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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?

DontmindifIdo Sun 13-Oct-13 18:42:59

Oh, MIL, I think we should keep these at your house as you obviously like them, and really I don't like tulips.

See, that sounds rude so you don't want to say it, but she's being rude by ignoring your polite request. People who do this get away with it because other people have more concern for their feelings than they do for yours.

hiddenhome Sun 13-Oct-13 18:43:25

Just let her do what she wants. You can always re-gift stuff you don't want.

beccake Sun 13-Oct-13 18:44:14

YANBU, Mil does this on a regular basis so I regift to someone else, leave it at theirs when she's not looking or straight to the charity shop. (I have been know to do this with DM as well, so I'm not mil bashing) I would just view it as extra gifts for the charity shop/give them to next door neighbour/someone who is unwell. It's really annoying but at least it's not your money being wasted and I am sure her intentions are well meant.......grin

Coupon Sun 13-Oct-13 18:45:34

That's a good idea hiddenhome. Sounds like you're going to be receiving the tulips anyway, so maybe you could pass them to the person on your street who'd most appreciate them.

RevelsRoulette Sun 13-Oct-13 18:47:00

I agree. Give them away.

DontMentionThePrunes Sun 13-Oct-13 18:48:10

Don'tMindIfIDo this year alone I have told her that I am getting rid of all the pots in the garden, asked her to take some of HERS home again (she hasn't) and used the very line you suggest: she wanted to buy seeds for DS so I said 'yes he would absolutely love them but please could you have them at yours in your huge garden because we will be showing the house and so are not adding any more pots'. And I have thanked her for growing them at her house and we have talked about what a good idea it was in the end.

So yes it's a great idea but ultimately doomed to failure grin

Honestly, every day I dislike her a little more, and it's all down to her lack of fucking respect. It's a pathetic little power game and I hate it but cannot escape. <weeps>

DontMentionThePrunes Sun 13-Oct-13 18:49:13

I would definitely give them away, but the way she's done it is to get ds to prepare them for my birthday. So I will be getting rid of his birthday gift to me.


RevelsRoulette Sun 13-Oct-13 18:52:06


I wonder what your son would love to get Grandma for her birthday/christmas.


Now, if you were of evil mind, I am sure you could have a great deal of fun. grin

hiddenhome Sun 13-Oct-13 18:52:53

ha, ha she is oppressing you with her fiendish tulip strategy grin

I guess your ds will soon forget about them. She does sound crafty though.

hiddenhome Sun 13-Oct-13 18:53:56

Yes, I think your ds should get Grandma one of those huuuuuuuuuuge rubber plant thingys for her lounge. They grow to enormous proportions! grin

thebody Sun 13-Oct-13 18:55:46

but just always say 'yes that would be lovely please send me some' and then gift on.

win in your pissing off mil by being nice and not being riled by her and win that you can gift on.

Coupon Sun 13-Oct-13 18:56:36

Or a cactus!

Chippednailvarnish Sun 13-Oct-13 18:58:30

Give them back to her at Christmas.

CurlyhairedAssassin Sun 13-Oct-13 19:03:00

I know it must be irritating but you can very easily just leave them in the garden when you move house. Not sure why THIS particular gift had to be an issue. Any others, just pass on to someone else or take straight to the charity shop. It's HER problem if she gets offended when she discovers you have done this, not yours.

DontMentionThePrunes Sun 13-Oct-13 19:34:40

Oh good you have made me laugh with 'fiendish tulip strategy' grin Thanks for saving my sanity because dh is sitting opposite me and if I have another go at his mum I think he may crack.

She will remind ds, you know. She will remind me in the spring and make me say nice things about the fucking tulips. I am adept now at being non committal and changing the subject but you know what? I would feel so so much better if I just didn't have to.

