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what ever I buy for her birthday she wont like it.

(83 Posts)
lordsteatime Thu 28-Jul-16 13:46:26

My mum has a big birthday coming up. We wanted to arrange a party, which she suggested as fun, but when we started suggesting were to have it, who to invite, she said no to all of it.
For instance i asked if i could invite her brothers and their partners/wives and she said, no because she didnt like on of the wives. She didnt want her party ruined by having to be polite to 'that woman'.
A suggestion to have the party at her house was 'too much work and not much of a treat for me' and my suggestion to have party in my home/garden was met with 'you live too far away and my friends wont come' BTW my home is about 20/30 mins by car away from hers.
We made a suggestion of hiring local hall, but again, negative comments made about it.

Recently she has been telling me about all the gifts she has had over the years that were crap esp those from my dad.

i suggested in the end that i take her out for a cream tea as she loves cakes, but she said she makes her own perfectly good scones and cream at home and doesnt need to go out for that.

I have a list in my head of things she hates,
clothes, very fussy about clothes, not see through, not too low a neckline, not wool as it makes her itch, and not too long /short a top length, and not yellow as it makes her look sallow.
no ri rings, watches or necklaces as she has a nickal allergy and only wears a necklace that has a very long chain as she hates tight things around her neck, that can hang outside her clothes.
no ornaments, <she said that yesterday, despite buying herself a vase from a charity shop that afternoon with me.>

Before she mentioned the ornament thing, I already ordered something, a real rose dipped in gold. It looked good on amazon but in reality looks a bit shit.
Have also brought a hamper of tea and biscuits as she meets friends and her brothers at her house once a week.
I think ehe will not be impressed about that either.
so am at a loss.
Should I accept I cant make her happy and concentrate on providing her with something to complain about?

acasualobserver Thu 28-Jul-16 13:49:39

Sounds like you're not going to be allowed to get it right. Give her a voucher. Ignore the inevitable complaint that you haven't made an effort for her birthday.

Amelie10 Thu 28-Jul-16 13:49:55

She sounds absolutely miserable and hard work. I would just leave her to it. Get her some vouchers then she can't complain about anything. Has she always been this much of a difficult person?

SoozeyHoozey Thu 28-Jul-16 13:52:18

Just give her money/vouchers.

Gruach Thu 28-Jul-16 13:53:48

What does she like?confused

No clothes, jewellery or ornaments still leaves quite a bit of scope for success. Does she read, appreciate art, enjoy the theatre or music of any kind? Does she already have all the technology she needs/wants? Weekend away with the family she doesn't dislike?

I'm sorry to say the golden rose sounds like the worst waste of money I've ever heard of ... (Sorrygrin)

lordsteatime Thu 28-Jul-16 13:57:09

oh, she has vouchers that people have given her over the years she tries to give them to me to use.

and yes, she has been difficult to buy for many times me and my sister have either rolled our eyes at her fussy behaviour when clothes shopping.
she is the same with food, she likes some take aways but only gets KFC from one shop about 30 mins away from her home. likes fish and chips from one other place but doesnt eat it too often as she cant digest the chips that well.
she is an expert cake maker so enjoys buying cakes and giving a critical review of how they could of been made better, and lesson the disappointment of taste of them. By the time she has finished reviewing them me and sis have eaten the lot and are making a 2nd cup of tea.

grannytomine Thu 28-Jul-16 13:59:11

Does she ever say what she does like? I ask because I think people often don't listen particularly if it's something they wouldn't like themselves. I keep telling my family I like Amazon vouchers more than anything else but I get told they aren't imaginative, are boring, can't keep getting them. I love them, I love seeing a balance on my Amazon account so I can buy lots of books without feeling guilty but will anyone listen?

ILoveAGoodBrusselSprout Thu 28-Jul-16 13:59:27

My DM is ver difficult to buy for. She buys whatever she needs herself and like expensive things which I often can't afford, so frivolous 'tat' is out.

A few years ago I got her a picture of her house (done on a computer but looks hand drawn). It's probably easy to do yourself these days with the right app but then it was something I had to send off for. It was framed and quite expensive but wouldn't have to be these days. For info, my DM loves her house and almost lost in when she divorced DF so it meant a lot.
You could do the same with a special photo if the house isn't a good idea?

One year I booked a spa day for us to go together. It was nice to spend time together chatting and getting massage, facial, etc.

Other ideas I've bought her - an expensive silk scarf, foot massager/pedicure tool thingy, designer handbag bought in the sale at 50% off

KingJoffreyLikesJaffaCakes Thu 28-Jul-16 14:02:55

My grandmother was like this.

We bought her a budgie.

lordsteatime Thu 28-Jul-16 14:06:15

my mum loves Queen. but when i suggested taking her to see a tribute band she was horrified!

