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Pandora's avatar

What would you do?

Asked by Pandora (27694points) October 24th, 2010

My mother-in-law is like the little boy who cried wolf one time too many.
As a consequence no one believes her any more when she is in need of money.
Well she wanted my daughter to call her and it turns out she wanted to borrow 100 dollars to help with medical bills. So she says. My daughter said yes but she lives pay check to pay check.
She thought it funny that she didn’t ask us. My husband would give her the money gladly if she needed it but we have learned to ask for proof.
Too many times (especially this time of year) she would scam family members for cash for trips and gifts that no one needs.
Funny thing is she would get it if she asked up front but she always comes up with some sad story that ends up not being true.
She will ask several members not to say anything so they won’t all find out they are all helping to fund her next trip to California or Florida or to Japan. Or to pay for a 300 dollar phone for her favorite grandchild because his mom won’t buy it and this will make her look awesome in his eyes.
Anyhow, my daughter knows she can’t lend her the money because one, she needs to borrow it from us to begin with and two she would forever be an easy mark by her grandmom.
However, she doesn’t know how she can get out of it and not feel guilty for telling us.
Any suggestions on how to handle an old con woman who happens to be your grandmother.

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20 Answers

BarnacleBill's avatar

Call your mother-in-law and tell her that in order to lend her $100, your daughter needs to borrow it from you. Let your daughter off the hook for obligation to grandma, and let grandma know that she put the touch on the wrong person, because in order to give her the money, your daughter’s choice is to either not eat for two weeks, or borrow the money from you.

WestRiverrat's avatar

Have your daughter tell Grandma she had to spend the money on bail.

Pandora's avatar

@BarnacleBill GA,
@WestRiverrat That would be awesome if I could be there to see her face. LOL
Oh, that just made me think of another possiblity. She could say that she will lend her the money in a few weeks after she gets enough money for the abortion. LMAO. That would give her a heart attack. Then she may need the money for medical bills.

YARNLADY's avatar

I had this same problem with my sister. We do not loan her money for any reason. We only help her when we can send money directly to the company, such as using our credit card to pay for tires on her car, directly to the tire company.

You could try “send me the bill and I will pay it directly”.

Pandora's avatar

@YARNLADY That is good, but my brother in law tried that. She would just stick him with her larger bills and then still buy the stupid wasteful stuff or go on a quick trip with the money she would’ve used on her actual bills.

Judi's avatar

And I thought MY family was disfinctional!!!
The rest of the family all has to get on board about how you will deal with this odd behavior. She should know that the whole family has agreed to communicate ever time she has a money request and your husband needs to let her know in the firmest terms that she is never to put your daughter in this position again! No more games, the gig is up.

Pandora's avatar

Yeah, she put the y in dysfunctional.
Over the years they have learned to communicate and so her games have been less but we never thought she would reach out for the grand kids. My daughter is the sensitive type too. She knows how her grandmother is but feels bad about turning in an old woman.
I think my husband will probably go your way. He’s asleep now but he was really pissed that his mom hit up his baby girl for money. His exact words, Were, “Hell no, she is not sending any money to her. This is not going to happen”.
I’m thinking he is going to call his dad tomorrow and let him know what his wife is up too.
Grand pa will not like her trying to take advantage of his grand daughter. He doesn’t care who else she tries to sucker but his granddaugher is his favorite. He will be really pissed at her.

MissA's avatar

It sounds as if she’s a bit of a stinker, among other things.

I knew a man who had allowed his mother to move in with him as her health declined. The man remarried and the three lived in the same house. She had round-the-clock-care, mostly from his new bride. His mother became less ambulatory by the day. In no time, she was wheelchair bound. The new wife cared for her mother-in-law with no less willingness than if it had been her own. This went on for three years. Everything had to be done for her.

One weekend, the couple had been gone for a few hours and left her home alone. They returned sooner than expected, only to find the mother practically running from the fruit cellar to the house. She was midway when they pulled in. Yes, the jig was up.

They moved out and let her ruminate in her deceitfulness. They were crushed…never got over it. When people would ask about his mother, he’d just shake his head.

Call her on it out in the open. Letting someone get by doing this is worse than what she’s doing. Unless she has some mental issues…that’s my 2-cents worth.

perspicacious's avatar

Yes, tell her she is a con woman and none of you are falling for it anymore. Tell her to live on her own income like the rest of the family and not to ask for help anymore and that if she has a true emergency you possibility will help by direct payment to a creditor or vendor but cash will under no circumstances be handed to her in the future. She’ll never ask again.

Pandora's avatar

@MissA Funny you should mention mental illness. When she and I first met, we did not get along. Funny thing is no one noticed her bad behavior at first except when it came to her and I. With time I learn not to let her get to me but the rest of the family has had it. I actually think she has a mental illness but the rest of her family just think it is poor behavior. I’ve watched her get worse over the years and I actually think that she believes most of her lies. I think she actually can’t help herself.
They all rather accept that she simply has bad behavior than be mentally ill. I’ve seen her pull some stuff on her own children that I can’t justify as being just normal or selfish. And from what I’ve gathered she has been this way before she had children.
When she is on tranqualizers she isn’t so bad but when she is not, look out world.

YARNLADY's avatar

@Pandora My son’s Mother In Law has a medical emergency when she’s not getting enough attention, and it usually involves calling for an ambulance, only to find out at the emergency room hours later that it was a false alarm – again

BarnacleBill's avatar

If she can’t manage her finances, and is routinely having “emergencies” then perhaps someone needs power of attorney over her finances, and she needs to not pay her bills. That was the first sign with my mother that she had Alzheimer’s. She lost her ability to manage money, and stopped paying her bills .

Pandora's avatar

@BarnacleBill Yeah, then she has had alzheimers for over 35 years. She has done this for all of her life. She borrows from Peter to pay Paul. When I met my husband he use to send most of his pay check back home to help pay for expenses. She always made it sound like they were in dire need. She asked my husband never to mention it to his dad because he would be ashamed to say he needed the money. Found out she was blowing every cent he sent her and every cent his brother sent her on buy beauty pageant stuff for their sister. She was blowing the money on ball gowns and entrance fees. In the mean time both brothers where living pay check to pay check thinking they were help at home. This is why she threw such a big stink when both her sons got married. She knew this meant the money train was over.
No, she is just manipulative. But I do think she is ill. This is not normal thinking for a grown person.

Deja_vu's avatar

@Pandora I’m sorry you have to go through that. She does sound mental.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Gadzooks, Have your daughter tell the step-grandma she can loan her the money but she will have to put up with her and her 5 cats because to do so she willhave to not pay rent or utilities and she can’t stay in a place with no lights or heat that she is getting evicted of at the same time. Fight fire with fire.

BarnacleBill's avatar

What’s really interesting is that family seems to put up with it. Do they not ever see each other at the same place and the same time? How many children does she have?

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

If I were your daughter,I would just say that I don’t have the money,then ask to borrow some.Seriously.

Pandora's avatar

@BarnacleBill All the siblings live all over the place. Only his sister lives near her and that relationship is extremely unstable. Of course my father in law is still alive and kicking and is with her but he is much older than her and getting very forgetful.
But all of them will rather think of her as being manipulative than ill.
I give them another 5 years or so before they all have to make a decision on what to do with their folks. For now they are all burying their heads in the sand as if this will make their aging disappear.
No body wants to be the bad guy.

YARNLADY's avatar

I’m doing something backwards. Whenever my grandchildren need money they call me

Pandora's avatar

@YARNLADY That is totally insane. :)

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