PIL taking the biscuit (or more precisely, the cake)

(48 Posts)

Sorry, this is a bit of a rant and it is about PIL so if you don't like PIL threads look away now.

PIL and SIL and BIL and DM stayed with us for 2.5 weeks over Christmas (SIL got married on 4th Jan and they all live abroad or quite a long way away hence the long stay). So 8 people in a house normally used to 3. Quite a squeeze and all on top of each other / tempers fraying etc etc. They have also left all their worldly goods at our house, filling the cellar and every available storage space and leaving my spare room looking like a jumble sale. So I'm not at my most reasonable.


PIL didn't lift a finger all stay. They made themselves pots of tea and breakfast but apart from that were waited on hand and foot by me and DP (with help from DM and DSIL).

Their sole contribution was a Christmas cake which they bought and decorated because MIL doesn't like marzipan so wanted it to suit her.
They left yesterday at last and I am putting house back in something like order - running washing machine on loop etc. Looked around for the last of the cake (about 1/4 still left). THEY BLOODY TOOK IT WITH THEM.

AIBU to think this is like taking a bottle to a dinner party, drinking all night then seeing your bottle is unopened and so taking it back home? And that PIL are cheeky fuckers?

YANBU. But then I'm sure I've seen threads where guests have taken half full bottles of wine home with them again!

And by the way the total bill for groceries and drink etc in the last month has topped £1000 (for 8 people so actually not crazy per head). We hosted so we paid.

Not a problem but in the context of that taking back the cake is just....aaaargh.

LessMissAbs Fri 10-Jan-14 12:21:59

OP, you have a rude, entitled family! Congratulations!

(surely they must have shown signs of it before?)

Ha ha, yes lessmissabs they have form. This time they just impressed me with the blinding combination of pettiness and audacity.

5Foot5 Fri 10-Jan-14 13:26:11

Wow what a cheeky lot. YANBU for being p***d off.

Try to look on the bright side though - if they live abroad or a long way away then you surely won't have to put up with them that often will you?

GideonKipper Fri 10-Jan-14 13:28:35

Tightfisted gets.

WillBeatJanuaryBlues Fri 10-Jan-14 13:36:40

so are you going to ignire this, or are you going to call and say" Hello I was just fancying a peice of that gorgeous cake you made darling MIL...I was wondering where you put it..."

" oh we took it with us" Long icy pause.....

" really?! Oh I see....long pause...oh...um....it was lovely.

and never have them again.

5foot5 what relief they give in infrequency of visits they take back in length. They stay for anything up to 3 months.

My new rule is no one stays more than a week. This will hardly make it worth the trip for them so should solve both problems nicely.

willbeatjanuaryblues Love your thinking but realistically will ignore. If I was going to go on the assertive it wouldn't be about the cake tbh, it would be about the vast amount of stuff they have left.

When we said they could store stuff in the cellar we were thinking essential papers, photos, memorabilia. They have left fucking everything. They have left bubble wrap. Not actually wrapping anything just bubble wrap. In case they need it when they come back. FFS.

Scarbella2 Fri 10-Jan-14 13:51:54

You are a saint for letting them stay that long- I start to get hysterical after the 60 minute mark. Oh and mine only bring the treat their son likes- bloody Madeira buns!

DM did exactly the same last Xmas. I have hosted it for eighteen years. EIGHTEEN. That's 18 x ten million squid for the catering. I, for once, asked her to contribute by bringing some beef for boxing day (major regret, the beef became the subject of endless anxious emails about cut and size and breed - JUST GET SOME BLOODY BEEF OR I WILL GO OUTSIDE AND SHOOT MY OWN COW NOW) and then tears on Xmas when she was pre-cooking it (part of a cold buffet) because she couldn't work out the maths and then she spent 45 minutes slicing it and laying it out while I laid the table, did 3 different salads, dismembered the turkey, carved a pie etc etc...

She took the leftovers home with her. I discovered later this wasn't just the beef - also some of the pie, some cheese...

MIL meanwhile made a beautiful cake, pudding and brandy butter, and left them all. Can you swap mothers?

Oh god stinkingbishop that is rude.

yoshipoppet Fri 10-Jan-14 14:13:57

It's a risky business, leaving all your stuff in a cellar. What if you had a flood? It would all be ruined....

...OP, come back, don't turn on those taps!

SaucyJack Fri 10-Jan-14 14:15:36

Very rude to you.

I often wonder tho how much of this type of behaviour is payback for all the years of childraising?

Personally- when I'm an old lady staying with my grown-up DD's, I fully intend to wake them at six every morning demanding toast, throw my clothes all over the place and through a paddy if they dare change the tv channel.......... grin

LaGuardia Fri 10-Jan-14 14:16:42

My PIL actually pull chairs up to any buffet I do and work their way through from one end to the other. Everyone else has to reach over their heads to get to the food. And then FIL lingers to see what they might be able to take home with them. Greedy feckers.

LegoStillSavesMyLife Fri 10-Jan-14 14:29:39

Heavens my MIL does this, it hadn't occurred to me to get cross about it. She brings HER cake for Christmas. And then takes whatever's left home with her.

