Etiquette Hell

General Etiquette => Family and Children => Topic started by: christmascarol on September 12, 2011, 04:18:23 AM

Title: MIL and the chocolate presents - updated #134, p.9, #234 p.16
Post by: christmascarol on September 12, 2011, 04:18:23 AM
How can I stop my MIL giving me chocolate?  I adore it but I have a serious nut allergy and there is no chocolate here, (Germany), that's nut-free.   I've told her how much I love liquorice but she "Can't be bothered remembering".

She's stopped giving me it for Christmas because hubby and SIL told her off the last time.  The non-apology was impressive but at least she now gets me an ornament instead.

She still got me a chocolate Lindt bunny at Easter, knowing I couldn't eat it.  She actually said she knew I couldn't eat it. Those things are mouthwateringly yummy and it HURT not being able to eat it!

Two weeks ago I turned 50 and she gave me more chocolate.  The family had asked for a wish list and I'd included my allergies to make things easier for them.  Chocolate was top of my list!  She saw the list!

At first this just upset me but I'm getting angry now.  I can see an explosion on the horizon.  She's not the type to put other people's needs first but this is getting ridiculous.  At first I told myself she's got me secretly insured and is hoping I'll weaken and then kick the bucket.  It just doesn't feel funny any more  :'(

Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents
Post by: atirial on September 12, 2011, 04:34:45 AM
I don't think there is anything you can say that will change her ways. Even giving her the benefit of the doubt, it seems she has the idea of you and chocolate firmly fixed in her mind. Does she give everyone chocolate or is it just you?

All I can suggest is that your DH contacts her before these events, and reminds her not to buy chocolate. That way she loses the excuse of not being told, and gets a reminder if she really is clueless.
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents
Post by: bonyk on September 12, 2011, 04:40:04 AM
How are presents distributed?  Does she hand them to you?  If so, I would just not take the item from her, say, "No thank you," and turn your attention to something else. 

Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents
Post by: cicero on September 12, 2011, 05:10:41 AM


She still got me a chocolate Lindt bunny at Easter, knowing I couldn't eat it.  She actually said she knew I couldn't eat it. Those things are mouthwateringly yummy and it HURT not being able to eat it!
.....

At first this just upset me but I'm getting angry now.  I can see an explosion on the horizon.  She's not the type to put other people's needs first but this is getting ridiculous.  At first I told myself she's got me secretly insured and is hoping I'll weaken and then kick the bucket.  It just doesn't feel funny any more  :'(

wait a minute = she bought it *on purpose*? it wasnt' a case of "i buy chocolate for everyone and i'm so sorry i forgot about your allergy"? sheesh. it's *isn't* funny. it never *was* funny. it's very mean and rude on her part.

sigh...

I'm not sure what etiquette would dictate at this point - the "proper" thing would be to say thank you and put it aside (I'm guessing). but since she is actively doing this on purpose (why? is there a back story?) I would hand it back and say "I can't eat this" and bean dip...
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents
Post by: Iris on September 12, 2011, 05:12:15 AM
I think it is up to your DH to let her know that it is NOT ok for her to keep upsetting you this way. I would suggest he call her before each event and remind her that she is NOT to buy you chocolate until she gets the message.

It sounds like your MIL is very rude. She "can't be bothered remembering" your gift preferences? EvilIris wouldn't be bothered to remember when she has made plans to exchange gifts with you.
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents
Post by: christmascarol on September 12, 2011, 05:22:20 AM
Quote
wait a minute = she bought it *on purpose*? it wasnt' a case of "i buy chocolate for everyone and i'm so sorry i forgot about your allergy"? sheesh. it's *isn't* funny. it never *was* funny. it's very mean and rude on her part.

Yes, she knows.  When I said I couldn't eat it, she said, "I know."  The women's bunnies had little ceramic eggs over one ear and when I tried to just take the egg, she literally screamed No!!! at me.

She likes to give chocolate on every occasion as it saves her any effort.  Actually, chocolate's a step up for hubby.  He used to get socks.

I'm thinking of giving her the birthday chocolate back.  It's dark chocolate and I don't know anybody else who eats it but her.  I don't mean nastily.



Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents
Post by: christmascarol on September 12, 2011, 05:25:31 AM
Quote
EvilIris wouldn't be bothered to remember when she has made plans to exchange gifts with you.

One year she "Couldn't be bothered" getting me a birthday present at all.  When hubby called her on it, she said she'd just get me something extra for Christmas.  I told her it was ok, as it was easier for her not to get presents, we'd just not bother any more at all.  She was furious as she loves my presents.  I cracked after a few years as it made Christmas awkward and I LIKE giving presents.  It was worth it to see the pleasure on FIL's face.
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents
Post by: QueenofAllThings on September 12, 2011, 06:05:25 AM
I'd go with a PP's suggestion of just refusing the gift. If she hands it to you, just say "MIL, you know I'm allergic. I'd rather not touch it". If she leaves it on a table, don't pick it up or comment on it.

And enlist DH - it's his mother.
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents
Post by: aiki on September 12, 2011, 06:22:16 AM
Quote
EvilIris wouldn't be bothered to remember when she has made plans to exchange gifts with you.

One year she "Couldn't be bothered" getting me a birthday present at all.  When hubby called her on it, she said she'd just get me something extra for Christmas.  I told her it was ok, as it was easier for her not to get presents, we'd just not bother any more at all.  She was furious as she loves my presents.  I cracked after a few years as it made Christmas awkward and I LIKE giving presents.  It was worth it to see the pleasure on FIL's face.

Ah, well there's your answer. Save the chocolate she gives you, and re-wrap it for her for the next gift-giving occasion. Bonus points if it's incorrect for the season - e.g. Easter chocolate for Christmas. Extra bonus points if a bit stale by the time she gets it back.  >:D
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents
Post by: Shannon on September 12, 2011, 06:25:31 AM
Quote
EvilIris wouldn't be bothered to remember when she has made plans to exchange gifts with you.

One year she "Couldn't be bothered" getting me a birthday present at all.  When hubby called her on it, she said she'd just get me something extra for Christmas.  I told her it was ok, as it was easier for her not to get presents, we'd just not bother any more at all.  She was furious as she loves my presents.  I cracked after a few years as it made Christmas awkward and I LIKE giving presents.  It was worth it to see the pleasure on FIL's face.

Well, there's your angle, isn't it? Stop getting her presents until she stops giving you chocolate. Start sending her lovely and thoughtful cards instead. You're still remembering and marking her birthday/Christmas/whatever, but you're not going out of your way to do a nice thing for someone who can't be bothered to do the same for you.
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents
Post by: bopper on September 12, 2011, 08:25:45 AM
How can I stop my MIL giving me chocolate?

Does Not Compute!!!


Seriously, trying having your husband talk to her. Otherwise, just stop exchanging gifts.

"MIL, I am going to make this easy for you. Instead of you buying me something that I cannot use, it may be best to just not get me anything at all."
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents
Post by: jaxsue on September 12, 2011, 08:43:42 AM
IIRC there was a similar thread awhile back.

OP, your MIL is being quite rude by giving you a gift you can't possibly eat. It's like someone who knows my food allergies yet giving me a basket of apples. I love apples but haven't been able to eat them (raw) for the past 35 yrs. One bite could kill me.  :-[
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents
Post by: Lisbeth on September 12, 2011, 09:06:25 AM
I think your MIL is power-tripping or at the least being totally insensitive.

I wouldn't accept gifts from her anymore-she is always going to give you chocolate because she doesn't care that you can't eat it and doesn't care to find another gift for you.  Just don't take it.
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents
Post by: SPuck on September 12, 2011, 09:11:37 AM
Would it  be rude for the OP to do this:

"Mother in law, you know that I cannot accept this gift." And promptly give it back to her publicly.

I mean she knows that the gifts could harm her daughter in law, but she still keeps giving them to her in a group setting.
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents
Post by: christmascarol on September 12, 2011, 09:23:26 AM
Quote
Ah, well there's your answer. Save the chocolate she gives you, and re-wrap it for her for the next gift-giving occasion. Bonus points if it's incorrect for the season - e.g. Easter chocolate for Christmas. Extra bonus points if a bit stale by the time she gets it back.


Do you know how much I like that?  PMSL, superb!

I can't believe how therapeutic posting this has been.  It's like someone shifted reality and things look clearer.  I am definitely going to go with both hubby and me telling her repeatedly not to give me chocolate and refusing to take it if I can.  If she's wrapped it, I'll just hand it back to her/leave it.  Or maybe teach it to fly if it's a bunny.  I think I'll get SIL involved as well, we get on so well. 

Shannon: they don't send cards here like they do in the UK but I sent the family them anyway.  I stopped sending her one the year she told me she'd seen the perfect card for me and how much I would have loved it, it was perfect but she wasn't going to spend DM6 on a card for me!!!  Our cards to her cost more than double.  I stopped.  I get hurt looks about SIL's cards but I survive them.

Bopper: I tried that.  I was the bad guy.  And I felt like I was hurting me as much as anyone.

Jaxsue: do you have birch-oral-allergy?  I'm the same with apples and lots of other fruit and nuts and that's what I have.  Apples were my first.

I think maybe just selfish, Lisbeth.  She's not any better with her blood relatives.  But I'm trying one problem at a time.

I'd like to know that too, SPuck.  You're right about the group setting.

My mind's racing.  I keep thinking of all the rude or thoughtless things she's said or done and I really feel like this has helped shrug them off.

How about the asthma attacks I get from her stinky handcream?  I bought her unperfumed.  She used it when I wasn't there and went back to stinky when I was  :o  DH and SIL hit the roof.  I bought her more handcream.  I wonder if it will still be there when we go next month.  Oh, and both handcreams are from the same drugstore chain.
 
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents
Post by: alegria on September 12, 2011, 09:28:56 AM
In my opinion, it's time to throw a scene.  A full-on, sniffly, crying, "YOU'RE TRYING TO KILL ME!!!," racing out of the room scene.  Bonus points if you can manage a sobbed "What have I EVER done to you to make you want to KILL ME???!!!" as you run out of the room.  Double bonus points if there are more than four people present.

She's doing it on purpose to be mean and cruel, with the bonus of lazy added in.  Call her on it in a big way, in public.
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents
Post by: MerryCat on September 12, 2011, 10:13:35 AM
I would suggest getting your MIL small, not particularly thoughtful gifts until she changes her ways. Nothing so bad that she can call you on it, but boring enough that she feels she's missing out on the awesomeness that is your gift giving. I'd also make all the gifts be something to do with chocolate - like a box of chocolate, tin of hot chocolate, gift certificate to a chocolate place. Just say something along the lines of "I can tell how much you love chocolate so I thought this would be perfect for you."
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents
Post by: MrTango on September 12, 2011, 10:18:02 AM
So, she insists on buying you "gifts" to which your body has a serious allergy?

Has it occurred to anyone else what "Gift" means in German?
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents
Post by: EmmaJ. on September 12, 2011, 11:49:20 AM
So, she insists on buying you "gifts" to which your body has a serious allergy?

Has it occurred to anyone else what "Gift" means in German?

Oh my goodness!!! I pulled up Google Translator and my jaw hit the floor!

(It means "poison".)    :o   
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents
Post by: Hmmmmm on September 12, 2011, 12:15:10 PM
Quote
wait a minute = she bought it *on purpose*? it wasnt' a case of "i buy chocolate for everyone and i'm so sorry i forgot about your allergy"? sheesh. it's *isn't* funny. it never *was* funny. it's very mean and rude on her part.

Yes, she knows.  When I said I couldn't eat it, she said, "I know."  The women's bunnies had little ceramic eggs over one ear and when I tried to just take the egg, she literally screamed No!!! at me.She likes to give chocolate on every occasion as it saves her any effort.  Actually, chocolate's a step up for hubby.  He used to get socks.

I'm thinking of giving her the birthday chocolate back.  It's dark chocolate and I don't know anybody else who eats it but her.  I don't mean nastily.

So were the women who could eat chocolate allowed to eat the eggs?  I think she does this hoping you'll just give her the chocolate back. 

I'd stop giving her gifts and anytime she gave you chocolate I'd say "Thank you, I'm sure the "teachers at the local school" or the "patients at the nursing home" or the "volunteers at the shelter" will enjoy these when I drop them off to them." 
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents
Post by: KimberlyRose on September 12, 2011, 01:31:18 PM
I don't think there is anything you can say that will change her ways. Even giving her the benefit of the doubt, it seems she has the idea of you and chocolate firmly fixed in her mind. Does she give everyone chocolate or is it just you?

She's said outright that she can't be bothered to remember that the OP likes licorice, and she's also given the OP chocolate, telling her that she knew the OP couldn't eat it.

To be honest, and I know this isn't eHell approved, I'd be inclined to just look at her, then take the chocolate over to the trash and dump it.  These aren't presents, this is a power play.  She's telling the OP how little she thinks of her.
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents
Post by: lady_disdain on September 12, 2011, 01:48:32 PM
My take is that she gets off on all the scenes and on "humiliating" you in public. So I would just quietly thank her, put her gift to the side and move on with life. Out of her sight, give awesome SiL the chocolate. Give MiL boring, repetitive gifts and keep giving everyone else amazing gifts.
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents
Post by: Outdoor Girl on September 12, 2011, 01:56:39 PM
I agree with just getting MIL boring gifts but I wouldn't quietly give the chocolate to someone else.  When she gives you chocolate, say 'MIL, thank you but you know I can't eat chocolate.  SIL, would you like mine?'

Don't make a fuss but give it to someone else right in front of her, every time.  Or use Pame's idea about telling her where you are going to donate it.
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents
Post by: SuperMartianRobotGirl on September 12, 2011, 01:57:15 PM
I feel your pain.  I get severe migraine headaches and can't eat chocolate, and there is a family member who always gets me chocolate, even though she knows I can't eat it.  And I LOVE chocolate so it's really difficult.  I haven't decided whether it's a PA thing in my case, I go back and forth on that, but it sounds seriously PA in your case.  Maybe you should just hand the chocolate back to her and say, "Thanks but I can't eat it.  Why don't you keep it?"  In my case, I open it, see it's chocolate, and say, "Well I can't have it but I guess the kids can have it."  One year I just handed the present to my daughter and had her open it.  I don't even care about it anymore, but I've stopped pretending to be excited.  She doesn't seem to care if I like it or not anyway.
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents
Post by: TychaBrahe on September 12, 2011, 02:20:10 PM
In my opinion, it's time to throw a scene.  A full-on, sniffly, crying, "YOU'RE TRYING TO KILL ME!!!," racing out of the room scene.  Bonus points if you can manage a sobbed "What have I EVER done to you to make you want to KILL ME???!!!" as you run out of the room.  Double bonus points if there are more than four people present.

She's doing it on purpose to be mean and cruel, with the bonus of lazy added in.  Call her on it in a big way, in public.

I wouldn't go quite that far, but here is what I would do.

First, your DH must talk to her.  What she is doing is cruel and offensive.  This most likely won't stop her.

So take her gift and open it last.  Gush over the other gifts.  "Oh, FIL, what a lovely bracelet!"  "Oh, SIL, I've been wanting to read this book for ages!"

And then, "And here's my annual Christmas trip to the emergency room from MIL.  Thanks, MIL, but here's your chocolate back.  You know I don't dare eat any."
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents
Post by: Lisbeth on September 12, 2011, 02:23:29 PM
In my opinion, it's time to throw a scene.  A full-on, sniffly, crying, "YOU'RE TRYING TO KILL ME!!!," racing out of the room scene.  Bonus points if you can manage a sobbed "What have I EVER done to you to make you want to KILL ME???!!!" as you run out of the room.  Double bonus points if there are more than four people present.

She's doing it on purpose to be mean and cruel, with the bonus of lazy added in.  Call her on it in a big way, in public.

I wouldn't go quite that far, but here is what I would do.

First, your DH must talk to her.  What she is doing is cruel and offensive.  This most likely won't stop her.

So take her gift and open it last.  Gush over the other gifts.  "Oh, FIL, what a lovely bracelet!"  "Oh, SIL, I've been wanting to read this book for ages!"

And then, "And here's my annual Christmas trip to the emergency room from MIL.  Thanks, MIL, but here's your chocolate back.  You know I don't dare eat any."

I wouldn't even do that.  I wouldn't acknowledge any gift from MIL.  Like a PP says, she gets off on giving gifts knowing they are useless to you.  I wouldn't even take it or open it.
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents
Post by: Bharris on September 12, 2011, 02:47:37 PM
Evil Bharris would suggest that you give MIL something that she can't stand or is allergic to in return, maybe with the comment, "Well, I thought that since you like giving deadly gifts, you'd like receiving them as well!"  >:D

But seriously, I agree that you shouldn't expect that MIL will change, so just ignore her chocolate gifts or pass them along to someone who'd appreciate them.  Maybe me!   ;D
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents
Post by: JenJay on September 12, 2011, 05:27:04 PM
I'd pre-plan for my husband to take it from my hands, say "Mother, enough!" and throw it into the trash right in front of her, but that's me.
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents
Post by: Mrs.E on September 12, 2011, 05:49:07 PM
With as long as this has gone on I think an extreme reply is the only way to get it through her thick skull. I would either dump it straight into the trash or hand it directly to someone else, telling her that she KNOWS you are allergic and can't have chocolate. I would also stop giving her gifts.
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents
Post by: Elfmama on September 12, 2011, 06:26:25 PM
With as long as this has gone on I think an extreme reply is the only way to get it through her thick skull. I would either dump it straight into the trash or hand it directly to someone else, telling her that she KNOWS you are allergic and can't have chocolate. I would also stop giving her gifts.
No, I'd give her presents.  They'd be the cheapest, tackiest stuff that the dollar store has, but they'd be presents.  Maybe start her a collection of knick-knackery.  Frogs, or cheap knockoffs of Hummel figurines, or something similar.  Bonus points if she has a phobia about frogs!
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents
Post by: MerryCat on September 12, 2011, 06:31:58 PM
With as long as this has gone on I think an extreme reply is the only way to get it through her thick skull. I would either dump it straight into the trash or hand it directly to someone else, telling her that she KNOWS you are allergic and can't have chocolate. I would also stop giving her gifts.
No, I'd give her presents.  They'd be the cheapest, tackiest stuff that the dollar store has, but they'd be presents.  Maybe start her a collection of knick-knackery.  Frogs, or cheap knockoffs of Hummel figurines, or something similar.  Bonus points if she has a phobia about frogs!

I like this! Try to find something she dislikes and just give her those as gifts every single year. It may not change her behavior but it will make you feel better!
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents
Post by: BarensMom on September 12, 2011, 06:38:49 PM
Something along this line happened to me several years ago.  I belonged to a girls group that elects officers every 6 months.  When the head of the organization time is up, they would receive publicly a bouquet of flowers, usually roses.  Both my mother and I made sure that the adults in charge knew of my allergy to roses, but the main adult purchased them anyway, with a snide comment to my mother, "they WILL be roses!"  When it came time for me to go forward with bouquet on arm, I left them at the back.  When someone brought the bouquet forward and put them in front of me, I took them, handed them off to the local dignitary at my side and said, "Would you please take these away, I'm allergic."  This happened in front of 200+ people.  When the main adult tried to say she didn't know, my mother and the other adults reminded her that she had been told.
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents
Post by: wheeitsme on September 12, 2011, 06:40:16 PM
Honestly?  She gave you something she knew was dangerous to you.  And she admitted it. 

If she did it again, I'd open it, note out loud "You gave me something with nuts.  You know I can't eat nuts.  You know that I'm allergic and that there are physical repercussions if I eat them.  But you gave this to me anyway" (not angrily, just matter-of-factly).  Then I would get up and throw it away in such a way that it could not be salvaged.  If your MIL tries to say something, just repeat the above.  And go on with the day.  I doubt she'll do it very often after that if you "lather/rinse/repeat" whenever it happens.
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents
Post by: AlwaysQuizzical on September 12, 2011, 07:18:19 PM
If I were you I would purchase two gifts for MIL. One very thoughtful and nice and the other, a bag of licorice. Open your gift first, if she got you chocolate give her licorice, then switch the gifts. If she remembered this year, then  give her the nice gift. Keep the nice one in a bag or your purse.
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents
Post by: Jelaza on September 12, 2011, 07:21:32 PM
My first thought on reading was to not say a word, open the box, pull out the chocolate, and throw it into the garbage unwrapped (so it couldn't be retrieved).  I was concerned that it was a bit overdramatic, but if so, at least I'm not the only dramatic person.
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents
Post by: violinp on September 12, 2011, 07:25:19 PM
My first thought on reading was to not say a word, open the box, pull out the chocolate, and throw it into the garbage unwrapped (so it couldn't be retrieved).  I was concerned that it was a bit overdramatic, but if so, at least I'm not the only dramatic person.

I'd put it down the sink disposal. Let's see MiL get it now!  >:D
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents
Post by: BeagleMommy on September 12, 2011, 07:39:31 PM
Evil BeagleMommy suggests buying about 30 hideously ugly, cheaply made blouses that are three sizes either too big or too small (all in the same pattern) and giving her the same blouse for every occasion.  When she says something just respond "Oh I really couldn't be bothered to look for something you like.  This was easier."

