07 November 2009

My mom can out passive-aggressive your mom

My mom never accepts presents gracefully.

Her usual modus operandi is to wait about a week after she has gotten something and then return it to the giver, saying "Oh, I would never use this." Or "You need it more than I do."

Or, in the rare instance, "Do you mind if I give this to Hazel? I don't need it and she might like it."

Damned if I know why she does this. She has returned gifts from clothing to household items to even real maple syrup ("Oh, we'll never use this. We'll just stick to the Log Cabin like we like.")

Finally, one day, about six weeks ago, I snapped. I told her that it wasn't very nice to always give presents back, that it made the givers feel like crap and that she needed to just say thank you and never mention what she did with the gifts ever again.

She made little wounded noises and "Well, I was just trying to be nice" statements and was generally kind of miffy.

Since then, there have been a couple "Oh, I was going to try to give this back to you but I'm not allowed," statements, but she has been better, admittedly.

But I should have known she had a card in her pocket.

A couple weeks ago, she finally cancelled the WebTV service that my sibs and I had bought for Mom and Dad in, oh, 1997. She was mostly getting spam email and wasn't enjoying it and it wasn't worth the $24.95 a month she was paying MSNBC for it.

"I don't know what to do with that keyboard thing," she said.

"Throw it away, donate it to Goodwill, whatever," I said.

"Well," she replied. "I know I'm not allowed to get rid of anything you give me."

Twelve years, people. She has had it for at least twelve years.


And I wonder where I get it from.


Rachel said...

My mom would beat your mom. Oh yes, she would.

(And I probably beat my mom at passive-aggressiveness. So there!)

Stillie said...

Wow. That's really...wow. Mean? Rude? I don't know where I think it fits in! LOL!

I was trying to explain WebTV to my 9th grade students who were born in, like, 1995. They just looked at me. I don't think they got how cool that concept was, and how its limitations made it frustrating, but still not enough to get rid of it!

elvie said...

Sounds like home!!
Now you know why my hair got more gray while I was there

apathy lounge said...

Oh, the guilt! My mom's family could definitely give lessons. Or host the Guilt Olympics.

Isabella Golightly said...

Yep, I can relate. My mother gave me back recently a yard of beautiful Marimekko fabric I ordered specially for her, and some Amy Butler fat quarters, saying "oh, I don't know where these came from, but you might like them". What do you do?

Anonymous said...

That was my grandma ALL THE WAY! Do you think it was a generational thing, because my mom isn't very much like that. Or maybe it's one of those things that skip a generation.

Becs said...

My ex-MIL used to do that to me all the time. ALL the time. And although she had plenty of money, would give me stuff from yardsales, saying, "I thought it might keep you warm."

I didn't cry when she died. I just got pissed that she left my ex's brother 2/3 of everything.

Sometimes it's good not to have family.

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