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Recycled present from my mum...

(34 Posts)
RubbishMantra Sat 23-Aug-14 12:02:03

For my birthday, I got sent a bracelet from my mum. The same one I gave her about three years ago. She has done this before, for example, my sister once received a crystal bowl as an engagement present. The same bowl she he had saved up for months for (as a child) to buy for my mother.

Fair enough if she wants to recycle unwanted gifts, but I can't help feeling hurt and pissed off.

Should I say something to her? It's not even like she says "here, have back this unwanted gift", she doesn't acknowledge that she's recycled it.

Meerka Sat 23-Aug-14 12:03:56

Has she forgotten that she got them from you in the first place?

The crystal bowl in particular is a bit ouchy.

RubbishMantra Sat 23-Aug-14 12:09:58

Well, she has a habit of doing this. A few years back I received...an ornament I had saved up to buy her out of my pocket money! Didn't say anything.

She is very PA, and I'm a bit scared of her if I'm honest. She's also very critical and controlling.

Spadequeen Sat 23-Aug-14 12:11:56

Make sure the next gift you get her is something you like!

Nomama Sat 23-Aug-14 12:12:58

That's easy. You and your sister simply re- re-gift them back to her - as often as necessary. Say nothing, just wait for her to break!

You and your sister could even make a 'thing' about it. Take photos, keep a picture diary, smile, find it funny. Stop letting it annoy you and put you back into 'child' mode. If you can do that it may not bother you so much.

Meerka Sat 23-Aug-14 12:13:02

But either way it's probably better to say somethign rather than let it fester. The crystal bowl is too much, she spent months saving for that and it was clearly very nice if it's good enough for an engagement present.

But with the other stuff, how about making a joke of it? It might embarass her temporarily but it'll fade and she might actually not realise and be sorry. It doesn't have to be a big fallout, you can laugh together about it maybe.

wafflyversatile Sat 23-Aug-14 12:13:33

Does she recycle presents generally with friends etc or just for you and your sister?

I guess it's part of the large picture of her being critical and controlling.

Give her it back next birthday!

RubbishMantra Sat 23-Aug-14 12:14:51

I suppose that could be a solution smile I really did like the bracelet, so bought myself one too. Now I have two of the things. <looks on bright side>

Meerka Sat 23-Aug-14 12:15:07

gah sorry, missed your last posts.

If your mother is critical and controlling... actually I still think make a joke of it. You're a full grown adult, maybe with a family of your own, and you have the right not to be afraid of her. Chuckling about it might remove the sting of her disapproval.

RubbishMantra Sat 23-Aug-14 12:19:15

Ooh, I like the idea of giving it back to her!

I think she is a bit of a present recycler, but she always manages to re-gift the presents we bought her back to us, so not that forgetful really.

Itching to say something though.

Vitalstatistix Sat 23-Aug-14 12:23:12

maybe she forgets that you gave them to her and just retains this vague idea that it is something that you would like?

Trying to be generous here grin

but yes, making sure the gift is something you like is a good idea. If you really feel you can't tell her that you gave her the bracelet in the first place.

RubbishMantra Sat 23-Aug-14 12:23:20

So just come right out and say it Meerka? How to put it without being PA myself? I tend to be quite confrontational because I can't stand the old passive aggression.

Ragwort Sat 23-Aug-14 12:28:58

My mother and I only exchange 'experiences'- ie: we go out for a meal togther/beauty treatment/theatre - that sort of thing.

Could you suggest that ?

Or a charity gift, she can't give that back grin and if she says anything you can mildly say 'well, I realise you have everything you need as you have returned a few gifts to us'.

Or maybe (like me grin) she really, really doesn't want any more 'stuff' in her lives - you do get to the point where you don't really want any more presents.

Hissy Sat 23-Aug-14 12:30:08

Yeah, just gift it back, saying that you loved yours SO much you got HER one! smile

RubbishMantra Sat 23-Aug-14 12:34:08

Fortunately I live a long way from her Ragwort, so no chance of exchanging experiences. Thank christ...grin

Could be a fair point about her not wanting more stuff in her life. She sometimes sends us parcels of her cast off clothes. Including elastic-gone-baggy knickers. I kid you not.

Meerka Sat 23-Aug-14 12:37:35

"hehe mum, we liked it or we'd not have given it to you, but you didn't need to give it back to us!"

It will embarass her, but the point'll be made. The only proviso I'd say that if she is forgetful, it would be a bit unkind. But if you're certain she knows what she's doing then it's fine

Or simply straight out "mum, did you forget that I gave this to you three years ago?" It -can- be said gently and in a calm way. But if you find that difficult (and I really understand, super-controlling father myself) then it won't work.

Giving it back to her is another way of making the point too I guess =)

lettertoherms Sat 23-Aug-14 12:43:32

Could she have forgotten in regards to the bracelet, and with the bowl and ornament, she was looking at it as passing on the cherished items you bought as children so that you can keep them within the family, as heirlooms? <grasps at straws>

gamerchick Sat 23-Aug-14 12:46:08

Well either as has been suggested buy something you really like so you'll get it back or just send her the bracelet back to her... mega recycling there.

tobiasfunke Sat 23-Aug-14 12:54:21

Re-gift it back. If she says anything point out you gave it to her in the first place.
My MIL does this - a lot. There is a Santa themed tie that SIL gave FIL years ago. DH got it regifted so he gave it back to his Dad the next year. Last year they forgot and regifted it back to DH. His Dad will get it again this year.
I gave my MIL a lovely set of 3 little vases and my mother gave her a set of fancy handcreams. She regifted my mother one vase and one handcream the next year. She regifts me books but she often leaves her bookmarks in them.

RubbishMantra Sat 23-Aug-14 12:54:51

I like the calm "mum, did you forget..."

Giving it back would be very satisfying, but ultimately I'd probably feel bad.

And at the risk of sounding like a horrible person, I'm looking forward to making her squirm a bit. None of us EVER stand up to her (well my sister did once, and because of that, she got cut out of my parents lives. But that's another story.)

RubbishMantra Sat 23-Aug-14 12:59:25

grin at the re-gifting MIL!

That reminds me of one Christmas when I got a used electric frying pan(?!?) from my mum. A note fluttered out, stating "It has a few scratches on the bottom because I tried it out. It's marvellous!"

MaryWestmacott Sat 23-Aug-14 13:15:44

how about sending a message like "Hi Mum, thank you for the bracelet, it's very like the one I got you 3 years ago. I did really like it so at the time I bought myself one to match yours, great minds think alike that you've gone and got me a similar one as well! As I don't really need 2 the same, do you still have the recipt for this bracelet so I can return it or would you prefer to exchange it yourself? Love, RubbishMantra PS if you don't have the receipt, let me know where it's from and I'll see if they'll let me do an exchange without."

RubbishMantra Sat 23-Aug-14 13:23:09

Oh god Mary, that is so tempting! I wish I was that machiavellian!

LovesPeace Sat 23-Aug-14 13:25:12

It's deliberate, and it's point scoring crap. The message is 'your gift isn't good enough for ME so here, have it back'.
My mother does exactly this, and/or if I saved up as a kid to get her something expensive, she'd accept it, then buy herself a bigger, better version and throw mine out/give it to charity.
Yes, she even competed to buy herself a better present than her school aged kid could. grin
Mental, and now present less!

maras2 Sat 23-Aug-14 13:28:32

DH and SIL had rather rich DGP's.When DSIL was a child (1950's) she saved and bought her Nan a soap dish and sponge set for Christmas.16 years later,guess what Nan gave her for her 21st?It was in the original packaging with the 1/6d price tag.

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