Author Topic: Dear Prudence: My MIL redecorated my house  (Read 24728 times)

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gramma dishes

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Re: Dear Prudence: My MIL redecorated my house
« Reply #60 on: July 24, 2013, 10:25:37 AM »
Oh, do NOT be messing with MY GARDEN.  Oh, no.  No, no, no!  The unwanted items will go in the yard waste bin, and if something I planted left in the trash, you WILL be replacing it.  Possibly with a bigger version to get my point across.  There will be WORDS spoken, and they will be uncivil and curt.  You will cry.  (I might too, but they will steam off my face in the heat of my RAGE).  For realz. 

I'll be mad if you mess with my house, but I'll be UGLY if you mess with my garden and YOU WILL BE VERY SORRY you even thought of it.  There will be NO grandchildren named after you, and possibly after your entire side of the family.  You won't step FOOT on the property again.  Scorched Earth comes to mind....  If time permits, I may clean the ENTIRE house in a fit of fury, and it Will Sparkle and Be Perfect.  The cats will hide under the bed.  DH may join them there.  The pile of discards at the curb Will Be Large and comprehensive.

This was my first 'reading' of the day and I must say I've never laughed harder while still half asleep.  Just got back now to respond, but thanks for the early morning giggles!!   ;D

Lynnv

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Re: Dear Prudence: My MIL redecorated my house
« Reply #61 on: July 24, 2013, 11:35:43 AM »
To be fair, my mom and my sister (and my dad before he passed) all had keys to my house.  And I have keys to theirs.  But they could all (even my dad, who had plenty of other issues) could be trusted with those keys.  And I have keys to all of their houses.  That has been true anytime we have lived within 2-3 hours of each other.  Just in case of emergencies.

Heck, I don't particularly like my MIL and FIL and they could have keys to my house if they lived closer-my problems with them are not on this level.  My SIL could have one too if she lived close.   

But if any of them even came close to crossing that kind of boundary, the keys would come back to me and it would take a long time before I would trust that person again.

I told DH about this thread and his answer was, "Even my family would find this out of line-and they are all really annoying.  Who does this?"   ;D

Lynn

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miranova

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Re: Dear Prudence: My MIL redecorated my house
« Reply #62 on: July 24, 2013, 03:18:11 PM »
I was SO worried about this when I was dating now Dh.  His mother would do his laundry and rearrange kitchen cabinets every time she visited, even after being asked not to.  I was very clear when we started talking marriage that I would not put up with that and that I didn't even want anyone but us to have keys to the house. 

It turns out it was just a sexist thing....she has never tried anything like that since we've been married because now there is a woman in the house.  She just didn't trust her son to do those things "right".  Either that or she somehow instinctively knew that I would flip out on her.  Either way.

camlan

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Re: Dear Prudence: My MIL redecorated my house
« Reply #63 on: July 24, 2013, 07:19:49 PM »
My brother Ted is deployed right now. He's single and he owns a house. So my other brother Fred and I have been taking turns visiting the house every other week or so, to do yard work and just check up on things in general. So we've been invited in, so to speak, by Ted. Fred has spent the night there a few times, when the heat or power was out in his place (thank you Hurricane Sandy).

Trust me, the half-squeezed toothpaste tube is still on the side of the sink where he left it. Ted's hopefully coming home in 6 weeks, and I'm planning a top to bottom cleaning of the house. And I'm worrying about that stupid toothpaste tube--leave it where it is or put it in the medicine cabinet?

I'll probably clean under and leave it where it is. Scrub the bathrooms and kitchen, dust and vacuum everywhere and put clean sheets on the bed. Fill the kitchen with his favorite foods. Because a returning soldier shouldn't have to come home to a dusty, musty house and he shouldn't have to run out the second he gets back to find food to feed himself.

But change anything? Move anything? It's not my place to do so.
Nothing is impossible, the word itself says, “I’m possible!” –Audrey Hepburn


Outdoor Girl

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Re: Dear Prudence: My MIL redecorated my house
« Reply #64 on: July 24, 2013, 07:24:56 PM »
I'd throw out the tube of toothpaste and put a fresh one in the medicine cabinet.  Or if you don't want to go in the medicine cabinet, leave it on the counter at the back or something.  I don't think that would be over stepping.

