News: IT'S THE 2ND ANNUAL GUATEMALA LIBRARY PROJECT BOOK DRIVE!    LOOKING FOR DONATIONS OF SCIENCE BOOKS THIS YEAR.    Check it out in the "Extending the Hand of Kindness" folder or here: http://www.etiquettehell.com/smf/index.php?topic=139832.msg3372084#msg3372084   

  • December 12, 2017, 10:31:36 AM

Login with username, password and session length

Author Topic: The Gifts are coming (no they're not)  (Read 14661 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

FauxFoodist

  • Member
  • Posts: 4990
Re: The Gifts are coming (no they're not)
« Reply #45 on: November 24, 2014, 12:44:00 AM »
Has your mother always shown this type of blatant favoritism towards your sister or is it only in recent years since your sister sees her for Christmas and you don't?

If it's just in the past few years, then I'd say this is your mother's passive aggressive way of trying to manipulate you into seeing her for Christmas or to punish you for not traveling to see her.

But if she's always treated your sister like the golden child, then it sounds like there's no good re-lationship worth trying to preserve.

Either way, she knows what she's doing and is saying and doing all of it purposely to get a specific reaction out of you. I don't know what her end goal is (to coerce you to travel to her or just to hurt you). But no matter what, I don't think it's innocent or well-intended.

If you call her on it, it might reward her behavior because you're showing that you're hurt. But it might also show that you're onto her game and that might stop her from doing it in the future.

Ultimately, you have to decide what outcome you want.  I think I would try either just calling her out on the lie in the moment or just getting off the phone. But when she mentions your sister's gifts, that's plain mean and demeaning. I would definitely just end the phone call immediately when that happens.

Pod to this, as I was wondering about the obvious favoritism too. That's more concerning (to me) than the outright lies about the presents.

Until I was about 18-20 I was the one that she leaned on and counted on taking her side against Dad.  (Taking sides very big in our family).  When I finally moved out and realized exactly how dysfunctional my family was, I started pulling away.  So there was a long period there where she was trying to woo me back.  Very often my offering money, that she never came through with even if I accepted it.  Once I got married for the sake of my sanity, and the marriage, I started putting her problems back on her instead of trying to fix them for her.  So now I am evil and mean, making her lay in the bed she made. 

Middle sister is currently the one that she's leaning on.  And to an extent trying to use money to control middle sister.  I don't blame MS at all.  MS is in a bad situation and needs the help.  Mom is using MS, and it's not a good situation.

Meanwhile Youngest Sister is newly married and has very much been the golden child.  So Mom is trying to make sure she stays wooed.

It's really dysfunctional.  But like I said, my sisters and I are really close.  Common enemy and all that. 

She doesn't call me about birthday gifts.  She just flat out doesn't send them.  I do know, again because I talk with my sisters that they and MS's kids get birthday gifts.

Seriously, given your latest post, I'd not acknowledge she's said anything about presents.  Your mom sounds like the relatives in the thread with the family newsletter who seem to make it their mission to hurt the OP's DH.  Why give in to her at all?  She really sounds like she just wants to hurt you every year (and it's working).  What lovely Christmas spirit!

Winterlight

  • On the internet, no one can tell you're a dog- arf.
  • Member
  • Posts: 10120
Re: The Gifts are coming (no they're not)
« Reply #46 on: November 24, 2014, 07:56:46 AM »
It sounds as though, while the recurring fictional gift pledges are annoying, they are only one aspect of a not-so-good relationship.

Is it worthwhile for you to consider how/if/to what extent you want to continue with your mother, across the spectrum?  If there is enough "good" received by you in continuing communication with your mother, this is just one more check in the "con" column - but bearable in the big picture.  On the other hand, if this is just one of many issues, and there is not much, or any "good" coming to you by continuing communication, that may mean changing what you can, your own behavior and pull back on communication with her.

Sometimes, there are magic words, and they are "I am done with this."

I agree. And given your update, I think I'd drop mom back to minimal contact if you feel you must be in touch.
If wisdom’s ways you wisely seek,
Five things observe with care,
To whom you speak,
Of whom you speak,
And how, and when, and where.
Caroline Lake Ingalls

scansons

  • Member
  • Posts: 831
Re: The Gifts are coming (no they're not)
« Reply #47 on: November 24, 2014, 05:07:18 PM »
We've actually been on minimal contact for about six years at this point.  However, minimal contact has become more and more contact in the last couple of years because my father is very ill.   

