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My couple's gift this year will be ...

Started by mybetterself, October 23, 2010, 11:32:55 am

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luise.volta

I know this is going to sound crass but what you did makes sense to me. Most of us have tried "fake it 'til you make it" and we never did. Trying to act like we don't feel, trying to be what we aren't and attempting to become thick-skinned doesn't wear well in the long run. Regrets will come one way or the other but it wasn't you that was off.
That's my take. Sending love...
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama

Sheen

First I think the water charity is a truly unique gift and thank you for sharing. I believe I will be making a donation to it as well. As far as a gift for your son and dl , I tend to agree with other posters.  If you are doing it with the expectations that they will respond, I am not confident you will get the results you hope for.

"The way I was raised, I do expect an acknowledgement of a gift. It was called courtesy, and it was to be extended to everyone, no matter how small the gesture or the gift.  I can't get over that early training.  I think it was right.  My husband and I gave our son and DIL a large down payment for a home, and were never invited to stay there.  I was roundly taken to the woodshed by some members on this list for thinking that we should have been invited to the home we enabled them to buy, even as dinner guests.  I was to have no expectations; a gift is not a true gift if you have expectations of some return; etc., etc., etc.  I don't believe this is realistic, or courteous, or kind.  And I especially don't believe it is courteous or kind to accept large expensive gifts of any ilk and shoot the giver down.  This is my opinion and no one else's."

I like Kathleen  was also raised with those beliefs  and think that in this busy world we live in, it is important to acknowledge the nice gestures or gifts that we receive from whomever.   I do not see that a short note , email or card is so far out of the realm of just plain courteous. You might not like what you receive, but what does it actually hurt just to acknowledge the gift .  Many of our families live on opposite coasts and scattered all over the place and without an acknowledgement , we are left wondering if they actually got our gifts or did we just donate to the postal service.

justdontunderstand

The gift giving dilemma will hit our household again this year too. We sent individual gifts to DIL and DS last year. DS called and thanked us for his. We never heard a peep from DIL. DS also sent us a gift and it was signed by him not both of them. So, the gift giving thing is sometimes as much of a minefield as the money lending is!

The "not so better self" of me this year is thinking I should send a nice selection of tea with a passive aggressive note, saying that it tastes great cold! ;)  Please know that I am kidding---humor is the weapon of the powerless! Sometimes I just need a good vent! Thanks for letting me have it.

luise.volta

For, me all of these issues come back to what I most don't want to face at times as the answer: my family members are the way they are and the situations involving them are the way they are. My power lies in how I choose to react. I no longer educate, choreograph, direct...or even in some cases, inspire.

You would think that at age 83, I would have gotten that as a basic premise but it is still an "off the wall" concept to me.

How I was raised doesn't factor in, neither does the fact that I didn't raise them to be "like that." They are how they are and they do what they do. The beliefs and values of others including my adult children are their business. That is so difficult for me to get. I still think I should be in the picture someplace beyond being an observer and having to learn to adapt.

On the other hand I want my "kids" (grand kids and great grand kids) to be their own person and make their own way in life, following their own inclinations. I want to feel that I did my best and am done and now they are doing their best (even in selecting mates.) I also want to remain connected and involved even though I am "done." Not as easy premise.

Believe it or not, as I lean into my mid-80s, the picture is reversing. I am seeing signs that my growing family (my eldest GRANDDAUGHTER is headed for COLLEGE next year) are now beginning to think that they know what I should be doing and how I should do it. I don't see it often but it is slowly increasing and it makes the hair stand up on the back of my neck.

This dilemma seems to always be with us in one form or another.
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama

Pen

"For, me all of these issues come back to what I most don't want to face at times as the answer: my family members are the way they are and the situations involving them are the way they are. My power lies in how I choose to react. I no longer educate, choreograph, direct...or even in some cases, inspire." Quote from Luise

How true. That's what makes it so difficult! There's not a lot of preparation for this. We have scripts for sitcoms or we have Norman Rockwell pictures in our heads, but until I came face to face with a DIL who is who she is, and who she is is someone who doesn't want our family in the picture, I had no idea this could happen.

