A New Low in Tastelessness

sudiepavJuly 23, 2007

I received an invitation the other day from my DIL's mother, never one known for her grace. DIL's sister lost her condo in a flood, which was truly tragic. She moved in with her parents, lost her job because she was "too traumatized to go to work" and has yet (a year later) to find a job, in fact, turned down the one job offer she had. So her mother sent out invitations to a "starting over" shower for this chick. She's asked for gift cards to Bed Bath&Beyond, Target and Home Depot to replace the household goods lost in the flood. Not only is the mother wrong in hosting a gift shower for her own daughter, but this girl(who by the way is close to 50) with no job has no possibility of moving into her own place without one! To her credit, my DIL (the girl's sister) is disgusted by the whole thing. I called and said I wasn't coming(we live 250 miles away) but I did buy some cute dishtowels and potholders to send her. I figured $10 to keep family harmony was worth it. My DIL is worried that when the people invited find out the circumstances, they'll be horrified.

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Your daughter in-law has a right to believe people will be horrified. I wouldn't be going if I lived next door! What is her sister doing herself to get back up on her own feet. Sounds like absolutely nothing. 50 years old is old enough to know what and how to do things. No need for MaMa to do it for you. Nothing surprises me as far as manners or lack there of now a days. You are much more gracious then I would have been sending nice dishtowels. I wouldn't want to encourage the bad behavior...I would have RSVP that I would not be attending and I wouldn't have sent a gift either. NancyLouise

    Bookmark   July 23, 2007 at 2:22PM
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LOL! I think Mamma Dearest is trying to get her to move out!
About as bad as the mother who gave her daughter a combination high school graduation party and baby shower....and Not a wedding shower!

    Bookmark   July 23, 2007 at 6:37PM
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I think this is a case of a mother losing all social grace in an attempt to get her daughter to move out.

I agree it is tacky!

I would have been the daughter to tell my mother that this was absolutely horrible to do and put the kabosh on it myself.

I think you are being smart by sending her something. Good way to keep the harmony!

    Bookmark   July 23, 2007 at 11:43PM
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I'd actually give the mom a partial pass.

A "starting over" shower is what family does when something like this happens. Your family is who is supposed to help you re-establish your life and get back on your feet. (My family once hosted a "shower" when my aunt lost her home in a fire.)

Typically, I'd be irritated by the gift card request, but they are not extravagant shops. She's not looking at Pottery Barn, it's Target. This may be an attempt to let people know that she's not looking for fine china, just necessities. (It may also be a way to force deadbeat daughter to purchase needed items and discourage gifts of $) The execution was tacky, but I think there may have been good intentions behind it.

I also wonder at the invitation list. I'd keep this to close family and friends. You aren't trying to hit your third cousin up for a gravy boat, but you want this woman's support system to come together to help her start over. (And possibly create some sort of visible gesture of support like hey, look at all of these people who love you and are willing to help you out, you can get through this, now quit sleeping on my dang couch)

I think under the circumstances, the no family rule doesn't apply. This is actually more of an only family situation.

I'm still throwing penalty flags for the invitation to the extended in-laws 250 miles away and the gift card request though.

And I'm definitely thinking that the daughter needs to grow up, get a job and get on with things.

I had a flood at my old apartment (lost a car, not my home) and I understand that it can shake you. But you don't get to hide under the covers for the rest of your life afterwards.

That was a bit of a rant, but I think that dish towels were exactly the right gesture. This woman is clearly struggling, and a $10 gesture to let her know that people 250 miles away care about her and are pulling for her to get her life back on track may be what she needs to get her act together. Well worth it. Etiquette or no.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2007 at 10:48AM
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Around here, when shoeone meets with a flood or a fire....friends, neighbors, church members, co workers all donate piles of stuff....and very often the person or family surviving the disaster has so much stuff they end up giving to others.
Speaks to the situation that after a year the mother has to invite people to a starting over shower to get her re equipped.
Dish towels were a kind thing. But a better thing would be a job offer.
Linda C

    Bookmark   July 27, 2007 at 5:50PM
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I'm with craftfetish. I wouldn't do it, but under the circumstances, I don't think it was all that terrible for the mom to do this -- certainly not what I'd call "A New Low in Tastelessness." Would that this were the low!

I also agree that sudiepav handled it beautifully.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2007 at 1:56PM
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