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BunnyMaz
03-17-2011, 05:15 AM
Ah, parents. Never satisfied with offering a practical, simple and cheap present that you want and they can afford when there is a completely ridiculous alternative.


My kitchen is about the size of the average bathroom before you take into account the fridge, oven, washing machine, tabletop mini dishwasher, sink and sideboard. There is no gas supply to the house and no space in the kitchen for any fancy implements. My mum is already coming down at the weekend with a car full of kitchen gadgetry we will struggle to find room for because the family is clearing out a Great Aunt's home to prepare for her moving into care, and I'm the only young family member that isn't a child, making me the usual choice for handmedowns (which is awesome, since I get antique knitting needles, button tins and allsorts!)

We've got an old, second-hand slimline electric cooker that works just fine for us - it is a bit beat up, a few stains that won't wash out, the handle on the oven door falls off on occassion and it is marked with burned patches from some of my earlier baking attempts, but it works just fine.

We could do with getting rid of the dishwasher since it doesn't work and is just taking up space, but we cannot afford a skip which we would definitely need, especially as we also have a broken minifridge still in the garden shed awaiting disposal and a few old PC cases in the basement.

Mum on FB "what do you want for your birthday or would you like cash?"
Me "I'd kinda like a surprise... here is my wist though if you want inspiration"
Mum "There's loads of stuff! It's confusing. How about a new cooker?"
Me (slightly shocked at the suggestion) "It's a lovely idea, but a bit expensive. Aren't you supposed to be saving what you earn right now for when your contract ends and you bugger off back to Spain?"
Mum "Of course we'd need you to get rid of the old cooker before the new one arrives, and on condition that you get rid of that dishwasher"
Me "Explain why this is impractical as per above preface"
Mum "It'll be lovely to have something new and nice in the kitchen for you."
Me "But it'd have to be essentially the same cooker we have now, just a bit newer. Our current one works okay for us, it's just a bit old."
Mum "Well I'm off to bed now, night!"
Me "But-"


She's still trying to convince me that I should accept her cooker offer. Despite it being a silly idea. Any recommendations how I talk her out of it? I mean, I was fairly shocked at the suggestion in the first place because it is a lot of money, but if she really wanted to fork out that kind of amount there are so many things we need more than a replacement of something we already own.

Daft mother. http://thevalley.ukpagan.com/style_emoticons/default/rolleyes.gif http://thevalley.ukpagan.com/style_emoticons/default/rolleyes.gif http://thevalley.ukpagan.com/style_emoticons/default/rolleyes.gif

VP_Benni
03-17-2011, 06:19 AM
Yikes... >.< the only thing I can think of is getting rid of the "surprise" element and pointing out one or two things that you specifically want/need more than the cooker. *shrug*

~Amber~

BeatrixKiddo
03-17-2011, 09:49 AM
Ask her for the money instead. :D

JoNightshade
03-17-2011, 09:58 AM
I'd just say mom, honestly I'm really happy with the cooker we have now. If you really want to get me something useful, how about ____?

I had a similar issue with my mom. My husband and I just moved near her and she's so thrilled she just kept trying to buy us expensive stuff for our house, even though my folks aren't exactly rolling in cash. It's stuff we plan to get eventually, but we can't buy it all at once so we are doing one item per month when the budget allows. Anyway, both of us were, like, really uncomfortable having my mom practically decorate our house so I had to sit her down and be like, okay it's fine for you to buy the baby presents, and us on our birthdays and such, but we're adults and we're not destitute. It's kind of important to us to be able to manage our own house and finances, so... yeah.

Hey, there are a lot worse problems to have than a weirdly generous parent. :)

benbradley
03-17-2011, 10:28 AM
This could probably go in "conquering challenges." There's a little across-the-pond terminology that I don't quite get (what's a skip?), but that's not really important - I most certainly DO get the gist of your post. Your bold "how do I talk her our of it" question is just a symptom of the real problem.

I was once told to say "thank you very much" for gifts (such as clothes I would never wear) from my mother I didn't want, then donate them to Goodwill or the Salvation Army thrift store. Perhaps some people (such as that advice giver) can be like that, but I can't. I didn't like it when I heard it, and now I absolutely think that's terrible advice.

What I really and truly wanted from my parents was a little bit of respect, but that was something they just couldn't give.

