst gift would be a popcorn bowl and movie book since they know I'm deathly allergic to corn, I got 20 bowls for wedding presents, and don't care much for movies.  It is a lovely bowl and a fun idea, but it takes up 4 square feet and has never been used.  I got her a bottle of "Gloom Away" bubble bath to make her feel better, in light of her infernal complaints and guilt trips about how we just don't spend enough time and attention on them (six weeks a year is not enough).  She informed me later that she was allergic to bubble bath, so I guess we're even.  Most of their gifts have been very nice.  But the most insidious is that when we don't go home for Christmas Day (even if we visited just before or after, bearing expensive gifts), they don't give us the $1000 they give to their other children (who don't have to spend $1000 traveling to have a bad time with them).  And they wonder why we don't visit more?

        Signed - Illiterately Yours

Worst gift:  My MIL loves going to the local thrift shop.  She made me a gift of a container of dried hot pepper flakes.  It had been opened, and all but one inch in the bottom of the container was used.

        Signed - Long-suffering DIL

RESPONSE:  Long-suffering DIL
Puh-leeeese!  That had to be an insult.  From now on, let DH buy gifts for her, from HIM.  Leave your name off of the gift tag.  If she improves, you could give her gifts again.

Worst gift:  Two years ago my MIL gave my 7 year old son a block of cheese for his birthday.  The price of the cheese was $5.69.  That was the only thing he got from her.  The next year he got 2 bed pillows.  She has so much money, and I don't understand why she buys the things she does.  For Christmas, I get things from the dollar store, and gifts that other people gave her the year before.  This year I got a VERY dirty, old, greasy cartoon character stained glass pitcher that had been sitting on top of the refrigerator.  How can I get her to stop?  I even tell her what the kids would want.

        Signed - Very Cheap Gifts

RESPONSE:  Very Cheap Gifts
Put it all in a gift bag, and give it back to her on Mother's Day.  ROFLMAO.

RESPONSE:  Very Cheap Gifts
Do you think the woman has all her marbles?  Not to be disrespectful, but this stuff is so weird that I wonder if she is deteriorating mentally.  Good luck!

RESPONSE:  Very Cheap Gifts
I would have made MIL a cheese sandwich, using the block of cheese, and then I would have saved it in the freezer to give to her for Christmas.  What a heartless witch!!  Maybe you should save everything she gives you guys in a huge storage container, and just give it all back to her.  Add a nice big red ribbon on top.  It's a shame that she disrespects you and your son that way.  I sure wouldn't spend a dime on her.  She's just mean.

Worst gift:  Christmas, 1999, my husband and I had been married for 9 months.  We gathered around the tree, and MIL began passing out presents.  She handed me a nicely wrapped box.  I opened it, and inside I found COLD CREAM!!  I did not know whether to laugh or cry!  She kept repeating that her mother swears by it.  I was 24 at this time.  Do I really need to use the same remedy that her 80 year old mother uses??  Good Grief!  Of course, everyone else (all her children, I am the only "outsider"), received lovely gifts.  And I just sat and watched everyone open theirs!!

        Signed - She's My Monster-In-Law

RESPONSE:  She's My Monster-In-Law
To be fair, my own mother used to get me to smear cold cream on my face at age 12!  The old-school moms think this is the way to keep skin youthful.  Maybe she cares for you a little bit.

