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To say no to SIL?

(69 Posts)
PiperChapstick Sun 12-Jul-15 17:16:04

MIL birthday coming up in August. Up until last 5 years or so DH and I bought a gift for her. Then SIL started to ask to go thirds on a present with her and her, husband, us and BIL/BILs girlfriend.

First few years was gifts about £60 so £20 per couple. Happy with this and always got wine as an extra something. Last 2 years the price has crept up to about £200 - spa days and posh hair straighteners. Always SILs ideas. Today she has text us asking if we want to go thirds - on a fucking £550 puppy.

BIL said no - he's split up with his GF so can't afford to go thirds and has had his hours reduced at work. So she's sent me a separate message ranting about how selfish BIL is and how MIL deserves a puppy (she is fab and does a lot for us, and has done so much for BIL last few years, long story but he probably wouldn't be alive if it wasn't for her).

Thing is AIBU to think it's ludicrous a spend £550 on a birthday present for a 58 year old? I've never heard her say she wants a puppy (SIL bit of a crazy dog lady and thinks everyone should have a dog). She's asked if we can stretch to pay half. We have joint savings, but that's for a holiday/impending house move - would IBU to tell her to piss right off politely decline too?

DH at work so not sure what he thinks yet


It is not reasonable to expect people to keep increasing the amount they spend on a joint present without discussion, and if someone can't afford it, it is really rude to bitch about them.

And a puppy is a terrible present, u less you know, with 100% certainty, that they want a puppy. Tbh, it sounds more like a present for dog mad SIL.

PotteringAlong Sun 12-Jul-15 17:19:36

Apart from the money side it is massively irresponsible to buy someone a puppy as a present! But no, definitely not unreasonable. As BiL has stood up to her and said no I'd just say no too.

Soundofsettling Sun 12-Jul-15 17:19:37

Yanbu! Incredibly crass using a dog as a present in any case!

Doubly crass expecting you to fork out for half!

Can you suggest something more in your ball park, and then if she mithers say you'll get your own present and put an end to it?

gamerchick Sun 12-Jul-15 17:19:38

Say no. Animals as presents are stupid ideas in general. I would be warning the mil of the intentions to save some animal being foisted on someone who may not welcome it.

Backforthis Sun 12-Jul-15 17:19:51

Ignoring the money - which seems seriously excessive - what kind of fuckwit buys someone a puppy as a surprise gift. Utter, utter muppet. Dogs are not gifts they're a 10 year+ commitment and bloody hard work.

Fairylea Sun 12-Jul-15 17:20:28

More than the money I think your sil is irresponsible for wanting to buy someone a puppy for a present when she doesn't even have a clue if the person actually wants a dog or not! That's just awful !

Tokelau Sun 12-Jul-15 17:20:44

YANBU. It's far too much to pay, just tell her you would rather do separate presents.

I really don't think a puppy is appropriate as a surprise present, unless you are absolutely certain that the person really wants one. I am a bit of a crazy dog lady myself grin but the last thing I would buy someone is a puppy. A puppy is for life not for Christmas, blah blah blah. If someone wants a dog or puppy, surely it's best for them to come to that decision themselves, and then decide whether they want a rescue dog or pedigree pup, and choose the one that they like.

Buttercup27 Sun 12-Jul-15 17:21:00

Yanbu! Apart from if being really unfair on both the animal a d the person, buying a pet as a gid is wrong.
And £550 for a present is ridiculous! Well done DBIL for saying no.

Anon4Now2015 Sun 12-Jul-15 17:21:01

No don't pay that much on a joint gift. Your SIL has a cheek expecting you to. Would your MIL even want you to spend that much? I know my parents would have been horrified if we spent that much on their birthday.

And no don't ever buy someone a pet unless they have asked for it and picked it out themselves. Ever.

LindyHemming Sun 12-Jul-15 17:21:10

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Tokelau Sun 12-Jul-15 17:21:46

Cross posted with everyone else! Seems unanimous so far!

TinyManticore Sun 12-Jul-15 17:21:53

Has she learned nothing from all the ads around Christmas time reminding people not to give animals as presents? You do not buy living creatures for other people especially when you don't know if they want one - how presumptuous of her.

Icimoi Sun 12-Jul-15 17:21:57

Surely if your MIL was a dog type person she would have a dog by now, or have had one in the past? Am I right in thinking she hasn't?