I have lots of suggestions, it would be fun and maybe a little bit cathartic to list them all, but I don't think any are appropriate.

Mr Flibble
03-17-2011, 04:25 PM
A skip is a dumpster ( I think that's right)

I had exactly the same with my Mum - she gets all obsessive about it. She still does at times. In this case I think I'd say 'That's great Mum, but the cooker works and (for ex) the dishwasher doesn't. They're both too expensive for you to buy, and I'd rather have X, but if you really have to, replace the thing that doesn't work...'

Or just have a word with my Dad/someone else who might have a quiet, subtle word. .

deborahlea
03-17-2011, 04:49 PM
I agree with Ben about this kind of problem usually being a symptom rather than the core problem. I used to try approaching these symptoms gently, but there came a time when I started flogging them mercilessly straight out the gate because I didn't have the patience to indulge them anymore. (I'm not saying that's what you're doing, since I have very little insight into that. It's just what I used to do!) Things got quite a bit better after I adopted the flogging approach!

I'd use IdiotsRUs's approach as a starter: "That's great, Mum, but the cooker works whereas the dishwasher doesn't, and we need a new skip. The most useful thing you could do is give me money."

If that doesn't work (as these things often don't the first or sixteenth time around): "I appreciate your trying to look out for me, but no. I do not need a cooker. There are many other things I do need, so if you'd like to help me, cash is great. Alternatively, I can return the cooker for cash, but wouldn't it be nice if we just skipped the 'ditch for cash' segment of that scenario?"

No matter your exact phrasing, the clearer you can be you aren't at all interested in a cooker, the better! Good luck!

BunnyMaz
03-17-2011, 05:19 PM
Thanks for the advice, guys. I'll have another chat with her today after she finishes work.

Honestly, she's always been like this. At least this time she told me what her intentions were. When I was 17 she got me a car for my birthday without telling me. Awesome gift and ridiculously generous... except I lack the skills needed to drive, don't like cars and was going to be leaving for university where a decent quality bike would have been way more useful!

Hmmm... perhaps I could swing it that if she really wants to spend that kind of money and really wants us to clear out the old dishwasher, she could pay us for the skip we need.

writerterri
03-17-2011, 08:31 PM
Dear Mum, I take back the surprise thing and I'll take your suggestion about the cash. You're the best mum in the world!




PS. Is a cooker the same as a stove/oven or a toaster oven? Is a skip really a dumpster or a trash can? Cause a dumpster is a huge metal container where everyone dumps their trash can.

Terri, who lives in the states.

I'll have a soda.

BunnyMaz
03-17-2011, 08:52 PM
Skip (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skip_%28container%29)
A lot of people here don't drive, or at the very least don't have vehicles of a size that could be used to cart a significant load to the dump/recycling plant. Generally, if you're clearing out your house of a large amount of stuff or of big stuff, you'll hire a skip.

Cooker - I mean as in one of these (http://www.argos.co.uk/static/Product/partNumber/4893945/c_1/1%7Ccategory_root%7CKitchen+and+laundry%7C14418476/c_2/2%7C14418476%7CCookers+and+ovens%7C14418569/c_3/3%7Ccat_14418569%7CElectric+cookers%7C14418576.htm )

writerterri
03-17-2011, 09:27 PM
Okay, for those of us in dumb dumb land it's a stove and a trash can.


:D


edit: Oh, wait the skip is like a dumpster here. We have a truck that comes and bumps ours though.

Mr Flibble
03-17-2011, 09:59 PM
The dustman come and take the rubbish (trash cans) but not skips - they'd block off roads for hours! The dustmen are bad enough....Plus most residential roads wouldn't have anywhere to put them. For instance, anyone ordering a skip down our road inevitably pisses other residents off, as it means taking up a parking space (in short supply - Victorians didn't have cars, so no parking spaces built in, which means you have to fight for them) and as the road isn't all that wide they block it off while loading/unloading the skip. Would be pretty much the same for many residential areas.

BunnyMaz
03-17-2011, 10:56 PM
The dustman come and take the rubbish (trash cans) but not skips
Yeah, sorry for confusion guys. To clarify, bins in my area for general rubbish are provided by the council and binmen collect either weekly or fortnightly depending on the area. Skips are things you hire on the odd occassion when you need it, such as when replacing a lot of furniture, refitting a kitchen, etc. The binmen that come regularly though only collect the bins and waste paper, glass etc in the little boxes provided. They won't cart away large items such as washing machines or fridges.


