Author Topic: Calling MIL out on false cries of poverty.  (Read 6314 times)

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Hmmmmm

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Re: Calling MIL out on false cries of poverty.
« Reply #15 on: November 18, 2012, 08:58:10 PM »
I don't think you can say anything to her.  Just have DH stop inviting her to activities that require spending money.  Instead of planning for lunch, he calls and says he'd like to stop by for an afternoon visit.  Or if lunch is a requirement, all he has to say is "Taco Bell sounds great.  My treat."

She is not out right asking you to pay for her so you can't say we won't pay for you.  All you can do is ignore the complaints with a response of "I'm sorry you feel that way."  And then bean dip.

GrammarNerd

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Re: Calling MIL out on false cries of poverty.
« Reply #16 on: November 18, 2012, 10:24:13 PM »
I think you should get her some gift cards to restaurants for her next Christmas/birthday present.  Just explain, sincerely, sweetly and with a big smile on your face, that you know she likes to go out but she can't afford it, so you wanted to make sure that she can go out and enjoy herself at somewhere other than Taco Bell.  That way, she will have gotten exactly what she was hinting for....but it will just be in lieu of a 'better' present.   

For someone like this who pulls attention grabbing stunts like this on a regular basis, I think the best way to deal with them is to take them 100% at their word.  Don't play the game.  Bonus to you if you can find some Taco Bell coupons to give to her the next time your DH is supposed to go to lunch with her.   >:D


Roses

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Re: Calling MIL out on false cries of poverty.
« Reply #17 on: November 18, 2012, 11:09:09 PM »
EvilEtiquetteE says get her gift cards to the spa.   >:D

cicero

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Re: Calling MIL out on false cries of poverty.
« Reply #18 on: November 19, 2012, 03:11:57 AM »

Honestly I think you are taking the comments a bit too seriously.  I'd just ignore them.

I think I'd agree with you if not for the background issues that have come into play.  You're right to say that her spending habits are her own business, and I really want to stress that I'm not judging how she spends her money, just that she makes choices for X and then wants Y covered from someone else's wallet. 

I agree with a lot of the PPs. I would simply accept what she says - "all I can afford is taco bell" then say "ok, great, let's go to TB".

she can *want* someone else to cover what she wants - I'm sure a lot of us would be happy to get a free meal/vacation every now and then - but she can't *force you* to pay.

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KenveeB

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Re: Calling MIL out on false cries of poverty.
« Reply #19 on: November 19, 2012, 08:19:19 AM »
I don't think you can say anything to her.  Just have DH stop inviting her to activities that require spending money.  Instead of planning for lunch, he calls and says he'd like to stop by for an afternoon visit.  Or if lunch is a requirement, all he has to say is "Taco Bell sounds great.  My treat."

She is not out right asking you to pay for her so you can't say we won't pay for you.  All you can do is ignore the complaints with a response of "I'm sorry you feel that way."  And then bean dip.

No. All he has to say is "Taco Bell sounds great." Don't offer to treat! Just be cheerful about it and take her words at face value. Or if Taco Bell really isn't palatable to him, suggest another place of comparable cheapness or, better yet, "Oh, well I wouldn't want to put you out. Let's just meet later this afternoon instead." Stop offering to solve her "problem" that doesn't exist. Treat her like anyone else who announces "I want this, but I'd rather spend my money on that." She makes her choices, she gets to live with them.

Sharnita

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Re: Calling MIL out on false cries of poverty.
« Reply #20 on: November 19, 2012, 08:52:26 AM »
When she calls and demands he have lunch with her could he agree and suggest she heat up some soup and he will bring makings for grilled cheese?

LadyClaire

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Re: Calling MIL out on false cries of poverty.
« Reply #21 on: November 19, 2012, 09:54:37 AM »
My MIL is bad about crying poor, too. Now, I know my ILs aren't exactly well off, but the thing is that MIL will say "oh, we're so poor, we can't afford to pay our bills this month!" and then will turn around and spend $30 on a novelty t-shirt for her infant grandson.

We've pretty much had to just start saying "Oh, that's too bad" or "I'm sure things will start looking up soon" whenever she trots out a line about how they're just so very, very poor. My BIL/SIL have been doing the same thing. Eventually MIL will move on to "If we can't pay our bills, we'll have to move in with youuuu..", which gets no reaction from us, either.

Zilla

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Re: Calling MIL out on false cries of poverty.
« Reply #22 on: November 19, 2012, 10:03:27 AM »
It's one thing to say, "I can't afford a vacation right now but I hope you have a great time." vs saying, "I don't have any money! It sounds like alot of fun and I want to go but I am poor!"  And hinting for someone to pay.  Those are 2 very different scenarios.
 
If you feed it once, it will keep harping on it as the reward is worth the hassle/whining.  A free trip/meal etc.  I would simply say from now on, "We are doing this on this date.  If you can come, please do."  And if she cries poverty, "I am sorry to hear that.  Maybe next time." and change subject quickly.  If she tries to bring it up again later, change the subject again.  Or make excuses to hang up, don't let her indulge her in pity whine etc.
 
