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Stone cold crazy like a fox

August 5th, 2010 · 72 comments

For her 28th birthday, Jennifer in Arizona received this thoughtful card from her mother-in-law (who apparently comes from the same school of gift-giving as my own Grandma Cookie).  “Since April I’ve lost 15 pounds,” Jennifer explains. “Apparently she’s concerned that I’ll gain it back.”

Your [sic] doing So great. Didn't want you to Have too much, But just enough. Have a great Birthday!

related: Take this and go buy yourself a couple of scales, okay, sweetie?

FILED UNDER: Arizona · birthday · ice cream · irregular capitalization · Mothers-in-Law · your/you're

72 responses so far ↓

  • #1   ClearlyDemented

    I use this technique often when a more substantial gift card to somewhere more appropriate just won’t do. For instance, my aunt just had gastric bypass, so I sent her a $5 card to the local grocery store with a note that said, ‘This should get you a week’s worth of groceries, right?’

    Jul 12, 2010 at 9:18 pm   rating: 79  small thumbs up

    • #1.1   Dixiechick

      At least, that’s what they told us at the family meeting about you.

      Aug 5, 2010 at 10:24 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up

    • #1.2   ClearlyDemented

      Oh, Dixiechick, don’t pretend you don’t find yourself wrapping up some of your CDs you saved from the flames of those Bush supporters years back.

      Aug 5, 2010 at 10:57 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up

    • #1.3   Scribbles the Monkey bang

      Oh my God, I now realise that my family has meetings about me! How could I not have seen it? It explains everything!

      Aug 6, 2010 at 11:37 am   rating: 1  small thumbs up

  • #2   Abbs

    I only want you to gain 7 lbs, not 15 lbs or 0 lbs – that’s why I decided against the $30 gift certificate or a gift certificate to Best Buy

    Aug 5, 2010 at 9:15 pm   rating: 17  small thumbs up

  • #3   sarah

    I kind of don’t mind this. It’s disrespectful if someone ignores your attempts to lose weight, and it’s realistic to acknowledge that stuff like cold stone is ok in moderation.

    Aug 5, 2010 at 9:17 pm   rating: 43  small thumbs up

    • #3.1   Kel

      I have to agree in this rare case. I think she (the MIL) was actually trying to be courteous with the rather modest gift card amount. I mean, seriously, everybody knows $15 bucks wont get you far at a place like Coldstone.

      Aug 6, 2010 at 1:25 am   rating: 3  small thumbs up

    • #3.2   Splint Chesthair

      I also agree. Any attempts at addressing weight issues is going to sound passive aggressive to the person trying to lose weight and/or keep it off.

      But I guess a better notes would be something like “Have a little treat on me, you deserve it, you look GREAT!”

      But even then some people will think you’re trying to make them fat again.

      Aug 6, 2010 at 6:53 am   rating: 7  small thumbs up

    • #3.3   RP

      Wouldn’t it have made more sense to just give a non-eating gift? If you have to explain that your gift isn’t a form of sabotage maybe you should just give something else.

      Aug 6, 2010 at 10:09 am   rating: 44  small thumbs up

    • #3.4   Splint Chesthair

      But then aren’t you implying that the person has no form of self control? “Here’s a gift card from Home Depot, I was going to get you a food treat but I know how much of a fatass you are.”

      I dunno. This could be a case of someone winning a $15 gift certificate on the radio and re-purposing it as a gift, thus simply trying to find someone to pawn it off on.

      Aug 6, 2010 at 10:53 am   rating: 5  small thumbs up

    • #3.5   clem

      So why not a gift certificate to her favorite clothing store or boutique? Sends the message, “Good job on the weight loss, looks like you could stand to downsize your wardrobe.”

      Aug 6, 2010 at 11:36 am   rating: 21  small thumbs up

    • #3.6   Splint Chesthair

      naybe a $15 dollar certificate to a clothing shop comes off as cheap because, you really can’t get anything without dishing out money. It’s basically a coupon at that point.

      Jeezus, I don’t know, so maybe you can’t buy food as a gift anymore for fear that hypersensitives will freak out about it?

      Aug 6, 2010 at 1:39 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

    • #3.7   Janellionaire

      Food as a gift is ok. But a gift certificate for ICE CREAM as a congrats on losing weight is inappropriate and seems unsupportive. Maybe a nice Starbuck’s card?

      Aug 6, 2010 at 7:41 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up

  • #4   Lyssa Keene

    Wow, how petty this woman is being. Sounds like a supportive mother-in-law to me. At least she was proud and mindful of her progress.
    If Jenifer is concerned with the amount spent on her, what happened to the whole “it’s the thought that counts”???

