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to be upset by my birthday present

(34 Posts)
teaand5biscuits Sun 20-Oct-13 18:27:23

I know I am probably being unreasonable and irrational so I am hoping you will all kick me up the arse

My mum came round for my birthday and she has bought me a 6 month gym membership.

This has really upset me, my mum has always been obsessed with my weight when I was a teenager she used to say things such as "you have put on weight" "you aren't fit so what is the point" " when I was your age I was so much smaller than you" and it made me really self-conscious and if anything it just made it worse because I used to eat to either make myself feel better or because I didn't see the point anymore.

Plus she knows that going to the gym is the last thing I would enjoy I hated sports growing up and I am pretty rubbish at anything physical I walk the dog and take my DCs out but structured stuff isn't my thing.

I feel like she is again making another passive aggressive comment about my weight and it has been on my mind all day.

lagoonhaze Sun 20-Oct-13 18:29:03

My mother did this!

You are not alone. The older wiser me would have pulled her up on it.

The younger me just went along with it.

FunkyBoldRibena Sun 20-Oct-13 18:30:06

Happy Birthday - it's mine today too.

I got a £20 cheque. Which I never cash.

Not much you can do about it is there? Just sigh and either use it or don't.

Pinupgirl Sun 20-Oct-13 18:32:52

No yanbu-it was very rude of her to give you this as a present with no discussion. She was clearly trying to make a point in a very arsey pa manner.

My mum was very similar when I was growing up-always comparing me to my super slim sister or saying I would be beautiful if I lost a stonehmm

I was very slim btw!

I would tell your mum that this present is no good to you and can she get a refund so that you can choose something you really want.

Gym?-yuk. I couldn't stand it either. Swimning once a week and a dance class is quite enough exercise for moi!

HavantGuard Sun 20-Oct-13 18:36:01

Happy Birthday.

You can either be upset quietly, but it sounds like the has just led to her escalating from comments to a gym membership, or return it to her. Tell her that you are upset by her negative comments and see this as yet another criticism. Tell the gym to take your details out of their system and to send it all to her address.

teaand5biscuits Sun 20-Oct-13 18:36:19

I would tell her that I don't want it but she will get upset and grumpy and say I am ungrateful.

teaand5biscuits Sun 20-Oct-13 18:41:06

Plus telling her she is upsetting me just leads to her being defensive and argumentative saying that I get upset easily and it's my fault and I am just imagining things from my teenage years.

FortyDoorsToNowhere Sun 20-Oct-13 18:43:21

Does the gym have a sauna, steam room ect.

sapfu Sun 20-Oct-13 18:44:04

Do they have a cafe that sells coffee and cake?

That's the bit of the gym I use most.....blush

If it does, gleefully tell your mum they do the most amazing muffins and pastries etc. No of course mum I don't use the gym or the pool, I hate exercise, you know that. But thanks for the membership because those lardy cakes are to die for.

teaand5biscuits Sun 20-Oct-13 18:51:31

sapfu I like that idea grin

I think the gym has a steam room so I guess I could go mooch in there and then have cake smile

Mia4 Sun 20-Oct-13 18:52:58

That's not nice at all OP, like a bit slapping hint. Does it have a jacuzzi/hot tub or pool in it?

Fuzzysnout Sun 20-Oct-13 18:55:12

Your mum does not sound very kind. However now you have the membership why not give it a try.

I was very non sporty as a youngster & still am as an adult but did once join the gym -when I had more money than now-- and to my surprise, loved it.

I loved the pool (advanced doggy paddle is my only stroke) and even the exercise machines where they give you your own programme & you can do what you like at your own pace. I never did any classes & just enjoyed the relaxation.

One thing that shocked me was how diverse the other members were - all shapes & sizes / abilities & how little anyone is bothered about what anyone else does.

Of course you could just tell your mum to shove it & that would be understandable, but why let her worry you ? If you give it a go you might love it or hate it but it would be your choice then, not hers.

Iamsparklyknickers Sun 20-Oct-13 18:59:06

I think you should give it a go - you never know they might do a lovely relaxing yoga session. Follow that up with a little swim, steam and muffin that sounds blissful!

Tell your mum you only go for the steam and muffin though, and to pinch towels.

bigbluebus Sun 20-Oct-13 19:03:37

I agree this is a rather tactless present as it was bought without you hinting at wanting it.
However, I agree with Fuzzy, give it a try - you might be surprised.

My DH was forced to bid for bought a gym membership at a promise auction. He said he hated gyms and didn't want to go. He had never like sport/PE at school either. I persuaded him to go and try the gym out. After the 1st session, he said it was OK, after the 2nd he quite enjoyed it. 7 years later he has gone from being a complete couch potato to loving going to the gym (both for the social aspect and the exercise )and now runs 5k & 10k races. He is much fitter and healthier, and it has encourage sport and PE hating teenage DS to join the gym and run too.

Aniseeda Sun 20-Oct-13 19:07:23

Oh heck I can really see why you are upset. I get this a bit with my mum.

I would go and see what the gym is like though. I hate most sports but I'd love to be able to go swimming somewhere that isn't my local council baths with their smelly changing rooms!

