To not want to be repeatedly bulldozed into receiving gifts I have already said nicely that I do not want

(163 Posts)
DontMentionThePrunes Sun 13-Oct-13 18:22:40

The backstory to this is that my MIL will NEVER, EVER take no for an answer, even if for a very good reason. She does not give up, never mind if it's an important thing or a completely trivial thing, she won't accept no.

She is obsessed with tulip bulbs. Last month she rang to ask if I would like some pots of tulip bulbs which would sit in the garden and flower in spring. Ordinarily I would say yes, thank you; but we are moving soon with luck, and so this year I would like one less thing to bother about etc. (Also, I just don't really care for them, and we have talked about that before. It's just a question of taste really. I haven't been rude about it but I have said I really don't love bulbs.)

So when she asked, I explained clearly that I didn't want extra pots in the garden this year because of the move.

DS visited her today and was not supposed to tell me but has spent the afternoon potting tulip bulbs as a present from him to me.

Before you answer, please consider that this has happened again, again, again, over and over: I say 'no thanks because X' and I find she has gone behind my back to make sure my response is disregarded. Also, even if you like tulips, that's not the point grin

AIBU to feel completely undermined, furious at not being allowed to say a polite 'no thank you, for X very good and clear reason' and doubly furious that she is using my son as a way around my very reasonable refusal?

DontMentionThePrunes Thu 17-Oct-13 14:35:18

lol at HangingGardenBabbysBum (I haven't got your name right I am sure)
Pam Ayres lives! Brilliant and gave me a good laugh.

I've calmed down a lot since I said I was going to have a sarcastic tattoo blush
But am still in the zone as it's half term here and two weeks ago she promised to spend time with ds: guess what eh? Silence.

Everything's for show. It's so sad. When she's being genuine (she can, I think) she's actually very warm and nice. Shame she can't seem to do anything these days without it all being a facade for something else. I'm sure she speaks equally highly of me too.

DontMentionThePrunes Thu 17-Oct-13 14:39:51

girlywhirly the trouble with the furniture is that it genuinely is 'family' stuff and when I once had the temerity to say that none of her children were going to have a bigger house than their parents so if she was feeling that the attic full of furniture was oppressing her maybe it was time to sell it on....It was NOT pretty. I was just fed up of hearing her going on about it, knowing that my own house was full of it as well. (This is really ungrateful-sounding, it was so so helpful when we started out, it's just that we can't buy a bigger place than we have, unless we sell our firstborn.) "I feel I am a custodian" she says <rolls eyes until they break>

Time for a MN haiku?

Poisoned chalice tulip
pot. I respond
with glyphosate

girlywhirly Thu 17-Oct-13 17:12:48

Perhaps then it is up to DH to hand the furniture back or get her to take over the storage costs. Why must you be the bad guy?

DontMentionThePrunes Thu 17-Oct-13 17:15:18

Yes that is an excellent point.

Badvoc Thu 17-Oct-13 17:24:41

Yeah...my mil crocheted a blanket for ds2. Even though I don't like crochet. Even though I had all the blankets from ds1.
It is now in the loft somewhere as I can't throw it out - last time I tried to get rid of it I put loads of stuff in bin bags for dh to take to the charity shop. Did he? Did he hell. He took them to his parents house so they would take them.
But of course first they rifled through it all and lo and behold there was the bloody blanket.
That was an awkward conversation smile
"Gosh, how did that get in there!?"
She tied to give me lace doilies not long ago. Had to be firm on that one.

Loopytiles Thu 17-Oct-13 18:01:33

Your DH is part of the problem here!

DoubleFunMum Fri 18-Oct-13 00:12:26

Ah, the fiendish MIL power games! Well I think I'm appreciating the tips on how to deal with it as much as the OP so thanks mumsnetters! My MIL's most recent piece of master manipulation was to buy my DH & I a weekend away for our wedding anniversary. Lovely you might think, yes and oh so convenient that she will have to have overnight my 9month old twins who I have been resisting letting her have overnight since the day they came home it seems. Sigh.

DoubleFun - the kids need to go with you sadly, don't they. To make the point. Or stay with a family-neutral friend if possible so it doesn't go into your mum vs my mum debate.

Ah well, enjoy it anyway.

Fantail Fri 18-Oct-13 08:29:54

My MIL does this, with kiwi fruit, avocado and honey. Despite being told that kiwi fruit gives DH & DD eczema (but its good Vit C dear) and DH not liking avocado. We o eat honey, but not several kilos a year!

DontMentionThePrunes Fri 18-Oct-13 08:36:27

The thing with DH is that yes he is part of the problem, but things have previously been a lot better with MIL. It's fair enough that she comes to me about some things directly, gives things to me, that I deal with some aspects of the family relationship: I don't mind that. I DO mind when things are going wrong and he thinks I am being hysterical and won't accept that she's bulldozing me.

He has managed to tell her that I definitely don't like some things (eg the flamingo she - a total garden snob! - got me for my garden, as though she has all the taste and I have none so that's ok!) and atm is doing good work rebuilding things between her and ds.

He just will not accept things that aren't obvious to him. It makes me very cross but then I realise I should be ignoring things a lot more than I do. Tulips for example.

Why don't you donate the tulips to your nearest church for decorating around the flowerbeds there? I'm sure they would love some!

As for the furniture that you are now storing using in your house, my suggestion is to either buy (yes you read that right) it from your inlaws so that it is yours to do whatever you want with or buy furniture more to your tastes and then you will have no option but to return the furniture to your inlaws (with a massive bunch of flowers I'd be brave and recommend tulips as thanks for loaning it to you).

Just my two cents worth.

Best of luck whatever you end up doing!

girlywhirly Fri 18-Oct-13 13:08:54

Re: the furniture. Could you spur DH into action by quoting the annual amount you are paying for it's storage, and then suggest what you could have spent it on instead, family treats, outings, holiday spends etc. Also the total amount you have spent since the storage began, on furniture you now have no use or room for, and ask why his mother should not take over the storage fees if she is desperate to keep the items? They are still hers after all, they were just a loan until you didn't need them.

It's a bit like forgotten direct debits that are still going out of peoples bank accounts, sort of out of sight out of mind.

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