"On the other hand I want my "kids" (grand kids and great grand kids) to be their own person and make their own way in life, following their own inclinations." Quote from Luise

I agree. We all (most of us) want to raise independent thinkers. We hope they will make their own choices of careers, living arrangements, who they date & marry. But if our adult children hand over the decision-making tasks to a spouse, does that mean we haven't succeeded after all? What pains me most is that it isn't DS's choice to separate from us, it's DIL's. She hasn't separated from her FOO, but she insists DS separate from his. As the Who sang, "Meet the new boss, same as the old boss."

It wasn't until our DS stood up to DIL and her FOO and insisted on his right to see his own FOO that he exhibited truly independent thinking. We know it wasn't easy for him but we're glad to know he's not a complete push-over.
Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-- Annie Gottlieb

luise.volta

Heaven's yes, Pen. We watch them on their path of learning and it nearly kills us sometimes. We feel responsible for their difficulties even when we know that's no logical. It's horrible. Then something happens that gives us hope and we hold our breath.
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama

Keys Girl

Dear MBS, welcome to WWU.

I have the same dilemma but since my future DIL and son have refused to give me their new address when they moved recently,  It makes the gift giving issue easy, I'll send an electronic Christmas card to them and buy some turkeys etc., for some of the homeless/poor people in my area so they have something to eat this year.

The "You're Always Wrong" court is in session but Judge Judy is not presiding in my case so I've taken the words of the Rick Nelson song "Garden Party" as my new motto.

"If you can't please everyone, then you got to please yourself". 

There are lots of people in the world and I've created a family of friends who care about me and treat me with courtesy and appreciation.  My advice would be to choose a charity that is near and dear to your heart, they aren't likely to show you any appreciation for anything so I don't see the point in wasting a minute in trying.

This is not the way I expected or hoped or planned that things would work out and I'm sure you didn't expect this either but unfortunately as the Rolling Stones said "You can't always get what you want".

Good luck,
"Today I will be as happy as a seagull with a french fry." Author Unknown

mybetterself

October 24, 2010, 09:21:30 am #22 Last Edit: October 24, 2010, 09:27:35 am by mybetterself
Keys, you make me laugh! 

Hey, what's that about DS moving and not telling you where?  Reminds me of the time, freshman year at college, when I drove up to the old homestead at Thanksgiving.  My family had moved and forgotten to tell me!  That's what comes from having too many siblings: when you go off to college, you lose your bed, all the clothes you left behind (too many sisters), and you can even lose your address.

"I learned my lesson well...  But it's all right now."

I'm laughing and doubling my contributions to the local food bank this year.


luise.volta

I just had this sinking feeling. I moved two weeks ago! Who have I forgotten to tell? :o
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama

Keys Girl

MBS, my son and DIL have refused to tell me their address for about 6 or 7 months now, I had a housewarming gift for them, but they didn't answer that email or a couple of others.......and didn't return the phone call I made.  Obviously they don't wish to keep in touch and that was the beginning of the "Cold War", "Cold Shoulder" or as I eventually became to call it the "Cold Facts", but I did eventually come to enjoy the peace and quiet and remember that I had a life of my own no matter what my son decided to do with his and whoever he married and what she thought of me.

With some recent health problems and the death of some close friends recently who are very close to my age, I've decided on a new motto for my life which I saw in a store recently on a small sign near the entrance which read:

"Be good or be gone".   That's the standard for the people in my life.  I may just get it embroidered on some guest towels for my bathroom!

It's going to be a tough Christmas for many, many people this year.  The "Great Recession" has left many people literally scrambling through dumpsters for something to eat.  It's a good time to lose yourself in helping others who need your help and aren't playing the "I refused to be pleased game".

"Today I will be as happy as a seagull with a french fry." Author Unknown

mybetterself

Quote from: Keys Girl on October 24, 2010, 05:04:36 pm
but I did eventually come to enjoy the peace and quiet and remember that I had a life of my own no matter what my son decided to do with his and whoever he married and what she thought of me.

