Author Topic: MIL may be coming, I bet NOT ! Update, post 27, final update #45  (Read 13837 times)

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Redneck Gravy

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We are really struggling at our house with space issues.  I sold our big house and bought a small mobile home a few years ago when my oldest DD was headed to college, knowing that youngest DD and I would have about five years together before she went off to college also.  Things did not go so well and oldest DD is home, going to local college with a new baby & no husband, we are cramped to be generous.

My MIL and I have a testy rel@tionship.  She is very PA and I have a short fuse some times.  But I promise you honestly I TRY REALLY HARD to get along.  

http://www.etiquettehell.com/smf/index.php?topic=42988.msg1010163#msg1010163

In May my youngest DD said she wanted to see her grandma and after she and I discussed it we decided that I would ask grandma to come for Thanksgiving and I would buy the plane ticket.  DD would give up her bedroom for the weekend and grandma would be comfortable.  I consulted grandma and bought a non-refundable, non exchangable ticket - coming in Wednesday night leaving Saturday morning.  I know I can get along with anyone for that period of time.

But I also bet a friend of mine that a hundred things would come up and grandma would have to back out.  I'm not worried about the ticket the airline will work with me and I can use it for something else.  It's the principle of the thing. Grandma is an enabler of her sons and has made extremely bad financial decisions her whole life - she struggles to cover all her bills most months.

Two months ago...grandma says I'm not going to have any money to do what I want for the girls.  I say don't worry about it.  We have plenty of food and we aren't going to be doing any shopping anyway, just sit around and visit.  We'll cook most of Thursday and watch the game and then lay around on Friday and play with new baby.  

Last month...grandma says I don't think I'm going to have any money to spend on the trip.  Again I relate we will not be shopping, just eating & visiting.   I know she wishes she had money to blow on the kids, but she doesn't, she never has - let's not get into this.  

Last night....grandma says can you get a refund on that ticket?  No, I confirmed this with you when I bought the ticket, it is non-refundable.  Well she doesn't think she is going to have any money to spend on the kids.  I know this, we have always known this, this is not news.  Now she wants to wait until she has money to spend...that will probably be NEVER.  

I am so frustrated because the girls were looking forward to her coming.  I don't want to blow up but I'm really miffed that she is doing this to my girls.  I know I should be used to the PA - but I can't get used to it.  It is repeated and repeated even when she promises that she will not do it, she does.

I'm thinking of an email that says grandma we would like you to come Thanksgiving weekend, plans have been made we don't want to change them.   Quite frankly I don't appreciate you doing my kids this way, either come now or you will have to figure out a way to see them on your own dime.  I am not paying for anything else down the road if you do us this way now.

Help me with the correct response !  

  

« Last Edit: November 29, 2010, 02:04:41 PM by Redneck Gravy »

Sabbyfrog2

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Re: MIL may be coming, I bet NOT !
« Reply #1 on: October 05, 2010, 10:07:17 AM »
I don't see why you can't just be blunt with her. Apparently this isn't the first time she has done this no? And, frankly, it is your business because it's your money that has been spent and your girls that are being affected by this.

"MIL, we discussed all this before I bought your ticket, that you already know cannot be refunded. The kids are looking forward to your visit. Please do not dissapoint them again by not showing up. I am afraid that if you do back out, I will not be able to trust that you won't back out again, and will not go out of my way to make future arrangements for future visits."

That puts her "on notice" so to speak that if she doesn't get it together, she will not get to see her grandchildren as much as she would like. If she does back out then it's on her. If she wants to see her grandchildren that bad, she will make it happen.

MsMarjorie

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Re: MIL may be coming, I bet NOT !
« Reply #2 on: October 05, 2010, 10:17:37 AM »
What Sabbyfrog2 said, but also can you reassure her that the girls are not expecting her to spend any money on them?  She really does seem to be hung up on that point and it might be helpful to alleviate her worry.

Teenyweeny

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Re: MIL may be coming, I bet NOT !
« Reply #3 on: October 05, 2010, 10:28:51 AM »
I think it would be helpful to find out what this is really about. Is it about money, or something else? I get the feeling that there's some other reason she won't share with you.

Maybe you could try:

YOU: "MIL, I know you don't have a lot of money to cover trip expenses. But I've paid for your ticket, and we're really planning to hang out and eat at home, so you really won't *need* much money at all."

MIL: responds with excuse

YOU: "MIL, is it that you feel embarrassed to come without gifts for the girls? Because, let me tell you, your presence is what they *really* want. Please don't let your pride deprive you of this time with them."

MIL: more excuses

YOU: "MIL, I don't know what more I can say to you at this point. Based on the information I have, there's no good reason for you not to come, so I can only conclude that you don't want to come, or there's something else that you aren't telling me."

*Then* see what she says.




johelenc1

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Re: MIL may be coming, I bet NOT !
« Reply #4 on: October 05, 2010, 10:29:37 AM »
Why don't you have your girls call her and tell her how excited they are she is coming?

Sabbyfrog2

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Re: MIL may be coming, I bet NOT !
« Reply #5 on: October 05, 2010, 11:14:35 AM »
Teeny Weeny's is a good response too. I still suggest my blunt approach for repeart offenses or repeated excuses, but this might actually be a good way to start before you do that. Maybe it will open the lines of communication..  ???

heartmug

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Re: MIL may be coming, I bet NOT !
« Reply #6 on: October 05, 2010, 11:47:49 AM »
Why don't you have your girls call her and tell her how excited they are she is coming?

