Author Topic: Ummm....your welcome?  (Read 18126 times)

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KenveeB

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Re: Ummm....your welcome?
« Reply #45 on: May 21, 2012, 07:49:05 PM »
I'm not advocating thanking the hosting couple differently, but thanking EACH of them.  When my FIL was alive, I wouldn't dream of only thanking FIL for having us, assuming he would tell MIL I thanked them.  I would also thank MIL personally.    I think the ILs did the DIL a disservice b/c I don't think they did notice she did the bulk of the visible hosting work. 

I believe more thank you is better than none to avoid situations like the OP has described.  The added bonus gift the OP's DH received certainly tipped the OP to feel they were not grateful for what she did.  This is why a token joint TY can be viewed as not much when someone else receives what is perceived to be a much bigger TY.

I think the break in this thread comes in whether the gift cards to DH are considered "thank you gifts" at all, not whether it's appropriate to give a large TY to one party and not the other. I agree that it would be rude to have sent the GCs to DH with "thank you for all the work you did hosting us, please buy the X you wanted with this" and nothing at all to the OP. But I (and others arguing on this side, I think) don't consider the GCs a thank you, but just a "thinking of you"/"I love you" gift to their son. It came after the visit because that's when they learned what he wanted, not as a thank you for the visit.  The thank you for the visit was taking both OP and DH out to breakfast, a joint gift for a joint hosting.

Yvaine

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Re: Ummm....your welcome?
« Reply #46 on: May 21, 2012, 08:10:36 PM »
I'm not advocating thanking the hosting couple differently, but thanking EACH of them.  When my FIL was alive, I wouldn't dream of only thanking FIL for having us, assuming he would tell MIL I thanked them.  I would also thank MIL personally.    I think the ILs did the DIL a disservice b/c I don't think they did notice she did the bulk of the visible hosting work. 

I believe more thank you is better than none to avoid situations like the OP has described.  The added bonus gift the OP's DH received certainly tipped the OP to feel they were not grateful for what she did.  This is why a token joint TY can be viewed as not much when someone else receives what is perceived to be a much bigger TY.

I think the break in this thread comes in whether the gift cards to DH are considered "thank you gifts" at all, not whether it's appropriate to give a large TY to one party and not the other. I agree that it would be rude to have sent the GCs to DH with "thank you for all the work you did hosting us, please buy the X you wanted with this" and nothing at all to the OP. But I (and others arguing on this side, I think) don't consider the GCs a thank you, but just a "thinking of you"/"I love you" gift to their son. It came after the visit because that's when they learned what he wanted, not as a thank you for the visit.  The thank you for the visit was taking both OP and DH out to breakfast, a joint gift for a joint hosting.

This. I think OP and her husband should be thanked equally, but that these gifts weren't connected in their minds to the hospitality--they just heard him talking about wanting those things and decided to indulge him. The breakfast was the TY for both of them.

Lynn2000

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Re: Ummm....your welcome?
« Reply #47 on: May 21, 2012, 08:27:37 PM »
My mom does the primary bulk of preparation for hosting most of the time.  But my Dad does vacuum, fix up the landscaping, make sure the lawn is neat, clear space for guest cars, clean up his visible work spaces, and help arrange furniture and whatnot for everyone's comfort.  These are all things he does before a guest even drives into our subdivision and no guest would know he did it unless we listed it out for them.  Mom & Dad are hosting as a couple and have divided the duties of hosting up between them according to what they are comfortable with.  I think it is appropriate to thank both of them as a couple, equally, unless one of them specifically went above and beyond to aid a guest with something (i.e. mom helped get a stain out of someone's dress when she spilled something on it).

POD to the ideas here. I would extend this to add that the bolded is, IMO, where the OP is encountering trouble--she and her DH are not dividing the duties of hosting up between them according to what they are comfortable with, because the OP is doing the vast majority of the work and feeling resentful about it. I think there are a lot of "invisible" hosting duties and things that happen beforehand, and the in-laws might have assumed that their son shared equally in those or at least that the couple split things up however they felt was best. I am hopeful the in-laws were polite to their DIL during the visit and thanked her verbally for things she did right in front of them, such as making dinner. If the OP put on a cheerful front, why would her in-laws think to question the division of labor between her and their son?