    Aug 5, 2010 at 9:17 pm   rating: 12  small thumbs up

    • #4.1   Pterosaur

      A supportive mother-in-law would have sent a $15 gift card for Target or JC Penney. Smaller, more flattering clothes are a better weight loss reward than 900 calories of creamy, delicious, sweet, chocolaty temptation with crumbled cookie things in a waffle cone.

      Dammit, now I’m craving ice cream. Curse you, Jennifer’s mother-in-law!

      Aug 6, 2010 at 10:22 am   rating: 20  small thumbs up

  • #5   jennifer

    yeah… i don’t see how this is passive aggressive, or funny?

    Aug 5, 2010 at 9:20 pm   rating: 3  small thumbs up

    • #5.1   Guy

      The passive-aggressive aspect of this is that there is a commentary about Jennifer’s lack of self control cloaked in a compliment for achieving weight loss (seemingly in spite of herself).

      This is a particularly nasty sort of back-handed compliment.”I’ve been given a gift card, so why do I feel like crap about it?”

      Aug 5, 2010 at 9:49 pm   rating: 31  small thumbs up

    • #5.2   JetJackson

      Yeah Jennifer.. read the rules, or die!

      No but seriously, wtf link up the top.

      Aug 5, 2010 at 10:11 pm   rating: 8  small thumbs up

    • #5.3   Canthz_B bang

      Ours is not to reason why, ours is but to snark or STFU. :-P

      Aug 5, 2010 at 11:28 pm   rating: 9  small thumbs up

  • #6   marathonmom

    Karma is a bitch – especially if you are one.

    Aug 5, 2010 at 9:20 pm   rating: 5  small thumbs up

    • #6.1   TheOldSchool bang


      Could you please explain how it is possible for a person to turn into a karma?

      I’ve known people with similiar names (“Arma,” “Irma,” “Karla,” and “Kramma”), but I’ve never met a “Karma.”

      Besides, even if you were a “Karma,” you could have it legally changed in an instant to something more normal-sounding like: “Fate,” “Destiny,” or “Just Desserts.”

      What you’re named isn’t who you are. So even if your imaginary friend named “Karma” were to behave in a bitch-like manner, that wouldn’t automatically mean that he or she is a bitch.

      Aug 6, 2010 at 9:44 am   rating: 1  small thumbs up

    • #6.2   GhostWriter bang

      Show me a person who can change at will into a Karma…
      …and I’ll show you a Karma Chameleon.

      Aug 6, 2010 at 9:56 am   rating: 22  small thumbs up

    • #6.3   me me me

      you come and go, you come and go

      Aug 6, 2010 at 1:36 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up

    • #6.4   FeRD bang

      Yikes, that sounds familiar. It’s that guy I’ve been fooling around with all over again!

      Aug 6, 2010 at 5:58 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

  • #7   kim

    Your should be you’re
    The lady could have just sent her a different gift certificate instead ?

    Aug 5, 2010 at 9:21 pm   rating: 8  small thumbs up

  • #8   aaa bang

    Dear Jennifer,

    I noticed that you’ve lost weight. Consider this gift card a test of your self control.


    Your mother-in-law

    Aug 5, 2010 at 9:38 pm   rating: 64  small thumbs up

  • #9   Patti

    Gift card to an ice cream place? I LOVE this bitchy mother in law….this is passive aggressive on so many levels.

    Aug 5, 2010 at 9:45 pm   rating: 17  small thumbs up

    • #9.1   Guy

      I agree. It is multi-dimensional. Prolonged exposure to this kind of abuse would be hard to handle.

      Aug 5, 2010 at 9:51 pm   rating: 17  small thumbs up

    • #9.2   Splint Chesthair

      Jeepers, you guys are pretty thin-skinned.

      Aug 6, 2010 at 6:55 am   rating: 5  small thumbs up

    • #9.3   FeRD bang

      Waaaait, interpretations at the passive-aggressivenotes site tend to be hypersensitive to passive-aggressiveness??? Heaven forfend!

      Aug 6, 2010 at 5:59 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up

  • #10   not gen anything

    It’s the PA gift card that just keeps giving. Never to be forgotten, like giving a fur coat to a PETA member.

    Aug 5, 2010 at 10:06 pm   rating: 7  small thumbs up

    • #10.1   Rabble

      Well, now I know exactly what to get for someone I know! Best idea ever!