Worst gift:  I have been married to my husband for 3 years, and we are very happy together.  We don't have kids yet, but we do want them in a few years.  I'm 27 and he's 28, so it's not like it is now or never.  My MIL is always asking when we're going to get her some more grandkids.  For Christmas last year, MIL gave me a trashy lingerie teddy.  It was not something nice, but it was discount store quality, and trailer trash style.  She enclosed a note, and made the remark, when I unwrapped it, that maybe this would help get her some grandkids, since, obviously, I was not working on it.  His whole family was there, and I was tremendously embarrassed.  I could not say anything other than a polite "thanks".  My SIL noticed that, about twenty minutes later, I was "still a little red in the checks", and that it was OK.  This was no longer from being embarrassed - it was RAGE.  I spent most of the day in a back bedroom with a headache, not entirely untrue.  I left the present at her home on "accident".  She mailed it to me the next day.  I don't know anyone trashy enough to give it to, so I threw it out.  My husband explained to her how this had hurt my feeling, but she just dismissed how I felt, and said that there must be some reason why I was not pregnant yet.  I don't want to explain to her that it's called "birth control", not celibacy.  It has been over four months, and I'm still mad.  I have not spoken to her since, except to hand the phone to my husband when she calls.  Her gift told me that she considers me needing help to entice her son (I don't).  Second, this "gift" had no thought, is cheap, and the motive is for her benefit.  I have a nice collection of lingerie that works very well, and I'm built very nicely, so I don't need help in getting him interested.  Third, it's none of her damn business when we have kids.  I've since found out that both my MIL and SIL were pregnant when they got married.  My inclination is to send her a vibrator next year, and let her open it in front of the family.  But, I don't want to hurt my husband.  I hope my husband inherited more from his late father that his mother.  Now, I see my late FIL took the easy way out.

        Signed - Classy Lady in the South

RESPONSE:  Classy Lady in the South
Well, you have my sympathy and commiseration.  Have you seen the posts by some of us who wrote in (apparently this is a common thing!) about our MILs who gave us their own sleazy "honeymoon" lingerie?  Mine was one of those MILs.  She coyly gave me this utterly cheap dime store negligee that she had worn on her honeymoon, saying, "I don't know if this would fit YOU.  I was VERY SLIM."  I am not heavy; and she's twice my size!  I THOUGHT, but didn't say, "That's ok.  I usually like my clothes in nicer fabrics."  Why do MILs think they have to give us lingerie (especially their own old, tacky lingerie)?  As one poster just wrote a few days ago, who wants to think of her MIL (YUCK!!) in the BEDROOM?  I was very annoyed with your MIL, reading your post - how irritating.  This is one way not to endear yourself to your DIL (if you are a MIL)!

RESPONSE:  Classy Lady in the South
How awful!  I am glad to hear that DH called MIL on her despicable gift.  However, please don't send her a nasty gift as revenge.  I think you are half-kidding anyway!  Hang in there.

RESPONSE:  Classy Lady in the South
You are not alone out there!  My FMIL and FFIL are of the same stock as your MIL.  My fiancé and I have been constantly badgered by them about having children, since six months after we met.  I was still in college then, but that did not seem to be a problem to them.  My fiancé had his degree (and I should only be thankful if he supported me)!  A degree and a job for me was just a waste, in their opinion.  We do not want children at all, and we both agree upon that decision.  Never once have they asked us if we WANT, or whether we are ABLE TO have children at all.  They just ask us WHEN, and keep slipping us slimy comments about it.  I have been asked by my FFIL to pull up my shirt for them to inspect my stomach (at one time, they felt that it must be time for me to be pregnant).  FMIL constantly asks, "Isn't your tummy getting rounder?"  I am NOT fat (some people would even say I am underweight), and we happen to live in a cold country where sweaters are worn most of the year (which should account for some "roundness" of shape in everyone).  Several times she has asked me (like she has forgotten), "How OLD are you, again?", to remind me that it is time to get pregnant.  I was born in the same year as one of her sons, so why is that so hard to remember?  When I answer, she says, "MY, you are so OLD.  How about that!"  And FFIL chimes in with, "What an old HAG!" (I was 28-31 years old at these occasions).  FMIL has asked her friends to help with the nagging (and they do, believe me!).  At a huge birthday party in the family, 80(!) of their friends and relatives sang songs about how FMIL and FFIL were now only waiting for a grandchild (and everyone was looking at my fiancé and me).  When I got a job, FMIL expressed hopes that I would soon be unemployed (to start breeding, of course).  She points at children coming by and says, "Look at that one closely.  We want one of those!"  One year, I got a card with a baby on it for Valentine's Day!  No, FMIL is not the sentimental kind who usually sends Valentine's day cards to anyone.  But I suppose that she couldn't resist when she found that one.  FMIL and FFIL keep bringing my fiancé's old toys whenever they visit, just to remind us of our "duties".  I AM NOT THEIR BREEDING COW!  Well, because of all of this, I don't see FMIL and FFIL at all.  My fiancé can see them whenever he wants to, but by himself.  Believe me, it is the one single decision in my life that has lead to the greatest improvement of my life!  I sincerely recommend it!  The backside is, of course, that we cannot have a big wedding, as my fiancé would want to invite his parents to it.  Our wedding has been postponed indefinitely.  Well, it is possible to live together.  So why should I stand the humiliation (maybe even at a wedding) from them, just for the sake of a wedding?

