Author Topic: Do any of your parents hoard and try to give you crap and other dumb stuff?  (Read 35409 times)

tj

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My parents give me stuff I don't need for birthday and holiday gifts, but I don't think anything about it. I feel like it would be more tacky for me to give them some list of stuff I want and they just buy it for me instead of me buying it myself.

I'm always told i'm impossible to shop for. I don't know why we need to buy each other gifts when we were all independent adults, but it seems to make them happy, so I guess I just don't want to be the super stubborn guy who gives them shit for giving me things I don't need.

Rufus.T.Firefly

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My MIL has recently taken up the hobby of shopping at self-described "Junk Stores" to buy self-described "Junk."

And then give it to us for Christmas, Birthdays, or just a random. And the stuff is really just junk. Random pieces of decor or items with highly specific functions (deviled egg platter, anyone?). We have an established guilt box that we throw everything into. Once we no longer feel guilty, the item gets re-gifted appropriately if possible, but more often taken to the Goodwill.

I don't think there's much use in fighting it. It is a strange form of expressing love and it doesn't cost us anything. But it gets pretty annoying at times when we get a big "Junk Dump."
« Last Edit: January 25, 2016, 02:03:15 PM by PowerBroker »
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DTaggart

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Oh man my Father In Law totally does this.

Last year for Christmas, he gave my husband a Franklin Mint set of authentic replica Carson City gold dollars. We have no idea what to do with these - they're worthless so we can't resell them, I feel bad trying to dump them on a thrift store, and I hate generating extra trash so I'm reluctant to just throw them away.

This year for Christmas we got a whole box of crap. I got a set of costume jewelry earrings/necklace/brooch that were clearly on HSN special. Oddly they don't match any of my punk, prog rock or sci-fi t-shirts so I have nothing to wear them with. My husband got a complete set of Exacto knives, I pointed out that at least he could stab people with his gift. We also got a stack of hand-me-down books we have no interest in, a brand new pack of 10 shop towels, and a cow Christmas ornament (I haven't put up a Christmas tree in about 10 years). I guess the shop towels are potentially useful, although I usually just use old t-shirts for that sort of thing.

It really only bothers me because he doesn't have a lot of money and we keep telling him not to buy us stuff, but he does anyway.

honeybbq

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Yes.

My mom lives 1000 miles away and ships us box after box of junk. Shipping the stuff usually costs more than the contents of the box.

- she loves to shop at Kohls and get the 'good deals' that nobody else can find because they 'won't spend the time digging'.
- loves to shop at goodwill
- has a shopping addiction and goes shopping every. single. day.

She won't just send one book from my daughter. She'll send 50. And only 3 are worth keeping or any good. She'll send 3 Elsa costumes so that when we have play dates my daughter's friends can be Elsa too. So not only is she shopping for my kid, but all the kids in the neighborhood.

I have asked her to stop, slow down, not send so much, put price limitations on holidays, etc. But it does no good. She justifies her mental illness with needing to 'shop for us' because she's being such a good person and saving us so much money. It is the only way she can express her 'love' AND simultaneously scratch her itch. I have begged and pleaded and been angry and explained I don't need anything, this takes time away from my life and my child and I don't WANT it... but nothing helps.

Most of the stuff goes straight to goodwill or to the neighborhood facebook no buy page.

The worst is when she asks about every single piece that was in the box on our weekly phone call. Sigh.



everinprogress

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My MIL is pretty much a hoarder, and has also 'saved' tons of stuff for all her kids- and grandkids. A few items are thoughtful and definitely keepers- my husband's old brio set that he loved, for example. But most of it is junk, and out of date, or just crazy, and is thrown away or sent to goodwill shortly after they visit (as they're a 16 hour drive plus ferry ride away). Most memorably, a bunch of random and very musty tshirts from when my husband was in high school (2002 grad, given to us 2 years ago) and a book about harvesting wild mushrooms- from the 70's - with mediocre drawn illustrations - nothing wrong with it, but we aren't in the habit of going out to glean food from outlying wilderness as we live in the middle of a large city - did not even cover the geographical area we live in
Pretty much every time we see them, we end up with another box of stuff to mostly discard.
And, FIL knows we get rid of most of it, and is totally fine with it- he wants it out of his house too :)

maco

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The worst is when she asks about every single piece that was in the box on our weekly phone call. Sigh.
I wonder how she'd respond if you consistently said "I don't know; I threw it away."

Zamboni

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Quote
The worst is when she asks about every single piece that was in the box on our weekly phone call. Sigh.

Yeah, I go through that. Mom treats me as a garbage can for the things she can't bear to throw away. Clothes from the 60's (or even earlier) that won't come close to fitting anyone here, absolutely ancient kitchen spices, etc.

