Mother-in-Law gift dilemma!

  1. THE BACK-STORY
    So, my mother-in-law and I have often had a strained relationship. She thinks handbags are a huge waste of money, etcetera (although she wastes loads of money on other "frivolous" things, herself).
    When i first got in to handbags, like most people, I was in to Coach. I still like some of their designs, but I've moved away from them. However, at the time, I talked about it a lot, but she always made fun of me, so I stopped. This Christmas, though, she bought me a Hampton's Medium Carry-All in.
    http://www.coach.com/content/product.aspx?product_no=9824&category_id=161

    THE DILEMMA
    The thought was really sweet, because she knew I used to be in to Coach and went and bought me something she thought I'd like (as opposed to the usual something she'd like me to like). Having said that, though, I'm really not in to Coach designs anymore, and I hate signature fabrics - really, really hate signature fabrics. From any house, even the premiere ones. I just find them very "look-at-me," and where I come from that's not encouraged. I'm torn because this was a very thoughtful gift and (I think) a move towards reconciliation from her side, but in my heart of hearts I know I'm never going to carry that bag.

    POSSIBLE PLANS
    *** I'll keep the bag for about a year and wear it to events I know she'll be at, and then eBay it.
    *** Exchange it for a similar bag in leather and hope she doesn't notice (of course she will).
    *** Exchange it for a similar bag in dark leather and tell her I was just worried that the fabric would stain.
    *** Let the bag sit in the back of my closet for forever.

    Advice is welcome (even if it's just to say "Suck it up and use the damn bag").
     
  2. If you don't see her very often I say eBay it. If you do see her you might have to just suck it up and use it only when you know she is around. I would mention is some round about and nice way that you really like leather bags better than the signature. You don't want to start a tradition of gifts you will hate.
     
  3. I vote for option 3. It was a thoughtful gift and you should get some use out of it. I would just tell her that you respect the investment she made in the gift for you and from your previous experiences, the fabric stains easily so you thought that leather would be better for long term use. I would sure understand if I was your MIL.
     
  4. i second the vote for option #3. i think it sounds like an extremely reasonable excuse. you can even point that u love the style so much that ud like to use it for years :graucho:
     
  5. #3 - Exchange for a leather handbag that you will use. Do you have kids? If so, say "the kids are constantly touching / pulling on my handbag with their dirty hands and I just knew it would ruin the fabric".
     
  6. #4.

    I would maybe wear it around her once or twice. Just to be nice.
     
  7. Well, normally I would say option 3. However, since your relationship is already strained and she is trying to reconcile, I say just suck it up and use it. I hate the signature stuff too but I would use it in this case. She may see it as you not appreciating the thought she put into her gift if you exchange it. She may perceive it that you care more about the actual bag rather than the effort and thought that went behind the gesture itself. Besides, I am sure you have plenty of bags that you absolutely love. Take this olive branch that she is extending to you and maybe you will be able to repair this relationship. All the best!
     
  8. ^ I agree. I think you should just use it around her. Personally, I think it was extremely thoughtful of her to give you something so nice. It appears she is trying to extend an olive branch to you. I would, if I were you, thank her a million times over and wear the bag with pride.
     
  9. She's your MIL, I think it was a very sweet thing for her to do, more than mine would. (however, i do love my MIL).

    I would praise the bag and carry everytime I knew she would be around, if you are carrying it to her house, no one is going to care or see you.

    Sometime later, in a few months, I would mention that you enjoyed the signature bag, but that you are beginning to think that it may be "fussy" or "showy".

    You can start to back off and mention that you are rotating the bag. I would definately keep it though, as a reminder of her good will. You didn't pay for it, so there really is no loss. However, if she notices how much you appreciate her thoughtful gift you might get an even nicer gift this year. Or maybe you might mention that you use a particular website or store that you enjoy shopping. Check the website or store, it may have a favorites or wish list that your husband could provide to her for next year.

    Just a thought.
     
  10. I vote for leather if you will use it, otherwise Id say use it once or twice around her then eBay it.
     
  11. I too vote for the suck it up and use it approach. I would NEVER and I mean NEVER in a million years get anything so nice from my MIL or my mother for that matter. One doesn't like me...(MIL) and the other shops only the dregs of sale that nobody would ever want...you know the the 99Cent shirt in the color nobody in their right mind would get caught dead in. (I got two for Christmas and that was it). I would pass out and need medical attention if I ever received a gift as nice as that. Enjoy and it grow on you.
     
  12. ITA with these posts!

    Your MIL made an effort to buy something you would like and it's an authentic bag! We have tPFers who have posted receiving fake Coach bags for presents, I think that her efforts should be appreciated. I think she gave you a beautiful bag! Yes, 'suck it up and use the damn bag'! LOL
     
  13. I vote for option 1 because she made an effort for you. Now it's time for you to make an effort for her. It's not about the bag. It's about you, your husband, and your mother-in-law.
     
  14. Very well put!
     
  15. I'd go for #1.