      Aug 6, 2010 at 12:53 am   rating: 1  small thumbs up

  • #11   Dixiechick

    Did her mother-in-law work a strip joint way back when? Because THAT is a cheap and nasty tease! I can’t imagine $15 will buy you much at Cold Stone. “But we know you want it, Jennifer, don’t you?” Mmm, lick, slurp slurp.

    Aug 5, 2010 at 10:14 pm   rating: 14  small thumbs up

  • #12   JetJackson

    I think the mother-in-law is just looking out for her sons fat fetish. It’s just reverse psychology in an attempt to bump her off the wagon.

    Aug 5, 2010 at 10:28 pm   rating: 10  small thumbs up

    • #12.1   anglophile bang

      And this is why I can’t support the MIL. Fat chicks need love too, and if one wants to get skinny, that just frees up a chubby chaser for the rest of us.

      Aug 6, 2010 at 5:32 am   rating: 15  small thumbs up

  • #13   Pterosaur

    It looks like Jennifer’s diet was a little too successful. She’s making all the other fat-ass relatives look bad. They must return her to their lard-bitch coven before it’s too late.

    I’m sure Mom-in-law also sent the recovering alcoholic son-in-law “just enough” beer. All his spring-water sobriety was really dragging down the family keggers picnics.

    Aug 5, 2010 at 10:37 pm   rating: 33  small thumbs up

    • #13.1   FeRD bang

      I hear that. As relatives on one side of my family ballooned with age, and I managed (not even out of my 20′s, yet) to keep my weight down in the “could stand to lose a few” range, I found I had to avoid even making eye contact with them. Out of fear of a loudly-delivered (and entirely unprovoked) “response” such as, “Yeah, I know I’m fat!

      Apparently, relatives can read minds even when we don’t know what terrible things we’re thinking! I can only imagine what smug, awful thoughts M-i-L was picking up from that evil Jennifer!

      Aug 6, 2010 at 6:09 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

  • #14   Allybears


    Your and You’re…sigh, even Ms-I-L can’t get it straight.

    Even more than an absent-minded, passive-aggressive jab, it’s grammatical errors and random capital letters that really get me going.

    Aug 5, 2010 at 11:10 pm   rating: 3  small thumbs up

    • #14.1   Canthz_B bang

      Repeat comments get a lot of people going too.

      See #6. ;-)

      Aug 5, 2010 at 11:17 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

    • #14.2   Allybears


      Aug 5, 2010 at 11:20 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

    • #14.3   Canthz_B bang

      Sorry, but the misplaced apostrophe was still there for you…was! :-)

      Aug 5, 2010 at 11:30 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

  • #15   Canthz_B bang

    Jennifer should lose a lot more before her next birthday.
    With MIL paying at $1.00 per pound lost, she’ll be one rich Twiggy.

    Aug 5, 2010 at 11:14 pm   rating: 4  small thumbs up

  • #16   Canthz_B bang

    Jennifer was last seen in the shadows outside a Cold Stone Creamery trying to sell the $15 gift card for $12 cash she intends to use in her grocer’s freezer aisle.

    Aug 5, 2010 at 11:22 pm   rating: 6  small thumbs up

  • #17   sleeps

    Geez, I wish my MIL would send me gift cards for my bday/Christmas. Instead, she calls and leaves long, awkward voicemails asking if I wouldn’t like some random crap thing she saw in her local Target circular, and if so, she’ll mail me a check so I can go buy it for myself.

    Then this year, my phone died shortly after she sent me the check, so I ended up sending her an e-card about a week later; she responded with a message saying not to worry about being tardy with my thank you because, “I knew you were raised with good manners and we’d get a thank you eventually!” Nobody does PA like my MIL. She could teach a class.

    Aug 5, 2010 at 11:36 pm   rating: 27  small thumbs up

    • #17.1   Splint Chesthair

      Now THAT’S P.A.!

      Aug 6, 2010 at 6:56 am   rating: 1  small thumbs up

    • #17.2   sleeps

      I really need to start keeping her notes and emails to submit. It’s very therapeutic to share her exploits. I just thank sweet Jebus she lives on the other side of the country.

      Aug 6, 2010 at 2:07 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

  • #18   Nack

    As passive-aggressive as this note is, and as bad as it bugs me the M-I-L has such nice penmanship and such atrocious grammar…

    It is nice the D-I-L was thought of at all, most M-I-Ls spend all their passive aggressiveness on trying their best to ignore you exist.

    Aug 6, 2010 at 12:35 am   rating: 0  small thumbs up

  • #19   Kel

    Shoot, I’d be happy if my MIL gave me a gift at all! She “forgets” or ” doesn’t get around to” giving even her own grandkids a gift and/or card on their b-days….much less her own kids or their spouses.