I ignore and toss all of the random newspaper and magazine clippings she sends (mostly photos she liked) but I make a point to call and say thank you when I get a box of other items. The last time we talked she admonished me because she sent another box of randomness (used books, all very out of date/worn, some in foreign languages we don't know) and she said the kids had not sent her "proper thank you cards" in the mail. Um, I thought I called you and said thank you right when we got it? Then she scolded me that I had said thank you but the kids needed to mail her thank you cards because some of it was for them. Uh, okay, veering into crazy old lady territory. News flash: they probably didn't even see what was in that box because I was pretty certain none of it would interest them, and they don't use snail mail for . . . anything.

I'm secretly really hoping that she'll be so insulted by the lack of "proper thank you cards" that she'll stop sending me stuff. And then she'll be all self-righteous about it, and that will be fine.

I've made it a point to fly us all out to visit her every single year. She hasn't visited us here in many years even though she is perfectly able-bodied (I've lived here 23 years and she's come here three times: once for my wedding, once for the birth of a baby, and most recently 9 years ago she drove through here on a ramble all over the US.) We don't want her random cast offs, and honestly she's at the point where she's mean and nasty to my kids at least as often as she is pleasant, and I just want to tell her to bugger off. But she's my Mom, and that wouldn't be very nice, so I don't do that. I bite my tongue. There is a good chance I'm not going to spend all of my money and vacation time on visiting her this year, though.

jeromedawg

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It's pretty annoying at Christmas time - even my oldest brother has gotten into giving us "crap" but it's more along the lines of "crap" that I might actually like or find cool LOL. My wife gets angry because we typically hand out gift cards and we just get crap in exchange (not that that's what Christmas about but c'mon now, we all have a little of that in us I'm sure hahaha!). On the other hand, my parents usually do end up just writing us checks for relatively substantial amounts and giving them to us tucked in the cards - my mom will say things like "this is to cover your flight home" or "this is to cover your flight in Texas when we go there next summer" etc.

My mom also *loves* buying candy on sale. She'll get in on the post-Halloween and post-Easter sales and will bring down bags of fun-size candy bars she got for free or less than a buck at CVS, etc. My wife gets pretty upset because she knows I'll start eating them and has had to escalate her "no thanks" response to "no thanks. i don't want your son getting diabetes" since my mom will keep bringing that stuff regardless if she just gets a simple "no thanks" response (and she still brings that junk, but it's to an even lesser extent). Their motto is "oh it's okay once in a while!" yea - like how they eat hamburgers from In and Out every other day despite my dad having triple-bypass surgery back in 2010/2011... I guess they're enjoying life. That reminds me, I need to start exercising again. It doesn't help when they're here - our fridge/freezer gets packed to the brim and I'm pretty sure my waist gets bigger, as a result.
« Last Edit: January 25, 2016, 04:39:03 PM by jplee3 »

jengod

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Tip for anyone deaccessioning unwanted gifts, if you'd like to try a person-to-person approach

http://buynothingproject.org/find-a-group/
https://www.freecycle.org/
https://nextdoor.com/amazon/?r=pngxqu [ referral link; I get an Amazon gift card if anyone joins and starts a new neighborhood group ]

Your local Buy Nothing group or Freecycle or a post on local bulletin board site NextDoor can take some of this problem off your hands.

FIL gave us four Star Wars blankets for Christmas. Two of them just went to a single mom whose five-year-old loves the Dark Side via our citywide Buy Nothing group. I stuffed them in a Celebrity Cruises Laundry Bag that MIL gave me last time we saw them.
« Last Edit: January 25, 2016, 05:23:11 PM by jengod »
Waste is lost profit made visible. #zerowastehome #permaculture

Pigeon

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My MIL is 90, FIL died a couple of years ago, and they raised 5 kids in a house they lived in for 50 years.  She didn't buy a huge amount of stuff, but she never threw anything out.  I'm trying to get her house ready to put on the market.  Her kids are in their 60s and 50s.  She still had tons of their childhood sporting equipment, every piece of clothing she ever bought for herself, junk they inherited from a relative who had a farm, including a ton of not very well done, stained, embroidered linens.  FIL subscribed to some service like Bradford Exchange that sent new packaged sets of coins and stamps on a monthly basis.  She is going to be in much smaller quarters and we all have houses of our own with too much stuff.

We have spent the better part of a year trying to get rid of crap and she keeps pointing to everything and saying "But this has to stay in the family."  Nobody in the family wants this crap. I am so sick of it.   It is making me throw out so much stuff of my own because I don't want to do that to my  kids.

Zamboni

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We have spent the better part of a year trying to get rid of crap and she keeps pointing to everything and saying "But this has to stay in the family."  Nobody in the family wants this crap. I am so sick of it.   It is making me throw out so much stuff of my own because I don't want to do that to my  kids.

That whole "stay in the family" attitude is such a curse when it comes to worthless crap.

bacchi

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Wow. Who knew this was such a common problem?

We get worthless crap from my parents all the time. It goes to the thrift store.

marcela

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We have this problem with my in-laws. Some of it just plain junk that we offload to Goodwill almost immediately upon coming home (jokey aprons, kitchen gadgets and cookbooks), but some is pricey stuff like a collection of silverware that my MIL insists on gifting us pieces of at Christmas. This is despite us having told her that we did not want silver when we got married as it wouldn't get used and it was a big hassle with the upkeep. Not sure what to do with it so it lives in our closet.