And I think it is a very nice thing for you to do to have the house move-back-in ready.  I'm sure Ted will appreciate it.
I have CDO.  It is like OCD but with the letters in alphabetical order, as they should be.
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MommyPenguin

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Re: Dear Prudence: My MIL redecorated my house
« Reply #65 on: July 24, 2013, 07:57:21 PM »
I don't think moving the tube of toothpaste to the medicine cabinet (if that's where it's normally kept--when I was a kid, the counter was where the toothpaste lived) is overstepping.  I think moving items a small amount, as long as they are kept near the same location, is okay.  My MIL tidied our counters the other day.  There were a bunch of papers scattered about, and she put them in a neat pile without looking at them.  That might be a little more "risky" since papers could contain information, but in general, I'd think that level of tidying up would be okay.  Like if he'd left a newspaper scattered across the coffee table, stacking it up neatly would be fine (but I wouldn't throw it away).  Wiping the counters, cleaning the bathrooms, wiping down the fridge and throwing away any old yucky stuff (or turning the fridge on if it were cleaned out and turned off), getting a few groceries, they're all nice ways to welcome your brother back.  You could even treat him to a DVD of a movie that came out while he was gone that you know he'd like, or a book, or whatever.

HappilyInsane

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Re: Dear Prudence: My MIL redecorated my house
« Reply #66 on: July 24, 2013, 09:59:55 PM »
My MIL had a key to our house for about 11 or 12 years. Never had a problem, until one day when DH went out in his workroom to get something. He noticed that several cans of paint were missing. (And these had been buried under some boxes BTW, that's why he didn't notice immediately that they were gone.) He came back in and asked if I had done something with them. DD happened to be in the room and said "Grandmother came and got those a month ago while you and Mom were at work.". I don't think I've ever seen him look that mad. He promptly grabbed his keys, went to the hardware store and got new knobs and locks and that was the end of that. That was over 10 years ago and she still doesn't have a key to the new ones.

AvidReader

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Re: Dear Prudence: My MIL redecorated my house
« Reply #67 on: July 25, 2013, 07:31:26 AM »
What a lovely thing to do camlan.  Ted will know that he is loved and cared for when he gets home.  I wouldn't sweat the partially used tube of toothpaste.  It is so minor in the grand scheme of things that Ted has been dealing with that I can't imagine that he has given it a single thought.  How hysterically funny would it be if he were to mention that partially used tube of toothpaste he left on the counter after all he's been through?  Toss it with abandon and replace it with a fresh tube.  And please, if he is so inclined, leave a six-pack of his favorite brew in the fridge on my behalf.

TootsNYC

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Re: Dear Prudence: My MIL redecorated my house
« Reply #68 on: July 25, 2013, 08:56:18 AM »
Camlan, I'd do exactly what you're planning.

Why toss a partially used tube of toothpaste? There's still perfectly good toothpaste in there, isn't there?


And I'd probably leave it out too, because that's probably "where he keeps it," at least on a practical level.

Redsoil

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Re: Dear Prudence: My MIL redecorated my house
« Reply #69 on: July 25, 2013, 11:24:36 AM »
I'm with Toots on this one.  Why on earth would you toss out a perfectly good tube of partially-used toothpaste?  It's a waste of money, and not necessary.  Would those advocating it, toss out a half-used tube of toothpaste in their own homes?  It's not like it's particularly perishable.
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Outdoor Girl

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Re: Dear Prudence: My MIL redecorated my house
« Reply #70 on: July 25, 2013, 11:41:14 AM »
Toothpaste does have a best before date; it is usually printed into the crimping at the end of the tube.  And if it has been sitting on the edge of the sink since Ted left, it is very likely beyond that date.  If the cap was on and the date is close, sure, keep it.  But if the cap was off and it was well out of date?  I'd pitch it and replace it.  For a couple of bucks to replace it and leave Ted with a fresh tube?  I think it's worth it.
I have CDO.  It is like OCD but with the letters in alphabetical order, as they should be.
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Zizi-K

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Re: Dear Prudence: My MIL redecorated my house
« Reply #71 on: July 25, 2013, 12:00:22 PM »
My story is of an attempted redecoration from afar.