She's been crated.  I agree with previous posters to get your DH involved (and SIL if she's willing) and make sure every time MIL gives you chocolate one of them (not you) disposes of it and reminds MIL of your allergy.
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents
Post by: Calypso on September 12, 2011, 07:50:17 PM
I'm a bit confused by a couple of things. You say you're allergic to nuts, and there's no nut-free chocolate in Germany. Do you mean there's no chocolate that's not processed in a facility that also processes nuts? Because I ate tons of lovely nut-less chocolates when I was in Germany (chocolate with rum in it from a little town on the Mosel River....ooooh, boy.)

Also, while it is certainly rude for your MIL to ignore what you have said, I'm a *bit* surprised that this is so hurtful to someone who's about to turn 50 (I'm 51, so I'm not talking completely out of left field here). I mean, getting very very upset about something like this...until you said you were almost 50, I was picturing your post being written by someone no more than mid-20s.

If she's actually SCREAMING at you at gift-giving times, well, she sounds quite the drama queen. Perhaps her tendency for exaggerated behavior is influencing everyone else?
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents
Post by: ShadesOfGrey on September 12, 2011, 07:53:35 PM
I dont think any kind of retaliation is needed here. I actually think it's kinda immature in this case.  Plus, she wants a reaction. Why give it to her?

Say thanks, matter of factly. And move the chocolate into your pile, or have your dh take it, and simply dont give it any more acknowledgement.  Dump it after you leave (dont let her see you).

Give her a card and/or some generic gift for any occasion.

She's telling you she doesnt want to be close to you. You cant force her to be, or to feel badly about giving you something you cant eat.  You can only respond with the same intimacy level - card/generic gift. 

Giving her a good or thoughtful gift in this case is a waste of your efforts. 
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents
Post by: Spoder on September 12, 2011, 08:03:26 PM
I dont think any kind of retaliation is needed here. I actually think it's kinda immature in this case.  Plus, she wants a reaction. Why give it to her?

Say thanks, matter of factly. And move the chocolate into your pile, or have your dh take it, and simply dont give it any more acknowledgement.  Dump it after you leave (dont let her see you).

Give her a card and/or some generic gift for any occasion.

She's telling you she doesnt want to be close to you. You cant force her to be, or to feel badly about giving you something you cant eat.  You can only respond with the same intimacy level - card/generic gift. 

Giving her a good or thoughtful gift in this case is a waste of your efforts.

I just came back to this thread to say pretty much exactly this. Thanks for saving me the trouble, DigitalPumpkin46.  :)
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents
Post by: KenveeB on September 12, 2011, 08:33:30 PM
I think that she's communicated her opinion of you, so I would stop giving her thoughtful gifts.  Since not giving gifts at all bothers you, I'd just go with something generic.  Bottle of bubble bath, candle, something that you'd pick up on the way to a gift exchange when you found out someone you don't know at all is coming.  Accept her gift matter-of-factly ("thanks", no inflection), set it aside, and don't say another word about it.  At this point, she's doing it to get a rise out of you.  Don't let her.
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents
Post by: TootsNYC on September 12, 2011, 08:54:55 PM
Quote
EvilIris wouldn't be bothered to remember when she has made plans to exchange gifts with you.

One year she "Couldn't be bothered" getting me a birthday present at all.  When hubby called her on it, she said she'd just get me something extra for Christmas.  I told her it was ok, as it was easier for her not to get presents, we'd just not bother any more at all.  She was furious as she loves my presents.  I cracked after a few years as it made Christmas awkward and I LIKE giving presents.  It was worth it to see the pleasure on FIL's face.

Well, there's your angle, isn't it? Stop getting her presents until she stops giving you chocolate. Start sending her lovely and thoughtful cards instead. You're still remembering and marking her birthday/Christmas/whatever, but you're not going out of your way to do a nice thing for someone who can't be bothered to do the same for you.


Here you go!

I think Shannon has it perfect.

Just be polite when you "spin" it.
"MIL, I can tell that buying presents is a burden for you, because you keep giving me chocolate, which you know I dare not eat. Since this is unfair to you, let's just not exchange presents anymore--I hate to be a burden to you. So I won't be giving you a present at Christmas, or whenever, because I hate to make you think you have to reciprocate when it's so much trouble to think of something that won't be harmful to me."

Though I totally agree w/ Double Pumpkin. You can't force her to be close to you, so you'll simply have to stop expecting it. Don't make a big deal--say "thank you!" and regift the chocolate. Think of it as, "now I don't have to try to find something to give the mailman/paperboy/babysitter. I can give them this chocolate, and they'll be so thrilled."

All these other things just seem like retaliatory rudeness, and sort of childish. I would expect that more people would remember that childish gesture, and think more ill of it, than they'd remember what MIL did.
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents
Post by: Curly Wurly Doggie Breath on September 12, 2011, 08:58:41 PM
I would suggest getting your MIL small, not particularly thoughtful gifts until she changes her ways. Nothing so bad that she can call you on it, but boring enough that she feels she's missing out on the awesomeness that is your gift giving. I'd also make all the gifts be something to do with chocolate - like a box of chocolate, tin of hot chocolate, gift certificate to a chocolate place. Just say something along the lines of "I can tell how much you love chocolate so I thought this would be perfect for you."

Give home made gifts, A really simple Chocolate drink mix can be bought or made up at home and 're-packaged' into a glass jar with a lid. Tie a pretty bow and you have a gift for under $2.

Get Hubby to do this if you cannot touch the chocolate powder.

It's Chocolate, it's a well thought out 'gift', it's got the 'personal' touch, and you went to such a great effort to get her something she obviously Loovveesss.
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents
Post by: MakeMineRed on September 12, 2011, 09:08:13 PM
I've given this a lot of thought and typed out several replies.

First, I want to tell you how sorry I am for you.  It really seems like she doesn't care about you and that must hurt.

However, it recently came to my attention that nut allergies aren't taken as seriously in Germany as they are in North America.  My coworker's son, DIL and grandchildren live there and her grandson has a nut allergy.  She was horrified on a recent visit this summer  to find that the school had nothing in place for such conditions.  And, according to her, apparently nut allergies are almost non-existant there.

OP, could you confirm if my coworker's assessment is correct?  If so,  it could very well be that
MIL just doesn't get it.
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents
Post by: Captain Hastings on September 12, 2011, 10:23:21 PM
Since you can't do anything about her mean behavior--you can only do something about yours--I would figure out what kind of tone you'd like to set with this jerk.

1) Frostily polite: accept the chocolate with a non-smiling "It was kind of you to think of me." Then quietly dispose of it in the trash. Give her a card, and no gift.

2) Hurt and disappointment: A somber and quiet, "MIL, you know this will endanger my life. It hurts very much that you want me to be sick." Give her nothing.

3) Humor: "Oh hahaha, MIL, you sneaky old devil, you're at it again! Hey cuz, MIL is trying to kill me again, can you believe this?" Then laugh and toss it away like the gag gift it is. Then pretend to stab her.

I'm sure there's more, but I think your reaction to these awful gifts is the only thing you can control here.

MakeMineRed mentioned that she may not fully understand your allergies. I have heard of people who think allergies are "all in the head." Of course I can't recommend you have a reaction in front of her, but could you show her YouTube videos or pictures or medical descriptions of what will happen to you, should you indulge? Would it matter?
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents
Post by: hyzenthlay on September 12, 2011, 10:25:54 PM
I'd pre-plan for my husband to take it from my hands, say "Mother, enough!" and throw it into the trash right in front of her, but that's me.

I think this is the best solution. She doesn't like or respect you (apparently) so let the bulk of the communication go through the one she might listen to, her son.
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents
Post by: Elfmama on September 12, 2011, 10:30:04 PM
I'd pre-plan for my husband to take it from my hands, say "Mother, enough!" and throw it into the trash right in front of her, but that's me.

I think this is the best solution. She doesn't like or respect you (apparently) so let the bulk of the communication go through the one she might listen to, her son.
I dunno...my MIL never listened to her sons.  They were just children, you see. ::)
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents
Post by: hyzenthlay on September 12, 2011, 10:38:33 PM
I'd pre-plan for my husband to take it from my hands, say "Mother, enough!" and throw it into the trash right in front of her, but that's me.

I think this is the best solution. She doesn't like or respect you (apparently) so let the bulk of the communication go through the one she might listen to, her son.
I dunno...my MIL never listened to her sons.  They were just children, you see. ::)

Well so long as you didn't have to listen to her, I don't see a problem  :D
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents
Post by: christmascarol on September 13, 2011, 02:21:04 AM
I think I've had an epiphany.  Thankyou so much for all the replies, they've really helped. It's amazing.

Having thought about your replies, I reckon my MIL is selfish and a bully.  I think her attitude has caused her a lot of trouble in the past with family and friends, (reading between the lines)´. And her husband and children are so used to it, they've just accepted it as the way she is. 

I'm sorry if I wasn't clear but DH has talked to her and told her off.  As has SIL.  They prefer to be together when they do it though, lol.  It's like Elfmama said, they're still her `children´.

And I tried stopping present-giving, DH backed me.  I was the bad guy.  We don't live near the relatives, she can twist things to them.  And it hurt FIL, I didn't enjoy that.

SuperMartianRobotGirl: I feel for you, I really do, migraines are awful.  Otherwise, it all sounds familiar.  I just don't understand not caring whether a present is a good one or not.

Tychabrahe: I do gush over the others, it's natural and I don't see why I shouldn't.  DH and SIL are the same.  Her face is always a thundercloud but why shouldn't we be happy over nice presents?  I now just let her sulk.

BarensMom: Well done you!  I don't think it's easy to publicly counteract rudeness in a polite way.  That sounds perfect  ;D

Calypso, yes I do mean that.  All the chocolate here says either `may contain traces of nuts´ or nothing at all, which I still avoid.   MakeMineRed is right, we're light-years behind the US and UK here.  Labelling isn't taken seriously for most allergies but especially nuts :-(  I did have one organic chocolate that the manufacturers said was ok but they stopped making it.   I do think there are a lot of sufferers though but I don't think allergies, apart from hayfever, are taken really seriously anywhere in Europe apart from the UK.

MIL does take my allergies seriously when it comes to cakes.  She ALWAYS makes sure there's one I can eat, whoever's birthday it is. 
Chocolate and perfume are a blind spot.  They mean her making an effort she can't be bothered to make. Her life motto is `I can't be bothered´, she says it all the time.  But she's used to everybody else bothering and expects it and is shocked when there's consequences.  She never sees them coming.  I think, thanks a lot to ehell, I'm going to adopt `I can't be bothered´ towards her in future.  It's not my nature and I'm hopeless at bearing a grudge, but... 

I'm going to be proactive - I'm going to tell her before each occasion not to get me chocolate.  I'm going to ask DH and SIL to do so as well. 
They open their presents first at Christmas, so I can't have alternatives then.  She can't wait to open my presents, lol.  This year will be a resturant voucher to share and a small something besides.  Then I can get FIL something he really likes and food he loves ;D  MIL's may not be much  >:D
Easter's choccy is the only unwrapped one so I'll see what it is and have 2 things in my bag.  An Easter trinket or a bag of liquorice.  She hates liquorice, so if I get a bunny, I'll offer to swap with her  ;D
When we go up next month, I'm going to return her chocolate.  I shall say - and it's true - that she's the only person I know who likes dark chocolate so it's either that or throw it away.  She can't make herself into the victim with that logic.

But I really like the idea of throwing it away in front of her, it's a definite plan B.  I know it'll make me into the bad guy as everyone will say I should have given it away, not wasted it.  Tough!  I like the idea of opening a window and throwing it as far as I can.  So if you hear of any low flying Easter bunnies, only ehell will know why!  ;D





Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents
Post by: KenveeB on September 13, 2011, 07:19:23 AM
She hates liquorice, so if I get a bunny, I'll offer to swap with her  ;D

I like this idea.  For all gift-giving, she gets a bag of liquorice, and you can swap.  That way you both get something you love and neither of you has to be bothered.  >:D
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents
Post by: MonteCristo on September 13, 2011, 08:51:58 AM
Are these public occasions?  Before you go the extreme route of throwing it out the window (that would probably get you cut permanently in my family) why not try killing her with kindness?  When you get the candy just act all sad and say that you can't eat it because of the allergies, then brighten up and ask her to take it so that someone can enjoy it.  Be really sweet about it, but make it clear that you can't possible eat it.  If she won't take it, offer it around to everyone else "because you don't want MIL's lovely choclate to go to waste".  If she has any sense at all she will be ashamed, but you will be giving her the opportuntity to save face.  You just have to make sure you do this carefully...any bit of snark will ruin the whole affect and make you look obnoxious. 

Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents
Post by: rose red on September 13, 2011, 09:30:47 AM
She's trying to have it both ways.  Give thoughtless gifts while expecting awesome ones back.  Others may play this game, but you don't have to.  Every holiday, just give her the same thing (say, a candle).  Every. Single. Holiday.

As for the chocolates, do not complain, be upset, or try to change her.  Say a polite thank you and put it aside.  No other reaction.  No drama like throwing it away or giving it away or jokes about poison.  No reaction.  This way, she cannot play the victim or try to guilt you.  Give her zero.  It'll drive her nuts (heh heh.  Nuts.  Get it?  ::) <-----at me)

edited for a few mistakes.
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents
Post by: Dragonflymom on September 13, 2011, 10:09:42 AM
She's trying to have it both ways.  Give thoughtless gifts while expecting awesome ones back.  Others may play this game, but you don't have to.  Every holiday, just give her the same thing (say, a candle).  Every. Single. Holiday.

As for the chocolates, do not complain, be upset, or try to change her.  Say a polite thank you and put it aside.  No other reaction.  No drama like throwing it away or giving it away or jokes about poison.  No reaction.  This way, she cannot play the victim or try to guilt you.  Give her zero.  It'll drive her nuts (heh heh.  Nuts.  Get it?  ::) <-----at me)

edited for a few mistakes.

Bonus points if each time the candle is chocolate scented.
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents
Post by: christmascarol on September 13, 2011, 10:42:36 AM
Quote
If she has any sense at all she will be ashamed,


I wish.  That's her idea of the perfect solution.  No effort, no aggravation, no waste.

It is always at family gatherings.  I haven't mentioned it before but they're only small as one of her sons almost never comes and the other and his family have cut her out of their lives completely.  I know how they feel but I'm trying not to do the same.  I try hard to be the grown-up.

Rose red - got it  ;D  jennyanne - yes!!!   ;D
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents
Post by: KimberlyRose on September 13, 2011, 10:59:58 AM
the other and his family have cut her out of their lives completely.

Wow, imagine that.  At least you know it's not just you she's toxic towards.
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents
Post by: alegria on September 13, 2011, 11:06:45 AM
Are these public occasions?  Before you go the extreme route of throwing it out the window (that would probably get you cut permanently in my family) why not try killing her with kindness?  When you get the candy just act all sad and say that you can't eat it because of the allergies, then brighten up and ask her to take it so that someone can enjoy it.  Be really sweet about it, but make it clear that you can't possible eat it.  If she won't take it, offer it around to everyone else "because you don't want MIL's lovely choclate to go to waste".  If she has any sense at all she will be ashamed, but you will be giving her the opportuntity to save face.  You just have to make sure you do this carefully...any bit of snark will ruin the whole affect and make you look obnoxious.

If someone in your family consistently insisted on giving a thoughtless and dangerous item to one member, despite YEARS of being told not to, you would cut them out permanently if they finally pitched it out a window?
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents
Post by: MonteCristo on September 13, 2011, 03:55:39 PM
Are these public occasions?  Before you go the extreme route of throwing it out the window (that would probably get you cut permanently in my family) why not try killing her with kindness?  When you get the candy just act all sad and say that you can't eat it because of the allergies, then brighten up and ask her to take it so that someone can enjoy it.  Be really sweet about it, but make it clear that you can't possible eat it.  If she won't take it, offer it around to everyone else "because you don't want MIL's lovely choclate to go to waste".  If she has any sense at all she will be ashamed, but you will be giving her the opportuntity to save face.  You just have to make sure you do this carefully...any bit of snark will ruin the whole affect and make you look obnoxious.

If someone in your family consistently insisted on giving a thoughtless and dangerous item to one member, despite YEARS of being told not to, you would cut them out permanently if they finally pitched it out a window?

I don't think that came out right...what I meant was relationship between the gifter and giftee would be completely destroyed.  As in if the OP threw the candy out the window the MIL would cut her.  Judging from the fact that the OP is asking for advice in dealing with MIL, I didn't think that was what she wanted. 

In actuality if someone kept giving a dangerous item to one family member there would a serious "What the dickens is wrong with you" outburst from someone (prob me or my Dad, lol).
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents
Post by: MerryCat on September 13, 2011, 04:59:22 PM
OOhh.. i had a thought a thought but I'm not sure if it's PA - Give her a crappy, token gift and then, when she complains, look hurt and say "I put at least as much thought into your gift as you put into mine!"
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents
Post by: Bethalize on September 13, 2011, 06:01:33 PM
Innocent assumption that MIL's behaviour has the best possible cause:

"Oh, MIL, you've given me someone else's present. This can't be mine, it's chocolate. Here, I don't want to deprive whomever you bought this for."
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents
Post by: wyliefool on September 13, 2011, 07:56:47 PM
She hates liquorice, so if I get a bunny, I'll offer to swap with her  ;D

I like this idea.  For all gift-giving, she gets a bag of liquorice, and you can swap.  That way you both get something you love and neither of you has to be bothered.  >:D

I think this is the best idea.

The second best would be to send your lovely German chocolate to one of us dark-chocolate-loving e-hellions (ahem) and we can send a nice nutless American chocolate by return mail. Win-win!!   ;D
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents
Post by: Spoder on September 13, 2011, 11:43:46 PM
Are these public occasions?  Before you go the extreme route of throwing it out the window (that would probably get you cut permanently in my family) why not try killing her with kindness?  When you get the candy just act all sad and say that you can't eat it because of the allergies, then brighten up and ask her to take it so that someone can enjoy it.  Be really sweet about it, but make it clear that you can't possible eat it.  If she won't take it, offer it around to everyone else "because you don't want MIL's lovely choclate to go to waste".  If she has any sense at all she will be ashamed, but you will be giving her the opportuntity to save face.  You just have to make sure you do this carefully...any bit of snark will ruin the whole affect and make you look obnoxious.

If someone in your family consistently insisted on giving a thoughtless and dangerous item to one member, despite YEARS of being told not to, you would cut them out permanently if they finally pitched it out a window?

I can't speak for MonteCristo, but personally - I wouldn't cut them, but if that person was an adult, I would think they were rude and childish.
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents
Post by: Dragonflymom on September 13, 2011, 11:46:26 PM
I can be bribed to embroider something if mailed sufficient quantities of dark chocolate....   ;D
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents
Post by: Doll Fiend on September 14, 2011, 01:25:49 AM
An international chocolate exchange. Now that sounds like fun!
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents
Post by: MariaE on September 14, 2011, 03:02:25 AM
An international chocolate exchange. Now that sounds like fun!

I'm part of a mailing list where we discuss the works of Lucy Maud Montgomery. We've done international chocolate exchanges twice - it's been GREAT fun! :D (Besides, any excuse to eat chocolate is always a good thing in my books :D )
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents
Post by: TootsNYC on September 14, 2011, 06:48:02 AM

Chocolate and perfume are a blind spot.  They mean her making an effort she can't be bothered to make. Her life motto is `I can't be bothered´, she says it all the time.  But she's used to everybody else bothering and expects it and is shocked when there's consequences.  She never sees them coming.  I think, thanks a lot to ehell, I'm going to adopt `I can't be bothered´ towards her in future.  It's not my nature and I'm hopeless at bearing a grudge, but... 

I'm going to be proactive - I'm going to tell her before each occasion not to get me chocolate. 


I suggest you be even MORE proactive. Find an alternative easy-to-buy gift that doesn't feel as hurtful. One that feels simply "lazy" instead of "damaging." Fancy hand lotion, or snazzy olive oil. Something that's as easy to "walk past in the store and pick up" as chocolate would be.

And then get your DH and your SIL to stress this as a good alternative.



The other option: stop caring. Mentally, think: "chocolate: check."
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents
Post by: christmascarol on September 14, 2011, 08:11:53 AM
Quote
The second best would be to send your lovely German chocolate to one of us


 ;D ;D ;D Lol!

When we were on holiday in New England we went to a Lindt shop and it was SO much cheaper than over here - still don't understand that.  I couldn't get DH out.  We don't have them over here.  AND they gave out samples  :o  ;D  He thought he'd died and gone to heaven.

TootsNYC: You can't get easier than liquorice, it's in every supermarket, and that was too much effort for her.  I like the other option best - stop caring! 

Five pages of people saying MIL is in the wrong has done me the world of good.  She always acts like it's me and you say it isn't!  It's wonderful  ;D
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents
Post by: Petticoats on September 14, 2011, 08:26:19 AM
Quote
The second best would be to send your lovely German chocolate to one of us


 ;D ;D ;D Lol!