The Guru

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Two words: "YARD SALE"

Pigeon

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Two words: "YARD SALE"

Well yeah, but a yard sale is a whole lot of work that one didn't ask for, for very uncertain return.  I'd really rather not have the crap foisted on me to begin with.

honeybbq

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Two words: "YARD SALE"

Well yeah, but a yard sale is a whole lot of work that one didn't ask for, for very uncertain return.  I'd really rather not have the crap foisted on me to begin with.

I don't want to give up my whole weekend (plus more) for $100.

I'd rather donate or give away free and write it off.

If I do have an 'expensive' item, I'd just craigslist it.

Hunny156

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We have this problem with my in-laws. Some of it just plain junk that we offload to Goodwill almost immediately upon coming home (jokey aprons, kitchen gadgets and cookbooks), but some is pricey stuff like a collection of silverware that my MIL insists on gifting us pieces of at Christmas. This is despite us having told her that we did not want silver when we got married as it wouldn't get used and it was a big hassle with the upkeep. Not sure what to do with it so it lives in our closet.

Maybe this post will be helpful to you, if it is Sterling and not silverplate.  That post motivated me to find a similar place for a bunch of school rings that my MIL insisted my hubby buy, and of course, he has never worn them.  (she paid for the HS one, guilted him into paying for the college one).  Between those two rings and a few other small items, we netted just over $1K!  We were both shocked, and grateful that during our recent move, we didn't just go with our first instinct to toss them in the trash.

http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2012/08/22/how_to_sell_silver/

Reynold

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I've seen and experienced this kind of behavior.  My wife had to clean out the house of a hoarder, a good friend of hers, when the house was condemned by the city, then manage her affairs.   Comparable to the worst of the houses I've ever seen on Hoarders, no working kitchen, only running water a hose in the back yard, etc. 

What I've seen is these people have a very strong desire to accumulate stuff, and a very strong attachment to their stuff, so strong that the only way they can part with it is to give it to someone they also have a strong attachment to.   So, loved ones, don't expect them to end this habit any time soon, the upside is that it means they love you.  They may not express it the way you would like, but they do.  There is, I think, also an element of "I shouldn't buy anything more for myself, but it is ok to buy it as a gift for someone else.", my wife has some of this, though fortunately is also ruthless about cleaning things out, especially after the experience with her friend. 

Since you can't change them, you can only change your reaction to it.  My suggestion, which we've used with some friends who were in the habit of giving us stuff we didn't want, was to make a deal with them.  Any gifts we gave each other that weren't things specifically requested, the receiver could do whatever they wanted with them.  Regift, donate, etc.  It softens the blow somewhat if you make this a 2-way deal, even if you don't ever plan to give them useless crap like they do you. :)   Then you can donate guilt-free, and remind them of the deal if they ask you what happened to that amazing avocado peeler. 

Frankies Girl

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My father was a full on hoarder. He was obsessed with buying things on clearance, garage/yard sales, and hitting up Big Lots or scratch/dent places. He often would buy things "for his kids" except neither of his kids (my sibling and me) wanted any of the crap he'd buy, so he'd just keep it and add it onto the piles.

My old bedroom was mostly new items still in bags that had been slung into the partially open door. He never used 90% of what he bought.

His weaknesses were food (he'd buy clearance food, but then leave it to rot), clothing (I found one garbage bag full of Axe Body Spray teeshirts - WTF?), and household goods (towels, dishes, blankets, lamps) oh, and golf stuff. We donated hundreds of golf clubs and over 30 golf bags.

He used to give me "presents" of this junk. I kept telling him I wasn't keeping it and would give it away as soon as possible and he'd get angry with me because it was "valuable stuff" he found for me. Wouldn't stop him from using "I bought this for you" as an excuse to buy more crap.

I'm lucky in that I lived several states away and he was also too cheap to mail me anything (sometimes even a birthday card) so I never had to deal with the crap once I started flying home since I couldn't take junk back with me on a plane.

« Last Edit: August 12, 2017, 04:18:24 AM by Frankies Girl »
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robartsd

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Speaking of popcorn, we've been making it on the stove in a regular pot (a deep saute pan or 5qt dutch oven seems to work out well for a cup of kernels). It's really easy to do, and will save you on the space a popcorn maker takes up :)

I'm assuming you do that on low heat with some (a Tbsp?) oil.  About how long?  Do you have to watch it pretty carefully?  I'm open to eliminating kitchen appliances if we can replicate the result with similar effort!
Heat enough oil to just cover the bottom of the pan over medium heat (usually I add 2-3 kernels initially, the oil is hot enough when one pops). Add popcorn to cover the base of the pan in a single layer. Cover and shake vigorously over heat to coat kernels in hot oil until kernels start poping. Vent lid to allow steam to escape. Leave on heat while popcorn pops rapidly, remove promptly when poping slows to once every 2-3 seconds. This is how we did it growing up. We always just poped the popcorn in butter instead of adding it later. My wife and I now usually pop in coconut oil in our Whirly Pop (it is used so much it stays on the stove nearly all the time).

