Author Topic: MIL and the chocolate presents - updated #134, p.9, #234 p.16  (Read 42056 times)

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MerryCat

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Re: MIL and the chocolate presents
« Reply #30 on: September 12, 2011, 07:31:58 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!

BarensMom

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Re: MIL and the chocolate presents
« Reply #31 on: September 12, 2011, 07:38:49 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.

wheeitsme

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Re: MIL and the chocolate presents
« Reply #32 on: September 12, 2011, 07:40:16 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.

AlwaysQuizzical

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Re: MIL and the chocolate presents
« Reply #33 on: September 12, 2011, 08:18:19 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.

Jelaza

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Re: MIL and the chocolate presents
« Reply #34 on: September 12, 2011, 08:21:32 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.

violinp

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Re: MIL and the chocolate presents
« Reply #35 on: September 12, 2011, 08:25:19 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
"It takes a great deal of courage to stand up to your enemies, but even more to stand up to your friends" - Harry Potter


BeagleMommy

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Re: MIL and the chocolate presents
« Reply #36 on: September 12, 2011, 08:39:31 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.

Calypso

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Re: MIL and the chocolate presents
« Reply #37 on: September 12, 2011, 08:50:17 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?

ShadesOfGrey

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Re: MIL and the chocolate presents
« Reply #38 on: September 12, 2011, 08:53:35 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. 
Words mean more than what is set down on paper. It takes the human voice to infuse them with shades of deeper meaning. - Maya Angelou

I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. - Maya Angelou

Spoder

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Re: MIL and the chocolate presents
« Reply #39 on: September 12, 2011, 09:03:26 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.  :)

KenveeB

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Re: MIL and the chocolate presents
« Reply #40 on: September 12, 2011, 09:33:30 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.

TootsNYC

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Re: MIL and the chocolate presents
« Reply #41 on: September 12, 2011, 09:54:55 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.

Curly Wurly Doggie Breath

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Re: MIL and the chocolate presents
« Reply #42 on: September 12, 2011, 09:58:41 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.

                          The Southern Cross Flag. Australia

MakeMineRed

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Re: MIL and the chocolate presents
« Reply #43 on: September 12, 2011, 10:08:13 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.

Captain Hastings

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Re: MIL and the chocolate presents
« Reply #44 on: September 12, 2011, 11:23:21 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?