My DH and I bought a new house a few years ago that was significantly larger than our old one. It has an actual dining room, so the small round table we used previously was not nearly large enough. My ILs have a huge house and a bunch of old furniture that they keep in their basement. It's not their style anymore (having long since updated), but it is ours (what's old becomes new again!), so my DH asked them for the old dining room set.

They could say yes or no, that was totally up to them. But when they called us back to say 'no', my MIL added: "I don't want to give you that old set, it's too old for you, so I went to LocalFurnitureStore in TheirCity (5 hours from us) and bought you a beautiful new dining room set. You all just have to drive down here to pick it up."

What??! At this point she had never visited our new house, had no idea what it looked like or what style it was (mid-century modern) and she bought us this ridiculously decorative set with lots of upholstery and carving and inlay - totally and completely wrong for the space. AND, to top it off, we had to drive there with a trailer to pick it up! DH shut that down really quickly.

She did end up giving us the 'old' set from the basement (a beautiful set that they had bought in the 60s, perfectly suited to our house, which she no longer even liked), and she ended up keeping the set she bought to put down in her basement because "something needs to go in that spot."

RebeccainGA

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Re: Dear Prudence: My MIL redecorated my house
« Reply #72 on: July 25, 2013, 12:02:02 PM »
I know that my parents are untrustable when it comes to boundaries. When we moved into our current place, they did buy us new bookcases (we had them scattered in our old place, and since they were all going to be on one wall in the new place, we wanted them to at least be the same size). and helped us assemble them. However, they also 'helped' load them up, putting all DPs Christian related books (she's a minister - there are a LOT of them) at the bottom of all the shelves, where she can't get to them, and put all my fiction paperbacks (mostly cheap ones that I am weeding through and discarding) right at eye level so it's easy for me to find them. *boggle*

My MIL, on the other hand, when asking what she could do while I was at work all day, was told if she wanted she could empty the large boxes of breakables stacked in the kitchen. She unwrapped them, neatly piled them up on the kitchen table (after covering it with paper to avoid scratches), hand washed them one at a time until she ran out of room for them, and left them on clean towels on the counter. I could have kissed her!

camlan

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Re: Dear Prudence: My MIL redecorated my house
« Reply #73 on: July 25, 2013, 12:18:28 PM »
I'm sorry to have sidetracked the thread with a tube of toothpaste. I think I was just trying to show that while there is an acceptable range of what friends/family/in-laws can do in someone's house, there are certain boundaries that people really shouldn't cross.

It's possible that if I throw out that tube of toothpaste, my brother will be momentarily upset. Actually, knowing him well, it's pretty likely. But nothing to how upset he'd be if I rearranged his living and dining room furniture, which, in my opinion, is currently arranged all wrong (not that I'd ever say that to him).

But most people would agree that a house that has been sitting empty for a year could do with a cleaning before the owner get back, especially if the owner will be returning tired, stressed out and a trifle grumpy from dealing with the demob procedures of the military.

I know I'm over-thinking it with the toothpaste. But I think it's better to err on the side of doing too little in these cases of being in someone's house, than doing too much. This past year, I've been alone in DB's house quite often. I have not been upstairs at all. I haven't been down cellar. The only doors I'll be opening when I'm cleaning are those on the kitchen cabinets, because the cabinets could probably use a cleaning.

And underwear drawers are off-limits to everyone but the owner of said underwear. That's a boundary I think most people could agree on.

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Nothing is impossible, the word itself says, “I’m possible!” –Audrey Hepburn


siamesecat2965

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Re: Dear Prudence: My MIL redecorated my house
« Reply #74 on: July 25, 2013, 12:21:09 PM »
I've always had a key to my parent's house after I moved out, and they to each of my apts. But none of us have any boundary issues. I think the one time my dad came to my one apt without me, was when I was either having something delivered or someone coming to look at something that wasn't working, and my landlord wasn't available. I honestly don't recall, or which apt it was. But I had asked him to do it for me, and he simply came in, made some coffee, waited, observed, adn then left.

Some of these stories make me VERY glad I'm still single!