Worst gift:  This has got to be one of the WORST GIFTS ever received!  I've received a lot of strange and bad gifts for Christmas from MIL in the past.  And, I've learned to laugh at them, and (upon returning home from visiting her) toss them into a box labeled "Yard Sale".  My husband and I have been married almost five years, and we dated a couple of years prior to that.  The first Christmas that I was dating my husband, I already knew that my future MIL did not really like me because I wasn't just like her.  Well, I didn't expect a gift from her, but I received a pair of knit stirrup pants and a matching sweater.  Not bad, but I look horrid in knit pants, and never wear them.  AND, the knit stirrup pants had a four inch hole down the seam of the leg.  I simply gave these things away.  The next year, I RECEIVED THE EXACT same thing, but in just a different color.  It was funny to me.  Well, after marrying my husband, I learned that my MIL had been secretly talking to my husband and telling him that she didn't want to spend too much money on me for anything.  There was the year (while dating) that she convinced him not to buy me roses for Valentine's because "they are too expensive", or the time she told him that we shouldn't have our wedding reception at the place I wanted to have it because it was "too expensive, and she (me) is being unreasonable and spoiled".  The year she convinced him to not buy me roses on Valentine's day was the year that he was all the way across the country, and had to rely on her to get me a gift for some reason.  He entrusted her to buy me a gift from him (what a mistake!), and I got a nondescript sweatshirt that cost $3 from one of those "outlet stores" that sets up shop for a month, then closes.  That all hurt my feelings, and I learned to laugh at it.  And since then, I received the same exact gifts two years in a row, because she forgot, OR because she knows that I'll just say, "Thanks!", and my husband will say, "Mom, you got that for her last year!"  And his mom replies, "Well, give it back, and I'll get you something else."  Then, she conveniently forgets to get me anything else.  So, I basically do not receive a gift.  It is no skin off my back, because I personally think she has awful taste.  She also has this thing where she insists that we give her a list of things we want for Christmas (which I think is rude to insist that I have this or that, but I also respect that she says it helps her to shop more easily).  Well, when she gets our lists, she makes fun of mine in front of the whole family, and says things like, "I don't buy nonfunctional, impractical items."  Or, "What would you do with that?"  Or, "That's way too expensive!"  She just does this to me, and not my SIL who is "perfect" in my MIL's eyes.  Well, that's nothing.  One year, I had "thermal underwear for snowskiing" as a really practical item on my Christmas list for my MIL.  My husband had taught me to snow ski while we were vacationing with his family, since his family skied, and my family did not.  My MIL took a lot of pride in thinking that her family had taught me something, and had given me opportunities that my family had not.  So I thought she'd be open to the idea of buying me something that she had a part in.  Guess what she gave me?  THERMAL UNDERWEAR.  The old fashioned kind.  A pair of men's waffle weave thermals that had belonged to her now deceased father (they were yellowed from age).  She also pointed out how she'd sewn up the fly/crotch for me so they'd be more feminine.  I received a few other knickknacks, but guess what my in-laws bought for my SIL?  A brand new pair of water skis.  By the way, my in-laws are upper middle class, and have a brand new home that is over 4000 sq. ft. on a lake.

        Signed - I Know They Don't Like Me, But I Don't Like Them Either

RESPONSE:  I Know They Don't Like Me, But I Don't Like Them Either
Keep laughing!!!!

RESPONSE:  I Know They Don't Like Me, But I Don't Like Them Either
I'll tell you what I'd write on my Christmas "want" list this year if I were you:  "I just want two things:  Your love, and your respect.  And if I can't get love, I'll be happy to settle for some respect."  And I would NEVER go through that performance again!!!!!!

RESPONSE:  I Know They Don't Like Me, But I Don't Like Them Either
On the next Christmas list, put down nothing for you.  Don't even spend Christmas with them again.  Or you can put down "MIL stay away".  Wouldn't that be the best gift of all?  She sounds like a rude lady, who is walking all over you.

