The baby clothes threads made me think of this situation and what I should do at this point. Your advice is appreciated.
My Mother likes to haunt consignment and thrift stores for goodies. This is good, because she'd bankrupt herself on clothes if not. She also likes to "give" you her finds. This is great when it works out, and not so great when it doesn't. I say "give" because sometimes it's an actual gift, others are because it didn't fit, or you should wear this colour or style, and sometimes she wants them back. This has become such an issue that we aren't speaking any longer.
Once upon a time she gave me a Thing. It was a nice thing. It was Brand Name and Very Expensive back when these things were in style. Mom got a great deal, and she loves to tell you about what it used to cost. It was too big for her but since I was fat now it would be great for me (I paraphrase because mentally I was going LALALALALALA). I thanked her and since the Thing was much too big for me, never gave it another thought.
Years go by. Four or more, I have no idea. One day she asks about the Thing. I give her a blank stare. Then the crazy starts. The Thing! The Brand Name Thing! You would never have gotten rid of it, where is it! I WANT IT BACK. Yeah, okay. I don't really remember, I was back to a smaller size and had donated all the larger items, so the Thing probably went with all that stuff.
Then commenced an epic freakout. It was VEEERRRYYYY Expensive!!! I should know if I didn't want this thing I was to return it, even though it didn't fit her, nor had she made that a condition as she had before on some things. I reminded her this was given years ago, I wasn't the same size as the thing then and was even smaller now and it wasn't like she spent much on it. No, that wasn't the point, what mattered is that she wanted it, and I was being contrary.
She was so irrationally angry that I excused myself from her company and talked to my DH about it. He didn't remember the Thing specifically either, and we agreed she was having another freakout. When she does this we give her space for a while, and usually she comes back to reality. In conjunction with some other freakouts, we ended up estranged, and remain so to this day.
Here's my problem. DH recently found some Thing. After some discussion we realized it was The Thing. We don't want it. We can't use it. It feels like the Albatross. I'd hate for my DH to let it slip that we found the thing after all when she brings it up again, or for her to find it at the thrift store and have another freakout.
I don't want to open this door as I'm pretty sure she's given me the Cut Direct, for now. Should I mail it back to her with a note of apology? Do I ask an intermediary to get it to her? Do I pretend it never happened and give it to charity as I thought I had? Should I just chuck it in the trash?