When we were on holiday in New England we went to a Lindt shop and it was SO much cheaper than over here - still don't understand that.  I couldn't get DH out.  We don't have them over here.  AND they gave out samples  :o  ;D  He thought he'd died and gone to heaven.

TootsNYC: You can't get easier than liquorice, it's in every supermarket, and that was too much effort for her.  I like the other option best - stop caring! 

Five pages of people saying MIL is in the wrong has done me the world of good.  She always acts like it's me and you say it isn't!  It's wonderful  ;D

Wow. That makes her persistent fail all the more spectacular (and really, it was off the charts already).

I do like the idea of buying licorice for her and then sweetly proposing a swap.

EvilPetticoats does have a lovely mental image of you unwrapping chocolates from her and drawing in your breath in a horrified gasp, dropping the box as if it had burned you, and going to the kitchen to fetch oven gloves and a set of tongs with which to pick up the box and offer it to others--"I don't dare! As you know, I'm terribly allergic!" ...but EvilPetticoats has a rather sensationalistic tendency.
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents
Post by: ellebelle on September 14, 2011, 09:41:52 AM
does anyone else see the irony that MIL buys the OP chocolate that she (MIL) loves and no one else. My first thought was the MIL is hoping that the OP will give her (MIL) the chocolate to enjoy. It's a win win for the MIL she gives a gift and gets something she loves in addition to the gift from the OP.

I would be so angry if after many years of explaining to her that I cannot have chocolate she cannot bother to change her ways because she is lazy and/or mean as H$!!!.

I love the idea someone else share about donating the chocolate and making sure she understands it's because you cannot eat it yet again. I would NEVER give the chocolate back to her because then she essentially is rewarded for buying it for the OP to begin with.
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents
Post by: christmascarol on September 14, 2011, 11:22:09 AM
Quote
I would NEVER give the chocolate back to her because then she essentially is rewarded for buying it for the OP to begin with.


You would think so, wouldn't you?  I'm so pleased I posted here, you all share my logic.  But MIL doesn't see things the same way as ehell.  She's actually pleased if DH or someone else gets it.  MIL sees that as her being generous and giving someone an extra present. 

My best friend explains it like this - MIL and I are are from different planets.  BF and I are from the same planet.  Our planet is much nicer!  ;D  The dark chocolate was an exception.  It's usually something DH really likes and he doesn't like dark chocolate.

Ooh - you may be right!  She gave him these at Christmas http://www.ferrero.de/#/rond  apparently they were divine!  So she may have thought she'd get them back and it backfired.  I really like that idea  >:D 
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents
Post by: Calypso on September 14, 2011, 02:32:22 PM
I wonder what would happen if you opened your next chocolate gift and enthusiastically exclaimed "oh, this is wonderful, MIL, thank you! I love it!" with great sincerity??  8)
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents
Post by: Lisbeth on September 14, 2011, 02:52:32 PM
Actually, with this MIL, what might work is for the OP to exclaim, "What a wonderful gift!  I can't wait to eat every piece of it!" with a huge smile on her face and taking it away without giving the MIL any impression that she doesn't like it.

The MIL picks this gift knowing that the OP can't eat it; I wonder how she'd react to an enthusiastic acceptance of it.
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents
Post by: Kimblee on September 14, 2011, 03:17:20 PM
I can be bribed to embroider something if mailed sufficient quantities of dark chocolate....   ;D

Same here.

Or crochet something even.
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents
Post by: Kimblee on September 14, 2011, 03:20:31 PM
Quote
I would NEVER give the chocolate back to her because then she essentially is rewarded for buying it for the OP to begin with.


You would think so, wouldn't you?  I'm so pleased I posted here, you all share my logic.  But MIL doesn't see things the same way as ehell.  She's actually pleased if DH or someone else gets it.  MIL sees that as her being generous and giving someone an extra present. 

My best friend explains it like this - MIL and I are are from different planets.  BF and I are from the same planet.  Our planet is much nicer!  ;D  The dark chocolate was an exception.  It's usually something DH really likes and he doesn't like dark chocolate.

Ooh - you may be right!  She gave him these at Christmas http://www.ferrero.de/#/rond  apparently they were divine!  So she may have thought she'd get them back and it backfired.  I really like that idea  >:D

Uh... those contain HAZELNUTS.

So she moved right past "food that OP might be allergic to" and on to "Food that DEFINATLY contains nuts, so Op is allergic to."

That's cold. Give MIL a box of tampons.
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents
Post by: wheeitsme on September 14, 2011, 03:26:53 PM
Actually, with this MIL, what might work is for the OP to exclaim, "What a wonderful gift!  I can't wait to eat every piece of it!" with a huge smile on her face and taking it away without giving the MIL any impression that she doesn't like it.

The MIL picks this gift knowing that the OP can't eat it; I wonder how she'd react to an enthusiastic acceptance of it.


Or perhaps a "Oh my gosh!  Thank you.  You must have found some that didn't have anything that will make me sick!  I can't wait to eat some!"

...and see what she does/says.  If she keeps quiet, have your DH take it and throw it  away.  Later you or DH could mention that you had to throw it away because it turned out there were nuts in it that would make you sick.  Otherwise she will have to say that she gave you something that makes you sick.  And if she does that, you could say in a very sad voice "Oh.  Here DH, could you take care of this for me?"  And he could take it and throw it away.
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents
Post by: Elfmama on September 14, 2011, 03:31:27 PM
Actually, with this MIL, what might work is for the OP to exclaim, "What a wonderful gift!  I can't wait to eat every piece of it!" with a huge smile on her face and taking it away without giving the MIL any impression that she doesn't like it.

The MIL picks this gift knowing that the OP can't eat it; I wonder how she'd react to an enthusiastic acceptance of it.


Or perhaps a "Oh my gosh!  Thank you.  You must have found some that won't kill me!  I can't wait to eat some!"

...and see what she does/says.  If she keeps quiet, have your DH take it and throw it  away.  Later you or DH could mention that you had to throw it away because it turned out there were nuts in it that would make you sick.  Otherwise she will have to say that she gave you something that makes you sick.  And if she does that, you could say in a very sad voice "Oh.  Here DH, could you take care of this for me?"  And he could take it and throw it away.
(http://www3.telus.net/smile/images/fixed.gif) ;D
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents
Post by: wheeitsme on September 14, 2011, 03:40:23 PM
Actually, with this MIL, what might work is for the OP to exclaim, "What a wonderful gift!  I can't wait to eat every piece of it!" with a huge smile on her face and taking it away without giving the MIL any impression that she doesn't like it.

The MIL picks this gift knowing that the OP can't eat it; I wonder how she'd react to an enthusiastic acceptance of it.


Or perhaps a "Oh my gosh!  Thank you.  You must have found some that won't kill me!  I can't wait to eat some!"

...and see what she does/says.  If she keeps quiet, have your DH take it and throw it  away.  Later you or DH could mention that you had to throw it away because it turned out there were nuts in it that would make you sick.  Otherwise she will have to say that she gave you something that makes you sick.  And if she does that, you could say in a very sad voice "Oh.  Here DH, could you take care of this for me?"  And he could take it and throw it away.
(http://www3.telus.net/smile/images/fixed.gif) ;D

Oops!  Sorry  :-[  I didn't realize the OP's allergy was that bad.
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents
Post by: Elfmama on September 14, 2011, 11:44:25 PM

Or perhaps a "Oh my gosh!  Thank you.  You must have found some that won't kill me!  I can't wait to eat some!"

(http://www3.telus.net/smile/images/fixed.gif) ;D

Oops!  Sorry  :-[  I didn't realize the OP's allergy was that bad.
Nothing to be sorry about. :) I don't know if it is or not, but nut allergies are one of those cumulative ones that can go south very quickly.  Like maybe last time they only gave her hives, this time maybe they can kick into full-blown anaphylactic  shock.  (Hee!  The spellchecker doesn't like anaphylactic, and suggests 'intergalactic' among others!)  I've heard of deaths where the allergic person says "Oh, that smells so good, and it doesn't bother me that bad", eats the allergen, and dies in just a few minutes when their throat swells shut.

OP, do you have a good relationship with her otherwise? Or is this a really PA way for her to say "I wish you were gone."
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents
Post by: christmascarol on September 14, 2011, 11:59:55 PM
She gave the yummy chocolates to DH, not me.  He sometimes eats things I can't but then we don't kiss again till the next day.  And yes, my allergies are that serious.  I have to carry an epi-pen at all times.  It started off with just tingling in my lips but it got to breathing problems very quickly.

MIL is good with some things but awful at others.  The key is if there's any effort involved.  She's very generous with the things from her garden and the jam she makes.  But it's what's leftover, she's not a `give you last dime´ type of person.  She comes first.  She always makes sure there's a cake I can eat at all birthdays.

If there's any effort involved, you're on your own.  "What do you want for your birthday?"  A vase, please.  "I can't be bothered, I'd have to go to town for it.  I'll give you money."  `Town´ is a 5 minute drive and there's no problem parking, etc.  It was 3 days till my birthday.

I asked her to get me some bread and milk for when we came back from our holiday.  She didn't because, "I'd have had to go to the supermarket, I couldn't be bothered."  Again, it's 5 minutes away.   

You can see why I've been laughing at her, can't you?  It stops you crying  ::)


Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents
Post by: Msunderstatement on September 15, 2011, 12:36:39 AM
Even though it bothers you, don"t let her see you upset. The purpose of her gift is to see that it got a reaction out oF you. Politely and mechanicaLly say thank you. After a while of seeing non+reaction, she will either quit or (shudder) raise the rudeness factor. Remember, you can"t change/control others, but you can change/control your reaction. Give unwanted gifts to the peopke  of your chiuce (mailman, women"s shelter, teacher, etc.). Don"t let it make you into the ugly soul she has.

Okay. You can have some fun. Buy her cheap and "pintless" gidts, like a child"s book (like Cinderella or Snow White because she acts so childish and like the wicked stepmother), or hemorrhoid cream (because see has something bothering her and oh my what a kind and observant daughter-in-law you are), or a box of chocolate (because she loves it so much and you can't figure what else she woulD like). Or just a card, because evenn though that's not is done in Germany, it is after all, the "thought that matters".   
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents
Post by: christmascarol on September 15, 2011, 01:03:20 AM
Not showing a reaction to her thoughtlessness is actually what she wants.  She doesn't want anyone calling her on it as she might have to make an effort then.  She actually looks smug if nothing is said - she's got away with making no effort and that's what counts. 
But she does expect it from me.  And she does sulk when anyone gets all excited over other people's presents, so she knows what she's doing.

Quote
Or perhaps a "Oh my gosh!  Thank you.  You must have found some that won't kill me!  I can't wait to eat some!"

I've been mulling this over and I think it's a winner!  If I can get the delivery right, she is SO put on the spot!  And I won't feel like I'm being rude  ;D 
 

Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents
Post by: jayhawk on September 15, 2011, 01:27:39 PM
I don't think there is anything you can say that will change her ways. Even giving her the benefit of the doubt, it seems she has the idea of you and chocolate firmly fixed in her mind. Does she give everyone chocolate or is it just you?

She's said outright that she can't be bothered to remember that the OP likes licorice, and she's also given the OP chocolate, telling her that she knew the OP couldn't eat it.

To be honest, and I know this isn't eHell approved, I'd be inclined to just look at her, then take the chocolate over to the trash and dump it.  These aren't presents, this is a power play.  She's telling the OP how little she thinks of her.

Kimberly Rose beat me to it.
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents
Post by: Twik on September 15, 2011, 02:20:35 PM
I agree with Kimberly Rose, I'd simply say, "Oh. Chocolate." and throw it in the garbage, then continue as if nothing had happened. A gift that the giver knows is not only useless but dangerous to the recipient is a direct insult.

I would not *want* to give this woman any further presents. If you want to keep giving, get her a book in a language she doesn't read. When she complains she can't read Esperanto, shrug and say, "and I can't eat chocolate. But it's the thought that counts, isn't it?"
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents
Post by: VorFemme on September 15, 2011, 07:56:38 PM
Get her a book in Klingon.

Perhaps a nice translation of Hamlet?

And a bottle of prune juice to drink while she's reading it.

She doesn't speak Klingon and she doesn't LIKE prune juice.

Gee, who knew?
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents
Post by: christmascarol on September 16, 2011, 02:47:08 AM
You lot make my day  ;D  ;D

How about in English?  I can borrow it then  ;)
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents
Post by: mechtilde on September 16, 2011, 02:50:32 AM
You lot make my day  ;D  ;D

How about in English?  I can borrow it then  ;)

Bonus!
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents
Post by: Marga on September 18, 2011, 09:14:40 AM
Get her a book in Klingon.

Perhaps a nice translation of Hamlet?

And a bottle of prune juice to drink while she's reading it.

She doesn't speak Klingon and she doesn't LIKE prune juice.

Gee, who knew?

Hamlet in Klingon would NOT be a translation. "You have not experienced Shakespeare until you have read him in the original Klingon." :P
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents
Post by: VorFemme on September 18, 2011, 09:49:29 AM
Get her a book in Klingon.

Perhaps a nice translation of Hamlet?

And a bottle of prune juice to drink while she's reading it.

She doesn't speak Klingon and she doesn't LIKE prune juice.

Gee, who knew?

Hamlet in Klingon would NOT be a translation. "You have not experienced Shakespeare until you have read him in the original Klingon." :P
But the English-Klingon or German-Klingon would be...............
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents
Post by: i am le tired on September 18, 2011, 09:52:32 AM
Quote
The second best would be to send your lovely German chocolate to one of us


When we were on holiday in New England we went to a Lindt shop and it was SO much cheaper than over here - still don't understand that. 

You may stumbled upon one of the Lindt factory outlet locations, where the chocolate is up to 75% off. :) The factory for north america is in NH - one of my relatives used to live near there. Sadly, not anymore!
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents
Post by: Minmom3 on September 18, 2011, 11:07:55 PM
My father used to live over the hill from a Pepperidge Farm bakery....  O M G the glorious aromas that came his way. 
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents
Post by: zyrs on September 19, 2011, 02:01:44 AM
Why not get her a licorice scented candle? 

If she asks why; "Well, I was walking by and they were having a sale.  I was able to take care of a few holidays."
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents
Post by: joraemi on September 19, 2011, 06:20:14 AM
I admit that my ideas of how to handle MIL have changed as I have read over the pages of the thread.

I started off with:
1.  Stop giving her gifts.  FIL can still have his, she just gets none.

Then on to...

2. Give her the chocolate back on the very next gift giving occasion. No other gift required.  When she asks you about it you can say, "Oh - someone gave it to me as a gift last year, but I can't eat chocolate because I'm allergic, but I know you like it so I thought I'd give it to you."

Then on to...

3. Back to #1

Then on to

4. OP unwraps chocolatey gift...concern spreads across her face.."MIL, thank you.  Although, I have to say I'm becoming quite concerned that perhaps you are beginning to show signs of dementia - I know we have repeatedly discussed that I am allergic to chocolate, but you keep forgetting and giving it to me anyway.  Have you seen your physician?"  (Then I realized that there is *NO* pill for being a selfish, lazy beotch...)

Then on to

5.  Back to #1.  She would get nothing form me or she would get the chocolate back and FIL would get a stunning gift chosen with love as he always does.
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents
Post by: Sophia on September 19, 2011, 11:06:17 PM
I held off posting this story, but the OP has her plan in place now. 

A friend met a girl from Germany.  She lived in America, and her folks lived in Germany.  My friend was in the process of learning German when he met her folks.  He presented them with a box of chocolates along with a little speech.  He forgot the German word for "gift" and substituted English word.  As a PP mentioned, it means poison.  That chocolate was never eaten. 
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents
Post by: AlwaysQuizzical on September 20, 2011, 12:01:34 AM
Wow!!! I think I'll be laughing about that for quite a while!!!! :D
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents
Post by: Bijou on September 20, 2011, 06:13:48 AM
Some people who have nut allergies shouldn't even handle nuts or products containing nuts, and this is exactly what you are doing when she gives such gifts. I suggest that for her next gift she be given a book on the dangers of nut allergies. 
I would not even want to accept a gift from her. 
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents
Post by: Bijou on September 20, 2011, 06:20:30 AM
My first thought on reading was to not say a word, open the box, pull out the chocolate, and throw it into the garbage unwrapped (so it couldn't be retrieved).  I was concerned that it was a bit overdramatic, but if so, at least I'm not the only dramatic person.

I'd put it down the sink disposal. Let's see MiL get it now!  >:D
It could cause airborne particles, which can be cause a reaction (seriously)..
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents
Post by: VorFemme on September 20, 2011, 07:09:51 AM
Hand it to SIL - that way MIL doesn't get it back and someone who can eat it gets it.  Comment about MIL not taking her memory pills and forgetting that you are deathly allergic optional................but it MIGHT get through to her (she looks dumb)when nothing else does.............

Seriously - sometimes you've got to embarress some people for them to realize that they LOOK stupider giving you what THEY want to give you than listening to your comments about allergies, etc.  Because you can't look like you gave the most awesome present ever if it will KILL them, send them to the emergency room, or they tell you that they gave it to you...........five years ago*...................

*I just wish she'd had pictures..............
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents
Post by: Winterlight on September 20, 2011, 08:22:07 AM
4. OP unwraps chocolatey gift...concern spreads across her face.."MIL, thank you.  Although, I have to say I'm becoming quite concerned that perhaps you are beginning to show signs of dementia - I know we have repeatedly discussed that I am allergic to chocolate, but you keep forgetting and giving it to me anyway.  Have you seen your physician?"  (Then I realized that there is *NO* pill for being a selfish, lazy beotch...)

This one's tempting...
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents
Post by: christmascarol on September 20, 2011, 08:40:56 AM
Quote
He presented them with a box of chocolates along with a little speech.  He forgot the German word for "gift" and substituted English word.  As a PP mentioned, it means poison.  That chocolate was never eaten. 


Lol  ;D  Before my first visit to Germany, our teacher pointed out a few words to be careful with, that one was top of the list  ;)  Another one I remember was nutter, I don't know if that's used outside the UK.  Someone who's nuts/a twit/twerp.  In Germany it's a prostitute  :-X  ;D  One woman in the class went bright red and finely understood the funny looks she'd had when she called someone that in Germany  ;D

DH and I have decided the next stage is to return her chocolate to her when we go next month.  Hubby would like this to be done nicely, if at all possible.  I'm happy about that, I want to emphasise that she's not going to get her own way with it.  And if she tries giving me it again, she can't pretend she's forgotten.  She'll sulk too much for that!

We are careful about cross-contamination.  When she used the handcream I couldn't breathe with, DH wouldn't even let her touch anything before she washed her hands.  As that was in her own home, she wasn't best pleased but maybe that's the answer.  Make doing the right thing less effort than doing the wrong thing  ;)

Quote
Seriously - sometimes you've got to embarress some people for them to realize that they LOOK stupider giving you what THEY want to give you than listening to your comments about allergies, etc. 


I really agree with this.

I love the book idea  >:D
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents
Post by: Giggity on September 20, 2011, 05:05:09 PM
Hubby would like this to be done nicely, if at all possible.

Why? At what point does her bad behavior earn her his displeasure? When does he plan to stand up for you in a meaningful way?
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents
Post by: Bethalize on September 20, 2011, 05:52:08 PM
I want to change my suggestion. When she says "I have a present for you" I would look at her and say: "It's not chocolate is it? You know that will make me sick." If she says it is say "I don't want it then, thanks all the same."
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents
Post by: Petticoats on September 20, 2011, 07:25:23 PM
Hubby would like this to be done nicely, if at all possible.

Why? At what point does her bad behavior earn her his displeasure? When does he plan to stand up for you in a meaningful way?

I too am taken aback that MIL's persistent disregard for your safety still rates being discussed "nicely." I'd like him to ask her, "So, are you trying to kill my wife, or just drive her away?"
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents
Post by: Bijou on September 20, 2011, 07:58:23 PM
Hubby would like this to be done nicely, if at all possible.

Why? At what point does her bad behavior earn her his displeasure? When does he plan to stand up for you in a meaningful way?

I too am taken aback that MIL's persistent disregard for your safety still rates being discussed "nicely." I'd like him to ask her, "So, are you trying to kill my wife, or just drive her away?"
"So, are you trying to kill my wife, or just drive her us away?"  That would be my concern.  Obviously she is not trying to kill his wife, but she may well unintentionally drive both of them away, with her behavior.  What a shame that someone would not think beyond the moment at what they may eventually reap.
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents
Post by: Sophia on September 20, 2011, 09:50:49 PM
...
 "So, are you trying to kill my wife, or just drive her us away?"  That would be my concern.  Obviously she is not trying to kill his wife, but she may well unintentionally drive both of them away, with her behavior.  What a shame that someone would not think beyond the moment at what they may eventually reap.

particularly since it wouldn't be the first time for her. 
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents
Post by: Shoo on September 20, 2011, 10:12:40 PM
Hubby would like this to be done nicely, if at all possible.