A spa would be her idea of hell as strangers would be 'touching her'
she can only just about get her hair done with a perm twice a year and still wishes she could do it herself at home.

my mum wouldnt like a picture of her house, she is really wants to move to a smaller house and do a council swop but dad wont let her.

my sister has offered to take her on holiday with haven in a caravan, but mum said no as she doesnt like my sisters partner.

<am feeling a bit tearful now and desperate>

toadgirl Thu 28-Jul-16 14:10:33

It seems your place is in the wrong!

So why turn yourself inside out over it? I have a relative like this and you are best to either:-

(1) Buy a voucher for some department store which sells all sorts (i.e., not too specialised).

(2) Buy her something which is very similar to something you know she has bought for herself.

You will still likely be criticised, but you've minimised the strain of choosing a gift which you know will be wrong anyway.

No point in beating your brains out over this!

Gruach Thu 28-Jul-16 14:10:42

Oh dear OP, you're definitely out of synch with your DM's way of thinking.grin

I'm afraid I'm with her on your suggestions. They're kind ideas but I'd hate all of them too. You just don't seem to have the same tastes.

Littleballerina Thu 28-Jul-16 14:11:13

Can you not just ask her?

SuburbanRhonda Thu 28-Jul-16 14:12:56

You have to give her vouchers.

At least you'll get something out of it!

50ShadesOfEarlGrey Thu 28-Jul-16 14:14:17

Why not ask DM exactly what she would like? I think it is a shame to let special dates go by with no celebration, but if she is ruling out half the family and you then have a bit of a do then aren't they going to feel put out? What about a weekend away? We did this a few years ago for MILs special birthday just her, her children and partners and DGC at Centreparcs. Something we all remember fondly. We all clubbed together for big present, which she loved. Everyone from 80 to 13 months catered for. I wouldn't spend money on bits and pieces for presents though.

SuburbanRhonda Thu 28-Jul-16 14:14:19

If you're similar to the OP's DM, gruach, do you have any suggestions?

Gruach Thu 28-Jul-16 14:18:32

That's a low blow Rhondagrin.

Anyway the OP hasn't said whether her DM would care for any of the stuff I mentioned above.

WhereYouLeftIt Thu 28-Jul-16 14:19:11

Oh definitely get her a charity goat from Oxfam! She's determined to dislike everything, so you might as well spend your money on others.

She sounds like a real joy -sucker OP sad.

specialsubject Thu 28-Jul-16 14:21:17

Don't buy anything. Declatre an adult present cease fire and stop wasting effort.

toadgirl Thu 28-Jul-16 14:29:47

am feeling a bit tearful now and desperate

Please don't feel like this.

Is your mother difficult in other ways? I get the feeling you and your sister have spent a lifetime looking from approval from your difficult mother. Am I wrong in this?

Some mothers would be so happy to have two doting daughters offering to throw them parties and take them on holidays and other places.

She sounds very good at telling you what you've done wrong, but not so good at giving you the slightest guidance on how to please her? If she suggests something (a party) and you come close to getting something organised, suddenly you're in the wrong again.

I am sorry this has brought you to near tears, but this all sounds way too much stress.

I agree with the vouchers and the goat suggestions. Maybe a goat voucher so she can choose her goat, as you'd like get the wrong colour anyway? wink

LifeInJeneral Thu 28-Jul-16 14:30:09

Would she enjoy the theatre? Or a wine tasting or something? She sounds impossible to be honest and I don't envy you OP. You may need to admit defeat and just get her a bottle of perfume.
Would you be able to get a nice family photo album made up or something like that? Or a large photo frame with some nice pictures?

ceebie Thu 28-Jul-16 14:36:11

Oh dear. It's hard. A brooch, maybe? Or would she not wear one.

For my DM's 60th, we got her 60 items, one for each year. It was really hard to keep it in budget, we had one or two bigger gifts then loads of teeny ones. So, far example, a mini gin, mini tonic and lime made three gifts. We got travel shampoo etc. We got biscuits, little choclates, jam, tea, bottle of wine. Drawings from grandchildren (free) and photo I'd taken. Even the birthday cards counted as separate numbers in the count to 60. It did include those Oxfam things (fertiliser, 2 textbooks, 100 school dinners). Emery board, candle... I really can't remember what else. One of the big ones was vouchers for a meal out, so a free one was a voucher from my sister to drive her and Dad there. She loved the fact that we'd gone to so much effort... and presumably some of it at least was useful!

BeMorePanda Thu 28-Jul-16 14:38:42

I think you just have to say something like "I want to get you something you love for your birthday. What would you like?"

pasturesgreen Thu 28-Jul-16 14:41:20

Baking supplies? If she likes baking that might be an idea.

stareatthetvscreen Thu 28-Jul-16 14:45:23

omg my dm is the same smile

especially with the clothes

you know its not about the gifts don't you?

joysuckers is right smile

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