As for calling her out, only your husband can do that. And he can if he wishes.  He could say, (after an extended bout of whining/accusations) "If you truly want to come with us on this trip, why don't you save up money for it?  We are giving you plenty of notice."  And let her be defensive about it. Good luck, I know many people like this and it's truly frustrating.

Twik

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Re: Calling MIL out on false cries of poverty.
« Reply #23 on: November 19, 2012, 10:09:02 AM »
We took them (as a gift, so all was paid for) and had what I THOUGHT was a good time.  DH and I were congratulating ourselves on making both moms happy until MIL began complaining that my mom was "too nice and I just can't stand it!"  Her big offense, according to MIL, was handing over the remote in their shared hotel room, telling MIL to watch what she wanted, because my mom was reading. 

Well, there you go. She's most unhappy when people give her absolutely nothing to be unhappy about.
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aiki

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Re: Calling MIL out on false cries of poverty.
« Reply #24 on: November 20, 2012, 01:47:48 AM »
So, here's what you do. You and your husband decide what your taking MIL to lunch budget is - say enough for one moderately priced lunch every two to four weeks, and your husband invites his mother to lunch that often. Because it's his invitation, he gets to chose the venue and he, of course, covers the bill.

If MIL presses for lunch in between times, he can either politely decline or say to her "Since you're inviting, this one's on you, right?" If that means Taco Bell, then he goes to Taco Bell,  if she demurs, then he can say "I'm sorry, that's not in my budget. Repeat until she realises that she has to either wait for an invite or pay for the meal.

 
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bopper

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Re: Calling MIL out on false cries of poverty.
« Reply #25 on: November 20, 2012, 09:34:22 AM »
It is okay for her to choose where to spend her money.  Maybe she has budgeted for spa service but not for lunches out and destination parties.

It is okay for you all to take her comments as comments and not commands.
"Taco Bell is fine with me!"
or
like others said, for your DH to decide what he can budget for taking his mom out and then do it.

Margo

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Re: Calling MIL out on false cries of poverty.
« Reply #26 on: November 20, 2012, 09:54:01 AM »
I don't think you can really call her out on it, but you can ignore it and not take hints.  If she claims she can only eat at Taco Bell because she's broke, then your husband should smile and say he's been craving Taco Bell.  If she complains she can't afford to attend your party, tell her you will miss her. 

This.

I would also suggest to your husband that he take into account her habits when he arranges to meet with her, so he can (depending on what he wants / feels *he and you* can afford) say either "I would like to take you out to lunch at [name of restaurant] - my treat" or "it would be good to spend some time with you. Why don't we meet for coffee / meet in the park and bring sandwiches" or "yes, I'm happy to join you for lunch. Where do you want to meet?" If she then makes comments about the price then he can revert to yokobornak's suggestion or alternatively say "but Mom, I specifically asked you where you wanted to meet so we could meet somewhere that suited both of our budgets"

Giggity

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Re: Calling MIL out on false cries of poverty.
« Reply #27 on: November 20, 2012, 10:17:11 AM »
The last straw on vacations, about 4 years ago, was the mom's trip we organized.  DH and I regularly head to Mouse-Owned Large Amusement Park, which we love.  Our moms have both said they haven't been in ages, they want to go, etc.  We took them (as a gift, so all was paid for) and had what I THOUGHT was a good time.  DH and I were congratulating ourselves on making both moms happy until MIL began complaining that my mom was "too nice and I just can't stand it!"  Her big offense, according to MIL, was handing over the remote in their shared hotel room, telling MIL to watch what she wanted, because my mom was reading. 

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Hillia

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Re: Calling MIL out on false cries of poverty.
« Reply #28 on: November 20, 2012, 01:05:04 PM »
My BIL does this.  He hasn't bought a Christmas or birthday gift for anyone in his family for the 7 years that I've known him, despite receiving pretty nice items from everyone else, and complains bitterly about how rough his life is, how broke he is, blah blah blah.  Any trip or event or even meal at a restaurant has to be subsidized by his parents.

Except...
he has 3 vehicles.  Granted, they're all older and were purchased used, but there are payments on at least one of them and insurance/registration on all 3.

he never misses a chance to buy a new gun (his hobby) and brag about it, or really any little thing that he fancies (car stereo, metal detector, camera)

he lives at home with his parents, so no rent/utilities/groceries

I don't bother saying anything other than 'mm hmm' when he starts with the whining, and unless he comes up with a gift for DH this Christmas, I'm not buying him any more bday/Christmas gifts either.

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Sophia

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Re: Calling MIL out on false cries of poverty.
« Reply #29 on: November 20, 2012, 01:41:03 PM »
I really see nothing wrong with calling her out on her false cries of poverty.

If she merely turned down invitations to vacations or meals out, then fine.  It is perfectly fine to budget the way you want. 

But, if she cries poor and pressures people to pay her way, she better be genuinely poor.  I would be extremely hurt if I paid for a plane ticket for someone who got many spa treatments a month.  I am too poor for spa treatments.