Come to think about her entire contribution to Christmas was
1) one slice of cake for everyone
2) a bottle of wine - someone what given it to her so she wasn't sure if she'd like it. So brought it to share pour down me
3) a box of chocolates that someone gave her and she knew she wouldn't like so brought to share,
4) the rotting contents of her veg draw.

It didn't even occur to me to get het up as she alway does this. Wow for once I was the bigger person. <preens>

LegoStillSavesMyLife Fri 10-Jan-14 14:30:52

I am obviously going to ignore all the things I did get het up about

MammaTJ Fri 10-Jan-14 14:38:59

Personally- when I'm an old lady staying with my grown-up DD's, I fully intend to wake them at six every morning demanding toast, throw my clothes all over the place and through a paddy if they dare change the tv channel.........

Oh yes, SaucyJack, one has to wonder if the OPs DH was a particularly entitled child!

IHaveSeenMyHat Fri 10-Jan-14 14:49:25

Why have they left, cluttering up your house with all their crap?

Being too tightfisted to leave a bit of cake is bad enough, but dying you for free storage? I would be tempted to have a very large bonfire grin

IHaveSeenMyHat Fri 10-Jan-14 14:49:52


To saucyjack and mamatj - I strongly suspect DP of being a horror of the highest order as a child. There are lots of pictures of him looking like butter wouldn't melt but I've lived with him for 14 years and know that it is when he looks most innocent is when you need to worry.

But I don't think he was entitled. He was one of 4 and they were perma-skint so none of them are naturally grasping siblings. Except about the front seat and then you seen grown adults squabbling.

Given PIL had 4 kids I can see the temptation to wreak revenge but I am an innocent bystander!

Lego please do share what got you het up - you sound like a saint so I could do with some perspective!

LegoStillSavesMyLife Fri 10-Jan-14 15:47:19

Correcting the DC speech when it was accurate just not how she'd say it. Such as the DC say "telly" not "tv" and "bath" rather than "barrrth". She "corrects" them.

Not making other people drinks. I realise she doesn't approve of the eighty billion cups of tea I drink a day but when she makes a drink she never makes one for anyone else, because in her eyes I've had one recently.

Critising the DC when they have done the best they can in a situation that wasn't designed for DC. Think naff museum two hours late sort of thing.

Other than that I let it wash over me as she's a nice enough lady that loves DH and the DC. She's harmless enough. Just lived on her own for a long time so rarely considers others.

Ah, you see your MIL sounds like my DM. Nice enough but just very used to it just being her.

My MIL (and FIL, there is no gender bias here) are just a bit bonkers.

Thing is they sold their house a few years ago and have been bouncing around staying with us or DSIL, or renting holiday lets or being on holiday ever since. They have sort of forgotten what it's like hosting I think.

This is particularly annoying as it means I don't even get a revenge visit where I sit around doing nothing.

'Rotting contents of veg drawer' I hear ya. And out of date milk. And I raise you...laundry.

Every single time. She may only be here for 4 nights, have come from home, be going straight back home, but within 24 hours of arrival she'll be enquiring if I'm doing a load. Now, I would just take pants/socks home with me to wash if it was a short time, but I kinda get that. But no, this is trousers, skirts, tops...THAT SHE HASN'T WORN DURING HER VISIT.

So she's saved up washing from home to bring here, to use my electricity, powder and conditioner!


Stinkingbishop I almost admire her level of planning. When I pack I have all on to gather the essential stuff I'll need - nevermind a bit of washing.

Aren't you tempted to have a shrinkage accident?

whois Sat 11-Jan-14 14:15:09

So she's saved up washing from home to bring here, to use my electricity, powder and conditioner!

What? Why do people do things like this??

Topaz25 Sat 11-Jan-14 15:27:01

I would see the cake as a host gift for all the hassle they put you through, it's so rude of them to take it back!

HamletsSister Sat 11-Jan-14 15:31:34

We live in an area with holiday cottages everywhere. There are tales of people arriving with 4-5 bin bags of laundry (everything they own?) to use the "free" electric. And people wonder why prices are so high...

SlightlyDampWellies Sat 11-Jan-14 15:33:22

Oh I am totally sympathetic!
My DAunt and her feckless lowlife husband (I guess my 'uncle' ) came and stayed with us for a very very long weekend. They are both very enthusiastic about food, so ate us out of house and home. Stayed up after fecking midnight playing the guitar while the Dcs were trying to sleep and when DH and I had to work the next day, and brought a single bottle of wine.

Which again they took home with them with the comment 'well, we did not drink that so I suppose we might as well...'

They were staying with us because apparently they were too broke to afford a B&B, but the weekend was their stop-off before heading to Southampton to get a 6 week cruise around the world.

I had a MN thread about it at the time I think.

LegoStillSavesMyLife Sat 11-Jan-14 20:45:50

stinking bishop nope she does bring washing i her, i'll give her that.