BlueHouse

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The worst is when she asks about every single piece that was in the box on our weekly phone call. Sigh.
I wonder how she'd respond if you consistently said "I don't know; I threw it away."

My mom buys a lot of worthless junk.  After years of watching, I realize now that she is just desperate to make her children happy and she is over the moon when she receives a kind word from any one of us.  She wants us to appreciate her/her thoughtfulness/her vision?  She absolutely beams when she is praised for either buying something we appreciate, cooking or baking something we like, or performing a task that we are grateful for. 

Now that I know this, I am much more giving with praise than I used to be.  I also ask for very specific items for holidays if she insists on giving presents.  I also let her perform tasks for me such as staying at my place and waiting for a service tech to show up.  These things make her happy and I just have to find a way to try to balance things out (usually by taking on some of the tasks that she can no longer do for herself, or paying for certain things that make her life easier). 

Is it possible that your parents are trying in some way to make you happy?  Can you find a way to meet their needs and yours? 
Sometimes nothing can be a real cool hand

LeRainDrop

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After years of watching, I realize now that she is just desperate to make her children happy and she is over the moon when she receives a kind word from any one of us.  She wants us to appreciate her/her thoughtfulness/her vision?  She absolutely beams when she is praised for either buying something we appreciate, cooking or baking something we like, or performing a task that we are grateful for. 

Now that I know this, I am much more giving with praise than I used to be.  I also ask for very specific items for holidays if she insists on giving presents.  I also let her perform tasks for me such as staying at my place and waiting for a service tech to show up.  These things make her happy and I just have to find a way to try to balance things out (usually by taking on some of the tasks that she can no longer do for herself, or paying for certain things that make her life easier). 

Is it possible that your parents are trying in some way to make you happy?  Can you find a way to meet their needs and yours?

This is exactly like my mom.  I wish she didn't have such a deep-seated need to make other people happy, but she does, so I try to find ways to channel that so that her giving is genuinely helpful.  And I give back in the ways that make her happy, as well, especially lots of thanks and spending time with her.  I love her, so what else could I do?  :-)

Magilla

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After years of watching, I realize now that she is just desperate to make her children happy and she is over the moon when she receives a kind word from any one of us.  She wants us to appreciate her/her thoughtfulness/her vision?  She absolutely beams when she is praised for either buying something we appreciate, cooking or baking something we like, or performing a task that we are grateful for. 

Now that I know this, I am much more giving with praise than I used to be.  I also ask for very specific items for holidays if she insists on giving presents.  I also let her perform tasks for me such as staying at my place and waiting for a service tech to show up.  These things make her happy and I just have to find a way to try to balance things out (usually by taking on some of the tasks that she can no longer do for herself, or paying for certain things that make her life easier). 

Is it possible that your parents are trying in some way to make you happy?  Can you find a way to meet their needs and yours?

This is exactly like my mom.  I wish she didn't have such a deep-seated need to make other people happy, but she does, so I try to find ways to channel that so that her giving is genuinely helpful.  And I give back in the ways that make her happy, as well, especially lots of thanks and spending time with her.  I love her, so what else could I do?  :-)

Don't take this personally, but IMO she doesn't have a deep-seated need to make people happy.  She's chasing a way to make herself happy by doing what she thinks would accomplish that but the satisfaction is less than she needs and she keeps chasing it getting diminishing returns.  Most parents talked about here are most likely bored, unfulfilled and lack a good outlet.  If most of these parents were not indulged in their destructive behavior they may actually have a chance to find something that does make them happy, instead they keep doing the same behavior expecting different results.

It's the same thing with people that buy things because they think it makes them happy (instead of addressing the real problems in their lives) and when the "high" is fleeting they keep chasing it forever until they are destitute.

Anyway, just my 2c.

LeRainDrop

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After years of watching, I realize now that she is just desperate to make her children happy and she is over the moon when she receives a kind word from any one of us.  She wants us to appreciate her/her thoughtfulness/her vision?  She absolutely beams when she is praised for either buying something we appreciate, cooking or baking something we like, or performing a task that we are grateful for. 

Now that I know this, I am much more giving with praise than I used to be.  I also ask for very specific items for holidays if she insists on giving presents.  I also let her perform tasks for me such as staying at my place and waiting for a service tech to show up.  These things make her happy and I just have to find a way to try to balance things out (usually by taking on some of the tasks that she can no longer do for herself, or paying for certain things that make her life easier). 

Is it possible that your parents are trying in some way to make you happy?  Can you find a way to meet their needs and yours?

