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Advice, Ladies?

Hello! I'm in a bit of a pickle, and unsure how to proceed.
Last week, my MIL called to ask if I'd be home Wednesday (today), as she ordered something to be delivered.  I said I would be, and she told me my DH & I would be getting something from Raymour & Flannigan (a furniture store).  That's it, she hung up after telling me they'd call with a drop off time window. Me being curious, I called the company to at least get the dimensions of it to know if I'd need to move the dining room table etc., or if it was going upstairs, etc.  We found out she ordered us two recliners in a dark charcoal, that neither my DH or I like. 

**Insert** please don't think I'm ungrateful, I've already come to terms that I'll accept this gift. I've been looking at slip covers, and if push comes to shove, I'll just make it myself.

DH and I have chosen to do the major stuff around the house i.e. new roof, new windows, etc. before worrying about cosmetic things in the house.  Since we're nearly done, we have started looking at hardwood floors, room designs, etc.  We've slowly but surely come up with a list of things we'd like, and recliners weren't even in the picture.  We've since talked about how to incorporate recliners in with our plans, but haven't been sure on how to approach his mother.  We both know she is very "out there", and would get offended if we had even the smallest inkling of not liking her gift. She's in recovery from an addiction, and we also don't want to get her in a depression because she would take it as "we are unappreciative".  We know that we are going to incorporate it into our new plan so as to not upset her, but we want her to know that this whole thing could've been avoided if she talked to us first, seeing what our plans were, color options, finding something we would actually like, etc. before just buying something and having it delivered. 

Thoughts?? TIA!!!

Re: Advice, Ladies?

  • What exactly is it that you need to talk to her about?  I'm confused. 
  • If you say anything she's going to know you didn't like them. I feel for you. I despise most recliners.

    Maybe your H could mention (at another time, but in the near future) that you guys prefer gift cards or cash to help with your new home. Maybe frame it as in if anyone else in the family asks.
  • I wish people would ask before purchasing a gift of that type.

    Grey on the whole is pretty cool --- you can jazz it up with just about any bright color --- maybe add a throw pillow in yellow or red or whatever catches your fancy.:)

    Maybe you can use the recliner in a bedroom or leisure room.
  • Thanks for the thoughts so far!  DH has since seen the recliners (delivered today), and likes them.  They're not too bad (by this I mean I've been brainstorming since they arrived to figure out how to set up the living room), but they're so huge that they barely fit in our living room! Their 'overflow' goes into the dining room. If you're sitting in the recliner, you can't sit at one of the dining room table chairs! 

    DH thinks that talking to his mother about not liking her decision to purchase things will strain things and make us look like rude, unappreciative people. Is it though? I don't think it's much to ask that next time (god forbid there is one), to include us on the process of picking out the furniture for our house?
  • This is a tough one. I don't think you're being unappreciative at all. You don't want it to become one of those things that causes a big deal in the long run if she's a little nutty.

    Could you talk to her about exchanging them? You (meaning your husband) could explain you didn't realize how small your living room is and you need more of a sofa loves seat combo so you have seating when it's not just the two of you.

    He could also tell her you really love them and it was such a wonderful thought but it is so hard to figure out dimensions when looking in a furniture store because the stores are so big. It's hard to tell how big the furniture really is until you get it home. Maybe she could even go with you. 

    You'll have to decide quickly though, most stores have a 30 day exchange/return window.

  • DH thinks that talking to his mother about not liking her decision to purchase things will strain things and make us look like rude, unappreciative people. Is it though? I don't think it's much to ask that next time (god forbid there is one), to include us on the process of picking out the furniture for our house?
    I find it astoundingly rude to go buy furniture for people when you haven't actually picked it out together.  For her to just go randomly buy these for you all w/ NO input...

    You all have to live "with" her and how she is, so it's really up to you in the end, but I honestly find it a bit insane to keep furniture that doesn't even fit in your home just so that you don't come across as "rude" in her eyes.   She's weilding a LOT of power in your lives!!!

    That being said - YAY that they actually don't fit.  Don't focus on "we don't like them".  Focus on "hey mom- thanks for thinking of us but unfortunately, the chairs are just too big.".

    if she actually gets mad at THAT then you're dealing w/ someone who is just crazy!  I mean... really.  If they don't fit, they don't fit.  I would not keep furniture that doesn't fit in order to not upset someone. 
    puppylove2014
  • Your dh needs to attend Al-anon or Narc-anon (for the famlies) for his relationship for his mother.  You and your H are not responsible for your MILs recovery or sobriety.  Accepting furniture that you do not want and that does not fit into your house should not be a price YOU have to pay to keep her clean / sober / not depressed.

    Your MIL is the rude one - it is very presumptious (sp?) to buy furniture for someone's house without asking about it.  Even the fact that you would need to buy slipcovers (setting you back $$) is rude.  It is NOT thoughtful to surprise someone with a gift that they need to live with, and then get angry if it is not their choosing / style / taste! 