Worst gift:  That would be our engagement present.  My family gave us a really expensive silver pie knife, wine glasses, and a set of plates (of the more expensive sort).  And, what did my dear, dear MIL give us?  A SHEET!!!  It was white and yellow.  I do like the color, but c'mon.  Plus, it was meant for a narrow bed, and ours was a king size!  She downplayed the other gifts, and said that hers was the best, because we would have use for it (as a picnic blanket maybe??!!).  I've since then divorced my DH, and almost gotten rid of his mom as well.  She, every now and then, calls me when she's drunk and cries over losing me(!!).  She used to badmouth me about the way I took care of my pets and her baby (a man who was over 20 years of age), and the way I didn't keep our house clean enough.  And, after she'd sobered up, she'd wonder why I was hurt.  If she knew I was working a double shift, she'd come over and "clean" our house.  That meant that she changed the places of the furniture, and just about everything, and threw away my things.  And later, she'd complain about how much work it had been!  And, the way she held onto her only son was amazing - after DH and I had been living together for over 2 years, she said, "I'm starting to realize that he doesn't live here anymore."  The next time I get involved with someone, the MIL better behave, or else.

        Signed - I Divorced My Husband and MIL

Worst gift:  A number of years ago, my SIL gave my daughters, then 12 and 11, some very interesting gifts for Christmas.  She gave the eldest a used ashtray and a memory game (bought at a garage sale for 25 cents - the masking tape price was still on it).  And, to the youngest, she gave a worn, stained, ladies red polyester vest and 3 pens.  Thankfully, my children took it very well.  And, every year the joke was to save those presents and open them together - knowing they would be REALLY bad and worth the laugh!

        Signed - The Bad Ash Tray Present for Christmas

RESPONSE:  The Bad Ash Tray Present for Christmas
I'd consider making a gift certificate on your computer for SIL - for a free Cat Scan of her head!  LOL!

RESPONSE:  The Bad Ash Tray Present for Christmas
Your MIL gave a pre-teenager an ashtray?!?!?!  Why didn't she include the cigarettes to start her off nice and young?  Dear God!  My DH and SIL told me that when they were in high school, MIL stuffed their stockings at Christmas with condoms.  MIL told them to keep them on hand at all times because, "You never know when you're going to have sex."  Both our MILs are idiots!

Worst gift:  Assume my married last name is Smith.  MIL gave us a cookbook that she made and titled, "Smith Family and Friends Recipes".  I had been married to DH for five years.  The cookbook contained recipes from all her children and some friends.  Not one recipe in there had my name on it.  One of the recipes that she listed under her daughter's name was a recipe that I brought to family functions many times.  I was glad to know that I am not considered to be a friend.  But, I was hurt to know that I am not considered family though.

        Signed - May MIL's Dishes Keep Tasting Like The Vomit They Always Have

RESPONSE:  May MIL's Dishes Keep Tasting Like The Vomit They Always Have
Wow!  Are you my long lost twin?  Just last Christmas, my MIL made up a similar cookbook and gave it to all the young women in the family, including a copy to me.  She made an introduction page, on which she talked about the importance of family love and acceptance.  She then signed the page, "Love, MIL, FIL, DD and DS."  Not only did she leave out BIL and other IL's names, she used SIL's maiden name instead of her married name.  Just like you, a recipe that originated in MY family got into that cookbook, and she took all the credit for it!  As for the remainder of the recipes, I think she pulled them out of thin air.  I've been married to my DH for 5 years, and I have never, ever seen her make one of these so-called vintage family recipes.  To tell you the truth, I don't even know where I put the darn cookbook!

