Im not making "a huge deal over stones". Thanks for that, though.
My husband and I are just going to ask, "Hey, you remember about a week ago when we were discussing the stones and you said friend could have them? Well, on Memorial Day, you said you were keeping them. I just wanted to know why you changed your mind. No hard feelings."
I actually believe in open communication with my in laws. I am quite sorry I started this topic as I have been accused of some pretty bad things. I should have just talked to MIL in the first place. I was just frustrated. I will find a better place to vent.
There was only a week?
Then I totally give MIL a pass. I think that's completely a reasonable time frame in which to change one's mind, and it's not like there were so many days in between for her to call.
The friend didn't do anything beyond saying, "ooh, how great!" and asking a relative, "Would you be able or willing to help me move the stones?" So while I'm sure she's disappointed, she isn't really "out" anything. She has lost nothing except the dream. Disappointing, yes, certainly.
But it's not like there were lots of opportunities for MIL to communicate that she was changing her mind, and also not lots of opportunities for MIL to *CONFIRM* her plans.
My fear for you, lemonfloorwax, especially
with the one-week timeframe, is that it would be incredibly hard to bring this up in any way that doesn't
sound accusatory. And it has a big risk of making you look like an opportunistic and greedy person in your attitude toward your MIL's stuff (even if it's not for your OWN gain). You're not that sort of person, so it would be horrible if you ended up looking like that.
At once time I was very generous toward my sister. But it got very off-putting when it seemed as though her first reaction was, "maybe Sis can pay for that." When her first reaction to money trouble was to turn to me. True, I'd bailed her out before, but it was just really offputting to have that become such an immediate habit.
My MIL seems to deliberately cook more food than she should, and then she sends stuff home with us. My DH has sometimes said, "Oh, we'll take it home" before it's even offered to him--that bothers me. I think that even though he sort of *knows* that she's going to want to send the food home, it's not appropriate to act as though this is true. (Sort of like brides&grooms and the wedding gifts.) The polite fiction is important.
My BIL acts that way (bcs his mother has trained him) all the time, and it looks bad to me. He did it at our house when we had a party, and I was honestly a bit miffed, esp. since the party wasn't quite over when he was leaving, and he wanted to take the last 6 chicken skewers. He looked bad because he acted as though he had some right or entitlement to the leftovers. To *my* leftovers.
Now, your MIL did offer. But I think for you to bring it up now, after she has re-claimed her own possessions for herself, you will look as though you feel entitled not just to HAVE her leftovers, but to give her leftovers away to someone else.
It leaves the impression that the only thing you care about is what she can give you. (or, your friends) That's not a happy message to send, ESPECIALLY when this isn't even how you are. You'll end up having a reputation you don't deserve.
I'm sorry if you think we were harsh toward you. I was the first to raise the idea that it was *possible* you had overstepped, and I sure didn't mean it as a criticism--more as an insight into a possible reaction.
People were REALLY harsh on your MIL--maybe that felt like them being harsh on you?