Author Topic: I liked it...so I took it  (Read 4274 times)

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tasryn

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I liked it...so I took it
« on: December 13, 2012, 06:18:26 AM »
Quick question for everybody on whether my lovely mother in law has committed an etiquette violation. Just a bit of background-my husband and I went shopping last weekend to get three picture frames to put in pictures of our 5 month old daughter and we had a specific wall we wanted to put the series of three on. We got the last three frames at the place where we bought them and came home and my husband did the first photo frame up including printing out the photo on photo paper, doing the mount, etc. I really loved this photo.

Anyway, my husband wanted to take the photo to work to show some coworkers what our daughter currently looks like. On the way, he stopped at his mother's to drop off some things. During the course of dropping things off, she saw the photo and, according to my husband, assumed it was for her and took it. A little while later in the day, my mother in law stopped by and mentioned the photo. She said "I saw the photo and liked it, so I took it. After all, you can always do another photo up!"

I was really annoyed by this. If there had been an honest misunderstanding and she thought the photo was for her, that wouldn't be so bad. But she clearly knew the photo was our property and took it. Wouldn't a more appropriate response have been "Hey, I really love that photo. Is it possible for you to do me one up?" instead of taking ours. If she absolutely needed to have that photo, then wouldn't an appropriate response in that case have been "Tasryn....I hope you don't mind but I saw a photo of your daughter that I loved and I asked if I could have it. I hope you aren't offended but I have so few photos of granddaughter and it means a lot to me to have this photo on our mantlepiece." But her whole attitude seemed to be...."Oh, I saw something I loved. I knew it was your property but I took it anyway...after all you can get another one anyway". Is it just me, or is that attitude a bit rude or entitled? I just wanted to know as my mother in law acts this way about a lot of things and it gets under my skin. I really want to know whether I have any reason at all to be annoyed or am I just being oversensitive? I really don't mind that she has a lovely photo of our daughter it was just the way that she did it that annoys me.

RingTailedLemur

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Re: I liked it...so I took it
« Reply #1 on: December 13, 2012, 06:20:53 AM »
Yes, she did commit an etiquette violation - she stole from you.  I am curious, though - why haven't you or your DH said anything?  I'd tell her to give it back.

AmethystAnne

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Re: I liked it...so I took it
« Reply #2 on: December 13, 2012, 06:21:32 AM »
The attitude is terrible. What else would she steal?

TootsNYC

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Re: I liked it...so I took it
« Reply #3 on: December 13, 2012, 08:06:08 AM »
I think she was out of line. None of the mothers or mothers-in-law that I know would do that.

And I'd ask for it back, and tell her it's part of  matching set. It would probably be good for her to not get away with this all the time.

Then I'd ask, "Would you like me to get one printed up for you?" Betcha she doesn't say "Yes, please."

citadelle

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Re: I liked it...so I took it
« Reply #4 on: December 13, 2012, 10:39:28 AM »
I would print up another copy of the photo and frame it up for her. Then I would tell her I needed the original back and trade her for the different one. She clearly did not understand that you had plans for this photo. Why didn't husband tell her?

onyonryngs

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Re: I liked it...so I took it
« Reply #5 on: December 13, 2012, 10:48:02 AM »
Why didn't your husband just tell her he was taking it to work to show off and that he'd bring her another?  It should've been handled by him at the time, rather than left up to you later.  It's his mom - this is an easy conversation to have with one's parent. 

Amava

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Re: I liked it...so I took it
« Reply #6 on: December 13, 2012, 10:57:05 AM »
...
What a question.
Of course it's not okay for her to just take something that belongs to you because she /wants/ it. What kind of attitude is that?

Tell her to give it back. What the heck?

LA lady

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Re: I liked it...so I took it
« Reply #7 on: December 13, 2012, 11:00:38 AM »
She said "I saw the photo and liked it, so I took it. After all, you can always do another photo up!"
THEFT is always rude.

weeblewobble

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Re: I liked it...so I took it
« Reply #8 on: December 13, 2012, 11:02:43 AM »
No.  It's not ok to say, "I liked it so I took it, and it's no big deal because you can just go get another one."  Because the underlying message is, "I wanted something that belonged to you.  I don't respect you enough to ask for it.  And I've decided it's easier for you to make an effort to replace the picture than for me to put myself out in any way.  And you're mean and selfish if you object to this behavior, because my rights as a grandparent must be respected.  Nevermind your rights as parents."