For instance, anyone ordering a skip down our road inevitably pisses other residents off, as it means taking up a parking spaceThis is another reason I've put off getting a skip besides financial issues. My little home is round a side street next to a church with no road access for vehicles, so the skip will need to either go past the bollards nearest me, just off the high street, or about 200 yards down the road past the other bollards in a parking area, where anyone could fill it with their tat and where it will be fairly hard to carry a dishwasher!

Mr Flibble
03-17-2011, 11:23 PM
They won't cart away large items such as washing machines or fridges. Actually...get in touch with your council - ours has a special lorry they will send round for stuff like that. They charge a nominal fee per item(I think it's 5)

Soccer Mom
03-17-2011, 11:26 PM
I've finally trained my father to just give us gift cards for birthdays. He's very generous, but wildly impractical. Ah, the stories I have from him.

mirandashell
03-18-2011, 12:24 AM
My local council will also pick up things like fridges and washers etc. You book an appointment and they send round a big lorry. It then goes for recycling/specialist disposal.

Give your council a ring.

BunnyMaz
03-18-2011, 12:49 AM
I had no idea they offered that service, thank sguys, will check it out :D

... still don't want a cooker for my birthday though... _

JoNightshade
03-18-2011, 12:54 AM
I am completely flummoxed by half the terminology in this thread. Are youse guys speakin English?

BunnyMaz
03-18-2011, 12:56 AM
Yes. English English.

:P

GeorgeK
03-18-2011, 01:34 AM
My mum is already coming down at the weekend with a car full of kitchen gadgetry we will struggle to find room for because the family is clearing out a Great Aunt's home to prepare for her moving into care, and I'm the only young family member that isn't a child, making me the usual choice for handmedowns (which is awesome, since I get antique knitting needles, button tins and allsorts!)


It's a lot of expensive stuff that your mum didn't buy. It's your aunt's stuff, so your mom complaining of the value of it is immaterial. Take it and sell it if you can't use it and don't have storage space. It's a passive aggressive ploy.

Mr Flibble
03-18-2011, 02:00 AM
I am completely flummoxed by half the terminology in this thread. Are youse guys speakin English?

We is speakin' da proper Queen's English! You should too, like what I does.

America and the UK, two nations divided by a common language...

benbradley
03-18-2011, 02:15 AM
Yeah. It's "over the pond" English.

I find various Wikipedia entries funny (the first one has already been posted):

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/skip
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/dumpster
That last one also uses the phrase "wheelie bin" :roll:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lorry
Woops, that one forwards to the "USA" word. :D

Mr Flibble
03-18-2011, 02:20 AM
*raises eyebrow* and just what is so funny about wheelie bin? It's a bin wiv wheels on, what else would you call it?


I mean, come on, you guys called a pavement a sidewalk. Like it's gonna be anywhere else but at the side of the road...


:D

BunnyMaz
03-18-2011, 02:43 AM
your mom complaining of the value of it is immaterial

Wait, what? Where did you get that idea? My mum suggested bringing the stuff to me in the first place. I'm saying we'll struggle to find room for it. Its another case of her generosity overwhelming her sense :P

benbradley
03-18-2011, 03:17 AM
Huh? Pavement is what CARS drive on...

BunnyMaz
03-18-2011, 03:24 AM
Nonono, that's the road.

cptwentworth
03-18-2011, 03:35 AM
http://smileys.on-my-web.com/repository/Food/eating-popcorn-03.gif

I love the differences in language! Sorry I can't help on the OP.

Mr Flibble
03-18-2011, 03:55 AM
Huh? Pavement is what CARS drive on...


Nonono, that's the road.

If you drive on the pavement, people get hurt, you get arrested.

Just sayin'.


Maybe we shouldn't call it road. We could call it 'car trundle beep beep expletive except where it's neeeeooooooooooooooow space'

Doesn't have quite the same ring to it.

BunnyMaz
03-18-2011, 03:59 AM
Brum-brum strip?

Silver King
03-18-2011, 04:07 AM
Mum on FB "what do you want for your birthday or would you like cash?"
Me "I'd kinda like a surprise...
Next time she asks, forget about surprises and take the cash she's offered. Seems like, considering her history of gift giving, you'd have done so in this instance as well, which would have saved you from the trouble you are experiencing now.