Author Topic: Apparently "no" means "yes" to my MIL  (Read 9052 times)

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Ashe311

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Apparently "no" means "yes" to my MIL
« on: December 10, 2007, 06:15:18 PM »
First off, I would like to state that my MIL has no bad intent in her actions.  It's just that she's very stubborn and set in her ways, and I'm starting to reach my end.

My MIL likes to collect things.  She goes shopping, and once something is on sale, she buys it immediately, whether it's useful or not.  As a result, her house is filled with multiple amounts of every item that you could possibly think of.  Unfortunately, each item usually has one or more defect, or it's plain useless.

Every week, when DH and I visit MIL, she showcases several items and asks us whether we want it or not.  As we're limited in space, we usually do not need that item.  Now, I'm not talking about 1-2 items here.  By the end of the visit, my MIL would have shown about 50-70 items.  Here's a typical conversation between me and MIL.

MIL:  Look at all this stuff I picked up from the dollar store yesterday!  Would you like this cute stocking?
me: (after taking a look at it)  No thanks, I have no use for it.
MIL:  but it's so cute!  Little ashe can definitely play with it.
me: No thank you. (in a firm tone)

*pause*

MIL: how about this christmas dish?  It's big and very useful.
(the dish itself is made of paper, and looks like it could barely hold anything)
Me: No thank you.
MIL:  why not?
Me: I have no use for it.
MIL:  you never know!
ME: If i ever need it, I'll ask you for it.
MIL: why don't you take it now?
Me: Because I don't need it now. 
MIL: why not?
Me: Because I don't need it now.

Repeat for several more items.

At this point, DH is also frustrated and tells him mom to relax and play with little ashe, since she complains that she barely gets to see her granddaughter.  This peace lasts for about 20 minutes, and my MIL will leave little ashe, and start bringing out more items.

To each item, I've used the following responses, and none of them have stopped her.
"No thank you"
"I have no need for it"
"How nice of you to think of us, but we really don't need it"
"Little ashe is too young to play with it"
"We don't have space for this item"
"When we need this item, we'll ask you for it"
"No"
"No"
"NOOOOOO!"

DH has tried to tell her several times that we do not need anything new, but she just won't stop.  The worst thing is that after all that, the moment we're stepping out the door, she presses a large bag into our hands and pushes us out the door.  In the bag contains most of the items that she has showed us and that we had rejected.  We end up bringing the bag back the next time we visit, but I don't understand why she just doesn't get it.  She doesn't make us feel guilty for not taking anything, nor does she get angry.

What do I do now?  I used to take one or two items out of politeness, but it keeps accumulating.  So I've stopped now, but she keeps offering things.

Harriet Jones

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Re: Apparently "no" means "yes" to my MIL
« Reply #1 on: December 10, 2007, 06:21:11 PM »
Can you just "forget" to put the bag in the car when you leave?  Otherwise, offer it up on freecycle or just toss it in the garbage -- if it's defective merchandise, you can't donate it.

I doubt you can do anything to change your MIL's behavior, though.

AprilRenee

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Re: Apparently "no" means "yes" to my MIL
« Reply #2 on: December 10, 2007, 06:25:53 PM »
when she shoves the bag into your hands say "MIL, I already told you that we do not want this stuff. Please do not push it on us" and leave it there. Can you have her come to your house instead?

rashea

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Re: Apparently "no" means "yes" to my MIL
« Reply #3 on: December 10, 2007, 08:19:13 PM »
Has she been evaluated for OCD? This strikes me as hording behavior.

I would stop telling her that you won't take it now. Make it really clear that you don't ever want to take the stuff she buys for you. It isn't that you don't have a use for it, it's that you don't want her buying stuff for you.
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sbtier

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Re: Apparently "no" means "yes" to my MIL
« Reply #4 on: December 11, 2007, 10:12:29 AM »
Sounds just like my horder sister, who has managed to turn my mother's house into a warehouse (she's 45 and still lives at home).  She will buy any useless tat, especially if it's blue.  You should see the absolutely cheap, useless stuff she's bought because it's blue.  My mother showed me boxes from QVC that are being stored on the back hall steps that haven't even been opened.

And my mother wonders why nobody wants to go to her house for Thanksgiving any more?  I live only a few miles from my mother and I don't think I've been to her house for 5 years.

caranfin

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Re: Apparently "no" means "yes" to my MIL
« Reply #5 on: December 11, 2007, 10:15:17 AM »
DH has tried to tell her several times that we do not need anything new, but she just won't stop.  The worst thing is that after all that, the moment we're stepping out the door, she presses a large bag into our hands and pushes us out the door.  In the bag contains most of the items that she has showed us and that we had rejected. 

Look in the bag, say "Whoops. This is all the stuff we told you we didn't want." Hand it back to her. If she refuses to take it, put it on the floor. And leave.
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ncp

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Re: Apparently "no" means "yes" to my MIL
« Reply #6 on: December 12, 2007, 02:53:33 PM »
I'd just "forget" the bag in the driveway. If she's not making you feel bad or getting angry for refusing, this is probably some sort of weird compulsion that she has -- she probably doesn't even realize that she's doing it. Bringing attention to it won't help. She probably wouldn't think twice about retrieving her "bag o' junk" once you've gone home.

And I agree with the PP who suggested that she might need some evaluation for OCD.

