Hostesses With The Mostest > Entertaining and Hospitality

Should I take the $$?

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I could use some help in settling an argument between me and my mom.  My MIL was visiting over Christmas.  We served dinner on our dining room table using a linen tablecloth she had given me.  During dinner, she (MIL) spilled her Dr. Pepper on the tablecloth and various side dishes.  It wasn't a big deal; we mopped it up and continued with dinner. 

I wrapped up the tablecloth to take to the cleaners the next day.  My MIL offered my husband a twenty to pay for the dry-cleaning.  He dropped of the tablecloth that day and she left to fly back home.  I didn't know she had paid until I went to pick up the tablecloth and my husband gave me the $$. 

I told my mom about the spill and the $$ and she said that I should give the money back, spills are part of being a hostess and it is offensive to make your guests pay for accidents.  While I don't feel like my MIL owed me the $$, I feel it was a thoughtful gesture to make, even though I would have been dry-cleaning the tablecloth anyway. 

My mom brings this up weekly that I should return the $$ with apologies.  What do you all think?


I'd return it or take her out for lunch next time you see her.

I invited some friends to stay in my family's vacation home for a weekend. One girl started her monthly cycle unexpectedly and insisted on replacing the sheet she "ruined." I told her we'd try washing it first but her boyfriend went out and bought a new one. I made him return it after the sheet come out spotless in the wash. I didn't really care if it didn't come out perfectly since the sheets are as old as I am and only used by my immediate family (renters bring their own).

People always feel horrible about these things but it's usually not a big deal.


--- Quote from: geekmommy2 on April 04, 2007, 07:46:43 PM ---My mom brings this up weekly that I should return the $$ with apologies.  What do you all think?

--- End quote ---

Which route would offend your MIL least: returning the money, or letting her pay for a mistake?

If it were me, I'd feel bad enough about making a mess that I'd feel obligated to pay to put it right.

No, I do not think that you need to return the money or apologize.  Indeed, you might embarrass your MIL if she feels that you are making too big of a deal out of this.  If you are really worried about paying her back, take your MIL out to eat the next time you see her as another poster suggested.

As for your mother, you should refuse to discuss the matter with her.  She should not be talking to you about this on a weekly basis.

your DH should have refused the money then and there -- but to give it back now is nutsy -- it draws WAY too much attention to a long ago incident -- and it was generous of her to pay for the cleaning and in a way that you didn't have to accept the money (she gave it to her son -- so any inappropriateness in accepting it is on him and how HE was raised, ahem)  to send it back now makes a big deal out of it

and cool your mother's jets -- she shouldn't be nagging you about this -- one comment, perhaps -- but then she needs to shut up and let you lead your own life -- once you have heard her and continued in your own course, that should be the end of it


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