Author Topic: One person. multiple assumptions.  (Read 3085 times)

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Switcher

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One person. multiple assumptions.
« on: February 01, 2010, 01:51:50 PM »
I'm not sure this belongs here for sure, but it's an etiquete question.

My future mother in law has a very strange habits of making strange, sometimes irritating assumptions. It almost always leads to an awkward moment or two afterwards, and people either have to ignore what she has just said or laugh uncomfortably. Here are some examples...

1) Right before my To Be and I left for the holidays, she got sick with a small case of dehydration. Nothing life threatening, but the doctor had mentioned that they may have her in the hospital over night so they could let her rest and give her fluid. She calls both of us in to the room and in a very grave tone informs us that we MUST promise her that we will still go to California that weekend. We hadn't planned on canceling the trip, but it seemed that she got the impression (or assumed) that we would do that if she spent the night in the hospital.
2)Every year for Christmas she asks for money, because she likes to save up her christmas and birthday money for a larger gift. Fair enough. This year she asked us to hold off giving her any gift until after income tax came in. Again, fair enough. Now that we have the money, she brings up her christmas gift almost daily and mentions that if we give her 100 dollars and her other son gives her 100, she can get a laptop, but that we have to buy everything we need before we give her any MORE than 100. We had only intended to give her 50, but almost feel...I dunno, like we're "supposed" to give her more.
3)We've both lost laptops to her...well, let us say "lack of technical understanding". We planned on getting a new one so that I would have a computer to use at school. I think we mentioned that once. There have been several occasions in which she has been talking about how much she wants a computer, and tends to end sentences with "But if I don't get one I'll just use your new one" or "I promise not to download that program on your new laptop". We really didn't plan on letting her USE it, since she doesn't take care of computers well.

I could go on, but I think I've made my point. She makes a LOT of assumptions, and we don't really know what to do without hurting her feelings or making her feel like a little kid getting scolded. Help!

Orisha

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Re: One person. multiple assumptions.
« Reply #1 on: February 01, 2010, 03:16:14 PM »
I'm not sure this belongs here for sure, but it's an etiquete question.

My future mother in law has a very strange habits of making strange, sometimes irritating assumptions. It almost always leads to an awkward moment or two afterwards, and people either have to ignore what she has just said or laugh uncomfortably. Here are some examples...

1) Right before my To Be and I left for the holidays, she got sick with a small case of dehydration. Nothing life threatening, but the doctor had mentioned that they may have her in the hospital over night so they could let her rest and give her fluid. She calls both of us in to the room and in a very grave tone informs us that we MUST promise her that we will still go to California that weekend. We hadn't planned on canceling the trip, but it seemed that she got the impression (or assumed) that we would do that if she spent the night in the hospital.

Strange, but I'd just let that one go.

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2)Every year for Christmas she asks for money, because she likes to save up her christmas and birthday money for a larger gift. Fair enough. This year she asked us to hold off giving her any gift until after income tax came in. Again, fair enough. Now that we have the money, she brings up her christmas gift almost daily and mentions that if we give her 100 dollars and her other son gives her 100, she can get a laptop, but that we have to buy everything we need before we give her any MORE than 100. We had only intended to give her 50, but almost feel...I dunno, like we're "supposed" to give her more.

Definitely rude on her part.  Give what you want/can afford to give her and don't feel guilty about it.  If it doesn't meet her "expectations," well, that's too bad.  You're not a bank, and if she can't be gracious about $50 (a rather nice and generous gift), then maybe gifts need to be smaller or cease.

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3)We've both lost laptops to her...well, let us say "lack of technical understanding". We planned on getting a new one so that I would have a computer to use at school. I think we mentioned that once. There have been several occasions in which she has been talking about how much she wants a computer, and tends to end sentences with "But if I don't get one I'll just use your new one" or "I promise not to download that program on your new laptop". We really didn't plan on letting her USE it, since she doesn't take care of computers well.

Don't.  I'm a student and won't let anyone aside from my husband touch my laptop because my entire life is on it.  (I back up my dissertation, but any student knows what a hassle it is to lose use of the laptop, even if the content is safe!)  Just keep repeating "I'm sorry, that won't be possible," no matter how much she whines or insists she learned her lesson.  If you must tell her something, tell her that you have a large amount of work for school and need to be using it yourself.  Alternate between excuses why you're busy with it and your SO is busy using it and don't offer any further explanations and it should minimize hurt feelings.  If she tries to guilt you, simply point out that it is *your* laptop and perhaps she should save up and get her own.

Fi

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Re: One person. multiple assumptions.
« Reply #2 on: February 01, 2010, 06:50:52 PM »
As far as 3 is concerned, if you can't avoid her using your laptop, you can set up a guest account on your laptop that isn't allowed to install anything. Don't give her your main password, make the guest one passworded (with a different password!) as well, and lock down her permissions to virtually nothing (you can stop her downloading, you can stop her installing programs, you can even stop her saving things to the computer).

Then set up your computer so it requires you to log in when you boot it. 10 seconds extra wait is worth not losing your stuff.