Author Topic: You said I could have them...  (Read 10903 times)

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sparksals

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Re: You said I could have them...
« Reply #75 on: May 30, 2013, 12:41:21 PM »
I don't understand the problem of saying MIL, it was very awkward when you put me in the middle having agreed to give the pavers to my friend and then changed your mind without telling me.  In the future, could you give me a heads up when something like that happends.  Why should the OP have to hold her tongue rather than have an open discussion around it?

To go and demand the pavers would be another thing entirely, but that's not what she's proposing.

MIL put the OP in the middle?!  The OP put herself there.


Totally agree.

PeterM

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Re: You said I could have them...
« Reply #76 on: May 30, 2013, 12:49:23 PM »
Surianne wrote:

"I'm not sure what's over-the-top about the word miscommunication?"

It's inaccurate, and it attempts to excuse a faux pas by equating it with unavoidable confusion in communication.  The communication was clearly defined at all steps.  MIL clearly agreed to give friend the flagstones, and then when she changed her mind she clearly failed to communicate that change to lemonfloorwax or friend.  That's not miscommunication, that's not "I said one thing but she thought I meant something else", that's just dropping the ball.

This, exactly. It wasn't a miscommunication, it wasn't a misunderstanding. It started out as one thing and later changed to the opposite. MIL said yes and later changed it to no. She has every right to do that, and I actually fall towards the "Not really that big a deal" end of the spectrum on how rude that was. But she didn't miscommunicate anything, and the OP didn't misunderstand. MIL very clearly said one thing and later changed her mind to the exact opposite.

Surianne

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Re: You said I could have them...
« Reply #77 on: May 30, 2013, 12:56:58 PM »
Well, this is clearly going around in circles.  I'm sorry that my use of the word miscommunication has made so many posters upset.  That wasn't my intention -- I thought it was the best word choice I had at the time.  So I'm happy to take that word off the table if it will mean we can discuss what the OP should do next, rather than how wrong Surianne is.

I very strongly feel that the OP should not bring this up again with her mother-in-law.  She can be privately annoyed, if she chooses, but making this a bigger deal won't help the OP's friend get a nice backyard for free.  It will just put the OP and her mother-in-law further at odds. 

If your mother-in-law is normally a decent person, I'd let this one go.  (And if she normally isn't a decent person, then the stones aren't the main problem anyway.)

sparksals

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Re: You said I could have them...
« Reply #78 on: May 30, 2013, 01:01:15 PM »
Well, this is clearly going around in circles.  I'm sorry that my use of the word miscommunication has made so many posters upset.  That wasn't my intention -- I thought it was the best word choice I had at the time.  So I'm happy to take that word off the table if it will mean we can discuss what the OP should do next, rather than how wrong Surianne is.

I very strongly feel that the OP should not bring this up again with her mother-in-law.  She can be privately annoyed, if she chooses, but making this a bigger deal won't help the OP's friend get a nice backyard for free.  It will just put the OP and her mother-in-law further at odds. 

If your mother-in-law is normally a decent person, I'd let this one go.  (And if she normally isn't a decent person, then the stones aren't the main problem anyway.)


I have to pod  Surianne's entire post. 

blahblahblah

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Re: You said I could have them...
« Reply #79 on: May 30, 2013, 01:35:18 PM »
Quote
It should be one of humble gratitude.

My friends amaze me sometimes at how grateful they are when I am generous.  There are usually several "really?  Are you sure?  You could use this for yourself. You could sell it."
Honestly, speaking on a personal level, that seems a bit overly slavish for my tastes. I don't want my friends to require constant reassurance that yes, it's okay for them to take what I'm offering; in fact, I'd find it really irritating after a while. One "really?" is okay. More than that and I'm going to be thinking, "For the love of god, YES, it's fine. How many times do I have to say it??"

Eeep!

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Re: You said I could have them...
« Reply #80 on: May 30, 2013, 02:38:17 PM »
In light of the update with the fact that it was only a week since the original conversation, I have to say that I am cutting the MIL even more slack.  It sounds like the work in her backyard is still ongoing right? So she may have only a day or so before realized that she did indeed have somewhere to use the extra flagstones.I don't know how involved the reno is, but I can totally see someone being so focused on the work being done that they don't immediately think "I'd better call OP and let her know I'm using the stones after all".  Now perhaps, a "sorry" when they OP called about picking them up would have helped the situation a bit but I do think that with work ongoing the MIL should have more opportunity to change her mind.  If the stones were just sitting discarded in a pile for a month I might feel differently.