Worst gift:  My worst MIL gift came on my first Christmas with my husband's family.  I had been shopping with my MIL a few months before Christmas, and I made the fatal mistake of eating a grape in the store.  She shot me a look, and made a comment about it.  A few weeks prior to that, my DH and I were returning home from a trip and stopped in a rest area gas station.  It was the middle of the night and nothing was open, so I grabbed an egg salad sandwich from the shelf.  I tasted it to make sure it was fresh, and of course it wasn't.  I wasn't sure if the clerk would try to make me pay for it since I bit into it, so I wrapped it up and put it back.  Now it was Christmas time, and my MIL decided that we had to guess our gifts before we would be able to open them.  When it was my turn, she handed me a gift bag.  It was wrapped with tissue paper, so I couldn't see inside.  I started to feel the outside of the bag and shake it a bit.  As I was shaking it, this awful smell came from inside.  After guessing for a few minutes, she told me that I would never guess it, and to go ahead and open it.  Inside there were several items wrapped in tissue paper.  I opened the first one to find some grapes in a bag that had little bites taken out of them.  The second one was a half eaten, rancid egg salad sandwich.  I didn't give her the satisfaction of opening the rest.  Everyone else got normal gifts, and I was left to be the laugh of her day.  Little did she know that she screwed herself out of getting nice gifts from me.  Thereafter, I started buying the figurines that I had started collecting for her at holiday time for myself, and I gave her something that I knew she wouldn't want, and couldn't return!

        Signed - Again I Got the Last Laugh

RESPONSE:  Again I Got the Last Laugh
What was your MIL doing in your house without your knowledge anyway?

RESPONSE:  Again I Got the Last Laugh
In one way, I don't blame your MIL for doing what she did.  I can't believe that you would think it was ok to take a bite out of a sandwich in a shop, and wrap it back up for someone else to buy!!!!!!  I feel kind of sick after reading what you did.

RESPONSE:  Again I Got the Last Laugh
Yuck!  Why on earth would you put a sandwich, that you had bitten into, back on the shelf?  Why not bring it to the attention of the clerk?  Both you and your MIL are in need of some manners.

RESPONSE:  Again I Got the Last Laugh
You eat stuff in stores that you haven't paid for?  I don't really blame her for making fun of you.  I would too.  Do you know how many germs would be on an unwashed grape in the store?  And, why would you bite a sandwich and then put it back?  That is disgusting.  Basic manners should prevent you from doing such things.  I would have been horrified had I seen someone behave that way.

RESPONSE:  Again I Got the Last Laugh
Thank God she's not my MIL.  I probably would have resorted to violence!

RESPONSE:  Again I Got the Last Laugh
It was a horrific present that she gave you, but I would not want to be the person who bought that sandwich after you did.  There are ways of figuring out if something is fresh, and they don't involve tasting the item.  I can understand why she was appalled at your behavior.

RESPONSE:  Again I Got the Last Laugh
Although I agree that your MIL's gift was childish and stupid, I must say that I found your behavior a little questionable as well.  I think that almost everyone has eaten a grape in a store - no big deal.  But, to take a bite out of a sandwich, realize it had gone bad, wrap it up, and put it back???  I feel that this is strange as well.  I mean common sense should have told you that they aren't going to make you pay for it, but the nice thing to do would have been to bring it to the store clerk's attention.  I am not trying to be mean, and your MIL does seem a bit off her rocker, but I still think that what you did is strange.  Good Luck!!

RESPONSE:  Again I Got the Last Laugh
Good grief, how tacky can you get?  No, dear, I'm not talking about your MIL, I'm talking about YOU.  While Christmas isn't really the most appropriate time for her to have tried to "teach you a lesson", I really can't totally fault her for it.  Taking a bite out of a sandwich and just putting it back on the shelf is DISGUSTING!  I mean, did you really expect to find a gourmet meal at a gas station?  Give me a break!

RESPONSE:  Again I Got the Last Laugh
Even though your MIL's gift to you was totally wrong, what you did was absolutely disgusting.  Taking a bite out of a sandwich, and then wrapping it up and putting it back on a store shelf is just plain tacky.

RESPONSE:  Again I Got the Last Laugh
Wow!  Sorry to hear that she did that to you!  Isn't it sick how our in-laws feel it necessary to humiliate us!  You know, my SIL and BIL used to walk around our house and look in our windows.  So, I got shades and curtains that weren't easy to see through.  My MIL told people that I am paranoid, and trying to hide in my house!!!!  Yeah, right lady!!!!  Maybe we all would just like a little bit of privacy and security in OUR OWN HOMES!

RESPONSE:  Again I Got the Last Laugh
Wow, you sound like a nightmarish MIL-in-training!