This is exactly like my mom.  I wish she didn't have such a deep-seated need to make other people happy, but she does, so I try to find ways to channel that so that her giving is genuinely helpful.  And I give back in the ways that make her happy, as well, especially lots of thanks and spending time with her.  I love her, so what else could I do?  :-)

Don't take this personally, but IMO she doesn't have a deep-seated need to make people happy.  She's chasing a way to make herself happy by doing what she thinks would accomplish that but the satisfaction is less than she needs and she keeps chasing it getting diminishing returns.  Most parents talked about here are most likely bored, unfulfilled and lack a good outlet.  If most of these parents were not indulged in their destructive behavior they may actually have a chance to find something that does make them happy, instead they keep doing the same behavior expecting different results.

It's the same thing with people that buy things because they think it makes them happy (instead of addressing the real problems in their lives) and when the "high" is fleeting they keep chasing it forever until they are destitute.

Anyway, just my 2c.

That could be very true, though my mom's not truly the hoarder/junk type.  She just consistently buys too much fresh produce and cooks large batch meals that are too much for her to use up, so I get the benefit of lots of free fruit, vegetables, and tasty dinners for reheating through the work-week.  My dad, on the other hand, can't seem to get rid of anything.  He assigns such value to objects, especially things of his deceased family members and his favorite sports team.  When I had to help the parents clean out the family house of 30 years so that they could sell it on a short timetable, my dad kept too much and had to put some in storage.  Even things that belonged to us kids and we said we wanted to get rid of it, he kept anyway -- e.g., my brother said he did not want his Little League trophies and such, but my dad insisted that one day my brother will want them.  Oh yeah, my dad also kept his graveyard of old computers and printers that "one day" he will either get running again or "donate" to charity (uh, I don't think they want a computer from 1995).
« Last Edit: January 26, 2016, 09:17:03 PM by LeRainDrop »

marcela

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We have this problem with my in-laws. Some of it just plain junk that we offload to Goodwill almost immediately upon coming home (jokey aprons, kitchen gadgets and cookbooks), but some is pricey stuff like a collection of silverware that my MIL insists on gifting us pieces of at Christmas. This is despite us having told her that we did not want silver when we got married as it wouldn't get used and it was a big hassle with the upkeep. Not sure what to do with it so it lives in our closet.

Maybe this post will be helpful to you, if it is Sterling and not silverplate.  That post motivated me to find a similar place for a bunch of school rings that my MIL insisted my hubby buy, and of course, he has never worn them.  (she paid for the HS one, guilted him into paying for the college one).  Between those two rings and a few other small items, we netted just over $1K!  We were both shocked, and grateful that during our recent move, we didn't just go with our first instinct to toss them in the trash.

http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2012/08/22/how_to_sell_silver/

Thank you! I'll investigate that tonight when I get home from work. It might take some convincing since my husband has trouble disposing of things that were gifts, even though he realizes they will never be used...etc. Maybe pointing out to him that we will eventually inherit the family silver set will make it easier to sell off this set that are just purchased.

BlueHouse

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After years of watching, I realize now that she is just desperate to make her children happy and she is over the moon when she receives a kind word from any one of us.  She wants us to appreciate her/her thoughtfulness/her vision?  She absolutely beams when she is praised for either buying something we appreciate, cooking or baking something we like, or performing a task that we are grateful for. 

Now that I know this, I am much more giving with praise than I used to be.  I also ask for very specific items for holidays if she insists on giving presents.  I also let her perform tasks for me such as staying at my place and waiting for a service tech to show up.  These things make her happy and I just have to find a way to try to balance things out (usually by taking on some of the tasks that she can no longer do for herself, or paying for certain things that make her life easier). 

Is it possible that your parents are trying in some way to make you happy?  Can you find a way to meet their needs and yours?

This is exactly like my mom.  I wish she didn't have such a deep-seated need to make other people happy, but she does, so I try to find ways to channel that so that her giving is genuinely helpful.  And I give back in the ways that make her happy, as well, especially lots of thanks and spending time with her.  I love her, so what else could I do?  :-)

Don't take this personally, but IMO she doesn't have a deep-seated need to make people happy.  She's chasing a way to make herself happy by doing what she thinks would accomplish that but the satisfaction is less than she needs and she keeps chasing it getting diminishing returns.  Most parents talked about here are most likely bored, unfulfilled and lack a good outlet.  If most of these parents were not indulged in their destructive behavior they may actually have a chance to find something that does make them happy, instead they keep doing the same behavior expecting different results.

It's the same thing with people that buy things because they think it makes them happy (instead of addressing the real problems in their lives) and when the "high" is fleeting they keep chasing it forever until they are destitute.

Anyway, just my 2c.
I think some of what you say is true, especially the unfulfilled part, but we've spent years not indulging her and it didn't change anything.  My mom has many things that she does to keep herself happy and because she doesn't have the life she wanted she tries to fill it with friends, activities, children, and yes...even things.  In this case, it's not destructive, it's constructive for the most part and the minor annoyance of getting a few extra crap presents in my xmas stocking each year can be overlooked because she does it with kindness.  There is really very little effort needed on my part to make her feel good - so I'll continue to do that with the hope that when she's gone, I won't feel terribly guilty for not having done even more.   
Sometimes nothing can be a real cool hand

Sibley

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My parents give me stuff I don't need for birthday and holiday gifts, but I don't think anything about it. I feel like it would be more tacky for me to give them some list of stuff I want and they just buy it for me instead of me buying it myself.