It's going to be a tough Christmas for many, many people this year.  The "Great Recession" has left many people literally scrambling through dumpsters for something to eat.  It's a good time to lose yourself in helping others who need your help and aren't playing the "I refused to be pleased game".


Peace and quiet.  I seem to need it more and more every day.  I have accumulated 3 or 4 CD's that bring me that peace.  I play them when I need to get rid of all the confusion of TV/DIL/DH/DS, etc.

Recently, when my DH was out of town, I called our TV service provider and canceled the service.  Then DH returned and reinstalled the service.  I find that I need to hide out in another room when he sits for dinner, with his glass of wine, and the TV going full blast.  He doesn't do that every day, but it is happening right now.

And then there is the most important thing you talked about.  Dumpsters, unemployment and poverty.  I worry that we haven't yet reached the bottom of the unemployment statistics.  I am acutely aware that the official stats are about 1/2 of the real unemployment problem.  Things aren't pleasant.  I am one of the lucky ones; my paycheck has only gone down by 50%.

Blessings to everyone.  Hope we don't go through another 'Grapes of Wrath' era.
mbs

barelythere

Quote from: justdontunderstand on October 23, 2010, 08:48:43 pm
The gift giving dilemma will hit our household again this year too. We sent individual gifts to DIL and DS last year. DS called and thanked us for his. We never heard a peep from DIL. DS also sent us a gift and it was signed by him not both of them. So, the gift giving thing is sometimes as much of a minefield as the money lending is!

The "not so better self" of me this year is thinking I should send a nice selection of tea with a passive aggressive note, saying that it tastes great cold! ;)  Please know that I am kidding---humor is the weapon of the powerless! Sometimes I just need a good vent! Thanks for letting me have it.


Justdon't,
Thank you for that quote:  "humor is the weapon of the powerless"  It is so true in my case, without it I'd be "done".  It's all I have.

Keys Girl

Justdon't,
Thank you for that quote:  "humor is the weapon of the powerless"  It is so true in my case, without it I'd be "done".  It's all I have.
[/quote]

Barely there, You have more power than you realize unless you CHOOSE to give it away.

You have your life, your destiny and your values.

"I am the master of my fate
I am the captain of my soul".

From the poem Invictus


You are have your fate to master and your soul to captain, as we all do and as our sons, daughters and In laws do as well.  If we don't do it together and in harmony well, it's not a perfect world........but it's all we have.

"Today I will be as happy as a seagull with a french fry." Author Unknown

barelythere

Quote from: Keys Girl on October 25, 2010, 07:40:48 am
Justdon't,
Thank you for that quote:  "humor is the weapon of the powerless"  It is so true in my case, without it I'd be "done".  It's all I have.


Barely there, You have more power than you realize unless you CHOOSE to give it away.

You have your life, your destiny and your values.

"I am the master of my fate
I am the captain of my soul".

From the poem Invictus


You are have your fate to master and your soul to captain, as we all do and as our sons, daughters and In laws do as well.  If we don't do it together and in harmony well, it's not a perfect world........but it's all we have.
[/quote]

KeysGirl,
I know I do, thank you for the reminder.... :)  I got my feelings hurt this weekend.  We were all together for an event but missing one DIL who decided not to come.

Our son who is her husband said that her parents were the Matriarchs and Patriarchs (according to them) and that when they said to be at an event, they had to be there in spite of anything else going on in their lives.  If we ever said that, we would be called intollerent, not obeying boundaries, etc.  We kept our big fat mouths shut again. 

We are not the same as the DILs parents and wouldn't want to be.   It is starting to be a problem for one son but he just goes along anyway.  What a raw deal we have in my opinion when we are the mothers and fathers of sons. We love them just as much as M&D's of daughters love them.

pam1

I love the charity gift giving idea!  I would love it if someone gave it to me.  But in my experience, others don't love it so much. 

People throw rocks at things that shine - Taylor Swift