RESPONSE:  Again I Got the Last Laugh
I do not understand why your MIL felt the need to be your "judge and jury" in such a way.  It sounds like she is a pretty, rotten person herself.  But, I also do not understand your actions.  Do you do realize that you were wrong in both of the incidents that you mentioned before you told us about the gifts you got?  What you did both times was dishonest.  Doing it in front of such a MIL was like waving a red cape in front of a bull.  I don't mean this in a mean way, so please keep that in mind as you read this.  It sounds like you and MIL are pretty well matched.  It sounds like you will give as good as you get from her.  So, that should help you feel better.  Good luck.

RESPONSE:  Again I Got the Last Laugh
Although I don't agree with your MIL's gifts, tasting food and putting it back on the shelf is disgusting.  Shame on you.

Worst gift:  This is a classic of my MIL.  I got nothing - no card, no call saying happy birthday, not one thing.  It was not even an afterthought, because I thought that in a couple days she would call and tell me that she forgot.  But, I got NOTHING.  I wasn't looking for a gift, but if she has no money for a gift, she could have called me (for goodness sakes) and wished me a happy birthday.  Some of you might not think that it is too bad, but that's not the best part of the story.  Keep in mind that my birthday is in May, and hers is in September.  That same year, her birthday fell on a weekday.  Knowing I work two jobs and so does my husband, we worked around our schedules to get to her house in the evening, because it was her 50th birthday.  She was nowhere to be found.  We had a cake and presents for her also.  After "tracking" her down, she was extremely mad at us because we did not contact her sooner.  And, she thought that we "forgot" that it was her 50TH BIRTHDAY!!!!  Who is forgetful again????????????

        Signed - Forgetful Birthday Wishes

RESPONSE:  Forgetful Birthday Wishes
Do you mean she owes it to you to be home on her birthday, when you haven't planned ahead with her to come over?  Maybe she had other plans!  I don't think you have the right to be angry with her for not being home when you decided to stop by.  My ILs do that on my birthday.  They come by expecting a party.  I'm not somebody who likes a big fuss on my birthday.  I wish I could trade their behavior with your MIL's behavior.  We'd each appreciate it more the other way!

RESPONSE:  Forgetful Birthday Wishes
I agree that her ignoring your birthday is inexcusably rude.  But, did you call ahead and tell her you were coming, or did you just drop in?  It's not too much of a stretch to think that she might have made plans to go out on her 50th birthday, and wouldn't be sitting around the house.  However, if she was having a birthday party, she could've invited you, if she wished.

Worst gift:  Well, speaking of cheap gifts, my MIL gave me a travel size pack of bath wash.  Top that.

        Signed - LOVE THOSE GIFTS

Worst gift:  I received this Christmas "gift" from my own mother.  But, it still bothers me, as it is so typical of her narcissism.  To give some background, my mother has always preferred buying things at thrift stores and yard sales, because "new things are too expensive, and aren't worth what the stores charge for them."  So, I knew, as soon as I opened this Christmas present, where it had come from.  It was blue, fake fur, and the style was at least 10 years out of date.  It was hideous, and I wouldn't have liked it even when it was new.  My opinion showed in my face before I could catch myself, and she got upset.  She insisted that she would return it, then pouted for the rest of the evening.  Even when I was a teenager and very self-conscious about my appearance, she would insist on buying me clothes that were either used, or from the discount store.  She has done the same thing with other people, never realizing that they will be able to tell that the items aren't new, and might not exactly be appreciative.  It isn't that she can't afford new things - she's just CHEAP.  I have been aware for years that my mother is deliberately ignorant of social customs, so I am now prepared to react neutrally at gift-giving times.  She has never had a clue about my personal taste, or anyone else's.  And, she assumes that I, and everyone else, will like the same things that she does.  I donate them to charity, and keep my fingers crossed that she won't ask about them.

        Signed - The Salvation Army Adores Me

RESPONSE:  The Salvation Army Adores Me
Have you ever received anything from her that you had donated previously?

RESPONSE:  The Salvation Army Adores Me
My mom has similar habits because she grew up in a poor household.  There was very little money for things like gifts and nice clothes.  Maybe your mom's background causes her to be a bit of a tightwad?

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