That is a good idea.  Since they are older, and it was your dd's suggestion anyway that she come visit, get them involved.  That way if she does back out, the girls will know how much you tried.

She is your exMIL, correct?  Can her son give her some spending money for HIS kids?
The trouble is not that the world is full of fools, it's just that lightening isn't distributed right.  - Mark Twain

Redneck Gravy

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Re: MIL may be coming, I bet NOT !
« Reply #7 on: October 05, 2010, 02:53:01 PM »
SabbyFrog your post sounds perfect.  I want to email it so I don't blow up on the phone.

Heartmug - your post made me laugh.  I have a court date next week over medical bills ex has not paid for six years. 

Deetee

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Re: MIL may be coming, I bet NOT !
« Reply #8 on: October 05, 2010, 03:13:07 PM »
It's tough. I'm not sure if your MIL is just convinced no-one would want her around if she didn't give them money (in which case calling her and letting her know that the very, very best gift she could give is her time) or she doesn't want to come and is using excuses.

I think you have handled this well. You made sure she knew the ticket is non refundable (even if it isn't-this sort of misdirection of truth I am totally behind) and that no shopping is required.

Maybe, maybe phone again and focus on what will be happening over the weekend and how much the DD's are looking foward to seeing her?

bopper

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Re: MIL may be coming, I bet NOT !
« Reply #9 on: October 06, 2010, 09:15:39 AM »
"Grandma, I already told you that you not having spending money won't be an issue. We don't be making plans that include spending money.  Now, what is the real problem?"

djinnidjream

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Re: MIL may be coming, I bet NOT !
« Reply #10 on: October 07, 2010, 02:02:22 PM »
How about ...

"You know MIL... this COULD be your LAST Thanksgiving...."


*Ducks and runs*...
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Redneck Gravy

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Re: MIL may be coming, I bet NOT ! Update post 11
« Reply #11 on: October 07, 2010, 03:15:32 PM »
*UPDATE* Sent Grandma an email Tuesday afternoon after reading all of your suggestions, saying to please come, we would not be going near a retail business or mall, that we would cook & gab late Wednesday and Thursday, watch the game and eat leftovers.  Sleep late Friday and eat more leftovers, probably watch a rented movie and play with the baby.  Saturday morning she leaves - no need for money.  I will send her pocket money to get through the airport.

Grandma called last night - excuse 1 - no money for Christmas presents she wanted to buy and bring with her, I said don't worry about Christmas we want to spend time with you.  Excuse 2 - no money to buy herself new pajamas and robe, I said you can use the robe you sent me a few years ago, still like new (I hate it) and you can sleep in old jammys no one will care.  Excuse 3 - no money, uncomfortable travelling broke, I said if you are that uncomfortable travelling don't come, but if your only excuse involves money that is no excuse.  We just want to enjoy your time with us.

Grandma said well if you will take me as I am, I guess I'm coming.  I said, good, looking forward to the visit.  

2nd bet - more excuses will be coming.  
« Last Edit: October 07, 2010, 03:17:23 PM by Redneck Gravy »

Oxymoroness

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Re: MIL may be coming, I bet NOT ! Update post 11
« Reply #12 on: October 07, 2010, 03:19:19 PM »
*UPDATE* Sent Grandma an email Tuesday afternoon after reading all of your suggestions, saying to please come, we would not be going near a retail business or mall, that we would cook & gab late Wednesday and Thursday, watch the game and eat leftovers.  Sleep late Friday and eat more leftovers, probably watch a rented movie and play with the baby.  Saturday morning she leaves - no need for money.  I will send her pocket money to get through the airport.

Grandma called last night - excuse 1 - no money for Christmas presents she wanted to buy and bring with her, I said don't worry about Christmas we want to spend time with you.  Excuse 2 - no money to buy herself new pajamas and robe, I said you can use the robe you sent me a few years ago, still like new (I hate it) and you can sleep in old jammys no one will care.  Excuse 3 - no money, uncomfortable travelling broke, I said if you are that uncomfortable travelling don't come, but if your only excuse involves money that is no excuse.  We just want to enjoy your time with us.

Grandma said well if you will take me as I am, I guess I'm coming.  I said, good, looking forward to the visit.  

2nd bet - more excuses will be coming.  

Wow. You're a lot more patient than I am.

Redneck Gravy

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Re: MIL may be coming, I bet NOT !
« Reply #13 on: October 07, 2010, 03:19:42 PM »
I don't see why you can't just be blunt with her. Apparently this isn't the first time she has done this no? And, frankly, it is your business because it's your money that has been spent and your girls that are being affected by this.

"MIL, we discussed all this before I bought your ticket, that you already know cannot be refunded. The kids are looking forward to your visit. Please do not dissapoint them again by not showing up. I am afraid that if you do back out, I will not be able to trust that you won't back out again, and will not go out of my way to make future arrangements for future visits."

That puts her "on notice" so to speak that if she doesn't get it together, she will not get to see her grandchildren as much as she would like. If she does back out then it's on her. If she wants to see her grandchildren that bad, she will make it happen.

Sabby - this is my favorite choice wording.

HeebyJeebyLeebee

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Re: MIL may be coming, I bet NOT ! Update, post 11
« Reply #14 on: October 07, 2010, 03:28:57 PM »
I think you handled that beautifully!  BRAVA!!
I am grateful for the friends I have made on EHell and everything I have learned, but it is time I move on.