I am also of a mind that the "thank you" from the in-laws was the meal they treated the couple to, and that the generous gifts to their son a few days later were an entirely separate thing. I think the real issue is about the division of labor between the OP and her DH, and not about anything the in-laws have done.
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Autumn Rose

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Re: Ummm....your welcome?
« Reply #48 on: May 22, 2012, 01:22:51 PM »
OP here.   Love, Love, LOVE the comments!     The smack downs AND the understanding ones!   LOL


Some notes to clarify…


1.   In no way did I EXPECT any type of hostess gift.    And in no way did I feel like I was *owed* something for all of the work.    They were coming, my DH and I were happy they were visiting…and I truly did NOT expect anything but a “thank you” …..and maybe a hug…lol


2.   I discovered I AM annoyed with my wonderful, DH.   
He did absolutely *nothing*   to help get things ready.

I have determined  (thanks to you great OP’s), that the next time they come….I will simply hand him a list of things to do.     If they get done, great!      If not, well….then they don’t!    ;)

An example…

Several days prior to arrival  (as I am running around, cleaning the baseboards…), my DH says  “THEY wont care……”      “I know, my love…”,   I answered…  “but *I* care”.     

Because…..


3.   As a DIL, OFCOURSE, I want them to think highly of me!    I want them to see that I have tried to make a beautiful home for their son…and that whenever they arrive, they are made to feel welcome!


4.   Gift giving….Probably 3 times a year they send DH a love package (with nothing for me or our DS).   In no way have I ever been annoyed by these.    He is their son and I am happy that he received a nice surprise.


5.   I have come to realize that IL show their love through presents.   

IRIS, you hit the nail on the head. 

((You are "DS's wife" not "our DIL" for life. Yet they will expect for you to do all the things for them that they would expect a daughter to do. Hence they wouldn't see it as unreasonable for you to cook, clean etc with little reward because they are family, but you won't get 'just because' presents because you are not.)))

^^^ This is why I think I am feeling annoyed.    When I married DH, I looked forward to having an extended family.    Their passive aggressive attempts to show me that I am “less than..”  is what annoys me!


Sparksals was right.   I could really care LESS about “gifts”.    But since this is their way of showing love….it kind of feels like a slap in the face.

Cake Eater said it best…

((However, while I don't expect the same value of gifts from my parents-in-law as DH receives, a $400 'just because' gift for DH and nothing for me at any time, would tell me where I stood in the family)).



And so lets review this question….

Lets say that the breakfast was their “thank you”….and the (2) gift cards for $400 was their love gift for their son…


**Is it rude to send a $400 monetary gift to just one member of the family??**


I can see if his M was out shopping and saw “just the perfect thingamajig” for her son….and then sending that….

But isn’t it rude to send such a large windfall  (for us anyway)….and then have it be “JUST FOR MY SON…..NOONE ELSE”!!

**Would it not have been more appropriate to send some gift cards to the whole family….and say  “here’s a little something!    Get what your family needs”.

I understand every family is different.   I understand it is their money and can do WHATEVER they want with it.    But I guess I am asking….

“Is it PROPER ETIQUETTE to give ONE member of the family a large sum of money…while completely ignoring the rest”?


Lynn2000

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Re: Ummm....your welcome?
« Reply #49 on: May 22, 2012, 01:47:36 PM »
Without considering whether it was proper for the in-laws to send $400 to one member of the family, and none to anyone else--is there a reason the $400 can't be used for the family as a whole? I think $300 was for a home improvement store, right? So conceivably something could be purchased there that benefits the whole family. Then, no matter what the in-laws' intent, the whole family would win.

Is it possible the in-laws have a view of husband-wife relationships such that they would assume a gift given to the "man of the house" would of course be used to take care of the whole family, even if only his name is on it?
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Oh Joy

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Re: Ummm....your welcome?
« Reply #50 on: May 22, 2012, 02:01:03 PM »
Am I a greedy, special snowflake....or was this an etiquette fail?

I'm voting for neither.  They didn't need to send a hosting gift, but my feelings would have been a bit hurt as Autumn Rose.

I don't see the gifts to son as a hosting gift, but a 'we listened during our visit and are still thinking of you' gesture.  Somehow, if there were only one present to son, or if there had been a $10 recognition of something specific I'd mentioned (this old can opener irritates me every time I use it or I love that brand of coffee but rarely indulge in buying it) I probably wouldn't feel hurt.  It would have been a very classy and considerate move on their part, IMHO.

It's so interesting how we view dynamics differently!

audrey1962

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Re: Ummm....your welcome?
« Reply #51 on: May 22, 2012, 02:12:52 PM »
My IL's have given my husband checks for extremely large sums of money. He then chooses to spend that money on activities that we do together or on household expenses or on household investments. We don't report back to them what we spent the money on.

Autumn Rose

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Re: Ummm....your welcome?
« Reply #52 on: May 22, 2012, 02:21:22 PM »

Lynn2000..
How I wish it was like that!   LOL

The "tool" he wants at Home Depot is related to his hobby.   And with the visa gift card they specifically said..."And get your boots, too"!

The $$ they sent was specifically for DH only.

WillyNilly

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Re: Ummm....your welcome?
« Reply #53 on: May 22, 2012, 02:54:30 PM »
I have to say, the thing I think that bugs me the most is the one thing that did as a "thank you" was taking you out to breakfast - by far (IMO) the easiest meal to prepare and lets face it the cheapest meal to have out... now sure people can only entertain within their budget, so not everyone can take a family out to dinner, but these are people who have a budget of $400 as "just because gifts" - dinner seems within their realm of "possible".