She did this with some cacti as well. Stage one: tell me about some cacti she'd potted up. Stage two: a few days later, ring and ask if I want them. (No thanks, we don't have a place to put them really.) Stage three: arrive at the house, give them to ds, get him to present them to me. (I said 'No, I said I didn't want them before, and I haven't changed my mind, so...') Stage four: offer them to DH, who passively accepted them but told her she'd have to deliver them to his office, where they promptly died grin

This happens several times a year by the way. Twenty fucking years of her making me be grateful for things. It's the power. I have no idea how to thwart her. She's the Japanese Knotweed of my life.

Anyway I am going to have some fun. I love the rubber plant idea. She particularly dislikes lots of houseplants so I'm going to get her the very worst and make sure I remind ds about it every time we go round.

I'm going to go completely over the top when I get these tulips. Never will a gift be so welcome. I'm going to take an ad out in the local paper to thank her for the tulips. Write her a song and put it on Youtube. Have a tattoo on my forearm: MIL's name intertwined with a bunch of tulips. Ha ahahahahah <goes insane>

SueDoku Sun 13-Oct-13 20:07:40

Everything except the don't need a permanent reminder when you have her and I speak as a MIL grin

RhondaJean Sun 13-Oct-13 20:09:41

Do you know where she stores the tulips?

Could you sneak in with weed killer the next time you are visiting?


ICantGoOverItICantGoUnderIt Sun 13-Oct-13 20:13:43

Oh good God. This thread has revealed the future to me.

Currently, MIL is giving us this sort of gift (although we've explained we don't want/don't need/don't have the time to look after whatever it is) by saying that it is for 11mo DD. She actually says "It's for [DD's name] so you can't say no."

I can see now that it will soon graduate to this.


quoteunquote Sun 13-Oct-13 20:17:24

Send them to me, I love tulips.

When you move you could leave them as something lovely for the next people.

DontmindifIdo Sun 13-Oct-13 20:17:36

Don't rely on her taking the pots home, put them in the car, drive to her house next time and say, "oh, remember we discussed giving you the pots back, well here you are! We aren't taking them with us, so if you don't want them, feel free to bin them, but they are nice, I'm sure you'll find someone who'll appriciate them." Don't let them back in your car.

Oh and brief DH - you don't care how he does it, or what it costs, but if he lets your DS give you these pots of plants and not something nicer for your birthday, you will throw DH out and throw the pots after him. He's had warning, there's time for him to fix it.

i'd also start getting rude. Not "no thank you, I've nowhere to put x" go with "No, I know you mean well but I really don't like X and it'll just go in the bin, such a waste of your money, much better to give it to someone who likes X". If she asks after whatever thing she's forced on you "oh, I didn't really like it so it's gone in the bin, sorry, I'd have offered it back to you if I thought you wanted it."

travailtotravel Sun 13-Oct-13 20:19:15

arf at Japanese Knotweed of my life

DontMentionThePrunes Sun 13-Oct-13 20:20:56

I do need to brief dh. That is a very good point. I need to do it in such a way that he doesn't throw up his hands in despair and see me as a total bitch. Hmm.

Lavenderhoney Sun 13-Oct-13 20:22:07

My mil does this. Recently it was a giant ugly brown lampshade that was stained and just horrible.

Dh was all- well, she means well, don't be ungrateful. But the thing is, she laughs when she does it.

I have retaliate by buying her really dreadful presents. A large light up orange koala bear with baby was the best one, wrapped in cellophane with a bow. Just right for your sitting room mil! And the dc hand them over " where do you want it granny?!!" and I take a photo!

Just go to the local charity shop. Loads of unwanted gifts in theresmile stock up after Christmas.

Leave the tulips. How old is your ds? Is he teasing you?

BuntyPenfold Sun 13-Oct-13 20:34:51

My ds would have been in on the joke of leaving them behind, by the age of 8 or so. Before that he might have been a bit hurt I think.

My mother does this too, cushions are a favourite, ' I got these for you on the market'. 'No thanks, fake tapestry doesn't go with anything I've got'

Then I get them again, for Christmas.

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