After reading your blog for several months, I have come to trust the respectful feedback that is given by the readers. I have my own situation that I wanted to get some advice on, because the last thing I want to do is come off as a “Gimme Pig!”
My father-in-law, on several occasions, has mentioned to DH and me that he is going to give us his backyard grill. It’s a beautiful grill, and has only been used a few times. They just don’t use it much, and he thinks it’s too big for the area he has it in. He knows ours is in bad shape, and thought that giving it to us would work out well on both ends. Please note, we never asked, hinted for, or otherwise insinuated that we wanted the grill, ever. Never brought it up, but gratefully accepted his offer when it was made. Here’s the catch — we still don’t have the grill, and it’s been about a year since he made the offer. My question is, how in the world to we bring it up? “Hey Dad, remember you mentioned that you wanted to give us your grill? Well, we’re ready for it now, because ours is falling apart!” just doesn’t sound right. I’m tempted to just go buy a new one, and forget the offer, but I can just hear him now, “Why in the world did you go out and buy a grill?? I told you you could have ours!” My husband hasn’t asked about it, because I don’t think he knows how to bring it up either. I would love to hear your readers take on this, and get some ideas on how to handle this! 0426-12
Meanwhile Dad is wondering why you two don’t make any arrangements to come pick up the grill. It could be a communication break down where he thinks he’s made the offer and is simply waiting for you to remove it. The next time you are with Dad, ask him, “Dad, on several occasions last year you mentioned giving us your large grill. Did I misunderstand you and you were expecting me to arrange pick up of the grill? If you are not prepared to do without your grill, I completely understand. It’s a fine grill that serves you and Mom well. I just need to know if I dropped the ball somehow.” Basically your objective is to clear up any potential miscommunication and give Dad a way to back out of his offer gracefully yet also give him the opportunity to go forth with his offer.
I’ve been in Dad’s situation where an offer has been made to give something to someone and their reticence to accept it is interpreted as disinterest or even a non-verbal, “No, thank you”. While being restrained about receiving a pretty cool gift is demure and tasteful, at some point it is beneficial to express a keen interest in actually receiving the offered item so its owner knows it well received and wanted.