it's the thought that counts. for nothin.

well, I had intended to write this post as a wonderful holiday recap. and you know what? I will, right after I get this off my chest.

my mother in law emailed me and sean to ask us where she could return her gifts, which were a lovely wool nine west hat and scarf. however, instead of just asking if she could return them, she gave us reasons, so that we'd know exactly why our gift sucked so badly. she already has too many scarves so she knows she won't use it, and she doesn't like hats because they mess up her hair. so I wrote her back a concillatory but terse email. and now I feel like I'm not sure if I did the right thing. sometimes, I hate gift giving.

and sometimes I love it. let's talk about bella and trent instead. bella was up on and off all night, so she was asleep still when trent opened his gifts. which was kind of nice, so that trent had the spotlight all to himself. he loved his gifts, or so he says (now I have total gift insecurity) and I rigged up his new mp3 player so that it had his new cd on it. we also got him a nerf gun which was a bad idea, as it hurts if you get hit with the balls (hello, nerf? wasn't the selling point to nerf stuff that it doesn't hurt??) and it freaks the shit out of the dog. of course, he wanted to play with it all night and I felt bad that I had to threaten him with no more gifts unless he put it down until after our company at least had left.

bella woke up later and was pleased to see everyone sitting around watching her. she likes the kitchen but I didn't realize that she isn't quite tall enough to see the sink/burner portion of it. oops. but she loves the play food. my mom and robert e lee got her a table and chairs to match, and she loves sitting at them with her play food and fork and spoon. she didn't quite get the hang of ripping open the presents until she was opening presents on monday at sean's mom's house. ah well. next year, maybe she'll do it more herself. she got a ton of toys and a few outfits. we didn't get her much, knowing that she didn't need much and that she'd get things from other people. her favorite toys are her baby dolls, though, and she's taken both of them (one new, one existing) to daycare both days this week. she carries them around the house. she hugs and kisses them and makes them dance. it's adorable.

okay. so I thought I could get through this post if I just got the jo-anne thing off my chest, but it's not working. was I wrong to be upset? maybe I should have just said "fine" and given her a gift card?

why does gift giving have to be so complicated? the hat and scarf were really nice, high quality. I really thought that at the very least, she'd be happy with having them even if she didn't use them every day. I mean, it's a hat and scarf. innocuous, right? maybe I didn't put enough thought into it?

8 validations:

amandak said...

I think a nice hat and scarf is a COMPLETELY appropriate gift for a mother in law. I don't buy my mother in law anything, that's Clark's job, and it's one he seems to fail to do every year, but hey, since it's his job, it's not my problem. It sounds like she was being pretty ungrateful and insensitive, and from now on I'd TOTALLY go with the gift card. Or maybe just a card with a snapshot of the kids.

Glad to hear the kids had a nice holiday, that's the important part, right?

the beige one said...

Keeping in mind that I know absolutely no one in this situation, I can tell you this much, with the proverbial grain of saltyness:

was I wrong to be upset?

Your MIL was being extremely rude about this...it's one thing to ask where you could return gifts, but then to up and tell you why? Regardless of the present, and any perceived inconvenience it has, that's a big no. On top of being rude, she comes across as an ingrate.

So, no, you're not wrong to be upset.

maybe I should have just said "fine" and given her a gift card?

No, that's what you do next year. Give her a gift certificate (I hear those "I Saw It On TV" places have them), that way you won't have to try guessing.

Sorry, P. It sucks that you're going through this.

the beige one said...

maybe I didn't put enough thought into it?

oh, and please don't put yourself through this either. Not worth it.

Missuz J said...

Thank god and all the saints and jesus and allah and the gods of kwanza that christmas is mother-fucking OVER!! Your mother in law is lucky that you didn't offer to cram the lovely scarf and hat UP HER RUDE ASS!!!

Next year--I swear to baby jesus--everyone is getting gift cards. everyone.

Glad that bella loves the dolls--and trent his mp3 player. you're a great mom. oh--totally looking forward to vegas!

Katy said...

HOW RUDE! You have every right to be upset. There are other ways to find out where to return something. If you feel the need to return at all. I got two of the exact same calendar for christmas and I feel bad about taking one of them back because someone put thought and effort into choosing it for me and returning it feels like I'm just saying, your effort doesn't mean jack. Oh and I probably have 10 scarves...you can never have to many scarves. Plus, why not donate one of her old ones to a shelter or something and use your beautiful new one....sorry, end rant...

KATIEmagic said...

Seriously, don't worry about your gift not being nice enough for your MIL. I'm sure she's a lovely person, but she is the one who handled the situation badly not you!

My little brother used to shoot the shit out of me with nurf guns. Ah those were the days.

Jen said...

No more gifts for her! Just give her a card next year. She can't bitch about that.

NME said...

Did she get you and Sean what you asked for? Was it thoughtful? Was it perfect?

Next year maybe she'd prefer exchanging cash.

We got duplicates of two toys Noah received and even when asked "Do you have that already?" I grinned and said "Nooo. This is fantastic. SO thoughtful of you. I'm sure he's going to love it. Thank you."

My mom is like the only person in the world who I can tell her I need to exchange something.

OH - and then there is the fact that this is Sean's MOM. And in my book no matter what gift your child gives you - it's like the best gift in the world and you better wear it. I could buy my Dad a gold lame garbage bag and he'd be wearing it next time I saw him.