I'm always told i'm impossible to shop for. I don't know why we need to buy each other gifts when we were all independent adults, but it seems to make them happy, so I guess I just don't want to be the super stubborn guy who gives them shit for giving me things I don't need.

that isn't tacky, it's considerate. Unless you're unlucky, in which case good luck. My mom demands a list every year.

maco

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My parents give me stuff I don't need for birthday and holiday gifts, but I don't think anything about it. I feel like it would be more tacky for me to give them some list of stuff I want and they just buy it for me instead of me buying it myself.

I'm always told i'm impossible to shop for. I don't know why we need to buy each other gifts when we were all independent adults, but it seems to make them happy, so I guess I just don't want to be the super stubborn guy who gives them shit for giving me things I don't need.

that isn't tacky, it's considerate. Unless you're unlucky, in which case good luck. My mom demands a list every year.

My in-laws maintain a Google Doc with links to everybody's Amazon wishlist, Steam wishlist, Good Old Games wishlist, Deviant Art wishlist...

Kat57

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I am shocked, really shocked, at what I have read on this thread. 

You people have been given so much that you are now 'too good' for the best efforts of others.

No grattitude, no, you guys are annoyed.  Man, I can tell you that many people have not had the luxury of getting uppitty that the GIFTS given them were inferior. 

I am certain that the universe will deliver enough genuine want to your lives in the future to correct your distress at abundance.  It usually does.


LeRainDrop

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I am shocked, really shocked, at what I have read on this thread. 

You people have been given so much that you are now 'too good' for the best efforts of others.

You people?  Hmm...

Quote
No grattitude, no, you guys are annoyed.  Man, I can tell you that many people have not had the luxury of getting uppitty that the GIFTS given them were inferior. 

Nope, no grattitude, but we do have gratitude.  Also, none of us are uppitty, though I suppose it's possible some are uppity.

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I am certain that the universe will deliver enough genuine want to your lives in the future to correct your distress at abundance.  It usually does.

Yes, we will have genuine wants and abundant distress!  Huh?

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And all this crap destroys the plant, that's why it sucks.
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Larabeth

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My Mother in Law practically cried the other day when we were getting the apartment packed up (in the process of moving to a house less than 2 miles from my work!!).  I had four or five large boxes of stuff and she was going through them and trying to tell me why I might someday need _____.

I just kept reminding her that I had plenty of other stuff and I hadn't used most of this stuff since before we moved to that place.  She was distressed at this idea, even though I didn't get rid of ANYTHING she had ever given us.  She wanted to take all the boxes home with her to keep "just in case"...

I love her to death, but I definitely was surprised at how attached to THINGS she was and how deeply she worried about my well-being when it came to those things I never touch.

MMMaybe

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My mother is a hoarder for sure. Not as bad as on the TV show but every single cupboard is full to bursting. She has 5 dinner sets and just piles and piles of neglected hobbies as well as books that no one reads and knickknacks galore. When anyone suggests getting rid of any of it, she gets defensive. My dad has resorted to sneakily throwing stuff out. My mother buys more and hides it from him.

My MIL is also cut from the same cloth. They have a townhouse bursting full of stuff including magazines from the 1970's and ancient kids' toys. Their garage is so full of junk that the cars need to be parked outside.

In both cases, I dread the clearing out that will need to happen one day. It makes me do regular throw outs at my house :)

Larabeth

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In both cases, I dread the clearing out that will need to happen one day. It makes me do regular throw outs at my house :)

Right?!  If I ever lose the urge to clean up, I think about what some poor soul might have to deal with if something were to happen to me... then I get it all thinned out!!!  =)

marcela

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I am shocked, really shocked, at what I have read on this thread. 

You people have been given so much that you are now 'too good' for the best efforts of others.

No grattitude, no, you guys are annoyed.  Man, I can tell you that many people have not had the luxury of getting uppitty that the GIFTS given them were inferior. 

I am certain that the universe will deliver enough genuine want to your lives in the future to correct your distress at abundance.  It usually does.

I think Kat57 just volunteered for us to ship all this stuff to their house.

Prospector

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My wife's grandfather died a few years back, and we were given much of the odds and ends that were in his workshop. There were some really good antique tools and many things we have made good use of, but there was also his supply of screws and nails.

Throughout his life, whenever something went in the trash, gramps would disassemble it and save the nails and screws. I have jars and jars of old rusty bent nails and slot head screws. Specialty hardware and strange fasteners. Stuff I have no idea what it does or where it goes. All this knick-knackery that really ought to go in the trash.

But... When I built a chicken coop, I never paid a cent for nails - I used up the old ones gramps passed along, and every now and then I find a need for an oddball fastener and if I dump out a couple coffee cans, there is usually something I can use in the bottom of one of them. And when I refinished an antique piece, I'll be damned if the same (cursed) flathead-slot screws weren't there in one of the jars.