Why? At what point does her bad behavior earn her his displeasure? When does he plan to stand up for you in a meaningful way?

This is what I'd like to know as well.  At what point will your husband actually stand up for you, OP?   I would think that giving you gifts repeatedly that jeopardize your health would be at least CLOSE to that point.  What would it take for him to stand up to her?  And why don't you insist on it?
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents
Post by: Iris on September 20, 2011, 11:56:09 PM
Hubby would like this to be done nicely, if at all possible.

Why? At what point does her bad behavior earn her his displeasure? When does he plan to stand up for you in a meaningful way?

This is what I'd like to know as well.  At what point will your husband actually stand up for you, OP?   I would think that giving you gifts repeatedly that jeopardize your health would be at least CLOSE to that point.  What would it take for him to stand up to her?  And why don't you insist on it?

In fairness, Christmascarol's DH has stood up for her in the past. It was mentioned earlier. "Handling it nicely" in MY family would be code for "I know she's a total nutter, but we don't often all get together so let's just ignore HER and focus on the good parts of the family getting together".

I don't know if that's the case here, but I don't think we can completely condemn the OP's DH over this.
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents
Post by: christmascarol on September 21, 2011, 01:01:57 AM
Thanks Iris  ;D  You got it in one.

My husband does stick up for me.  Repeatedly and frequently as this isn't the only issue we have, just the only one I've posted about.  I think not wanting our visit to escalate into nastiness is a good thing, not a bad.  My original post was to ask how to stop her politely and that's still what I'd like to do.  I was asking for help, not venting.
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents
Post by: joraemi on September 21, 2011, 06:06:13 AM
Thanks Iris  ;D  You got it in one.

My husband does stick up for me.  Repeatedly and frequently as this isn't the only issue we have, just the only one I've posted about.  I think not wanting our visit to escalate into nastiness is a good thing, not a bad.  My original post was to ask how to stop her politely and that's still what I'd like to do.  I was asking for help, not venting.

If you want to be polite, I still think you have to accept it and say thank you.  Since she knows you are allergic and obviously doesn't care and doesn't want to put in the effort to choose something for you that you would like/be able to use, I think you just have to smile and suck it up if keeping the peace is the primary goal. 

Can DH ask her just to give you a cash gift instead equivalent to what she spends on the chocolate?  How hard could that be?
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents
Post by: christmascarol on September 22, 2011, 12:17:46 AM
You're probably right, joraemi.  Shame  :(
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents
Post by: Spoder on September 22, 2011, 12:29:29 AM
Thanks Iris  ;D  You got it in one.

My husband does stick up for me.  Repeatedly and frequently as this isn't the only issue we have, just the only one I've posted about.  I think not wanting our visit to escalate into nastiness is a good thing, not a bad.  My original post was to ask how to stop her politely and that's still what I'd like to do.  I was asking for help, not venting.

If you want to be polite, I still think you have to accept it and say thank you.   Since she knows you are allergic and obviously doesn't care and doesn't want to put in the effort to choose something for you that you would like/be able to use, I think you just have to smile and suck it up if keeping the peace is the primary goal. 

Can DH ask her just to give you a cash gift instead equivalent to what she spends on the chocolate?  How hard could that be?

I agree. Accept it, say thanks, and regift it/chuck it in the bin. There is really no other polite response. It's not going to kill you, because you're not going to eat it, so you're not in any actual danger. And there is just no point in letting her get to you any more.

I don't think you can politely ask her for the cash value of the chocolate, though.
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents
Post by: joraemi on September 23, 2011, 06:09:34 AM
Thanks Iris  ;D  You got it in one.

My husband does stick up for me.  Repeatedly and frequently as this isn't the only issue we have, just the only one I've posted about.  I think not wanting our visit to escalate into nastiness is a good thing, not a bad.  My original post was to ask how to stop her politely and that's still what I'd like to do.  I was asking for help, not venting.

If you want to be polite, I still think you have to accept it and say thank you.   Since she knows you are allergic and obviously doesn't care and doesn't want to put in the effort to choose something for you that you would like/be able to use, I think you just have to smile and suck it up if keeping the peace is the primary goal. 

Can DH ask her just to give you a cash gift instead equivalent to what she spends on the chocolate?  How hard could that be?

I agree. Accept it, say thanks, and regift it/chuck it in the bin. There is really no other polite response. It's not going to kill you, because you're not going to eat it, so you're not in any actual danger. And there is just no point in letting her get to you any more.

I don't think you can politely ask her for the cash value of the chocolate, though.

POD the bolded. 

I don't think the OP could ask for the cash, but I don't see why her DH, in a pre-emptive conversation, couldn't do it.  "Mom - remember that my wife is allergice to chocolate? I was thinking, to make things easier for everyone, you could just give her a cash gift instead?"  DO you all think that would be rude?
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents
Post by: christmascarol on September 23, 2011, 08:04:49 AM
I wouldn't feel comfortable asking anyone for money or asking someone else to ask for money for me.  Money's an icky subject, pretty taboo for me  ;D 

The whole story!
MIL's presents are always the same, a bank note selotaped to chocolates.  There's no effort involved in getting either part and that's what counts.  To be honest, I think it's sad as I get such a lot of pleasure from giving presents and MIL gets very jealous of other people's presents.  And she adores getting presents, she's like a little kid. 

The good thing is that SIL was the same when we met 20 years ago, she thought having to get presents was a chore, but when she saw how much pleasure I got out of it, she slowly changed.  Now she adores giving presents and puts a lot of thought into it and glows at present-giving time.  I think that's lovely  ;D

Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents
Post by: christmascarol on September 23, 2011, 08:08:05 AM
Quote
And she adores getting presents, she's like a little kid. 



Wow, quoting myself feels weird, lol.  Posting that reminded me of how excited she gets and how much I enjoy seeing it.  I really don't want to lose that.  The chocolate really hurts me, I'd like it stop, but maybe if I concentrate on how much I enjoy seeing her excited, it will hurt less. 
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents
Post by: joraemi on September 23, 2011, 11:38:25 AM
I wouldn't feel comfortable asking anyone for money or asking someone else to ask for money for me.  Money's an icky subject, pretty taboo for me  ;D 

The whole story!
MIL's presents are always the same, a bank note selotaped to chocolates.  There's no effort involved in getting either part and that's what counts.  To be honest, I think it's sad as I get such a lot of pleasure from giving presents and MIL gets very jealous of other people's presents.  And she adores getting presents, she's like a little kid. 

The good thing is that SIL was the same when we met 20 years ago, she thought having to get presents was a chore, but when she saw how much pleasure I got out of it, she slowly changed.  Now she adores giving presents and puts a lot of thought into it and glows at present-giving time.  I think that's lovely  ;D

Just want to make sure I understand what the gift is - a bank note (is that like a check?) taped to a box of chocolates. Is this right?  So she's basically giving you chocolate *and* a small sum of money? 
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents
Post by: AM in AL on September 23, 2011, 03:58:05 PM
[That's cold. Give MIL a box of tampons.

For the win!

Although a box of depends might be more age-appropriate. OP, your MIL is a mean, lazy, selfish and uncaring woman (and many more adjectives that would get me banned from E-hell). NOBODY with half a brain would give a gift that the recipient was allergic to even ONCE, much less repeatedly. It is definitely not you - it's HER.

You are very kind - and the bigger person - for still being willing to give her gifts she will enjoy. I'd love to see your DH and SIL both leap up as soon as you open the chocolate -- SIL can rip it out of your hands while DH escorts you off to scrub up. Upon your return, SIL fusses about you getting washed up in time and are you sure you're OK?... For the rest of the gift-opening, DH and SIL place themselves on either side of you, anxiously keeping watch.
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents
Post by: Elfmama on September 23, 2011, 06:17:15 PM
OP, you've said that it is the possibility of nut contamination that makes you unable to eat the local chocolate, but that some imported chocolates are OK for you to eat.

Has MIL ever seen you eat any 'safe' chocolate?  Is she perhaps thinking "I know she can eat chocolate!  She's just being picky and wants the expensive imported stuff."

And to the PP that was confused by 'bank note' it means paper money.
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents
Post by: joraemi on September 24, 2011, 02:51:17 PM
OP, you've said that it is the possibility of nut contamination that makes you unable to eat the local chocolate, but that some imported chocolates are OK for you to eat.

Has MIL ever seen you eat any 'safe' chocolate?  Is she perhaps thinking "I know she can eat chocolate!  She's just being picky and wants the expensive imported stuff."

And to the PP that was confused by 'bank note' it means paper money.

OK.  I assumed that the chocolate was the only gift that was being given.  If she is giving you money and the chocolate is the little "dress it up gift", then I vote you just say thank you and deal with the chocolate however you want after you get back home.  Throw it away, give it away, whatever. 
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents
Post by: HonorH on September 24, 2011, 05:26:52 PM
You know, I kind of like the idea of, upon getting the chocolate, perking up and asking, "Oh, did you find some chocolate that's completely nut-free and won't kill me?" in a hopeful tone. When she says she didn't, deflate a bit, say, "Oh, " in a disappointed tone, and then thank her for the money while passing the chocolates to someone else. Do this every time, and I bet it won't be long before other people are calling her on her rudeness.
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents
Post by: greencat on September 24, 2011, 06:26:41 PM
Why don't you start neatly wrapping packages of ant and roach poisons and giving her those as presents?
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents
Post by: Lisbeth on September 25, 2011, 12:12:33 PM
Why don't you start neatly wrapping packages of ant and roach poisons and giving her those as presents?

I think this is retaliatory rudeness.
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents
Post by: KimberlyRose on September 25, 2011, 06:28:05 PM
Why don't you start neatly wrapping packages of ant and roach poisons and giving her those as presents?

I think this is retaliatory rudeness.

You *think* it's retaliatory rudeness?  (Although it really does go past that point and into straight-up hostility.)
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents
Post by: Lisbeth on September 25, 2011, 06:34:00 PM
Why don't you start neatly wrapping packages of ant and roach poisons and giving her those as presents?

I think this is retaliatory rudeness.

You *think* it's retaliatory rudeness?  (Although it really does go past that point and into straight-up hostility.)

No need for the sarcasm.  I know it's retaliatory rudeness at a minimum.
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents
Post by: greencat on September 25, 2011, 06:48:25 PM
I do apologize.  I just felt like it might get the message across most effectively - and unlike chocolates, there would be no expectation that the (literally) toxic gift giver would actually eat the thing.
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents
Post by: ShadesOfGrey on September 25, 2011, 07:13:54 PM
wait - so the chocolate is just ancillary? The bank note is the gift?

In that case, I dont think you should do anything, nor are you justified in doing anything. This is like getting one part of a gift you dont like - a basket of various cookies, for example. Your fav is chocolate chip, but the giver includes ones with white chocolate chips, and those make you sick/you dont like them/you're allergic.  So, you toss those, and eat the rest (assume they arent contaminated). 

I think aggravation is a bit of overkill, in this case. 
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents
Post by: KimberlyRose on September 25, 2011, 07:25:45 PM
Why don't you start neatly wrapping packages of ant and roach poisons and giving her those as presents?

I think this is retaliatory rudeness.

You *think* it's retaliatory rudeness?  (Although it really does go past that point and into straight-up hostility.)

No need for the sarcasm.  I know it's retaliatory rudeness at a minimum.

Sorry, I guess my attempt at humor didn't come across.  My apologies, I truly wasn't aiming any sarcasm at you.  (I promise in person it wouldn't have come across that way.)
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents
Post by: HonorH on September 26, 2011, 12:09:42 AM
wait - so the chocolate is just ancillary? The bank note is the gift?

In that case, I dont think you should do anything, nor are you justified in doing anything. This is like getting one part of a gift you dont like - a basket of various cookies, for example. Your fav is chocolate chip, but the giver includes ones with white chocolate chips, and those make you sick/you dont like them/you're allergic.  So, you toss those, and eat the rest (assume they arent contaminated). 

I think aggravation is a bit of overkill, in this case.

The bank note is nice, but I don't think it's overkill to be aggravated. Year after year, occasion after occasion, this MIL has been giving the OP something that the MIL *knows* she can't eat. Yet, instead of just giving the note, or attaching it to something the OP can eat, she continues to give chocolate because she can't be bothered to change her habits even that little bit.

If it were just once, the OP would be overreacting. Time after time, though, it tells her that her needs or preferences mean less to MIL than her own convenience. Sure, it's nice to get money. It's nicer still to feel you matter to someone.
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents
Post by: Lisbeth on September 26, 2011, 12:20:08 AM
Why don't you start neatly wrapping packages of ant and roach poisons and giving her those as presents?

I think this is retaliatory rudeness.

You *think* it's retaliatory rudeness?  (Although it really does go past that point and into straight-up hostility.)

No need for the sarcasm.  I know it's retaliatory rudeness at a minimum.

Sorry, I guess my attempt at humor didn't come across.  My apologies, I truly wasn't aiming any sarcasm at you.  (I promise in person it wouldn't have come across that way.)

Apology accepted!
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents
Post by: magdalena on September 26, 2011, 03:12:34 AM
I gather your MIL is German (as is mine)... It seems to be a pretty common way of giving gifts to grown children/relatives (like nieces/nephews/grandchildren/godchildren) over here. My presents from MIL and from my hubby's godmother, and for years before they passed, from his grandparents were usually small tokens with a bank note taped to them/hidden somewhere in the box of chocolates/the christmas mug/the toiletries bag/the bunch of tupperware.
I also know this is what my best friend gets from her mom and MIL, what my other good friend gets from her ILs and so on...
Of course, there are people who buy proper gifts over here too, but it's something that I've come to view as typical for at least a specific generation of Germans... or at least a couple of villages full of Germans ;-)

By now my MIL usually gets me the cooler tokens than my hubby (he jokes about that a lot, he gets chocolate or socks, I get neat kitchen gadgets or pretty scarves).

And, gifts are really important for my MIL, too. I know she feels really loved and appreciated when I spend time looking for something special for her, but still, her default for us is "a little something fun and cash" because the default thinking  is "the kids need the cash, they don't have that much yet" that was very true when we were students and just starting off, not so much now that we both work...

It's a shame you can't enjoy the chocolates, but it might be that she's just doing what she thinks is "the thing to do".

BTW, a good friend of mine claims that he can eat Kinder chocolate although he has very severe nut allergy. He says that no nuts are processed in the factories that produce the regular Kinder chocolate bars... but he might be wrong, I was just wondering if you'd heard about that.
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents
Post by: joraemi on September 26, 2011, 06:06:42 AM
I'm curious, OP, if your MIL is thoughtless towards you in other ways?  Or is it just this one thing that she keeps repeating?

I'm wondering if this is the straw breaking the camel's back, so to speak.
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents
Post by: christmascarol on September 26, 2011, 07:03:07 AM
I suppose it is, joraemi.  It's more than thoughtlessness and it isn't just towards me.  Her `I can't be bothered´ has cost her friends and family and as she hasn't seen it by now, she never will.  The chocolate hurts me more than anything else because I love it so but can't eat it AND because she knows why I can't eat it.  It really isn't the same as liking one cookie less than the others.

Magdalena, can we swap MILs?  I like yours more  ;D 

What you described isn't the norm I know and I've been here 30+ years, on and off and up and down.  The usual thing in DH's family is to ask a close female relative of the birthday person for present ideas or ask the person themselves if there's anything particular they'd like.  MIL used to do that but every single suggestion just got, "I can't be bothered, I'll give you money." 
The only other person I know who gave chocolates and money was MIL's mother.  But she was bedridden at the time.

It was my 50th last month, we had all the family over for a big do.  2 elderly aunts gave me flowers and money.  SIL and I had drawn up a general suggestion list because we knew she'd be the one people would ask.  They did and she loved having a list to work from, so I don't think it was bad ettiquette.

Two elderly aunts who can't drive both gave me flowers and money but both also took me to one side and said they hoped I didn't mind not having a present but they thought money was a safer bet.  They were so sweet and I didn't mind a bit!  MIL gave me money and chocolate.  Everyone else, friends and family, gave me presents and insited I open them there and then.  It was such a fun time with everyone laughing.  MIL sulked.  My best friend quickly hid the chocolate so that there wouldn't be a scene.  She thought a room full of people saying, "What???!!!"  wasn't the best memory to have.  I love my best friend  ;D

I think your friend is taking a chance with the Kinderschokolade.  It's made by an Italian company called Ferrero, did you see the programme `Ferrero-Check´last month? They're one of the biggest buyers of hazelnuts in the world, if not the biggest.  Almost everything they make has hazelnuts in them.  I've checked their website and it doesn't have any nutritional info, I'll check the packets.  But I'd be very surprised if it's safe.
 
Some of the Rewe supermarkets sometimes sell McVitie's chocolate digestives and they're safe.  McVitie's has some of the best allergy info I've ever seen but that's the only product I've ever seen over here and then only occasionally.  Cadbury's are another good UK company for allergy info and you can sometimes find them.  I discovered the other day that the Maltesers website doesn't list traces of nuts in the nutritional info, so I'm going to keep an eye open for them.  I have seen them occasionally but not where I live.

If your friend is into baking, these brownies taste fantastic!  I made them at the weekend and nobody could believe there wasn't chocolate in them. 
http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Cookbook:Fudge_Brownies

There's one left and I've hidden it!   ;D


Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents
Post by: magdalena on September 26, 2011, 08:29:19 AM
I thought it might not be standard everywhere, it's just that I've encountered it a lot... I've only been here for 13 years though, and mainly just in the northern part, never too far from the A7 and most of those people I was thinking of are from this general area, somewhere between Kassel and Hamburg.

I knew that Kinder is made by Ferrero, and I'm not sure if my friend has all the right info there, he's usually very, very careful though, as nuts aren't the only thing he's avoiding... the poor guy cannot have any gluten (even traces), or eggs either. I'll let him know about Cadbury's, he orders stuff online a lot. The yummy McVities digestives are out, due to the other intolerances and allergies, unfortunately.

There have been times I'd trade MILs gladly, but I think I'll keep mine a little longer  :-*
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents
Post by: christmascarol on September 26, 2011, 09:45:31 AM
Poor bloke.  I have birch-oral allergy, so I can't eat most fruit either but gluten is much much worse.  If I see anything else for him, I'll let you know  :)

I used to live in Hamburg but it's 33 years since.  And I lived in and near Dortmund but that's nearly as long since.  My German `family´ are from that area and we go there quite often.  We live between Mannheim and Heidelberg at the moment and my in-laws live in the Taunus.  We're looking for a house in the Pfalz though, it's our dream to live there.
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents
Post by: christmascarol on September 26, 2011, 09:48:25 AM
If he can substitute the flour, this recipe could be suitable.  I'm not sure if you can but if it is possible, they're delicious  ;D

http://www.food.com/recipe/moms-chocolate-cupcakes-105594
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents
Post by: mechtilde on September 26, 2011, 09:53:52 AM
Another British supplier to look out for is called Kinnerton. They tend to make novely items like easter eggs, and they have a nut free label on any trace free packaging. They have separate lines set up in the factory http://www.kinnerton.com/AllergenInfo/NutSafetyPromise.aspx
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents
Post by: christmascarol on September 26, 2011, 09:55:31 AM
Thanks, Mechtilde, much appreciated!  I've not hears of them, I'll bookmark it  ;D
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents - updated #134, p.9
Post by: christmascarol on April 02, 2013, 05:40:16 AM
UPDATE:

Well, she's done it again.  And it's upset me on so many levels. 

There's been no chocolate since we spoke to her in September 2011.  For others, yes, but not for me.  She always gave me something different.  She'd even taken to policing the rest of the family and seemed proud with herself about it.

We got there on Easter Sunday and she gave me a Lindt bunny.  I gave it to FIL, she was furious.  I was upset, so went upstairs.  DH missed it all but when he found out, he really told her off.  He has never ever told her off like that before.  He was brought up to suppress his anger, so his parents had never seen him really angry before.  MIL sulked for over an hour. 

When she stopped sulking, I gave her a hug and said we'd have to look to the future now.  Before we left. I said that she had to stop giving me chocolate, it upset me in so many different ways.  It was hard because I love chocolate and really miss it.  And it was something that could kill me, so it wasn't nice to give me it.  She snapped, "I know!  But I had so many of them and I have to make everyone the same."  (She might preach it but she doesn't practise it, but it's a separate issue, so I didn't call her out on it).

I phoned to say we were home and she said that it didn't go how she'd expected.  I didn't know what that meant but DH says it's her guilty conscience.  She's completely incapable of apologising, so maybe that was one. 

The good bit?  SIL was an absolute star.  Though she didn't actually say anything, she was so lovely to me and her body language was all to me and away from her mother.  I knew she was being there for me. 