CHERRYBL0SS0M Sun 20-Oct-13 19:10:42

After the initial 6 months, are u going to have to start paying? In my experience most gyms

Sinful1 Sun 20-Oct-13 19:11:03

Take it, go to the gym, perve on the fit blokes then a nice soak in the jacuzzi or the steam room, maybe a little turn in the sauna before relaxing in the pool.

Think of it as a 6 month spa membership.

Otherwise try out some classes or try a little exercise, makes you feel great from the endorphins.

LEMisdisappointed Sun 20-Oct-13 19:11:06

Can you sell it to a friend?

Your mother sounds awful - i am so sorry

without the history I would say YABU as i would quite like gym membership and cannot afford it but its the whole message that you are not quite good enough - i get this, my mother is much the same as yours.

CHERRYBL0SS0M Sun 20-Oct-13 19:12:37

Oops hit post too soon
In my experience, memberships are for one year. Is that a way of politely declining?
"Thanks mum for the lovely gift, but I just can't afford to continue the membership"

snowmummy Sun 20-Oct-13 19:16:04

I think sparklyknicker's idea is a great one

StillNoFuckingEyeDeer Sun 20-Oct-13 19:21:22

I agree YANBU to be upset, BUT you should give it a go. But DO NOT tell your mother that you're going to the gym. If she finds out you've been, go with the sauna & muffin story. Don't give her the satisfaction of feeling she forced you into it.

Make sure that you aren't committed beyond the first 6 months, otherwise go along, have a swim sauna and cake then congratulate your DM on her find of a quiet coffee shop with yummy cake. Make sure that you mention the cakes loads and how pleased you are with the cakes. She probably won't risk it again! Did I mention the cakes.

Iamsparklyknickers Sun 20-Oct-13 19:27:00

Or tell her you just use it for parking to go to something nearby grin

Make sure to get her some wrinkle cream, hairdye and perhaps an alert bracelet for Christmas too. Or a subscription to Peoples Friend or some shite.

parakeet Sun 20-Oct-13 19:30:14

YANBU. Why not tell her, calmly and politely, and without bringing up anything from the past, how it has made you feel.

ChippingInNeedsSleepAndCoffee Sun 20-Oct-13 19:33:26

You are definitely not being unreasonable to be upset about it - it's a horrible present (in your situation - some might like it).

You have choices now - only you can decide what to do. Return it to her and leave her in no uncertain terms how you feel about it and her attitude to you OR go and see what you think - whether that's a gym session or two, a class, the sauna or cafe... make the most of the membership benefits and only do what YOU want while there.

Didactylos Sun 20-Oct-13 19:40:08

Im with the ' I cant use this' camp - as well as being a bit of a dig, shes also making you commitments of time etc, eg to make use of her present you have to find time to go out to the gym DC and dog free. Tell her you dont want to spend your leisure time this way - would rather do family stuff, or are starting a course in X and so wont be making any use of it. Hand it back to her, tell her she should be due a refund

teaand5biscuits Sun 20-Oct-13 19:41:41

The membership is for 6 months then I have to pay.

I will try the gym (May as well) and just tell her I went for cake.
sparklyknickers her face would be a picture if I got her them.

I would try to talk to her about it but it will turn into me being ungrateful and sensitive and she will stop talking to me until I apologise.

ChippingInNeedsSleepAndCoffee Sun 20-Oct-13 19:59:46

Then don't apologise - just wait until she does, it might take a while, but it will be worth it.

TrueStory Sun 20-Oct-13 20:06:48

I would tell your mum that this present is no good to you and can she get a refund so that you can choose something you really want

Yes, and I'm liking Sparkly Knickers's idea about anti-wrinkle cream etc. Maybe a book about hormone therapy (given with a "sincere and winning smile" from Yourstruly, I would soooo love to be there).

TrueStory Sun 20-Oct-13 20:09:14

By the way, there is no need to put up with negative comments about yourself, or be in any way diplomatic in refuting them. How about just telling her "that's so rude" and "don't talk to me on that subject ever again" and also maybe tell her how you feel. I've had to do that a couple of times with my mum, and it can work. If it doesn't I think you need to escalate it, as they say ....

JamieandtheMagicTorch Sun 20-Oct-13 20:11:31

I've recommended it on another thread, but I'll recommend it again:

A book about assertiveness called "A Woman in Your Own Right; Assertiveness and You" - by Anne Dickson

teaand5biscuits Sun 20-Oct-13 20:27:21

Jamie I will take a look at the book.

I am not like this with anyone else and if someone even suggested something like that to my DCs I would kill them it's just a mental block when it comes to my mum and me.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Sun 20-Oct-13 21:00:36

Yes, mums do a great line in passive aggression, IME. The book talks about that as well. I am also assertive with others but only getting there with my mum

puntasticusername Sun 20-Oct-13 21:18:08

Huh. So lemme get this straight - when you upset her, it's completely real and you are being massively U towards her?

But when she upsets you, you're imagining it and it couldn't possibly be her fault in any way?

Doesn't sound quite right to me.

I'd be inclined to throw the thing back in her face, personally. Would there be any way you could turn it to a greater good - have a word with the gym manager and see if they'd be up for letting you donate the membership as a raffle prize for some good cause? They would only lose whatever "admin costs" they incur for changing the name on the membership, and should get some good publicity out of it.

But obv don't tell your "D"M you're doing this, or she'll scurry around buying all the raffle tickets grin

Oh, and happy birthday to you!

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