    Call Raymore & Flannigan and explain your problem.  Ask what their policy on returns are (esp. with the delivery fees!).  Is there anything else for your home that they sell, that you can exchange the gift from?  If yes, I would suggest calling MIL in a breezy way and saying "Thank you SO MUCH for the recliners.  Unfortunately, they did not fit in the living room, so we exchanged them for a BEAUTIFUL leather reading chair, which looks so great in the upstairs office!  We really love your gift."  If Raymor & Flannigan won't accept returns, then sell the recliners through an online garage sale (as in via facebook or craigslist) and use the money to buy something you like. 

    image "Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self esteem, first make sure you are not, in fact, just surrounded by assholes.
    Disneygeek77stephcogswell
  • I have to agree with @Wahoo.  You and your husband are putting an impossible and unfair burden on yourselves.  You simply can't keep doing this.  Eventually you will have to upset / disappoint her.  Might as well rip off the bandaid and do it now.  The chairs simply won't work in your home and you shouldn't keep them there.  
    VOR
  • Wahoo said:

    Your dh needs to attend Al-anon or Narc-anon (for the famlies) for his relationship for his mother.  You and your H are not responsible for your MILs recovery or sobriety.  Accepting furniture that you do not want and that does not fit into your house should not be a price YOU have to pay to keep her clean / sober / not depressed.


    Yes, so much this. 
  • Thanks for the thoughts so far!  DH has since seen the recliners (delivered today), and likes them.  They're not too bad (by this I mean I've been brainstorming since they arrived to figure out how to set up the living room), but they're so huge that they barely fit in our living room! Their 'overflow' goes into the dining room. If you're sitting in the recliner, you can't sit at one of the dining room table chairs! 

    DH thinks that talking to his mother about not liking her decision to purchase things will strain things and make us look like rude, unappreciative people. Is it though? I don't think it's much to ask that next time (god forbid there is one), to include us on the process of picking out the furniture for our house?
      Every single piece of furniture is now geared to those megamansions and homes that are newer cosntruction with rooms that are large.

    That's the whole thing ---- too large for your room is going to make the room it's in look smaller, too.

    Find a kind way to tell this nice lady "Ma, the gifts you gave us are great --- let's come along next time so we can see what great thing you're going to pick next" and go along with her...and if you don't like it, you can say so there and then on the spot..:)
  • So when you have your first child, are you just going to accept the bedroom set she purchased for the baby because you do not want to upset her?  Are you going to just shrug your shoulders when she decides that SHE is buying the first ornament, first holiday outfits, or first trip to (insert exciting place)?  Will you be ok with her feeing your child its first solid or cake?  

    See, if you do not nip this now, you are going to have a harder row to hoe down the line.  
    [IMG]http://i633.photobucket.com/albums/uu52/Iluminespics/IMG_4759.jpg[/IMG]
    Disneygeek77
  • Thank you all for this great food for thought! DH & I will be in contact with MIL tomorrow, and will keep all of this in mind.  Thanks!!
  • I hope it goes well. If I were in your position I think I would have to go "Mom, we love the chairs and appreciate the gift but unfortunately the chairs are too big for our room, which sucks because they are so nice. Is there a day that you are free to go the store with us to help us pick out something that will fit size wise a little better into our home? We love the idea of everything time we sit in the chairs and enjoy them it will be reminder of your generosity."

    To me it's a happy compromise, she still gives you the chairs, you get something that fits your home & taste better. And hopefully it's in a way that your MIL will not take offense to something that is not meant to be offensive. Good luck!!!

  • Hi, I'm a late responder, but I completely agree with @VOR, @Wahoo, @Disneygeek77, and pp.  

    We had a similar issue with my MIL, except it was suits for DH instead of furniture.  A few years ago DH received a call from MIL that xyz store was having a great sale on suits so she bought him three and he needed to come over ASAP to try on the suits.  Three suits from this store, even on a good sale, probably cost somewhere over $1K.  It was a super aggressive "request".  There was no, "do you need suits" or "do you want these suits" - it was "I bought you suits you need to come NOW and don't be ungrateful".  

    Nonetheless, DH told MIL to take them back and holy hell began.  He was ungrateful, she was just trying to help, we're (meaning me) pushing her out of our lives, blah, blah, blah.  It sucked.  But, she needed (and still needs) to learn that she cannot just go out and buy us major items and expect us to jump.  Her way of going about things was not respectful of her adult son.

    It is super nice of you to accept the furniture, but I'd proceed cautiously.  As mentioned by pp this can easily get out of control and do you always want to be accepting gifts that you clearly do not want and/or cannot use?  Our house is tiny and MIL keeps trying to foist this ginormous rocking chair on us - it simply will not fit in our house so we will not accept.  It causes much teeth gnashing.  Something I remind my DH when MIL is being pushy is that MIL is responsible for her own emotions.  Her getting upset, assuming we are acting generally polite, is not our fault.  

    Hang in there, it is not easy.
    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
  • It sounds to me like you've made a decision on how to handle the recliners.  But I'd have H talk to her about ordering large gifts without your knowledge going forward.  Some things you're just not going to need.  I agree with the PP that said to nip it in the bud.
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