DH should have said something.  Now, I think your choices are to either tell her, "That wasn't OK and next time, you need to ask" or to say, "I need that photo back because I'm planning to use it for a project.  I will print another out for you at another time.  Next time, you need to ask before taking something that belongs to us."

TurtleDove

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Re: I liked it...so I took it
« Reply #9 on: December 13, 2012, 11:13:37 AM »
It's difficult for me to understand how this all happened.  Your DH should have taken the photo with him when he left.  I don't understand why he didn't.  It seems so obvious that the solution would be to print out another photograph for the MIL and this was not even an option discussed?

We see on this board people upset that family members do not have photos of their spouses or kids in their house - I think it's great that the MIL wanted a great photo of her grandchild.  I highly doubt her intent was to steal from you - she likely didn't grasp that the frame was part of a set of three.  Unless this is some sort of elaborate frame, she probably assumed printing out another copy of the photo would cost perhaps $.35, a new frame maybe $15 and the time to put the photo in the frame like 2 minutes tops.  It's not a big deal in my mind at all and I doubt it was in hers. 

But the thing that makes me scratch my head is why this became an issue at all.  I don't think this is about the photo and frame for the OP.

bopper

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Re: I liked it...so I took it
« Reply #10 on: December 13, 2012, 11:45:57 AM »
So your DH had the photo framed, took it with him to his mother's house while he was dropping off other stuff, showed it to her, put it down.   She assumed it was for her.   Looking at it this way, i can see it may have been ambiguous to her what was going on.


Yes, you know that  you had 3 pictures framed, your husband did it for you, was only going to show it to coworkers so also happened to bring it to his mom's.  But did she know all that?  or did she just see your DH bring a picture to her house and show it to her?

tasryn

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Re: I liked it...so I took it
« Reply #11 on: December 13, 2012, 12:37:38 PM »
Hey Guys-Thanks for the responses. Just to clarify, I really don't have an issue with MIL wanting a photo of our daughter. That is absolutely not a problem. I also would have had no problem with printing out another copy of the photo in another frame for MIL. I also was more than willing to think that MIL just thought the photo was hers because it was some other stuff that was being given to her had she not mentioned the fact that she said "I'll have that, took it and you can print out another photo instead". The clear implication of that is-I know this photo isn't meant for me, I know that I could ask you to print one out for me but that would require waiting, so I'll just take this one because the onus should be on you to redo the photo."

Again I know it's a small issue and yes there are other bigger issues I have with MIL. I just found the whole thing to be very passive aggressive. Why tell me that you knew dingdangity well that you were taking a photo that wasn't yours? Why not leave it to DH to explain to me what happened to the photo? Or if she did want to tell me, the tone should have been apologetic-as in "Geez-sorry I took your property but I really, really wanted a photo of dear granddaughter. I apologise if this upset you". Instead the tone was-I wanted something, I took it, I deserve it and I'm entitled to it. It's more the tone that upset me rather than the action. Yes DH should not have let her have the photo but this woman is totally in charge of her family. She does these kinds of things all the time and her behavior is always excused because she is a "martyr" who always does stuff for other people. Good to see everyone's perspectives, sorry for the rambling.

onyonryngs

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Re: I liked it...so I took it
« Reply #12 on: December 13, 2012, 12:41:07 PM »
Why tell me that you knew dingdangity well that you were taking a photo that wasn't yours? Why not leave it to DH to explain to me what happened to the photo?

Your DH let her have the photo.  If he didn't want her to have it, HE should've spoken up at the time.  He's letting this happen - he's got to be on board with change before it's going to have any effect on your MIL.

DottyG

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Re: I liked it...so I took it
« Reply #13 on: December 13, 2012, 12:47:15 PM »
Was about to reply and then onyonryngs said what I was going to say.


TootsNYC

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Re: I liked it...so I took it
« Reply #14 on: December 13, 2012, 12:52:08 PM »
Why tell me that you knew dingdangity well that you were taking a photo that wasn't yours?

Because she knows what she did was wrong, and she's asking for permission without actually "asking." She sending up the "trial balloon" for you to shoot down. And you didn't shoot it down. She was notifying you that she'd taken it, and was giving you an opportunity to tell her no.

So I think you should have said at the time, and you can totally say now, "I need it back, actually--it's part of a set. Do you want a picture of DD?"

Or say, "Well, you can keep the photo, but I need the frame back pronto--it's part of a set."

And you can completely say, "Next time, would you ask instead of just taking it? It messes me up to have stuff disappear."