I have no idea what I'll do if MIL gives me chocolate again.  It hurts me and I don't know how to stop that.  I'm fed up of being polite.  I feel like I have to be the adult and she gets away with childishness all the time. 
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents - updated #134, p.9
Post by: YummyMummy66 on April 02, 2013, 06:09:45 AM
Honestly, at this point, if my MIL ever game me chocolate again, I think I would look at her, "I have asked you not to get me chocolate over and over and yet you still do it knowing that I cannot have it and it can kill me.  I guess I know how you really feel about me now, don't I?   Well, I will make it real easy for you, you will never have to see me again" and I would take that chocolate and stomp on it and smash it to bits and get my things and leave.
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents - updated #134, p.9
Post by: Roe on April 02, 2013, 06:48:34 AM
If she ever gives you chocolate again, I'd simply just give her the death stare and leave.  Be prepared to just walk out and leave.  No words necessary. And do that every single time. 
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents - updated #134, p.9
Post by: Jones on April 02, 2013, 07:02:38 AM
Shellfish allergy here. The last time someone tried to force me to eat that stuff, I asked her if she wouldn't mind eating "Just a little" meth, or maybe some arsenic. Seriously, "just a little" couldn't hurt, and if it was "cooked right" it wasn't going to injure her, right?
 (yes I was using her words against her. Unfortunately the conversation went downhill from there.)

Some people just don't get the seriousness of allergies and the strict rules we put in place to avoid them. I'm sorry that your MIL had a good 2-year track record and had to foul it up this weekend by giving everyone "the same thing". I offer you (((hugs))) and a virtual white chocolate chick.
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents - updated #134, p.9
Post by: Luci on April 02, 2013, 07:41:21 AM
I did not know people with chocolate allergies can eat cocoa butter! That opens up a whole new world to me!
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents - updated #134, p.9
Post by: MindsEye on April 02, 2013, 08:05:02 AM
Say "You know that I cannot eat this, so why do you keep getting it for me?"
Then, throw the chocolate away.  Right in front of her.

OR, save all of the chocolate that she gives you, and re-gift it right back to her on the next gift-giving occasion. 
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents - updated #134, p.9
Post by: Twik on April 02, 2013, 08:28:04 AM
Say "You know that I cannot eat this, so why do you keep getting it for me?"
Then, throw the chocolate away.  Right in front of her.

Well, it sounds like the OP did the next best thing, by giving it to her FIL. At which MIL got very angry - why, I wonder? She says she *knows* the OP cannot eat it. Her argument that she has to make her presents "all the same" holds very little water, when that means something like "5 people are happy, and the 6th is left staring at something that is, to her, rank poison."

There's something very passive-aggressive going on her, and I'm not sure what. This is a power struggle, that "OP will TAKE the chocolate, and she will LIKE it!" I'd love to know what she really meant by "it didn't go how she'd expected." The OP would have taken a bite, and discovered that she really *could* eat chocolate, if she just tried it?

Anyway, cheers for DH in standing up to MIL for it.

Quote
OR, save all of the chocolate that she gives you, and re-gift it right back to her on the next gift-giving occasion.

Honestly? I think this is the best option. Maybe it will sink in when it all comes back to her.
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents - updated #134, p.9
Post by: wonderfullyanonymous on April 02, 2013, 08:36:29 AM
If she gives it to you, give it right back. I know there are rules about being grateful for which you have received, but I think, in this case, safety trumps etiquette and give it right back with, "You know I can't have this, you can have it back."
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents - updated #134, p.9
Post by: Missy2U on April 02, 2013, 09:45:45 AM
I'm of the camp that would give her a glare, give it right back, then turn around and leave.  I wouldn't say anything - I'd just hand to it her, pick up my things, and leave.
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents - updated #134, p.9
Post by: 25wishes on April 02, 2013, 10:04:58 AM
While I have not read the whole thread, I think I would subscribe to Hanlon's Razor, "Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity."

 Just smile, say " thanks, I wish I could eat that - I will pass it on the food shelf/food pantry, some child will love it!!" Adjust to the fact that you may have to do this forever.

Smashing it on the floor and stomping out in a huff?? This is your family you are talking about here, you may have to deal with them a LONG time.
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents - updated #134, p.9
Post by: artk2002 on April 02, 2013, 10:10:20 AM
If she gives it to you, give it right back. I know there are rules about being grateful for which you have received, but I think, in this case, safety trumps etiquette and give it right back with, "You know I can't have this, you can have it back."

I agree with this. It's one thing to accept unwanted gifts graciously, but it's another to accept a bottle of strychnine graciously. I think the "grateful" rule stops when someone is trying to poison you.

While I have not read the whole thread, I think I would subscribe to Hanlon's Razor, "Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity."

 Just smile, say " thanks, I wish I could eat that - I will pass it on the food shelf/food pantry, some child will love it!!" Adjust to the fact that you may have to do this forever.

Smashing it on the floor and stomping out in a huff?? This is your family you are talking about here, you may have to deal with them a LONG time.

Barb, please read the whole thread. The MIL is very aware that the OP cannot eat chocolate. Even a couple of posts above she admits that she knows that but had to give the chocolate anyway "to keep the gifts even." This is one case where it goes beyond stupidity and heads straight towards malice. As I said earlier in this post, you're not required to accept poison graciously, when you and the giver both know that it's poison.
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents - updated #134, p.9
Post by: Twik on April 02, 2013, 11:27:08 AM
While I have not read the whole thread, I think I would subscribe to Hanlon's Razor, "Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity."

It appears that on the last occasion, the OP reminded her MIL that chocolate could kill her, and her MIL replied, basically, "Yes, but I have so many of them." Then, she got upset when the OP gave the chocolate to her FIL, who *can* eat chocolate.

This takes it beyond stupidity. "This will kill me." "Yes, BUT, I'm giving it to you anyway. AND, I'll get mad if you give it to someone else." This is like handing someone a decaying rat carcass, and expecting them to show gratitude for the "gift".

As Art says, one is not expected to show gratitude for something that both the giver and the recipient know would kill the recipient if used.
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents - updated #134, p.9
Post by: BeagleMommy on April 02, 2013, 11:42:45 AM
POD to all those who've said every time she gives you chocolate as a gift give it back to her.  You may even want to throw in a stern, but polite "Thanks, but you know I can't eat this.".
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents - updated #134, p.9
Post by: Elisabunny on April 02, 2013, 11:55:22 AM
POD to all those who've said every time she gives you chocolate as a gift give it back to her.  You may even want to throw in a stern, but polite "NO thanks, but you know I can't eat this.".

Fixed that for you.
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents - updated #134, p.9
Post by: TootsNYC on April 02, 2013, 11:59:06 AM
Your MIL sounds really, really unimaginative, if she feels that she *has* to give you chocolate "to make it even." She's got ideas stuck in her head, and she can't dismiss them.

Maybe you'd get further if you *reassured* her that it's completely OK for her to not give you something just because others are getting something for Easter. 
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents - updated #134, p.9
Post by: Browyn on April 02, 2013, 12:14:49 PM
Is she so unimaginative that if she can't get you a chocolate bunny she could substitute a bag of jelly beans? (assuming you can have them)

If my family can manage to remember who prefers white chocolate vs milk chocolate vs dark chocolate it can't be so hard to remember "no chocolate".
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents - updated #134, p.9
Post by: LeveeWoman on April 02, 2013, 12:15:56 PM
I don't think she forgets.
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents - updated #134, p.9
Post by: Roe on April 02, 2013, 12:19:04 PM
Your MIL sounds really, really unimaginative, if she feels that she *has* to give you chocolate "to make it even." She's got ideas stuck in her head, and she can't dismiss them.

Maybe you'd get further if you *reassured* her that it's completely OK for her to not give you something just because others are getting something for Easter.

Truly.  I mean, if she absolutely wants to make it "even" then if she spends $5 on a chocolate bunny for someone, why can't she spend $5 on a Starbucks gift card for the OP? 

I think her actions are beyond acceptable.  OP has every right to walk away from her and never take the "gift."
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents - updated #134, p.9
Post by: rose red on April 02, 2013, 02:06:43 PM
At this point, I would just come right out and say right to her face "Why do you keep trying to murder me?"
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents - updated #134, p.9
Post by: JoyinVirginia on April 02, 2013, 02:17:12 PM
Its very appropriate to turn around and give chocolate back to her, or give to fil or someone else, or take it and place it in the trash in her full view. This is beyond stupidity.
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents - updated #134, p.9
Post by: Free Range Hippy Chick on April 02, 2013, 04:36:55 PM
christmascarol, where is your FIL in this? I'm curious: you've told your MIL, your DH has told her, your SIL, you said, was supportive. What does your FIL say? I absolutely agree that this is not forgetfulness, there's something else going on in her head, but I'm just wondering if there's any mileage in calling (or preferably getting your DH to call) before the next visit, and talking to him about it. 'Can you convince Mum that christmascarol absolutely must not have anything with chocolate in it? You know she doesn't hear it when we say it, so will you please? We really find it hugely offensive when she keeps ignoring us and deliberately doing something so dangerous.' Or has he already been involved in some way?

In some ways, nice for him, he gets the chocolate back, but if he has any sensitivity on his own account, this whole scenario must be mortifying.

I'm with those who say, next time she does it - and I have no confidence that she won't - get up, put on your coat, and leave. No discussion, just out the door. Time after, get your DH to call ahead and ask his mother directly: 'what have you got for christmascarol?' If it's chocolate - if any part of it is chocolate, don't go. If she tells him it's socks, and you unwrap chocolate, then even if there are socks as well, coats on, head for the door.

I admit that it's easy to say when it's not my family!
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents - updated #134, p.9
Post by: bloo on April 02, 2013, 04:55:31 PM
At this point, I would just come right out and say right to her face "Why do you keep trying to murder me?"

Ding ding ding! This is what I'd have done the second time I was offered chocolate.

I was thinking, while reading the update, that this was the longest, most drawn-out, bungling attempt at murder I've ever read. I mean, something is not penetrating MIL's obscenely thick skull.

MIL's behavior is so incomprehensible to me that I'd ask her why she was still trying to kill me and my DH why we still keep going over there.

ETA: I should add, OP, that I'm very sorry you are going through this. I remember reading this thread way back before I actually joined EHell and will re-read it again. :(
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents - updated #134, p.9
Post by: Sophia on April 02, 2013, 05:09:12 PM
I wonder how she would react if you had a wrapped bottle of rat poison in your purse, that you could bring out and 'gift' to her?  Maybe have a cheap drinking glass that you could fit the bottle into, so that the message would be "I am giving you poison for you to ingest" would not be missed. 

I am only a bit joking.  Eventually people need a clue-by-four to their head. 
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents - updated #134, p.9
Post by: Elfmama on April 02, 2013, 05:47:23 PM
OP, is your MIL actively or passively/aggressively malicious in other ways, or just this? Does she think that you are pretending to have an allergy to get attention, or that you just don't like it?

Because if she is, DO NOT eat any food that she has had a hand in preparing, or that she might be able to contaminate.  It is a not-uncommon next step for someone who doesn't believe in a food allergy/sensitivity to deliberately conceal the allergen in some other food, to "prove" that the allergic person is making up the allergy.  "See, I put chocolate in the pumpkin pie, and christmascarol ate it with no problem!"

Hike over to motherinlawstories.com and search for 'allergen'.  You'll turn up a lot of stories about MILs who "don't believe" that their DIL/grandchild is allergic to something.
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents - updated #134, p.9
Post by: JenJay on April 02, 2013, 06:02:52 PM
I have no idea what I'll do if MIL gives me chocolate again.

Give it to FIL immediately, right in front of her, then completely ignore whatever reaction she has. Let her hide away in a corner and sulk or whatever while you and DH pretend everything is fine until it is.
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents - updated #134, p.9
Post by: Wordgeek on April 02, 2013, 06:19:12 PM
All suggestions related to giving MIL poison will stop now.  No exceptions.
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents - updated #134, p.9
Post by: Miss Tickle on April 02, 2013, 09:02:55 PM
Why do you accept invitations to be humiliated? I would tell your DH that you refuse to put up with it any longer, and since she has proven she can't respect you, you will no longer offer yourself up for sacrifice. Don't invite her either.  If she asks why, let her know that she's made her feelings for you perfectly clear, and you are very sorry you didn't pick up on it earlier.  You will no longer burden her with your presence.

A temporary cut off might be what she needs to see her game isn't funny.

Personally I'd ask FIL if MIL was becoming senile, she seemed to be doing so well, and now she's "forgetting" again.
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents - updated #134, p.9
Post by: Rusty on April 02, 2013, 09:17:29 PM
Your MIL doesn't really believe you have an allergy.

She thinks "you" are the drama queen here and she is not buying into it at all.

I wouldn't make a fuss about it at all, thats what she wants.    When she hands you the chocolate just take it and place it on a shelf and make sure everyone sees you do that.  And when you leave, the chocolate stays where it is, on the shelf.  If she points out that you have left it, then I would just say point blank "I don't want it".  End of story.
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents - updated #134, p.9
Post by: christmascarol on April 02, 2013, 11:52:32 PM
OP here:

Thankyou for all the sympathy!  I can't tell you how much I appreciate it.  Really, it's done me the world of good.

Wordgeek is right, that isn't her intention at all.  She really does understand that I can't eat the chocolate, she does believe that I'm allergic to nuts.  I'm allergic to a lot of things and she has seen both breathing problems and skin reactions and all my meds.  She takes the allergies seriously.  She doesn't expect me to eat any of the chocolate, she thinks I should just give it to DH.  She doesn't get, or even doesn't care, that it hurts me.  I should just suck it up.

I've tried giving it back to her.  I did that last time because it was dark chocolate and nobody but her eats it.  She was more bothered that DH wasn't getting it.  When she found out he didn't like it, she was happy to take it.  It was DH saying not to do it again that worked - for a while.

When I said I was fed up of being the adult, what I really meant is I just want to turn round and walk out.  Take that, MIL!  But that would punish my DH, FIL and SIL.  Her other DIL did that and we haven't seen BIL or nephews in over 10 years.  Another BIL is nasty to them, allowing a little contact now and again.  A bit bait and switch.  It hurts us all.

FIL has absolutely nothing to do with presents.  Never has.  It's how their generation works.  But I do like the idea of saying to him to make sure she doesn't give me chocolate again.  I like it a lot!  He has Parkinson's and it's changed him a lot.  He's gone from being a tyrant to a softie and his face lights up whenever he sees me. 

She was angry that I'd given FIL the chocolate because I was expected to give it to DH.  She actually said so.  I think because we've been getting on so well, she thought she could get away with it.  That nobody'd say anything.  She'd decided that although I wouldn't be happy, it would all be swept under the carpet and glossed over.  She had `so many´ because nephew and his girlfriend didn't come.  But even so, she must still have bought one for me as well.  Maybe she thought I wouldn't say anything in front of nephew and girlfriend?  I think it's safe to say that she really didn't expect things to turn out as they did.

Hubby doesn't want me to smash the chocolate.  I mentioned that last time and he got upset.  I don't think walking out would be a good idea for anyone but me.  I think it could be interpreted as forever and literally bring on a heart attack in MIL or FIL.  I know I'd give any more chocolate to FIL but that's not my problem.  What I really want is to stop her doing it again.  And if I could do it politely, that would be great!
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents - updated #134, p.9
Post by: jedikaiti on April 03, 2013, 12:13:35 AM
I suggest that future gifts for MIL should be boxer shorts in FIL's size, or something equally obviously for him, not her. Since she seems to feel that gifts given to you should really be for DH, clearly gifts to her should really be for FIL. A non-toxic taste of her own medicine, and FIL doesn't get caught in the fallout.
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents - updated #134, p.9
Post by: christmascarol on April 03, 2013, 12:25:52 AM
Love it!  :-) 

That's another thing - she gets soooo excited about our gifts to her.  She loves the thought we put into them and is like a little kid.  She just doesn't `get´ to do the same for others. 

Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents - updated #134, p.9
Post by: Amara on April 03, 2013, 02:02:24 AM
OP, I forgot if these gifts from her are wrapped but if they are can you simply hand them to your DH and say, "Honey, would you open this?" Would she be okay with that?
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents - updated #134, p.9
Post by: Free Range Hippy Chick on April 03, 2013, 04:04:50 AM
OP here:

She doesn't expect me to eat any of the chocolate, she thinks I should just give it to DH.  She doesn't get, or even doesn't care, that it hurts me.  I should just suck it up.

I've tried giving it back to her.  I did that last time because it was dark chocolate and nobody but her eats it.  She was more bothered that DH wasn't getting it.  When she found out he didn't like it, she was happy to take it.

So she isn't actually giving you a gift at all. She's giving a gift to your DH. It just happens to have your name on it. The purpose of giving you the gift is that you should give it to DH.

Don't. Do not give it to DH. Have DH make it plain that he isn't taking it, even if it's the sort of chocolate he likes. I wouldn't give it to FIL either, and I wouldn't give it back to MIL. I'm for the putting it in the bin, open, so that it can't be retrieved - but I don't think you should do that. I think your DH should do it. I think you should be careful never to accept a gift unless your DH is in the room, so that you aren't the villain when you don't accept it, or so that you can't be accused of tattling to your DH about 'your mother's being horrible to me!' I think your DH should go nuclear on her every single time and there should be no secondary reward for her in the form of DH/FIL/MIL getting the chocolate. At the moment she's getting away with it some of the time - often enough for it to be worth her while to continue with the behaviour. Make it plain that it's not win-win (MIL gives gift, christmascarol gets gift) or even win-lose-win (MIL gives gift, christmascarol doesn't get gift but who cares about christmascarol, DH or FIL or MIL gets gift). It's lose-lose (MIL doesn't get approval from anybody for gift, nobody gets gift, christmascarol is upset, DH is angry.)

There has to be no benefit at all to her in continuing this behaviour before she'll change, from the look of it. Tell DH not to hold back on the nuclear option.
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents - updated #134, p.9
Post by: Stormtreader on April 03, 2013, 04:10:26 AM
Ok, that latest bit of info that she gets upset if you dont give "your" gift to your DH has changed my opinion on this.
I was going to say to throw it away as soon as you open it, but now im siding with the people saying you should find some foodstuff that your FIL likes that your MIL doesnt and give her that.
Being given a gift for someone else is worse in my book than no gift at all - there WAS thought involved, but she wasnt thinking about YOU.  >:(
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents - updated #134, p.9
Post by: Rusty on April 03, 2013, 05:04:15 AM
Your latest post amazed me.   This woman has seen you take medication for your allergy, has witnessed your physical symptoms, and has been told many times how chocolate would affect you, but she still insists on giving you chocolate, but no its not really for you, its for your DH!   

Is this woman sane?   This goes way past insensitivity.  I think you could be forgiven for hurling it out the nearest window.
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents - updated #134, p.9
Post by: LeveeWoman on April 03, 2013, 05:46:48 AM
Why is everyone else responsible for this woman's feeings?
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents - updated #134, p.9
Post by: CharlieBraun on April 03, 2013, 07:19:53 AM
Why is everyone else responsible for this woman's feeings?

Thanks for saying what I have been thinking but unable to express.

It's an excellent question.
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents - updated #134, p.9
Post by: christmascarol on April 03, 2013, 08:11:18 AM
OP again:

We're going away for a long weekend tomorrow - this has given me so much to think about. 

Quote
Don't. Do not give it to DH. Have DH make it plain that he isn't taking it, even if it's the sort of chocolate he likes. I wouldn't give it to FIL either

If I threw it away or out of the window, nobody would understand why I did something so wasteful.  It would come across as wasteful and spoilt.  I'd be the bad guy in the family.  But if it's any consolation, giving it to FIL was the worst thing I could do, as far as MIL was concerned.  She was angry  >:D

Quote
So she isn't actually giving you a gift at all. She's giving a gift to your DH. It just happens to have your name on it. The purpose of giving you the gift is that you should give it to DH.

Yes!

Quote
there WAS thought involved, but she wasnt thinking about YOU


Yes!

And to add a spin to it, she's not good at thinking of him otherwise, only with foodstuffs.  Eg. she promised him a plant for his birthday in May last year.  They visited us in July - no plant.  She'd forgotten about it.  She brought him a plant in September, to my birthday.  Hubby is still hurt.  And he doesn't know that I not only had to remind her about it, I had to make it clear that not bringing one wasn't acceptable as she was making `I just won't bother´ noises. 

Quote
Why is everyone else responsible for this woman's feeings?

That is a very interesting question.  Food for thought.

I'd like to get her marzipan for Mother's Day.  FIL eats it, MIL doesn't.  I don't think DH will agree though.  He's a really nice person.
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents - updated #134, p.9
Post by: wonderfullyanonymous on April 03, 2013, 08:15:15 AM

I suggest that future gifts for MIL should be boxer shorts in FIL's size, or something equally obviously for him, not her. Since she seems to feel that gifts given to you should really be for DH, clearly gifts to her should really be for FIL. A non-toxic taste of her own medicine, and FIL doesn't get caught in the fallout.



This is probably not a bad idea, especially because of what you said here.  There will probably be a lot of "jaw meet floor" moments, but just maybe she will start to get it then, with her standard reply back to her..."Oh, you can just give them to FIL, then."


That's another thing - she gets soooo excited about our gifts to her.  She loves the thought we put into them and is like a little kid.  She just doesn't `get´ to do the same for others. 

Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents - updated #134, p.9
Post by: LeveeWoman on April 03, 2013, 08:15:35 AM
OP again:

We're going away for a long weekend tomorrow - this has given me so much to think about. 

Quote
Don't. Do not give it to DH. Have DH make it plain that he isn't taking it, even if it's the sort of chocolate he likes. I wouldn't give it to FIL either

If I threw it away or out of the window, nobody would understand why I did something so wasteful.  It would come across as wasteful and spoilt.  I'd be the bad guy in the family.  But if it's any consolation, giving it to FIL was the worst thing I could do, as far as MIL was concerned.  She was angry  >:D

Quote
So she isn't actually giving you a gift at all. She's giving a gift to your DH. It just happens to have your name on it. The purpose of giving you the gift is that you should give it to DH.

Yes!

Quote
there WAS thought involved, but she wasnt thinking about YOU


Yes!

And to add a spin to it, she's not good at thinking of him otherwise, only with foodstuffs.  Eg. she promised him a plant for his birthday in May last year.  They visited us in July - no plant.  She'd forgotten about it.  She brought him a plant in September, to my birthday.  Hubby is still hurt.  And he doesn't know that I not only had to remind her about it, I had to make it clear that not bringing one wasn't acceptable as she was making `I just won't bother´ noises. 

Quote
Why is everyone else responsible for this woman's feeings?

That is a very interesting question.  Food for thought.

I'd like to get her marzipan for Mother's Day.  FIL eats it, MIL doesn't.  I don't think DH will agree though.  He's a really nice person.

Has the phrase, "that's just how she is", or something similar, ever been said to you?

Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents - updated #134, p.9
Post by: Roe on April 03, 2013, 08:28:27 AM
Christmascarol, I'm not trying to be snarky but I think you are part of the problem.  Both you and your DH.  You seem to think being polite means being a doormat. 

I don't understand why you can't just leave.  You say that it will hurt everybody but I didn't say leave forever or never again see the family.  If you truly want things to change then you need to do something drastic as this has been going on a long time.

And you say that you can't give your MIL a gift that your FIL will enjoy because your "husband wouldn't agree since he's a nice guy"...so nice a guy that he puts up with the way she treats you?  I'd expect a husband who really cares about how his wife is treated would not only accept that you'd walk out but would join you in the walkout. 

Since this isn't just about being polite...these gifts can literally kill you!...I don't think you have to worry so much about her feelings. Not to the extent where you are constantly being put 2nd. 
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents - updated #134, p.9
Post by: christmascarol on April 03, 2013, 09:12:51 AM
Quote
Has the phrase, "that's just how she is", or something similar, ever been said to you?


They all say it.  They said it about her mother as well.
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents - updated #134, p.9
Post by: christmascarol on April 03, 2013, 09:18:07 AM
Roe, you're right.  It's the way we were both `trained´ as children.  He not to rock the boat and me to make sure everyone is happy.  That was my role as a child, making sure everyone else was happy.

Part of me thinks yes, do the same to her.  Part of me thinks that if I do that, how am I better than her?  And I want to be, I don't want to be like her. 

I'm sure at the back of DH's brain is also the worry that, if we walked out, would we see them alive again?  Neither of them's well.

So much to think about.  But I agree, Roe.  You can't change others, you can only change the way you are towards them.
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents - updated #134, p.9
Post by: LeveeWoman on April 03, 2013, 09:19:31 AM
Quote
Has the phrase, "that's just how she is", or something similar, ever been said to you?


They all say it.  They said it about her mother as well.

The next time they say that about her when she treats you--or, your husband--shabbily, I'd I didn't like it, and that I wouldn't accept it because "that's just how I am."
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents - updated #134, p.9
Post by: LeveeWoman on April 03, 2013, 09:23:22 AM
Roe, you're right.  It's the way we were both `trained´ as children.  He not to rock the boat and me to make sure everyone is happy.  That was my role as a child, making sure everyone else was happy.

Part of me thinks yes, do the same to her.  Part of me thinks that if I do that, how am I better than her?  And I want to be, I don't want to be like her. 

I'm sure at the back of DH's brain is also the worry that, if we walked out, would we see them alive again?  Neither of them's well.

So much to think about.  But I agree, Roe.  You can't change others, you can only change the way you are towards them.

You don't have to be nasty like her in order to stand up for yourself and your husband.
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents - updated #134, p.9
Post by: o_gal on April 03, 2013, 09:42:29 AM
I'm going to go against the grain of this entire thread.

One piece of advice that is often given is that you cannot change the other person; you can only change your reaction to them.

Here's how I'm seeing the situation. Your MIL knows of your allergy and in all but one aspect of your life, she respects it. As far as I can remember, you haven't posted that she has tried to serve it to you during dinner, or insisted that you eat the chocolate right there and right now. In this one case, gifts, she has a habit of getting you chocolate along with something else (a banknote?) So it's never your sole gift, correct? When you don't want it, she expects you to give it to your DH.

So assuming that she always gives you the chocoloate along with something else, my advice is to just drop the rope. Accept that she is going to give you that piece of chocolate. Ask DH to remind her again. If she still gives you chocolate, just give it to DH. Yes, she is being rude giving you the chocolate when she knows you can't have it. And yet she gives it to you. You just are not going to be able to change her at this point in her life. Just smile, thank her, remind her politely that you can't eat it, and hand it over to DH. Later, after you leave her home, you can scream and holler and vent your anger.

This is incredibly hard - I know that you'd love her to stop giving you the chocolate and it is frustrating the heck out of you and DH, but I think at this point you'll have to accept it and, unfortunately, deal with it. Hopefully if you can find a way to accept it, you won't get as frustrated. If you eventually get to the point where you can laugh at it, you and DH could actually make a game out of it, maybe predicting ahead of time how large of a chunk-o-death she is going to give you, and the winner gets taken out for a great dinner or something like that.
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents - updated #134, p.9
Post by: Eden on April 03, 2013, 09:55:57 AM
Just smile, thank her, remind her politely that you can't eat it, and hand it over to DH. Later, after you leave her home, you can scream and holler and vent your anger.

I don't think it's right for the OP to thank you MIL for being purposefully rude.

Upthread OP said if she threw out the chocolate she would be viewed as wasteful and spoiled. OP, that is not your problem. You and everyone here knows you are none of those things. Although I do think it's fine to give it to FIL, DH or whomever as well. But I don't think you need to thank you or refrain from repeating the fact that you cannot have it. I'd probably say something, "As you know, I cannot have chocolate, but I thank you for the kind financial gift." If you want to not rock the boat. Were I in your shoes every time I received it, I'd hand it and the money back to her and tell her I don't appreciate being given things that will make me sick and I'd rather not receive anything at all."
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents - updated #134, p.9
Post by: TootsNYC on April 03, 2013, 09:56:50 AM
First, can you find some "gift" that she *can* give you at "traditional chocolate-giving time"? Like, jelly beans, or Peeps, or pistachios, or a scarf, or something?

Then you can redirect her, which may be more powerful than simply saying "don't" (it's always better to focus on what you want rather than what you don't want).

And then you can do the "face light up, I'm so excited" thing to reinforce it. Since she wants so badly to please you, that could be very powerful.

Also, if she does give you chocolate,  give her negative reinforcement that doesn't make her defensive.

Cry.

Seriously.

Cry, quietly, and then apologize for crying. Have DH comfort you.

but don't get angry, bcs that puts her on the defensive, which means she locks herself into her "I give chocolate" rhetoric.

The other option is to drop the rope.
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents - updated #134, p.9
Post by: CrazyDaffodilLady on April 03, 2013, 09:57:10 AM
I'm with o_gal.  Why make a box of chocolates your hill to die on?  In my humble opinion, this is battle you will never win, so why not leave the battle field?  If she gives you chocolates, smile and say "thank you", then set them aside or give them away or open the box and pass it around.  Refuse to let it be a big deal. 

As o_gal said, you'll be much happier if you choose to find humor in the situation.  Bonus: it may drive her nuts if you stop reacting.
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents - updated #134, p.9
Post by: KenveeB on April 03, 2013, 10:27:35 AM
Also, if she does give you chocolate,  give her negative reinforcement that doesn't make her defensive.

Cry.

Seriously.

Cry, quietly, and then apologize for crying. Have DH comfort you.

but don't get angry, bcs that puts her on the defensive, which means she locks herself into her "I give chocolate" rhetoric.

I like this idea!
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents - updated #134, p.9
Post by: NyaChan on April 03, 2013, 10:53:58 AM
Also, if she does give you chocolate,  give her negative reinforcement that doesn't make her defensive.

Cry.

Seriously.

Cry, quietly, and then apologize for crying. Have DH comfort you.

but don't get angry, bcs that puts her on the defensive, which means she locks herself into her "I give chocolate" rhetoric.

I like this idea!

Yup.  Usually hate crying to make a point, but this seems to be a situation where it would actually get the point across.
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents - updated #134, p.9
Post by: jedikaiti on April 03, 2013, 12:38:26 PM
Were I in OP's DH's shoes, my inclination might be not to accept EITHER gift from MIL - not the chocolate given directly to him, nor the chocolate via OP - on the grounds that it's rude to give (nearly) everyone a gift, with one person being pointedly excluded. Since the chocolate was obviously not intended for OP (despite having her name on it), it's more like DH gets 2 gifts and OP gets none.

Also, as a PP pointed out, OP and DH need to cure themselves of the notion that nice & polite = doormat.
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents - updated #134, p.9
Post by: rose red on April 03, 2013, 12:39:45 PM
I'm with o_gal.  Why make a box of chocolates your hill to die on?  In my humble opinion, this is battle you will never win, so why not leave the battle field?  If she gives you chocolates, smile and say "thank you", then set them aside or give them away or open the box and pass it around.  Refuse to let it be a big deal. 

As o_gal said, you'll be much happier if you choose to find humor in the situation.  Bonus: it may drive her nuts if you stop reacting.

Because she can literally die from chocolate.  It is a big deal.  If this was about ugly sweaters or smelly lotions, I'd say the same as you; take it and dump it.  However, this woman keeps giving her something that can kill her, and the worse part is she knows it can kill.  If that's not a message, I don't know what is.  The OP should not have to smile and thank MIL for poison.
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents - updated #134, p.9
Post by: Twik on April 03, 2013, 12:48:14 PM
I'm with o_gal.  Why make a box of chocolates your hill to die on?  In my humble opinion, this is battle you will never win, so why not leave the battle field?

Because, in this case, I sense that the "enemy" will pursue you even while you're retreating.

This is clearly not, in MIL's own words, a case of bad memory or lack of understanding. She's giving the OP a present that she *knows* she cannot use without possibly deadly consequences, and then throwing a fit if the OP does not dispose of it in the way that MIL has already decided she should (by giving it to her husband rather than her FIL).

This is not a quirk, this is a power play, and surrendering (to continue the military metaphor) does not mean a cessation of hostilities, it just means that the enemy moves forward to an even more advantageous position, and resumes the attack. Or, to stop sounding like it's Gettysburg, if the OP and those around her accept this treatment without complaining, MIL will assume that she can treat her badly in other ways, and expect no opposition.
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents - updated #134, p.9
Post by: Minmom3 on April 03, 2013, 01:06:17 PM
"Awww, MIL, still trying to kill me, eh?  This is 'X' many times you've given me chocolate you KNOW can kill me.  How long are you going to keep this up?  Don't you EVER get tired of this?  I know I sure do!!"
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents - updated #134, p.9
Post by: TootsNYC on April 03, 2013, 01:19:29 PM
Were I in OP's DH's shoes, my inclination might be not to accept EITHER gift from MIL - not the chocolate given directly to him, nor the chocolate via OP - on the grounds that it's rude to give (nearly) everyone a gift, with one person being pointedly excluded. Since the chocolate was obviously not intended for OP (despite having her name on it), it's more like DH gets 2 gifts and OP gets none.

Also, as a PP pointed out, OP and DH need to cure themselves of the notion that nice & polite = doormat.

But that's exactly why the MIL is labeling the chocolate w/ the OP's name! Because she has to make it even; her sense of "being fair" and "treating everyone the same" is part of what has led her into this.
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents - updated #134, p.9
Post by: Bethalize on April 03, 2013, 01:24:03 PM
I suggest saying: "Oh, I'm sorry, I can't accept this, it will kill me" and giving it straight back to her. If she wants to give it to your DH then let her, but that way you're taking away her fix of "I gave my DIL something and SHE gave it away". That way she'll be stuck with "My DIL didn't have a gift from me."
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents - updated #134, p.9
Post by: random numbers on April 03, 2013, 01:56:42 PM
I think I'd hand it back with a sad expression asking "Why are you trying to poison me?" Make sure everyone hears. Maybe cry a bit.
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents - updated #134, p.9
Post by: jedikaiti on April 03, 2013, 02:04:56 PM
Were I in OP's DH's shoes, my inclination might be not to accept EITHER gift from MIL - not the chocolate given directly to him, nor the chocolate via OP - on the grounds that it's rude to give (nearly) everyone a gift, with one person being pointedly excluded. Since the chocolate was obviously not intended for OP (despite having her name on it), it's more like DH gets 2 gifts and OP gets none.

Also, as a PP pointed out, OP and DH need to cure themselves of the notion that nice & polite = doormat.

But that's exactly why the MIL is labeling the chocolate w/ the OP's name! Because she has to make it even; her sense of "being fair" and "treating everyone the same" is part of what has led her into this.

And she's actually achieving neither. Perhaps, if DH were to refuse both chocolates on the grounds that OP isn't really being given a gift herself, just a mislabeled gift for DH. Or, when she gets the chocolate labeled for her, she can treat it as what it is, a mislabeled gift. "Oh, you accidentally put my name on DH's gift." Then, when DH gets one, too, "But where's OP's gift? Doesn't she get a gift?" Call her out, politely, on what she's really doing.
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents - updated #134, p.9
Post by: MindsEye on April 03, 2013, 02:10:02 PM
Next time, cross your arms, refuse to take the chocolate, and say something like -

"You know MIL, if you want your son to have a present of chocolate, then just give the chocolate directly to him.  I don't appreciate this little "game" where you give me chocolate, which you know I can't eat, with the intention that I will pass it off to DH instead.  Why can't you get me something that is not chocolate and is actually for me?"

Or would that be too forward?
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents - updated #134, p.9
Post by: MamaMootz on April 03, 2013, 02:17:02 PM
I myself am in the "throw it out" camp. Every time you get it, walk to the bin and throw it out. Every single time.

Wasteful, not wasteful - it sends a message with no drama. Simple. Trash it.
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents - updated #134, p.9
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on April 03, 2013, 02:27:52 PM
Course the other thing is that if DH were to eat it, the OP couldn't kiss him without having a reaction, so it seems evil to even give it to the OP meaning it to be for her son.   

I suggest throwing it out as well and if they gasp and say that's wasteful, say "So is giving chocolate to someone who cannot eat it."
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents - updated #134, p.9
Post by: EmmaJ. on April 03, 2013, 02:35:19 PM
OP, you mentioned earlier that you love licorice.  Next time she hands you a wrapped package, get very excited and say, "Oh I hope it's a big bag of licorice! Everyone knows how much love licorice!  I haven't had licorice in ages!"

When you open it and see that it is chocolate, drop your joyful look.  Flatly say "Oh".  Set chocolate aside.  Don't hand it off to anyone.  Do not acknowledge it again. And no eye contact with MIL. 

Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents - updated #134, p.9
Post by: Marguette on April 03, 2013, 02:39:06 PM
If it happens again, your feelings will be very, very hurt. I suggest that you don’t orchestrate a response planned ahead of time but just let your feelings take over and do what comes naturally. From the feelings you have described, it seems likely that your reaction might be to burst into tears. If that happens, don’t stifle it. Let her view how she has made you feel.
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents - updated #134, p.9
Post by: TootsNYC on April 03, 2013, 03:18:15 PM
OP, you mentioned earlier that you love licorice.  Next time she hands you a wrapped package, get very excited and say, "Oh I hope it's a big bag of licorice! Everyone knows how much love licorice!  I haven't had licorice in ages!"

When you open it and see that it is chocolate, drop your joyful look.  Flatly say "Oh".  Set chocolate aside.  Don't hand it off to anyone.  Do not acknowledge it again. And no eye contact with MIL.


Nice!

A great way of using the classic motivation of gift-giving to provide negative (and positive) reinforcement.
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents - updated #134, p.9
Post by: JenJay on April 03, 2013, 07:01:58 PM
Given the update I'd open the chocolate, look very confused, and say "MIL you accidentally gave me DH's gift. Here honey, everyone knows I can't eat chocolate but you love it." Draw attention to the fact that she's given him two gifts and you none. Maybe it'll shame her into stopping. If not at least she'll know she isn't getting away with it.
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents - updated #134, p.9
Post by: Jelaza on April 03, 2013, 07:08:40 PM
Yeah, I was going to also suggest that you start crying.  No anger, and not loud dramatic crying.  Just silent or quiet tears before setting the chocolate down on the nearest surface and then hiding in the bathroom for 10 minutes or so.  Then obviously don't look at MIL when you come back.
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents - updated #134, p.9
Post by: KB on April 03, 2013, 08:17:03 PM
Given the update I'd open the chocolate, look very confused, and say "MIL you accidentally gave me DH's gift. Here honey, everyone knows I can't eat chocolate but you love it." Draw attention to the fact that she's given him two gifts and you none. Maybe it'll shame her into stopping. If not at least she'll know she isn't getting away with it.

Considering OP's comments above, I think this is exactly what MIL wants to happen. She wants DH to have this second present. She won't be ashamed. She will be pleased at getting what she wants. The most effective way of demonstrating the pointlessness of MIL's actions is to do as the OP was considering before - give the gifts she receives to FIL instead, and perhaps (somewhat passive-aggressively) give MIL gifts that only FIL would like.
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents - updated #134, p.9
Post by: artk2002 on April 03, 2013, 11:44:00 PM
On the topic of waste: MIL is the one wasting food by giving it to a person who cannot safely consume it. In fact, were she to complain that the food was "wasted" by being thrown away, my response would be: "Why did you waste it by giving it to me, when you know that I cannot eat it?"
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents - updated #134, p.9
Post by: Iris on April 03, 2013, 11:56:58 PM
On the topic of waste: MIL is the one wasting food by giving it to a person who cannot safely consume it. In fact, were she to complain that the food was "wasted" by being thrown away, my response would be: "Why did you waste it by giving it to me, when you know that I cannot eat it?"

Yes, I have to say this MIL has a pretty sweet deal going. Don't make a scene or YOU will have cut family ties; Don't throw it away or YOU will be wasting food; Don't respond in kind or YOU will be a bad person; Don't give it to anyone other than who she deems fit or YOU will have upset her and ruined the day. Why do you care if she thinks you're a bad person for wasting food? You think she's a bad person for giving it to you and I guarantee that she doesn't give a flying fig for your opinion on that matter.

Frankly I think that you and DH need to stop taking ownership of the consequences of her bad behaviour. Until both of you are ready to actually take a stand and refuse to feel guilty about the consequences then nothing is going to change. From your posts it sounds like you don't really want to take a stand, which is fine because it's your choice, but I really believe that your choices are to either take a stand (via walking out or whatever) or find a way to not get so upset about it. Easier said than done, I know, but it seems that those are your options.
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents - updated #134, p.9
Post by: Free Range Hippy Chick on April 04, 2013, 04:29:33 AM

Yes, I have to say this MIL has a pretty sweet deal going. Don't make a scene or YOU will have cut family ties; Don't throw it away or YOU will be wasting food; Don't respond in kind or YOU will be a bad person; Don't give it to anyone other than who she deems fit or YOU will have upset her and ruined the day. Why do you care if she thinks you're a bad person for wasting food? You think she's a bad person for giving it to you and I guarantee that she doesn't give a flying fig for your opinion on that matter.


And a second vote for this. This is precisely why I suggested what I did in post 166. Don't do it yourself. You already know that she doesn't care what you think. It seems that she does care what your DH thinks. That's why I said:


I'm for the putting it in the bin, open, so that it can't be retrieved - but I don't think you should do that. I think your DH should do it. I think you should be careful never to accept a gift unless your DH is in the room, so that you aren't the villain when you don't accept it, or so that you can't be accused of tattling to your DH about 'your mother's being horrible to me!' I think your DH should go nuclear on her every single time and there should be no secondary reward for her in the form of DH/FIL/MIL getting the chocolate.


Frankly I think that you and DH need to stop taking ownership of the consequences of her bad behaviour. Until both of you are ready to actually take a stand and refuse to feel guilty about the consequences then nothing is going to change. From your posts it sounds like you don't really want to take a stand, which is fine because it's your choice, but I really believe that your choices are to either take a stand (via walking out or whatever) or find a way to not get so upset about it. Easier said than done, I know, but it seems that those are your options.

This is bang on the target. Looking back, you've got advice along a spectrum. I think your DH should go nuclear. o_gal in post 179 thinks you should drop the rope and teach yourself not to care. If we leave out some fairly obviously not-to-be-taken-seriously posts early on, we are probably either end of the arc of possibilities. I can see that what you want is a form of words that will convince your MIL that her behaviour is unacceptable, and cause her never to do it again.