I play entirely different game with MIL. She has a very 1950s stoneage view about clothes washing (and person washing). So I try and gather up as many of her clothes as I can and boil with bleach wash them and get them back to where they were before she notices. My BP is two fleeces and a dressing gown.

Christ knows what I'd say if she every worked out what I was up to.

AndHarry Sat 11-Jan-14 21:04:57

Go through their stuff and throw out all the bubble wrap and other crap. How dare they take over your house with their stuff while they're off jollying?!

Can i throw out the black bag full of coat hangers? It comes with a long story about the shop that gave them away as they were closing down.

SuburbanRhonda Sun 12-Jan-14 10:24:25

It's a bit hard to shrink everything in a wash, stinkingbishop, but it's an absolute doddle to turn it all pink with the judicious placing of a brand new bright red wool sock.

I have the full set of pink underwear to prove it sad

SuburbanRhonda Sun 12-Jan-14 10:25:39

OP, put the hangers on Freecycle.

People bite your hands off for them (well, I would) blush

LondonMother Sun 12-Jan-14 10:30:35

My parents knew someone who asked neighbours to keep an eye on her house while she was away on holiday. On the day she left for her holiday, she started off and then remembered when she'd driven a short distance that she'd forgotten something, so turned around to go home and get it. When she let herself into the house, she found the neighbours sitting in the kitchen drinking her tea with a load of their clothes in her washing machine.

TalkativeJim Sun 12-Jan-14 10:33:51

I would not hesitate to go through it ALL and throw out EVERYTHING along the lines of bubble wrap, coathangers and other rubbish.

'Oh! I thought that must have been rubbish of ours - I threw it. What?! You brought bags of coathangers and bubble wrap when we said you could store essentials? No wonder I thought there was so much rubbish there! We do need some of our own storage space, you know! It's your fault - you should never have brought stuff like that here. Of course it would end up getting thrown away.'

WitchWay Sun 12-Jan-14 10:46:46

LondonMother shock angry !!!!!

fuzzywuzzy Sun 12-Jan-14 10:53:29

I need to know how it ends londonmother what did your DM do, what did your neighbours do? Did yur parents get the keys off them immediately?

SlightlyDampWellies Sun 12-Jan-14 12:46:14

Londonmother that reminds me of the time my DParents sold their house and left behind for the new owners a bottle of champagne and pots and pots and pots of beautiful patio plants in flower. They got a few streets away before turning back to 'take a last look' at their old family home only to drive past and see their (much disliked) neighbours carrying the pots away to their own home.

GlitzAndGiggles Sun 12-Jan-14 14:02:50

LondonMother that made me laugh!

OP do people actually do that? I wouldn't dream of taking food or drink to someone who's hosting then fuck off home with it lol!

Yes Londonmother, what WAS said?

I would love to sort through and chuck stuff but MIL would go crazy. She would probably never speak to me or DP again. She isn't the most reasonable person on the planet. If you hadn't guessed that from this thread!

This is the same mil who when left alone in my house rearranges things. Like moving flowers and vases she has bought to more prominent locations etc. she takes 'make yourself at home' rather too literally!

fuzzywuzzy Sun 12-Jan-14 15:04:45

surely if she goes off on a sulk and never speaks to you thereby never visintg again would a be a good thing? Do it, start chucking stuff out, liek the bubble wrap and the hangers

ddubsgirl Sun 12-Jan-14 16:21:03

we have mil&fil most Christmases and they chip in and we go with mil to do final ship get veg ect we pay and they give us some money back but every time mil buys something and never shares and takes it home christmas before it was a massive bag of monkey nuts we all like them she had put them in the cupboard and everytime kids asked about them they got snapped at no they are mine but dmil envy she will happy sit there and eat all our chocolates and she will bring her own but never offers them up and takes them home again last xmas we let sil host them it was lovely!

quietbatperson Sun 12-Jan-14 20:00:08

MIL never speaking to you again is surely a win-win grin

LondonMother Sun 12-Jan-14 20:23:03

Hi all, sorry to have gone off and left everyone in suspense! I'm afraid I can't remember how it ended up. It was my parents' friend. I suspect the freeloaders neighbours said their own washing machine was broken, or something of that sort. There was no bloodshed, I know that.

Silence from MIL would indeed be golden but DP loves his mum. Damn it.

And yes to eating our chocolates. MIL scoffed the last of my toblerone but all her stuff was carefully stashed upstairs.

Yes i am a bitter bitter woman. grin

SiliconeSally Sun 12-Jan-14 20:39:49

OP are your ILs the ones who want to maintain a home permanently in your basement and stay for months? Because they have no permanent base and expect to live with you etc?

No, that's someone else. I remember reading her thread with a mixture of trepidation and determination i wouldn't get caught that way!
They haven't moved into the cellar, just filled it with stuff. And they have no permanent base so do stay with us for about 3-4 months a year, but not in a single stretch.

It is getting a bit silly to be honest but i am trying to keep this thread to lighthearted exasperation rather than the deeper problems!

Enjoying the peace at last. If i had started this last week it may have got very grumpy!

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