And I guess I also don't really see the point of bringing this up with the MIL at this point. Because I'm not sure what positive result is going to come out of it and I see a lot of chances for bad results, like hard feelings, etc. But I don't know the dynamic between the parties.
« Last Edit: May 30, 2013, 02:40:36 PM by Eeep! »
"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." - Dr. Seuss

TootsNYC

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Re: You said I could have them...
« Reply #81 on: May 30, 2013, 02:53:25 PM »
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?
« Last Edit: May 30, 2013, 03:02:51 PM by TootsNYC »

Lynn2000

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Re: You said I could have them...
« Reply #82 on: May 30, 2013, 04:21:09 PM »
I guess I was thinking the timeframe was longer, too. Sometimes people move at different paces. My friend Amy, for example, is a "get it done NOW" type so I have to be careful what I mention to her. I'll be like, "I'm thinking of buying X," meaning, "The idea has entered my consciousness, and I will now contemplate it and research the idea for several months, even years, before making a decision." And Amy will be like, "Okay, there's a sale on X at the store, do you want me to give you a ride there tomorrow?" Neither of us is being rude, in fact she's trying to be very helpful to me, but our timelines are out of synch. And when I say, "No, thanks, it's going to be a while before I actually get one," she kind of looks at me like,  ???.

So, is it possible MIL is a "long timeframe" sort of person, while the OP is more "get it done NOW"? Originally I faulted MIL for not letting the OP know she'd changed her mind (or wished she hadn't agreed in the first place); but maybe she was imagining she'd have a lot more time before the OP moved ahead with her plan, and just hadn't gotten around to mentioning the change yet, as opposed to deliberately concealing the change. That could indicate two people who just have different communication styles and expectations, with neither one being so extreme as to be called "rude."

I think the moment has passed for asking "why" about the stones, personally. If you think it will fester in your mind, you could casually ask what MIL is going to do with them, as a PP suggested, so they don't become "the thing that shall not be named," you know? Personally I would just file it away to see if it was a pattern with MIL, or just an awkward moment, and try to figure out what I could learn from it (since I can only change my own behavior).
~Lynn2000

JoieGirl7

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Re: You said I could have them...
« Reply #83 on: May 30, 2013, 05:16:24 PM »
Quote
It should be one of humble gratitude.

My friends amaze me sometimes at how grateful they are when I am generous.  There are usually several "really?  Are you sure?  You could use this for yourself. You could sell it."
Honestly, speaking on a personal level, that seems a bit overly slavish for my tastes. I don't want my friends to require constant reassurance that yes, it's okay for them to take what I'm offering; in fact, I'd find it really irritating after a while. One "really?" is okay. More than that and I'm going to be thinking, "For the love of god, YES, it's fine. How many times do I have to say it??"

My friends don't require constant reassurance.  We're talking about giving something away that has a considerable value.  Humility is not slavish.  And it doesn't go on and on and is not irritating.  I value friends that are not entitled, that are truly gracious.

When someone offers you something quite valuable you should question it--like valuable stones, expensive jewelry, thousands of dollars of professional cookware...

The point is that you don't act like obviously you deserve it and that its the most natural thing in the world for someone to give it to you.

This would not be the case for less valuable items.

lemonfloorwax

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Re: You said I could have them...
« Reply #84 on: May 30, 2013, 08:53:02 PM »
People are saying I didn't give my MIL enough time. People are saying I should have acted sooner. I'm obviously not going to please everyone.
I don't feel like rehashing this over and over. I'm obviously wrong and no matter what I do, someone will think it is the wrong thing.
Let's just chalk this up to a lesson learned for me and be done with this thread.
Please forgive what I wrote above and in my previous post. It has been a very long week and I'm feeling tired and frustrated. I would like to move on, however. Thank you.
« Last Edit: May 30, 2013, 09:17:11 PM by lemonfloorwax »