I don't think it exists, not just in the form of words. You've tried words, repeatedly, and it hasn't worked. Probably everybody on this forum knows the line about insanity being the act of doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome. You already know that telling her not to give you chocolate, it's harmful to your health and hurtful to you emotionally, has no long term result.

If you aren't willing to take action - and to get your DH to take action so that it is plain to your MIL that when she hurts you she also hurts him - then you have to find a way not to care. If you can't bring yourself not to care, then you need to take action. Words won't cut it here. I also don't have a good feeling about giving her gifts obviously for your FIL - that says that this is a game, if a spiteful one, and that you're playing. You don't want to 'play'. It's too important for that.

Iris is precisely right about 'refusing to feel guilty about the consequences'. I do wonder if you might have made a mistake after the last row, when you gave her a hug and suggested moving forward. I absolutely understand why you did - but I think you probably weakened your position. You were the one who had been insulted and injured; it should have been for her to approach you for a reconciliation, not the other way around. There's being the Bigger Person and there's being the Bigger Doormat.

The only way that I think words might possibly work would be for your DH to take on the responsibility of calling his mother the day before every visit - every visit, without exception - and to talk to her in small words as if he thinks she's an idiot. 'I'm calling to remind you: christmascarol can't have chocolate. Not any chocolate. Not ever. Have you bought her chocolate? Are you planning to give her chocolate? Are you sure? Remember that it's not kind to give her chocolate. Promise me you won't try to give her chocolate. It's very dangerous to give her chocolate. You mustn't give her chocolate just because you think she can give it to me or to Dad or to anybody else. Now remember, because this is important - no chocolate for christmascarol. Not even a little bit.' That might work, particularly if he refused to engage in any other conversation. No chit-chat. This is a call expressly to ensure that there isn't any chocolate. But then he also has to be willing to follow through, and if chocolate appears with your name on it, he has to assert himself immediately, demand to know what she was thinking, point out that he had called her and told her all this again, etc, etc, cont page 94. Basically, go nuclear.

I'm curious: has your DH read this thread?
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents - updated #134, p.9
Post by: JenJay on April 04, 2013, 09:02:38 AM
Given the update I'd open the chocolate, look very confused, and say "MIL you accidentally gave me DH's gift. Here honey, everyone knows I can't eat chocolate but you love it." Draw attention to the fact that she's given him two gifts and you none. Maybe it'll shame her into stopping. If not at least she'll know she isn't getting away with it.

Considering OP's comments above, I think this is exactly what MIL wants to happen. She wants DH to have this second present. She won't be ashamed. She will be pleased at getting what she wants. The most effective way of demonstrating the pointlessness of MIL's actions is to do as the OP was considering before - give the gifts she receives to FIL instead, and perhaps (somewhat passive-aggressively) give MIL gifts that only FIL would like.

I agree about handing the chocolate to FIL. That was actually my first bit of advice. It seems like OP's DH isn't on board with there being a "scene", though, which that would cause. The suggestion to act confused and pass the gift to DH was my plan B.  ;)

I get the impression that the MIL wants the chocolate to go to the husband indirectly, quietly and after the fact so that it still appears that she has given OP a gift. I'd hand it straight to DH in front if everyone and call attention to the fact that this is what the MIL has done. Then it'll be obvious when everyone is sitting around with a gift except for OP while her DH has two.
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents - updated #134, p.9
Post by: VorFemme on April 04, 2013, 09:27:39 AM
There are four learning styles.

Your MIL has quite clearly demonstrated that she does not learn from being told what needs to be changed in the way that she is doing things in words.

This leaves three other learning styles.  Touch/Hands on (your husband hands her a gift for her to give you of something approved and the chocolate is confiscated before it can be "given") where she is guided through "how to do it the correct way" until she starts doing it that way on her own.  Visual (drop it on the floor, into DH's hands, FIL's hands, the trash, and leave it) without comment.  Is there any way to make her SMELL something nasty - perhaps you spray the chocolate with ammonia so it no longer smells "tempting" and she realizes that now nobody is going to get it?

You have to change the medium of the message you are trying to send her to get through to her using HER preferred learning style.  Starting to cry quietly and dropping the chocolate on the floor (stepping back quickly one step as if it was a spider works, but don't jump back so dramatically that SHE decides that you are being a drama queen and takes center stage with her comments about YOUR dramatics) might work.  Your DH could pick it up and hand it to his father, while asking his father to dispose of this, with a comment about chocolate being a medical issue for you.

Whether your FIL chooses to trash it or eat it, that is up to him. 

Then your husband reminds his mother that he really has to take you home (or to a doctor) just in case you came in contact with the chocolate (the meds are at home because you didn't think you'd need them with you or you have to see the doctor/pharmacist to get a refill - and you LEAVE. You don't come back that day.  Every time she hands you chocolate, your visit ENDS, within a minute or two.  Even if you "just got there" - it's time to leave since the area isn't safe for you and your husband doesn't want to expose you to potential hazards. 

On the phone or by letter, he can ask his mother to please stop distressing HIM by giving you chocolate, since he can't enjoy his chocolate or the visit once he sees that you're being placed at risk.......he can suggest something that you do like (jelly beans?  licorice sticks?  salt water taffy?  oatmeal cookies with butterscotch chips? bag of pretty beads from the craft store?) to substitute, so that BOTH of you are able to stay and enjoy the next event that has been planned.

Or he can do the cut direct (etiquette nuclear option) and let her know that the next time she hands you chocolate - in any form or fashion - he is reporting it to the police as an attempted poisoning and it will be the LAST time he sees her in her life.  Seriously, this has been dragging on this long because she doesn't see any serious consequences.  But that can't just be threatened, he has to have her convinced that he means it and that it really will end her chances to see her son.  Her husband might be invited out to lunch with him and their SIL, but she is persona non grata for life.

The only other option that I can think of is to use animal training techniques like spraying her with cold water,cracking a whip, or blowing a loud whistle that hurts her ears when she does something like this and saying "Bad MIL, no chocolate" - then praising her to the skies when she does something "right" as soon as possible.

But that would make a scene to end all dramatic scenes......so - not possible.  Even if walking into her house with a chair and a whip like an old style lion tamer sounds like fun.......You can only play "Jane Goodall studying the primates" so long - when the silver-backed female tries to KILL you, even if it "looks" like it might be accidental, it's time to do something else.

Even Seigfried & Roy, the tiger tamers of Vegas, retired when one of them got mauled.......
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents - updated #134, p.9
Post by: MindsEye on April 04, 2013, 09:48:39 AM
When I said I was fed up of being the adult, what I really meant is I just want to turn round and walk out.  Take that, MIL!  But that would punish my DH, FIL and SIL.  Her other DIL did that and we haven't seen BIL or nephews in over 10 years.  Another BIL is nasty to them, allowing a little contact now and again.  A bit bait and switch.  It hurts us all.

Wait, wait... let me step back a minute...

OP, would you mind explaining the bolded?  Because it reads to me like this sort of disrespectful and provocative behavior may be a pattern with your MIL.  Did her actions drive away her other DIL (an by extension her son and their children as well) and alienate another BIL?

If your MIL is really afraid of driving you away, what about holding that possibility over her head as a threat?

And, if you do end up "cutting" her, remember, it doesn't have to be forever, full stop.  You can always decide to give her the opportunity to earn her way back into your good graces.  And if you "cut" MIL, that doesn't mean you cut FIL and SIL as well, unless they refuse to see you without MIL.
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents - updated #134, p.9
Post by: NyaChan on April 04, 2013, 10:05:51 AM
I have a feeling that if this were me, when MIL came towards me with a gift I'd ask (even if it is obvious) -

"Is there chocolate in this?"  and upon confirmation,  "I will not accept it."   And then I would not take it from her hands, repeating, "I do not accept gifts of chocolate."

Put your hands behind your back if you have to & let your husband know ahead of time that he is not to accept the gift on your behalf.  It shouldn't hit your hands because then she makes it your problem, your choice as to what you do with it, and then your consequences when she reacts badly to your choice.  This way, no one can argue with what you have done - everyone knows you don't accept gifts of chocolate because it can kill you. 
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents - updated #134, p.9
Post by: LeveeWoman on April 04, 2013, 10:06:53 AM
When I said I was fed up of being the adult, what I really meant is I just want to turn round and walk out.  Take that, MIL!  But that would punish my DH, FIL and SIL.  Her other DIL did that and we haven't seen BIL or nephews in over 10 years.  Another BIL is nasty to them, allowing a little contact now and again.  A bit bait and switch.  It hurts us all.

Wait, wait... let me step back a minute...

OP, would you mind explaining the bolded?  Because it reads to me like this sort of disrespectful and provocative behavior may be a pattern with your MIL.  Did her actions drive away her other DIL (an by extension her son and their children as well) and alienate another BIL?

If your MIL is really afraid of driving you away, what about holding that possibility over her head as a threat?

And, if you do end up "cutting" her, remember, it doesn't have to be forever, full stop.  You can always decide to give her the opportunity to earn her way back into your good graces.  And if you "cut" MIL, that doesn't mean you cut FIL and SIL as well, unless they refuse to see you without MIL.

In post #175 yesterday, christmascarol said that everyone says "that's just how she is" about her mother-in-law, and that it is a multi-generational problem.
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents - updated #134, p.9
Post by: MindsEye on April 04, 2013, 10:25:22 AM
When I said I was fed up of being the adult, what I really meant is I just want to turn round and walk out.  Take that, MIL!  But that would punish my DH, FIL and SIL.  Her other DIL did that and we haven't seen BIL or nephews in over 10 years.  Another BIL is nasty to them, allowing a little contact now and again.  A bit bait and switch.  It hurts us all.

Wait, wait... let me step back a minute...

OP, would you mind explaining the bolded?  Because it reads to me like this sort of disrespectful and provocative behavior may be a pattern with your MIL.  Did her actions drive away her other DIL (an by extension her son and their children as well) and alienate another BIL?

If your MIL is really afraid of driving you away, what about holding that possibility over her head as a threat?

And, if you do end up "cutting" her, remember, it doesn't have to be forever, full stop.  You can always decide to give her the opportunity to earn her way back into your good graces.  And if you "cut" MIL, that doesn't mean you cut FIL and SIL as well, unless they refuse to see you without MIL.

In post #175 yesterday, christmascarol said that everyone says "that's just how she is" about her mother-in-law, and that it is a multi-generational problem.

Ahhh... I missed that.  Okay.  So, yes... MIL drives people away because of how she behaves toward them.

OP, if you think that she regrets that she has driven people away, then then holding the threat that you will cut her off over her head might be a potent weapon.

Otherwise, I don't know what to say... people have already cut her off and she didn't get a clue or think that she might need to change her behavior?  Wow...

Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents - updated #134, p.9
Post by: HoneyBee42 on April 04, 2013, 06:40:56 PM
Course the other thing is that if DH were to eat it, the OP couldn't kiss him without having a reaction, so it seems evil to even give it to the OP meaning it to be for her son.   

I suggest throwing it out as well and if they gasp and say that's wasteful, say "So is giving chocolate to someone who cannot eat it."

That stuck out to me, too.

I guess the option that I would go with would be to accept the gift, and dispose of it in *ANY* way other than passing it onto DH.  As a gift to christmascarol, it is now *hers* to do with as she wishes (just like any other gift, once received).

So, throw it out (opened so it is ruined) and if there's a gasp about being wasteful, just say give it to FIL each and every time.  When the MIL gets upset, just a very flat "MIL, you know that chocolate can kill me; I know that FIL (or whomever might be the recipient) enjoys it, so I chose to give my chocolate to him."  When the MIL says "but you're supposed to give it to your husband" ... repeat (broken record technique).  Optionally, add in a line that if MIL wants DH to have chocolate, she will have to give DH the chocolate.  (Just keep the tone very neutral/flat throughout.)
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents - updated #134, p.9
Post by: BarensMom on April 04, 2013, 06:48:18 PM
OP, do you have a garbage disposal?  If so, every time MIL gives you the chocolate, just take it and drop it into the drain and run the disposal.  If people cry "wasteful,"  tell them that yes, it is a waste to give chocolate to someone who is deathly allergic.  I'll bet a buck that after a few times of that, MIL won't be so quick to give you chocolate.
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents - updated #134, p.9
Post by: LeveeWoman on April 04, 2013, 07:56:54 PM
OP, do you have a garbage disposal?  If so, every time MIL gives you the chocolate, just take it and drop it into the drain and run the disposal.  If people cry "wasteful,"  tell them that yes, it is a waste to give chocolate to someone who is deathly allergic.  I'll bet a buck that after a few times of that, MIL won't be so quick to give you chocolate.

I was thinking of doing either that or dropping it into the trash compactor and turning it on.
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents - updated #134, p.9
Post by: Figgie on April 04, 2013, 08:30:09 PM
If the purpose behind her giving you chocolate is to make sure her son gets an extra gift of chocolate (when you give the chocolate to him), then trashing the chocolate gift is probably the only way you will teach your mother-in-law to not give you chocolate.

We train people how to treat us.  Every time you accept the chocolate (and then give it away) or forgive her for giving you chocolate, she learns that she can behave like this and that there will be no serious consequences. 

Probably the least serious consequence you can provide, is the natural one...when someone gives you poison, you throw the poison out.  It doesn't matter that someone else can use the poison, as the point of throwing it out is to provide a consequence that your mother-in-law will have the opportunity to learn from. 

As long as you keep accepting the chocolate and then giving it away, the outcome (mother-in-law giving you chocolate) isn't going to change.  To change that, you need to change your response to her giving you chocolate. 

Throwing it out is a lot less extreme than yelling at her, having her son yell at her, leaving the get-together, cutting her off for a short period of time or cutting her off for good.  And really, if someone gives us poison, throwing it out is probably the most reasonable response.
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents - updated #134, p.9
Post by: greencat on April 07, 2013, 06:07:38 PM
I think that next time chocolate is given, you should make a scene.  Make a scene that clearly and loudly demonstrates that MIL is the problem.  "What's wrong with you that you keep giving me something that you know will kill me if I eat it?" Make sure people in the next room can hear you.  Preferably, people in the next house.  Bonus points the more people who weren't previously aware of the problem that are present.  Then you should be prepared to leave.  Tell your FIL on the way out that you'll call him in the next few days.

From an outside perspective: your MIL is trying to murder you with a smile.  Why do you keep getting near her?  I think your other in-laws who have already given her the cut direct have the right idea.  No one has enough redeeming qualities or a close enough connection to make up for "Keeps trying to kill me."
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents - updated #134, p.9
Post by: ti_ax on April 07, 2013, 06:22:00 PM
If it were me, next giving occasion I would pick up the package and say, "Oh, I wonder what it is. I bet it's chocolate again."

After I opened it, I would just put the chocolate down and walk away laughing.
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents - updated #134, p.9
Post by: cabbagegirl28 on April 07, 2013, 06:37:28 PM
I think that next time chocolate is given, you should make a scene.  Make a scene that clearly and loudly demonstrates that MIL is the problem.  "What's wrong with you that you keep giving me something that you know will kill me if I eat it?" Make sure people in the next room can hear you.  Preferably, people in the next house.  Bonus points the more people who weren't previously aware of the problem that are present.  Then you should be prepared to leave.  Tell your FIL on the way out that you'll call him in the next few days.

From an outside perspective: your MIL is trying to murder you with a smile.  Why do you keep getting near her?  I think your other in-laws who have already given her the cut direct have the right idea.  No one has enough redeeming qualities or a close enough connection to make up for "Keeps trying to kill me."

I have to somewhat agree with this, as someone who has a massive allergy to certain things. I wouldn't make a scene in a situation like this, but it'd be tense and icy at best. If you give me the things I'm really allergic to once or twice, I'll give you the benefit of the doubt (mine are weird anyway, so I don't expect people to remember them well). Allergies aren't always super easy to remember.

However, this is someone who knows the OP well enough to know better. If MIL cannot think of a good enough alternative to chocolate for the OP's gift, then she needs to talk to someone who can give her some real suggestions, like OP's DH. If my relatives or potential relatives-in-law kept doing a traditional shrimp boil on holidays, with everything in the same pot, with nothing for me to eat, I'd probably say something similar to greencat's wording. Stuff like that just isn't okay. She should either give an appropriate gift or don't give one at all. Even no gift would be preferable to a toxic one, imho.
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents - updated #134, p.9
Post by: Hillia on April 07, 2013, 08:52:53 PM
All the suggestions about providing MIL with alternate gift ideas are moot, because she just does not care if the OP gets a present (aside from the bank note) or not.  She goes to the store, buys x chocolate gifts for x people, and she's done.  She's not going to go out of her way to buy a different gift for anyone.  I'm willing to bet that if it were anyone else (even a member of  her family) who couldn't eat chocolate, she would do the exact same thing.  She's not trying to kill the OP, or being deliberately dense about her ability to eat chocolate; she's saying loud and clear 'I am going to exert the absolute minimum effort to buy gifts because my time and effort are intensely valuable to me.  I don't give a rat's patoot about anyone else's pleasure.  I have to give gifts to look like the good guy, but I'm not spending one iota of effort on it'.
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents - updated #134, p.9
Post by: Shoo on April 07, 2013, 09:48:33 PM
Next time, cross your arms, refuse to take the chocolate, and say something like -

"You know MIL, if you want your son to have a present of chocolate, then just give the chocolate directly to him.  I don't appreciate this little "game" where you give me chocolate, which you know I can't eat, with the intention that I will pass it off to DH instead.  Why can't you get me something that is not chocolate and is actually for me?"

Or would that be too forward?

This is exactly what you should do, OP.  I know it will be hard, but unless and until you stand up to this dolt, you will be receiving chocolate (for your husband) for the rest of her life.
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents - updated #134, p.9
Post by: sammycat on April 08, 2013, 02:28:52 AM
I think that next time chocolate is given, you should make a scene.  Make a scene that clearly and loudly demonstrates that MIL is the problem.  "What's wrong with you that you keep giving me something that you know will kill me if I eat it?" Make sure people in the next room can hear you.  Preferably, people in the next house.  Bonus points the more people who weren't previously aware of the problem that are present.  Then you should be prepared to leave.  Tell your FIL on the way out that you'll call him in the next few days.

From an outside perspective: your MIL is trying to murder you with a smile.  Why do you keep getting near her?  I think your other in-laws who have already given her the cut direct have the right idea.  No one has enough redeeming qualities or a close enough connection to make up for "Keeps trying to kill me."

This.
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents - updated #134, p.9
Post by: half_dollars on April 08, 2013, 07:25:48 AM
OP, I'm not sure of your plans for having children or not, but if your child(ren) end up having food allergies and grandma keeps giving them the allergen, is "that's just how she is" going to be an acceptable response then?  A toddler usually won't know a food has an allergen in it, or she could try to sneak it to them.

Personally, I'd never see her again.  DH could visit with her, call her, and have the relationship with her.  I would have a relationship with SIL and FIL.  And, if I did have children, they would not have a relationship with MIL either.  Otherwise, they will see MIL treating you like dirt and grow up thinking it's OK.

You're an adult now.  You need to respect yourself.  Respect for adults is earned, not given.  MIL has not earned your respect.  And she definitely doesn't respect you.

I, too, am curious how your DH can place his mother's happiness and not wanting to cause a scene above your health and happiness?

My 2 DC have various food allergies.  My MIL doesn't believe they exist.  She would bring/give treats when we would visit, and all of them would have the allergens in them.  At first we would accept them kindly then throw them away after they left.  After the 2nd time, DH reminded them about our children's food allergies.  After the 3rd time, DH told his mom not to bring any more food into our house when they visited.  After she started mailing it, he told her no more mailed gifts.  (Side note:  we always suggested alternate choices, or even adding the $ to a jar for a special outing during visits or even for college.)  And after she had FIL call and yell at DH for "making his mom cry, all she wants to do is give these gifts", DH reiterated that having the food in the house could kill our children and having them alive is more important.  Well, FIL refused to visit us for 2 years.  SIL told DH he was being ridiculous and that he should just take the gifts and throw them away later as she did because giving things made MIL happy.  But he never faltered.  MIL is better with gifts (birthday and Christmas, and sends $ for Easter), but now is trying to control meals by saying everyone has to eat a little of everything on the table-house rules.  Yes, foods with the allergens in them.  So, now we do not eat at their house.  Yes, it's caused stress.  Yes, it's caused tension.  However, my children's life and health (physical AND mental) is more important.
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents - updated #134, p.9
Post by: Twik on April 08, 2013, 09:40:17 AM
All the suggestions about providing MIL with alternate gift ideas are moot, because she just does not care if the OP gets a present (aside from the bank note) or not.  She goes to the store, buys x chocolate gifts for x people, and she's done.  She's not going to go out of her way to buy a different gift for anyone.  I'm willing to bet that if it were anyone else (even a member of  her family) who couldn't eat chocolate, she would do the exact same thing.  She's not trying to kill the OP, or being deliberately dense about her ability to eat chocolate; she's saying loud and clear 'I am going to exert the absolute minimum effort to buy gifts because my time and effort are intensely valuable to me.  I don't give a rat's patoot about anyone else's pleasure.  I have to give gifts to look like the good guy, but I'm not spending one iota of effort on it'.

