Friday, February 09, 2007

Gift Giving

I feel pretty guilty for venting about a shower that people are throwing for me, so I’ve been debating whether or not to continue with what I had to say. Afterall, at least this has not turned into the joint shower that my sister told me my mom had originally intended for the two of us. That would have been even more horrible.

Well, my friend K really doesn’t want to get in the middle of things with my mom and MIL, so she has just backed off entirely. I’ve asked her to call them so that they could talk to her instead of me, but she’s actually afraid to. I can’t blame her.

So, more background info is that my mom really doesn’t ever listen to or respect what I like even when she is buying or doing something specifically for me, and that has caused a lot of frustration for me over the years. For the most part, I let it go, because I feel that a gift is a gift and you can’t tell people what they should give you.

Quick example—my parents have given me a lot of nice jewelry over the years that I rarely ever wear. Why? Because H has already given me very similar pieces. For Christmas last year H gave me a diamond solitaire necklace, and my parents still gave me a diamond solitaire necklace for my birthday three weeks later because they felt very strongly about giving me one for that particular milestone birthday, whether I already had one or not. I know, poor me—two diamond solitaire necklaces in one year. The funny part is, I’ve always wanted a specific type (and I’ve been vocal talking about it). Since H didn’t get me that type, you’d think they would. No, they got me the same thing as H. Knowingly. It’s just a waste. Sure, I could take it back or exchange it, but guilt won’t let me.

Which brings me to the other reason other than the shower that my mom upset me so much this week. I wanted to get her something very nice for her upcoming birthday—it’s a big one. Since her birthday is around when the twins are due, I wanted to take care of this gift early. Wanting to make sure she liked what I got, I went shopping with her before Christmas to see what styles of this particular item (a designer handbag) she preferred. She picked a style and I made note. Well, when I decided to go get it this week, none of the department stores had it any longer. I was told it was being discontinued. So I went online to the designer’s site directly and found it…with one minor difference. Instead of a dark handle, it had a light handle, but the main color and everything else about it was identical. So I ordered it.

For some reason, I had a nagging feeling that I should show it to her when it came in because the return policy was only for 30 days and I’d have to ship it back. So, when I found out she and my dad had to run an errand not too far from my house, I told her what I had done and asked her if they could stop by to make sure she liked it. She flat out refused. She said she would never use a bag with a light handle, period. Since this style was being discontinued and it was so much like the one she had picked in every other way, I suggested she at least take five minutes to see it. Nope. She didn’t want to. She said there was no way she’d ever use it. I was really hurt. First off, because she was so mean about it. And second off, because she never comes to my house and she would have been right near by. I got off the phone and just bawled. Maybe I was being overly sensitive, but seriously—did she have to bite my head off over a gift I was trying to give her? The funniest part is that she never acknowledges what I like when she gets me gifts! I was ready to take that diamond necklace back that day and exchange it for the one I’ve always liked, but I couldn’t find the paperwork.

More to come...


Heather said...

I can understand K not wanting to get in between the two of them. I don't think I would want to either.

If both necklaces are the same, I say take back the one your Mom gave you - she will never know.

Isabel said...

Take that necklace back and keep the purse. Get her some nice lipstick from Long's.

Oh, if I only had what it would take to take my own advice...

hope548 said...

Oh man. I don't even know what to say. I'm sorry your mom is acting insane and makes you feel so bad. Please try not to let her get to you. This is your time Emmie and you need to surround yourself with people who make you feel good, because you have a lot to feel good about! Good luck!

GLouise said...

oh, that is awful! I am sorry your mom is giving you so much trouble. She sounds like she is dealing with some "control" issues, big time!

Big hugs!!!

Jena said...

hmmm... since your mom and mil now think that your shower is too big and expensive, can you pull your friends off of that guest list? Then K could give you a small (low-stress!) shower for just your friends and you could just muddle through the joint family shower from hell.

It sounds like your mom has no problem with expressing her opinion on gifts or returning them, so I certainly think that you should feel free to do the same. Remember, it's the thought that counts - and she's not putting any thought into getting something you'll like, so don't feel guilty about exchanging it!

Personally, I'd be tempted to guy buy her something like an iron from Target. Attach the gift receipt. Then proceed to give her an iron for every gift-giving occasion for the next 10 years. Always pretend to look excited by the "great gift" you got her and never acknowledge that you've given her one before. How much fun that would be! ;-p