Anon4Now2015 Sun 12-Jul-15 17:22:14

Also please warn your MIL that your SIL is thinking of doing this. It would be awful if she just got given a puppy and didn't want one.

PiperChapstick Sun 12-Jul-15 17:24:20

Thanks all.
MIL has fostered rescue dogs before, taking them in for a week or two, but never committed to keeping one. Which is probably why SIL thought to get her one.
Off to MILs for Sunday lunch now, will find a way to get "so would you ever want to keep a dog" into conversation! If she says no will be reason enough to to put SIL off.

CakeLady1 Sun 12-Jul-15 17:25:07

NO, NO, NO!! YANBU! (Did I mention 'no'?).
A) she's being ridculous
B) that's pretty hellish expensive
C) a dog is a huge responsibility, not something to be inflicted imposed on someone else
D) even if MIL did want a dog, she's probably want to choose her own.
Offer to 'take the strain' off her, by taking a turn to choose the present this year as the stress has clearly sent her off her rocker
Or ask SIL which brand of crack she has been smoking, as it clearly doesn't agree with her.

Maya15 Sun 12-Jul-15 17:25:34

YANBU. Say no. Too much money and a terrible present.

Like pp I think a puppy is a really bad present especially if it is a surprise and your MIL has not specifically asked for a dog. She will have lots of extra costs like dog food, vet bills, insurance etc. Dogs are expensive and need lots of extra time and care. Your MIL might not want that at all.
If she really wants a dog it would be much better to get one from a rescue centre than pay £550 for a puppy. shock

Kundry Sun 12-Jul-15 17:27:54

If MIL is in to dog rescue, she may not even want a puppy that costs £550 and would rather have a rescue dog. She prob also has strong feelings on what sort of dog, dog breeding and the sort of breeder any puppy should come from. Has SIL considered any of this?

Just tell SIL you can't afford it and maybe no more joint gifts for a while.

EhricLovesTheBhrothers Sun 12-Jul-15 17:28:57

Buying a dog as a surprise gift? Fuck no. What an idiot. That's not even mentioning the cost which is ridiculous.

FenellaFellorick Sun 12-Jul-15 17:30:12

absolutely not being unreasonable! It is really irresponsible to buy an animal as a present for someone who hasn't specifically asked for it and sometimes even then!

In your shoes, I'd say no, I object on principle to buying animals as gifts and also, I'm going to call a halt to joint present buying altogether. I'm not happy with the amounts and not having control over what I choose to buy.

pudcat Sun 12-Jul-15 17:30:21

You should never buy a puppy for a surprise present. What would happen to the poor little thing if it wasn't wanted? And that is a lot of money. There are lots of dogs needing re-homing. If your mother in law has fostered before she is probably just happy doing that.

YesIAmAMan Sun 12-Jul-15 17:30:38

YANBU never mind the expense giving an animal as a present to someone is an absolute no no. Make it clear to SIL that you think giving a animal is not happening, that should only ever be done by the individual themselves after long hard thought and research. Then make your point about the expense increase over the last few years calmly and explain you simply cannot afford the amounts being asked for these days as its impacting your family and you know the MIL would hate the idea of your finances being put under strain to get her a present. Soften it with thine a that while the present plans need to be rained in for normal birthdays maybe you could start planning a big event or her 60th that would allow all involved time to save separately over the next 2 years to really make it an event to say thank you.

Tapasfairy Sun 12-Jul-15 17:32:11

My sil did this before I married DH, she bought all the presents and gave him a bill. One year she spent £200 on her dad. ( who is v wealthy)

That was the last year we did any joint gifts. Now they get a small £20 ish ( usually less) gift. There's no need for such extravagance. If we spent £200 on each parent that would be £800 before we had even bought our own children. Let alone siblings etc. or heaven forbid ourselves.

Dip out now. Make it clear money's tight and you will go it alone now.

ConcreteElephant Sun 12-Jul-15 17:34:11

What a ridiculous idea.

I'm sure you all have excellent reasons to be grateful to MIL for all she has done for you but equally I doubt she's expecting you to express your gratitude/ repay her kindness by buying horribly expensive gifts. A gift which SIL has no idea will be well-received and which will cost MIL for years to come.

Plus, if she's a dog fosterer she might well be horrified that you've spent so much on a dog when so many are waiting for homes in rescues. Surely if she wanted a dog of her own she'd just get one?

Stand your ground on this one OP.

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