I think that alone says something about how they feel about our OP.  When they are spending money on their son's family they go the cheapest route possible, but when its for their son solely they go big budget.

I would totally be hurt.  On the base level inequality but also... in my family and just in my opinion, one of the best gifts my parents can give me is to welcome my DF into the family wholly and completely.  Its the ultimate/final/whatever sign of approval from my parents.  When they show love and generosity to him, they are by default showing love and generosity to me because they are showing me that they prioritize him because he's important to me.

sparksals

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Re: Ummm....your welcome?
« Reply #54 on: May 22, 2012, 03:41:15 PM »
Am I a greedy, special snowflake....or was this an etiquette fail?

I'm voting for neither.  They didn't need to send a hosting gift, but my feelings would have been a bit hurt as Autumn Rose.

I don't see the gifts to son as a hosting gift, but a 'we listened during our visit and are still thinking of you' gesture.  Somehow, if there were only one present to son, or if there had been a $10 recognition of something specific I'd mentioned (this old can opener irritates me every time I use it or I love that brand of coffee but rarely indulge in buying it) I probably wouldn't feel hurt.  It would have been a very classy and considerate move on their part, IMHO.

It's so interesting how we view dynamics differently!

Yes, this is how I see it too. 

sparksals

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Re: Ummm....your welcome?
« Reply #55 on: May 22, 2012, 03:43:02 PM »
I think WillyNilly hit the nail on the head.  It is the 'token' nature of breakfast for both of them, yet an expensive gift just for the DH. 

TootsNYC

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Re: Ummm....your welcome?
« Reply #56 on: May 22, 2012, 03:55:55 PM »
They probably wanted to get their gift to him before he went out and bought them for himself. And while they were still thinking of it. I get why the timing was annoying, but I don't think they meant offense by it--just that they wanted to get it to him while it was fresh in their minds and before he could save up the money to buy it himself.

I agree--this is what I think the timing is.

However, it's hurtful, I can totally see that.

But maybe one of the core causes you can work on is the idea that YOU put out a lot of effort for their visit, and your husband does not.

I like Oh Joy's description of the problem.

Sophia

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Re: Ummm....your welcome?
« Reply #57 on: May 22, 2012, 04:12:20 PM »
I do know one thing.  I would tell my husband how I felt - about everything.  Make him see it.  If he isn't a toad, he will hand over that Visa card.  I would probably be scaling back my entertainment effort in the future, too. 

Lynn2000

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Re: Ummm....your welcome?
« Reply #58 on: May 22, 2012, 04:16:39 PM »

Lynn2000..
How I wish it was like that!   LOL

The "tool" he wants at Home Depot is related to his hobby.   And with the visa gift card they specifically said..."And get your boots, too"!

The $$ they sent was specifically for DH only.

Okay, not to be argumentative :) but... It was a gift card to Home Depot, right? So it can be spent on ANYTHING at Home Depot. Just because THEY said, "Use this to buy that tool for your hobby," doesn't mean it MUST be spent on that. So yeah, their intent is clear in that they meant for their son to spend this money on things for himself--but now that you guys HAVE the money, it is yours (collectively as a family) to do with as you please.

Now if DH doesn't WANT to spend the money on the family, but rather on himself, that's another issue! :) And probably more of a relationship one than anything else, so not going there.

But your new question is an interesting one, I think. If it was just you and DH, and they chose to spend a lot of money on DH because he's their son, hmm, I dunno. But I think you mentioned that you two have a child, their grandchild, right? Do they routinely spend a significantly amount of money on the child? It would seem weird to me to spend a lot on their adult son and nothing on their grandchild. If anything I might expect the reverse!
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Iris

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Re: Ummm....your welcome?
« Reply #59 on: May 22, 2012, 05:51:26 PM »
Lynn has noticed something that struck me, too. You say that they send 'love' gifts to their son with nothing for you or DS. Do they send him gifts at other times? Does DH 'share the love'? Honestly, what I was saying before still tands but I was more or less thinking "Poor Autumn Rose, she has to go through the same emotional journey that I went through with PIL. It does hurt when you have different ideas of how family extends upon marriage."

However, if I'm reading this right, they're spoiling DH while excluding their grandson? I have to say that would bother me on a whole other level. It still doesn't make it 'wrong' or 'rude' but it would be something that I would address with DH because a marriage where one partner just has to think "Oh, I'd like *expensive item*" and it appears while the other partner and children do without is one that is going to have some issues down the track.

I also want to pod WillyNilly, who raises another excellent point.
"Can't do anything with children, can you?" the woman said.

Poirot thought you could, but forebore to say so.