So I won't throw out the 'junk' we inherited from him, despite it filling an entire shelf in my workroom. And I've added a few nuts and bolts of my own to the collection.

But gawd I hope I've used up this stuff before I die so my kids don't think its important to pass along to my grandkids.
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golden1

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My MIL is always trying to unload cheap crap on me.  She isn't a hoarder, but loves finding "deals".  She will go to 5 and below and find a bunch of cheap stuff for me or the kids, trinkets and cheap clothes mostly.  I keep telling her I don't need it but she still just love to give people stuff.  Every year for XMas she will just buy stuff that no one needs.  I think I am going to take my daughter's example.  None of the clothes my MIL bought her were to her taste or fit her, so she asked her to return it all and donate to a charity instead.

BlueHouse

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I've noticed a difference in the buying habits of two people who both buy too much stuff. 

My mom:  "Ohhh, I think Sally might get a kick out of that...let me buy it for her."  (Sees an item that is slightly humorous and wants to share it)
My Aunt:  "hmmm... what can I buy here?  That lamp is lovely, but where would I put it?"  (Almost a compulsion to purchase things, even when she realizes it's unneeded.

The bad part is when they get together to go shopping. 
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MayDay

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My MIL used to be the worst.  In her case she wanted to "take care of" her son even though he was already a grown up and managing to make it to Target on his own just fine if he need a bottle of stain spray or whatever. 

She then started buying loads of cheap shit for our kids.  Like, whatever her budget for a holiday was, she would rather go buy 50$ worth of cheap crap from Walmart than buy 1 50$ present.  OMFG.   

Eventually my SIL and niece moved in with MIL, and MIL's house (which started off as full but not hoarder-y) overflowed with all of SIL's stuff, and 5 billion toys for niece since SIL refuses to get rid of outgrown ones.  Now MIL finally gets it- she got each kid one small thing for xmas, and then gave them 50$ cash for their college accounts.  Hallelujah! 

But don't worry, she still has a closet of "things for H from when he was a kid".  So far we have held her off.  When she dies, though, I have a feeling I am going to end up with 30 year old baseball cards or something. 
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irishbear99

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I am shocked, really shocked, at what I have read on this thread. 

You people have been given so much that you are now 'too good' for the best efforts of others.

No grattitude, no, you guys are annoyed.  Man, I can tell you that many people have not had the luxury of getting uppitty that the GIFTS given them were inferior. 

I am certain that the universe will deliver enough genuine want to your lives in the future to correct your distress at abundance.  It usually does.

For the record, no I am not grateful. I'm not grateful that my elderly parents will never be able to retire because they spend all their money on junk. I'm not grateful for growing up in a house that had minimal room to walk or sit in because of all the junk (and no potable water, but that's another story). I'm not grateful for all the times in my life when they acted like that their junk was more important than their children. I'm not grateful to receive their junk and having to spend my time disposing of it simply because they can't throw crap away. I'm certainly not grateful for the mess of crap I'm going to have to sort through somehow when they die.

I usually try not to make assumptions, but I'm going to go out on a limb here and assume you've not experienced dealing with a parent's mental illness. If that's the case, I'd suggest taking your self-satisfied, righteous indignation elsewhere. The rest of "us people" are going to get back to bitching about receiving crap thinly veiled as "gifts."

NoraLenderbee

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But don't worry, she still has a closet of "things for H from when he was a kid".  So far we have held her off.  When she dies, though, I have a feeling I am going to end up with 30 year old baseball cards or something.

Several people have mentioned unwanted stuff from their childhood that their parents are saving for them. The best way to deal with this is not to refuse it, but to TAKE it. Take all those boxes of baseball cards and baby shoes and report cards. Then throw them out. You'll be free of it, and no one will have to deal with it later.

therethere

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Yes, the right answer would be to take it and dispose of it yourself. But what do you propose doing when you live on the other side of the country? There is simply not much else we can do other than say NO we do not want/need it. Please donate or trash it. I have had intentions of sitting and going through it with them as that's probably the right thing to do in our case. But that would take a lot of hours over several days and we only visit every other year for a limited time. I guess one day I should step up to the plate, book a longer vacation, and actually do it. Maybe this year?

For the record, my in-laws are not on the level of hoarding or mental illness. I think they bargain shop at thrift and bargain stores as stress relief or a hobby. I mainly get annoyed by the whole wastefulness of it all. I know they mean well and they send us stuff from time to time to fill the void of not being able to see us. But shipping a box of books you got for a dollar each at goodwill across the freaking country multiple times a year is crazy to me. Especially because they will send the same book multiple times! Also, it took 10 years of living away from home for them to visit us. DH always had a sore spot that they never made the effort. They complain about money and not being able to retire all the time. If they had maybe not shipped all those books over 10 years they likely would have enough money for bought plane tickets.

@MayDay - We actually did receive a package with boxes of 30 year old baseball cards unopened this year. Now they sit on a shelf in the closet and DH will not let me get rid of them. So I guess we will continually move them from apt to apt until we die or survive a fire.
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KodeBlue

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My parents hoarded money and sent it to me on occasion. I dealt with it.