Lisbeth

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Re: Apparently "no" means "yes" to my MIL
« Reply #7 on: December 12, 2007, 03:02:05 PM »
You might have to stop going over there for a while.  It does sound like your MIL might have OCD or something that she needs evaluation for.

If you still go over there, just ignore her when she tries to give you things, and if she tries to put anything in your arms, gently but firmly put your hand on her arm to stop her.  I'd quietly say at that point, "We already said no."
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Scritzy

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Re: Apparently "no" means "yes" to my MIL
« Reply #8 on: December 13, 2007, 01:00:05 AM »
Speaking as an OCD hoarder ... Take it away from her house and chuck it in the trash. I know she'll probably buy stuff to replace it, but one bag trashed is one less bag you'll have to worry about next time. If that makes sense.

Mother isn't a hoarder, but she's always trying to give me stuff I don't want. And if I don't want it, I really don't want it, because as a hoarder, I will get and hoard my own stuff.

I'm still thinking up a project I can make with 11,000 Perler beads.  ::)
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Minmom3

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Re: Apparently "no" means "yes" to my MIL
« Reply #9 on: December 13, 2007, 08:31:34 PM »
Speaking as an OCD hoarder ... Take it away from her house and chuck it in the trash. I know she'll probably buy stuff to replace it, but one bag trashed is one less bag you'll have to worry about next time. If that makes sense.

Mother isn't a hoarder, but she's always trying to give me stuff I don't want. And if I don't want it, I really don't want it, because as a hoarder, I will get and hoard my own stuff.

I'm still thinking up a project I can make with 11,000 Perler beads.  ::)

Or you could gift it to some kids after school care and make some kids REALLY happy....   ;D
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Chocolate Cake

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Re: Apparently "no" means "yes" to my MIL
« Reply #10 on: December 14, 2007, 07:50:09 PM »
If you do anything with the stuff BUT give it back you'll be encouraging her to give you more and more and more. I vote for the option of leaving it leaning against her front door, in the driveway, etc. 

Hanna

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Re: Apparently "no" means "yes" to my MIL
« Reply #11 on: December 15, 2007, 01:27:55 PM »
Speaking as an OCD hoarder ... Take it away from her house and chuck it in the trash. I know she'll probably buy stuff to replace it, but one bag trashed is one less bag you'll have to worry about next time. If that makes sense.

Mother isn't a hoarder, but she's always trying to give me stuff I don't want. And if I don't want it, I really don't want it, because as a hoarder, I will get and hoard my own stuff.

I'm still thinking up a project I can make with 11,000 Perler beads.  ::)
I agree with Scritzy.  I think this is OCD, and you are not going to fix it no matter how you respond.

I had a relative with a slightly different issue, only it was over food.  She would always try to push food on me.  It was usually cakes, sweets, etc.   I eventually started taking it because I knew that she really didn't need that food in the house and was trying to get rid of it so she didn't eat it.  I started taking the food to work to get rid of it, or throwing it away.  She actually stopped eventually.  I am so proud of her!

Often I would even explain that I was going to take the food to work or throw it away.  Then I would do just that.  She never complained.

You could say to her "MIL, we just can't keep these things, but if you want to get rid of them I will gladly take them to GoodWill for you".
"MIL, I can't help wondering why you buy things you just don't want or need"
Be gentle, and don't be judgemental.  She may even be aware that she has a problem.


Scritzy

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Re: Apparently "no" means "yes" to my MIL
« Reply #12 on: December 15, 2007, 04:41:39 PM »
Speaking as an OCD hoarder ... Take it away from her house and chuck it in the trash. I know she'll probably buy stuff to replace it, but one bag trashed is one less bag you'll have to worry about next time. If that makes sense.

Mother isn't a hoarder, but she's always trying to give me stuff I don't want. And if I don't want it, I really don't want it, because as a hoarder, I will get and hoard my own stuff.

I'm still thinking up a project I can make with 11,000 Perler beads.  ::)

Or you could gift it to some kids after school care and make some kids REALLY happy....   ;D

LOL! And then you know what I'd do? Go buy the container of 20,000 Perler beads because I'd feel as if I gave away something I "needed." ;)
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Mahdoumi

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Re: Apparently "no" means "yes" to my MIL
« Reply #13 on: December 27, 2007, 06:47:05 PM »
LOL! And then you know what I'd do? Go buy the container of 20,000 Perler beads because I'd feel as if I gave away something I "needed." ;)

One of the many Scritzy posts that make me love you.  :-*

Minmom3

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Re: Apparently "no" means "yes" to my MIL
« Reply #14 on: December 27, 2007, 11:19:20 PM »
Or you could gift it to some kids after school care and make some kids REALLY happy....   ;D

LOL! And then you know what I'd do? Go buy the container of 20,000 Perler beads because I'd feel as if I gave away something I "needed." ;)

Snicker!  Let's not ask what's in my bins o' crap.  Bits and pieces of various projects (left over), future projects (never used {just threw away old and dieing Xmas noise maker thingers that had the kids laughing at the tired batteries from - oh - 10 years ago}), potential repeat projects I might someday do.  Fabric from when the girls or nieces were little (y'know, I could use this on something else.  Someday.)  Beads.  Sequins.  Wire.  I DID dump all the old fabric paint (freed up a bin that they used to be stored in), but kept the brushes.  Stamps...  Heh.  I have 6 knittings books, and don't know how to do more than cast on, and won't have the time to really learn until I'm out of school in 18 months or so. 

Hoarders, Unite!   ;D
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