Thank you for all the advice.  I'm not sure what I'm going to do.  We'll see. I want to think about it some more. 

Nannerdoman

  • Mistress of the trivial and arcane.
  • Member
  • Posts: 4446
Re: The Gifts are coming (no they're not)
« Reply #48 on: November 24, 2014, 09:51:21 PM »
Must admit, my response would be this:

MOM: "I;m sending gifts in January blah blah blah."

ME: "No, you aren't. You never have. I'm done playing this game.--Bean dip?"
I'm the grammarian against whom your mother warned you.

Hmmmmm

  • Member
  • Posts: 8905
Re: The Gifts are coming (no they're not)
« Reply #49 on: November 25, 2014, 10:38:45 AM »
We've actually been on minimal contact for about six years at this point.  However, minimal contact has become more and more contact in the last couple of years because my father is very ill.   

Thank you for all the advice.  I'm not sure what I'm going to do.  We'll see. I want to think about it some more.

I think I'd go with:
"Mom, you know you mentioned sending gifts in January last year and the year before but we never received anything so I figured you forgot. But are you sure you have our right address? Or maybe they are being stolen in transit. When you send these this year, would you email how they were sent so I can track the shipment? I hate to think of you going to the trouble of buying and sending gifts to my family and them not arriving."

Or
"Mom, I know it gets busy after the first of the year and it's hard for you to remember you'd planned to send gifts to the kids. Let's keep things as is and not worry about gifts from you to my family. The kids aren't expecting anything from you and it's just one more thing you don't need to worry with."

KimodoDragon

  • Member
  • Posts: 126
Re: The Gifts are coming (no they're not)
« Reply #50 on: November 25, 2014, 10:46:44 AM »
I've got a big check coming in early January, so you're gifts are going to be a little late this year." 

"Oh no worries, Mom.  Your gift will be late as well.  How is your cat, Scrappy?"


heartmug

  • Member
  • Posts: 2310
Re: The Gifts are coming (no they're not)
« Reply #51 on: November 25, 2014, 10:52:25 AM »
Must admit, my response would be this:

MOM: "I;m sending gifts in January blah blah blah."

ME: "No, you aren't. You never have. I'm done playing this game.--Bean dip?"

POD.  I have a brother and SIL who we get together with very infrequently.  Their choice, not mine.  We have a great time when we do get together, so they will say at the end of the time together, "We will do a day trip together!"  (I found out this is what they do with her 2 sisters who live close to them.)  This year I am tempted to say "No we won't.  You will never call."  They only call when their kids are having a birthday or there is a graduation.

So I get what you are saying.
One option in a tug of war with someone is just to drop the rope.

Stormtreader

  • Member
  • Posts: 1813
Re: The Gifts are coming (no they're not)
« Reply #52 on: November 26, 2014, 05:42:08 AM »
Until I was about 18-20 I was the one that she leaned on and counted on taking her side against Dad. 

When she starts talking about the present shes going to send you, tell her about the great gift you are thinking about getting for your dad.... Too evil?

Venus193

  • Member
  • Posts: 17053
  • Backstage passes are wonderful things!
Re: The Gifts are coming (no they're not)
« Reply #53 on: November 26, 2014, 09:00:15 AM »
I'd say call her out.  But do it unemotionally and hang up if she gets nasty.  This situation is far beyond anything etiquette can help.





TriCrazy73

  • Member
  • Posts: 166
Re: The Gifts are coming (no they're not)
« Reply #54 on: November 26, 2014, 09:35:02 AM »
Must admit, my response would be this:

MOM: "I;m sending gifts in January blah blah blah."

ME: "No, you aren't. You never have. I'm done playing this game.--Bean dip?"

I like this response.  Shut it down swiftly and move on.

AmethystAnne

  • mom, grandmother, and an enthusaistic knitter & crocheter
  • Member
  • Posts: 4206
  • So much yarn, not nearly enough time! :D
Re: The Gifts are coming (no they're not)
« Reply #55 on: November 26, 2014, 09:44:13 AM »
Until I was about 18-20 I was the one that she leaned on and counted on taking her side against Dad. 

When she starts talking about the present shes going to send you, tell her about the great gift you are thinking about getting for your dad.... Too evil?

<Heh heh heh>

Seriously, though. OP, do you like your Dad? Why not send him a little something? Something that will fit in an envelop maybe?