I think that is part of it, but if it were the whole story, I don't think she'd throw a tantrum because the OP gave the chocolate to the "wrong" person (FIL instead of her husband). If she were merely lazy, that shouldn't matter to her.

I think she has established a scheme whereby she considers that giving her DIL a present she cannot use, is a "double" present to her own darling son.
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents - updated #134, p.9
Post by: Sophia on April 08, 2013, 11:12:16 AM
I have a personal rule that if I can't put a lot of thought into a gift (something I love to do) without resentment, then I don't.  If I have to give a gift, I put thought into it until I start getting upset.  Then, if they get a default gift, they get a default gift.

I mention this because I noted that she loves your thoughtful gifts to her.
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents - updated #134, p.9
Post by: Hawkwatcher on April 08, 2013, 12:44:44 PM
All the suggestions about providing MIL with alternate gift ideas are moot, because she just does not care if the OP gets a present (aside from the bank note) or not.  She goes to the store, buys x chocolate gifts for x people, and she's done.  She's not going to go out of her way to buy a different gift for anyone.  I'm willing to bet that if it were anyone else (even a member of  her family) who couldn't eat chocolate, she would do the exact same thing.  She's not trying to kill the OP, or being deliberately dense about her ability to eat chocolate; she's saying loud and clear 'I am going to exert the absolute minimum effort to buy gifts because my time and effort are intensely valuable to me.  I don't give a rat's patoot about anyone else's pleasure.  I have to give gifts to look like the good guy, but I'm not spending one iota of effort on it'.

I think that is part of it, but if it were the whole story, I don't think she'd throw a tantrum because the OP gave the chocolate to the "wrong" person (FIL instead of her husband). If she were merely lazy, that shouldn't matter to her.

I think she has established a scheme whereby she considers that giving her DIL a present she cannot use, is a "double" present to her own darling son.

If the OP's DH is willing, perhaps he should start rejecting all gifts from Mother until she starts giving her DIL appropriate gifts.  That might send a message to the MIL that they are united.
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents - updated #134, p.9
Post by: Browyn on April 08, 2013, 02:13:30 PM
All the suggestions about providing MIL with alternate gift ideas are moot, because she just does not care if the OP gets a present (aside from the bank note) or not.  She goes to the store, buys x chocolate gifts for x people, and she's done.  She's not going to go out of her way to buy a different gift for anyone.  I'm willing to bet that if it were anyone else (even a member of  her family) who couldn't eat chocolate, she would do the exact same thing.  She's not trying to kill the OP, or being deliberately dense about her ability to eat chocolate; she's saying loud and clear 'I am going to exert the absolute minimum effort to buy gifts because my time and effort are intensely valuable to me.  I don't give a rat's patoot about anyone else's pleasure.  I have to give gifts to look like the good guy, but I'm not spending one iota of effort on it'.

I think that is part of it, but if it were the whole story, I don't think she'd throw a tantrum because the OP gave the chocolate to the "wrong" person (FIL instead of her husband). If she were merely lazy, that shouldn't matter to her.

I think she has established a scheme whereby she considers that giving her DIL a present she cannot use, is a "double" present to her own darling son.

If the OP's DH is willing, perhaps he should start rejecting all gifts from Mother until she starts giving her DIL appropriate gifts.  That might send a message to the MIL that they are united.

How about stopping all gift exchanges.  Since MIL can't get something appropriate for the OP then the OP and her DH tell MIL no gifts and give no gifts in return to MIL and FIL
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents - updated #134, p.9
Post by: Calistoga on April 08, 2013, 04:03:23 PM
Is there something she really hates? Like loathes?

Maybe give her the gift of liverwurst a few times.
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents - updated #134, p.9
Post by: wonderfullyanonymous on April 08, 2013, 05:42:57 PM



My 2 DC have various food allergies.  My MIL doesn't believe they exist.  She would bring/give treats when we would visit, and all of them would have the allergens in them.  At first we would accept them kindly then throw them away after they left.  After the 2nd time, DH reminded them about our children's food allergies.  After the 3rd time, DH told his mom not to bring any more food into our house when they visited.  After she started mailing it, he told her no more mailed gifts.  (Side note:  we always suggested alternate choices, or even adding the $ to a jar for a special outing during visits or even for college.)  And after she had FIL call and yell at DH for "making his mom cry, all she wants to do is give these gifts", DH reiterated that having the food in the house could kill our children and having them alive is more important.  Well, FIL refused to visit us for 2 years.  SIL told DH he was being ridiculous and that he should just take the gifts and throw them away later as she did because giving things made MIL happy.  But he never faltered.  MIL is better with gifts (birthday and Christmas, and sends $ for Easter), but now is trying to control meals by saying everyone has to eat a little of everything on the table-house rules.  Yes, foods with the allergens in them.  So, now we do not eat at their house.  Yes, it's caused stress.  Yes, it's caused tension.  However, my children's life and health (physical AND mental) is more important.


I am so extraordinarily appalled, I have no words to describe it. I'm so glad your husband has stood up to his family over this.
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents - updated #134, p.9
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on April 08, 2013, 06:50:22 PM



My 2 DC have various food allergies.  My MIL doesn't believe they exist.  She would bring/give treats when we would visit, and all of them would have the allergens in them.  At first we would accept them kindly then throw them away after they left.  After the 2nd time, DH reminded them about our children's food allergies.  After the 3rd time, DH told his mom not to bring any more food into our house when they visited.  After she started mailing it, he told her no more mailed gifts.  (Side note:  we always suggested alternate choices, or even adding the $ to a jar for a special outing during visits or even for college.)  And after she had FIL call and yell at DH for "making his mom cry, all she wants to do is give these gifts", DH reiterated that having the food in the house could kill our children and having them alive is more important.  Well, FIL refused to visit us for 2 years.  SIL told DH he was being ridiculous and that he should just take the gifts and throw them away later as she did because giving things made MIL happy.  But he never faltered.  MIL is better with gifts (birthday and Christmas, and sends $ for Easter), but now is trying to control meals by saying everyone has to eat a little of everything on the table-house rules.  Yes, foods with the allergens in them.  So, now we do not eat at their house.  Yes, it's caused stress.  Yes, it's caused tension.  However, my children's life and health (physical AND mental) is more important.


I am so extraordinarily appalled, I have no words to describe it. I'm so glad your husband has stood up to his family over this.

My goodness, color me disgusted as well!
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents - updated #134, p.9
Post by: Asharah on April 08, 2013, 06:59:30 PM



My 2 DC have various food allergies.  My MIL doesn't believe they exist.  She would bring/give treats when we would visit, and all of them would have the allergens in them.  At first we would accept them kindly then throw them away after they left.  After the 2nd time, DH reminded them about our children's food allergies.  After the 3rd time, DH told his mom not to bring any more food into our house when they visited.  After she started mailing it, he told her no more mailed gifts.  (Side note:  we always suggested alternate choices, or even adding the $ to a jar for a special outing during visits or even for college.)  And after she had FIL call and yell at DH for "making his mom cry, all she wants to do is give these gifts", DH reiterated that having the food in the house could kill our children and having them alive is more important.  Well, FIL refused to visit us for 2 years.  SIL told DH he was being ridiculous and that he should just take the gifts and throw them away later as she did because giving things made MIL happy.  But he never faltered.  MIL is better with gifts (birthday and Christmas, and sends $ for Easter), but now is trying to control meals by saying everyone has to eat a little of everything on the table-house rules.  Yes, foods with the allergens in them.  So, now we do not eat at their house.  Yes, it's caused stress.  Yes, it's caused tension.  However, my children's life and health (physical AND mental) is more important.


I am so extraordinarily appalled, I have no words to describe it. I'm so glad your husband has stood up to his family over this.

My goodness, color me disgusted as well!
Somebody on BB said her parents used to have friends who thought her nut allergy was a "whiney teenager" thing and served a dessert without telling them it had almonds in it. She projectile hurled all over their brand-new carpeting. They and parents are no longer friends. Their excuse was "We didn't understand, we thought she just didn't like nuts."  >:(
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents - updated #134, p.9
Post by: sammycat on April 08, 2013, 07:07:40 PM
Several posters have suggested gifting MIL back with something she doesn't like. In normal circumstances this might be an option, but the thing is, in this instance, it's not just that the OP dislikes chocolate, but that it could kill her.  HUGE difference.

MIL needs to be asked flat out why she is trying to murder the OP. Preferably in front of other people so they can see for themselves what MIL is like/doing.
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents - updated #134, p.9
Post by: NyaChan on April 08, 2013, 11:02:38 PM
That's the thing though - I don't for a minute think that MIL is trying to murder or kill the OP or disbelieves the allergy.  I think that she does not think OP is worth spending money on for a gift.  As completely passing her over would make her look bad, she has hit on a way to make whatever money she does spend go to the person she does not mind spending on - her son - while still maintaining the facade of gifting to everyone.  When OP passes the gift to FIL, it exposes the fact that MIL has passed OP over, while OP handing the gift to her husband is "accepting" the gift. 
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents - updated #134, p.9
Post by: Twik on April 09, 2013, 12:00:12 AM
That's the thing though - I don't for a minute think that MIL is trying to murder or kill the OP or disbelieves the allergy.  I think that she does not think OP is worth spending money on for a gift.  As completely passing her over would make her look bad, she has hit on a way to make whatever money she does spend go to the person she does not mind spending on - her son - while still maintaining the facade of gifting to everyone.  When OP passes the gift to FIL, it exposes the fact that MIL has passed OP over, while OP handing the gift to her husband is "accepting" the gift.

I think you've nailed it. This way, MIL can say, "but I always give OP a gift," with the satisfaction of knowing she cannot make use of it.
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents - updated #134, p.9
Post by: GreenBird on April 09, 2013, 12:46:36 AM
Since you and your husband can't even kiss after he's eaten chocolate, it's really something that shouldn't even be in your house.  The price of making a mistake is too high.  So I'd ask DH to agree that he won't accept chocolate as a gift for him either.  I'd ask him to tell everyone about this rule so it's clear that no one should give either of you chocolate of any kind.  This means that you're a united front and you both immediately decline any gift of chocolate.  You can both hand it right back to MIL, or hand it to FIL, or decline to take it in the first place if it's clear what's in the package.  Consistency is important - your DH will have to decline all chocolate gifts even if you're not in the room.  This way there's no option of a sideways gift to DH and it's clear your husband supports you. 

It doesn't have to be a big dramatic scene - you can both say "Thank you so much for the bank note, but you know we can't have chocolate in the house so why don't you keep that." as you hand it back to her.  Now I know MIL may try to make it into a big dramatic scene, but if you just keep repeating "MIL, you know we can't have chocolate in the house." hopefully it will become clear that she's the one making the scene.  You could throw in a couple of variations:   

"MIL, you know we can't have chocolate in the house - you should keep it or give it to someone you know can enjoy it."
or
"MIL, you know we can't have chocolate in the house - we'd just have to throw it out." 
or just keep it simple: 
"MIL, you know we can't have chocolate in the house - here." as you hand it back to her. 

I know this has been very frustrating for you (and rightfully so!), and I hope a united front between you and your DH will make it easier.  Even if she keeps up with the chocolate gifts, at least it'll be clear that she's now showing disrespect for both of you and you won't feel so alone!
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents - updated #134, p.9, #233 p.16
Post by: christmascarol on April 09, 2013, 03:49:58 AM
OP again!

We went away for a long weekend, it was lovely.  I've spoken to MIL on the phone several times and she is absolutely falling over herself to be nicer than nice.  This means that she knows she did wrong.  Definitely, really, no doubt about it, she regrets it.  Whether or not that means she'll keep remembering it is another matter but we are optimistic. 

In reply to one question, I'm 51.  No children for various reasons, some of them health-related.  I would love to have been a granny.  I'm hoping someone adopts me as one one day.

Quote
All the suggestions about providing MIL with alternate gift ideas are moot, because she just does not care if the OP gets a present (aside from the bank note) or not.  She goes to the store, buys x chocolate gifts for x people, and she's done.  She's not going to go out of her way to buy a different gift for anyone.  I'm willing to bet that if it were anyone else (even a member of  her family) who couldn't eat chocolate, she would do the exact same thing.  She's not trying to kill the OP, or being deliberately dense about her ability to eat chocolate; she's saying loud and clear 'I am going to exert the absolute minimum effort to buy gifts because my time and effort are intensely valuable to me.  I don't give a rat's patoot about anyone else's pleasure.  I have to give gifts to look like the good guy, but I'm not spending one iota of effort on it'.

Yes!  Yes, yes, yes!!!  This is it, much better than I've put it.  Her mother was the same.  And everyone complained behind her back, nobody said anything to her face.
Folks, she loves me.  I've now realised how hard it it is to post about something and give a balanced view.  You get bogged down by one aspect, in my case this part of her character, but she really does love me.  However, my best friend says it well - "She's not from the same planet as us.  Our planet is nicer."

There've been quite a few "just smile, say thankyou and don't let it bother you" suggestions.  I think this is wonderful advice in an ideal world but I'm not convinced many people are born who can actually do it.  I think people can try but it usually leads to resentment.  And/or no respect from others.  And I think that leads to certain loss of self-respect. 

I'm keener on communication.  It doesn't always work and there are people it'll never work with but I still put my faith in it.  MIL has never known communication.  Her family norm is sulking or resenting in silence and I wish it had been different. 

I mentioned the two sons who have cut her off/nearly cut her off...  One is because his wife decided on it.  She is seriously a sandwich short of a picnic but that's another thread.  The main thing for here is that DH's brother married a family where the parents did everything for their offspring and he realised how different life could be.  He has been angry with his own parents ever since and the resentment built. 
The other brother enjoys punishing his parents for imagined earlier slights.  I would like him to be the first and only person living on the moon.  And I do attribute his self-centred genes to his mother's side but again, that's another thread.
I don't know if my in-laws see themselves to blame in any way as it is never discussed.  We all know how much it hurts them.  We can see where they are to blame but I would never say that to them.  I do think that if their other DIL had talked to them about her problems with them, instead of flouncing off stage-left forever, they could have worked it out.  MIL's solution was to turn up a year later, unannounced and univited, to a grandson's birthday party.  As if nothing had happened.  Son and DIL didn't let her in.

Once, when crazy SIL was having one of her moments, MIL said to me, "You mustn't let her see she's hurt you.  You mustn't let her win."   But I see telling someone they've hurt me as standing up for myself.  Strength, not weakness.  I wish someone had introduced MIL to this concept when she was young, I think her life would have been very different.  She's always tried to hide her hurt and it's led to the hurt building into resentment and the pain not being dealt with.  Very unhealthy.  A bad example for her children.  It came back to bite her.

So, back on subject,
MIL definitely knows she did wrong with the chocolate.  IF she does decide to `forget´ because it's less effort, I will definitely give it to FIL again.  That was a good move, it got through to her. 
I am sure that DH will explode if she does it again.  That got through to her.  He is a keeper, I am very lucky to have him.
If she does do it ever again, I will say it hurts me.  I would like to remain polite though.  Hurt, but polite!

This was the second time I've told MIL she's hurt me, using those words.  And I'm still there.  I haven't flounced off.  Both times I told her that we'd put it behind us and look to the future.  Alien concept for MIL but it's one she's growing to like.  A lot!  I'm quietly optimistic.  This thread has helped me a lot.  Thankyou!

half-dollars  Your in-laws are dreadful.  I am so sorry you're having to deal with all that.  Please accept the biggest {{{hug}}} the internet allows.  May your family stay safe for ever!

Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents - updated #134, p.9, #234 p.16
Post by: Kari on April 09, 2013, 08:24:07 AM
Despite your MIL's behavior with the chocolate, your family seems very mentally healthy. This situation had the potential to cause long-festering rifts and estrangement, and instead you speak of moving on and looking to the future. Your husband supports you, the rest of his family is by your side on this issue -- it's the best possible outcome of a family spat. I admire your positive attitude and maturity!
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents - updated #134, p.9, #234 p.16
Post by: blue2000 on April 09, 2013, 10:13:17 AM
OP again!

We went away for a long weekend, it was lovely.  I've spoken to MIL on the phone several times and she is absolutely falling over herself to be nicer than nice.  This means that she knows she did wrong.  Definitely, really, no doubt about it, she regrets it.  Whether or not that means she'll keep remembering it is another matter but we are optimistic. 

<snip>

Once, when crazy SIL was having one of her moments, MIL said to me, "You mustn't let her see she's hurt you.  You mustn't let her win."   But I see telling someone they've hurt me as standing up for myself.  Strength, not weakness.  I wish someone had introduced MIL to this concept when she was young, I think her life would have been very different.  She's always tried to hide her hurt and it's led to the hurt building into resentment and the pain not being dealt with.  Very unhealthy.  A bad example for her children.  It came back to bite her.

So, back on subject,
MIL definitely knows she did wrong with the chocolate.  IF she does decide to `forget´ because it's less effort, I will definitely give it to FIL again.  That was a good move, it got through to her. 
I am sure that DH will explode if she does it again.  That got through to her.  He is a keeper, I am very lucky to have him.
If she does do it ever again, I will say it hurts me.  I would like to remain polite though.  Hurt, but polite!

This was the second time I've told MIL she's hurt me, using those words.  And I'm still there.  I haven't flounced off.  Both times I told her that we'd put it behind us and look to the future.  Alien concept for MIL but it's one she's growing to like.  A lot!  I'm quietly optimistic.  This thread has helped me a lot.  Thankyou!

half-dollars  Your in-laws are dreadful.  I am so sorry you're having to deal with all that.  Please accept the biggest {{{hug}}} the internet allows.  May your family stay safe for ever!



It may be the people she dealt with when she was young. There are people in my family that I can't show my feelings to. If they hurt me and I show it, it is very likely that they will come back and take another swing at me. If I appear to be immune to their attack, they will back off. Kind of like bullies in school who pick on the weakest kids and avoid the ones who can hit them back.

I'm happy for you that your MIL honestly wants you around and might be willing to change her long-standing habits for this. Here's hoping! :)
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents - updated #134, p.9, #234 p.16
Post by: Ms_Cellany on April 09, 2013, 10:20:04 AM

MIL said to me, "You mustn't let her see she's hurt you.  You mustn't let her win."   But I see telling someone they've hurt me as standing up for myself.  Strength, not weakness. 


This is amazing. I wish I'd realized that decades ago.
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents - updated #134, p.9
Post by: weeblewobble on April 09, 2013, 04:49:34 PM



My 2 DC have various food allergies.  My MIL doesn't believe they exist.  She would bring/give treats when we would visit, and all of them would have the allergens in them.  At first we would accept them kindly then throw them away after they left.  After the 2nd time, DH reminded them about our children's food allergies.  After the 3rd time, DH told his mom not to bring any more food into our house when they visited.  After she started mailing it, he told her no more mailed gifts.  (Side note:  we always suggested alternate choices, or even adding the $ to a jar for a special outing during visits or even for college.)  And after she had FIL call and yell at DH for "making his mom cry, all she wants to do is give these gifts", DH reiterated that having the food in the house could kill our children and having them alive is more important.  Well, FIL refused to visit us for 2 years.  SIL told DH he was being ridiculous and that he should just take the gifts and throw them away later as she did because giving things made MIL happy.  But he never faltered.  MIL is better with gifts (birthday and Christmas, and sends $ for Easter), but now is trying to control meals by saying everyone has to eat a little of everything on the table-house rules.  Yes, foods with the allergens in them.  So, now we do not eat at their house.  Yes, it's caused stress.  Yes, it's caused tension.  However, my children's life and health (physical AND mental) is more important.


I am so extraordinarily appalled, I have no words to describe it. I'm so glad your husband has stood up to his family over this.

My goodness, color me disgusted as well!

I'm so glad the DH is being so proactive about this.  I can't imagine the stress this MIL's whacko behavior would put on a marriage in which the DH tried to defend it.
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents - updated #134, p.9, #234 p.16
Post by: Calistoga on April 09, 2013, 04:58:00 PM
I wonder- would it be too harsh to just toss the chocolate in the trash? The woman giving the gift obviously knows you CAN NOT EAT IT, so she can't realistically be expecting you to cherish or use the gift. I don't suggest it to be rude in return, but rather to make it clear that there is no possible way she can benefit from continuing to try and murder you with candy.
Title: Re: MIL and the chocolate presents - updated #134, p.9, #234 p.16
Post by: christmascarol on April 10, 2013, 12:24:42 AM
I wondered what comments I'd find - the ones I found made my day!  Make that decade :-)  Thankyou very much for them and all the support I've felt.

Calistoga, I was VERY tempted.  DH being so against it is what stopped me and I'm glad now.  I think it would have turned the emphasis away from MIL being in the wrong onto me doing something destructive.  My point would have been lost.

blue2000, I think she was the one her family picked on.  You're very astute.