MayDay

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@MayDay - We actually did receive a package with boxes of 30 year old baseball cards unopened this year. Now they sit on a shelf in the closet and DH will not let me get rid of them. So I guess we will continually move them from apt to apt until we die or survive a fire.

This is why we haven't bit the bullet. Because H doesn't really want to throw them away.

I'd throw them away in a hot second.
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jeromedawg

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@MayDay - We actually did receive a package with boxes of 30 year old baseball cards unopened this year. Now they sit on a shelf in the closet and DH will not let me get rid of them. So I guess we will continually move them from apt to apt until we die or survive a fire.

This is why we haven't bit the bullet. Because H doesn't really want to throw them away.

I'd throw them away in a hot second.

LOL this is my brother. He and my dad actually tried to start a 'business' out of the garage selling baseball cards. It was a huge flop. There are tons of boxes of unopened baseball cards in my parents' garage. My brother has no room to take them in because he has so much crap himself. It's pretty ridiculous. He won't get rid of the cards either because there might be (and probably are) some in there worth hundreds of dollars or more. I say rip em open, go through them all, find the rarities and ebay em :) Then ebay the rest of them per the box (I wonder if they qualify to ship via Media mail) If he doesn't want to do it, I would.

NoraLenderbee

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Yes, the right answer would be to take it and dispose of it yourself. But what do you propose doing when you live on the other side of the country? There is simply not much else we can do other than say NO we do not want/need it. Please donate or trash it. I have had intentions of sitting and going through it with them as that's probably the right thing to do in our case. But that would take a lot of hours over several days and we only visit every other year for a limited time. I guess one day I should step up to the plate, book a longer vacation, and actually do it. Maybe this year?

I also live across the country from my parents. When they remodeled the house, they packed up all the stuff we kids had left there and shipped it to us. But (a) they could afford to, and (b) it was a few cartons of papers and things. If you're talking about tons of stuff, or stuff that doesn't fit into a regular box, then yeah, you have to go through it and discard.

I would suggest NOT having them with you when you go through it, because they will want you to keep everything. Could you ask them to pull out any stuff that they, themselves, want to keep (baby pictures or whatever)? Then one of you get them out of the house while the other goes through the stuff ruthlessly. Take the discards to trash/donation right away. Then wait for the storm to blow over.

You have the right to dispose of your own stuff. If they want to keep something, it becomes *their* stuff. You can't let them hang on to things while they continue claiming that it's yours. 

They won't be happy about it--but there are no magic words to make them happy. Either you do something to change the situation, or it will continue the same way. They will adjust, or die mad. Sorry, I know it sucks.


Kat57

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Yes, sending your kids their treasures to store themselves works really well. I kept it in storage for them (mom, you keep this for me until I get a place of my own), but unloaded that to them immedately when they got to their own place!  My mom made distribution on all of her valuables in the 2 years before she died and got rid of the rest in a major downsizing so that when she died there was not a big pile of life accumulation to go through. 

Like one of the previous posters, my mom and mother in law sent care packages of green paper with presidential portraits on them.  Oh, also meat for the freezer.  Oh yeah, also fresh bread and rasberry deserts...dang, now I need some rasberry dessert.

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My Grandma.  Oh it makes me so sad!   A lot of it is practical stuff that I could use.  And I've gotten ballsier about just getting rid of what I can't use, thanks to KonMarie.  Honestly, she was born in '33, so I think it's just the Depression era mindset.  She's always always told me (and her mother told her), "Take care of what you have, or you'll never have anything new, because you'll always be replacing the old".  And this is a generation that had formal dining ware for parties, and "silver" to polish.  It's funny how rich we are now, relatively speaking, in material goods, that we're able to be "minimalist".  Whereas in her day, they probably didn't have a lot of stuff and wanted to accumulate. 
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Ducky

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We sure do get crap we dont need. I dont like a lot of stuff personally. I hate clutter. However stuff and having lots of stuff is very important to the person that gives it to us.  So it is an act of love. I just say thank you and later get rid of it if it is something we will never use.

Prospector

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Re: Do any of your parents hoard and try to give you crap and other dumb stuff?
« Reply #99 on: February 01, 2016, 05:36:07 AM »
Parental units came for dinner last night.

My Mom sits our 7yr old on the couch and tells him she has something VERY IMPORTANT for him. Looks him in the eye and tells him she NEEDS him to do something special for her, then out from her purse comes her past three years used Christmas cards.

The VERY IMPORTANT task is that he is to cut out the pictures on each card and make a beautiful collage for her. She then sits with him and goes through each card individually telling him how important each of her friends is and showing how people who REALLY care send her Christmas cards. We don't send cards. By the end the kid thinks he has Solomon's treasure, and we have a project we don't want. As she goes out the door, she says to just throw out the collage when he's done, its the doing that matters, not the outcome.

We just threw out all our cards last week. Now we have three years worth of hers to toss. Nice.
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