    Aug 6, 2010 at 1:34 am   rating: 2  small thumbs up

  • #20   Leanne

    What sort of PA MIL sends a gift voucher to an ice cream parlor to her DIL that’s trying to lose weight?! What a cow! It’s not about the amount of money, it’s obviously about the bitchy motivation behind the ‘gift’. I’d rather get nothing.

    Aug 6, 2010 at 5:07 am   rating: 3  small thumbs up

    • #20.1   anglophile bang

      Really? You’d rather get nothing?

      In my world, some free ice cream is always better than no free ice cream.

      Aug 6, 2010 at 5:37 am   rating: 6  small thumbs up

    • #20.2   Splint Chesthair

      Yeah really, one ice cream treat does not a 15 pound gain make. You’re supposed to treat yourself if you want any long-term success at all.

      Aug 6, 2010 at 6:57 am   rating: 3  small thumbs up

    • #20.3   GhostWriter bang

      That is exactly what my Narcotics Anonymous advisor keeps telling me.

      Aug 6, 2010 at 9:47 am   rating: 13  small thumbs up

    • #20.4   mamason bang

      Treat yourself to a new outfit, not ice cream. Using food as a reward is part of the problem.

      Aug 6, 2010 at 10:08 am   rating: 11  small thumbs up

    • #20.5   RP

      It’s not that one ice cream treat will make you gain 15 pounds, it’s that some foods you have to cut out because you can’t eat only a little of it. You’ve gone this long without having it (or at least not regular fatty & sugary version of it) and then someone encourages you to eat something you know you can’t have without going nuts.

      Throwing temptation at someone you know is trying to lose weight is a dick move.

      Aug 6, 2010 at 10:19 am   rating: 10  small thumbs up

    • #20.6   Splint Chesthair

      freaking lame, if you can’t have some ice cream now and then, then you have food issues, period. A single scoop of ice cream should not be a problem for people trying to lose weight or keep it off if you have a healthy relationship with food.

      Aug 6, 2010 at 10:57 am   rating: 7  small thumbs up

    • #20.7   mamason bang

      Does someone with a healthy relationship with food usually need to “diet” to lose weight?

      Aug 6, 2010 at 11:04 am   rating: 9  small thumbs up

    • #20.8   Splint Chesthair

      That’s my point, “dieting” is not healthy. A healthy relationship with food means learning how to have a gosh darn ice cream cone once in a while without freaking out.

      Aug 6, 2010 at 1:42 pm   rating: 5  small thumbs up

    • #20.9   RunBarbara bang

      I use hookers as a reward. Then I steal their clothes (double reward).

      Aug 6, 2010 at 4:04 pm   rating: 18  small thumbs up

  • #21   Christopher Masiello

    That is the perfect amount. $15 will only get you one ice cream there and the 45 minutes that you spend waiting for them to make it will burn off all of the calories. That place sucks!!!
    SlowStone Creamery

    Aug 6, 2010 at 6:49 am   rating: 3  small thumbs up

    • #21.1   mamason bang

      I’ve never understood the ice cream parlor craze. Maggie Moos, Coldstone. Why would I want to spend $6 on an ice cream cone when I can go to the grocery store and spend the same amount on a gallon of Bryers and really get my grub on?

      Aug 6, 2010 at 10:14 am   rating: 6  small thumbs up

  • #22   Noelegy

    This is funny to me because I just embarked upon a Jenny Craig/Weight Watchers-group style weight loss program, and just attended a nutrition class last night in which the issue of “feeders” was raised: people who will subtly (or not so subtly) try to sabotage you into going off your diet so that they will feel better about eating stuff they shouldn’t.

    I think it was nice of the MIL to acknowledge her progress, but then again, “Whuh?”

    Aug 6, 2010 at 8:29 am   rating: 9  small thumbs up

    • #22.1   RP

      I don’t think the people defending the MIL realize that this is a thing: people will suddenly insist on you eating more or worse food when you try to lose weight.

      Aug 6, 2010 at 10:33 am   rating: 6  small thumbs up

  • #23   GhostWriter bang

    Dear Mom,

    Thanks for your support and concern. It reminds me so much of the recent progress you’ve made in cutting back on your massive gambling losses.

    Please find enclosed a $15 gift certificate to the Apache Gold Casino Resort- not too much to get hooked back into the slots again, but just enough to have some fun!

    Have a Great Retirement!

    - Jenny

    Aug 6, 2010 at 9:54 am   rating: 24  small thumbs up

  • #24   claw71 bang

    What Jennifer didn’t bother to mention is that she, like so many other women who get on a serious weight loss plan, became such an obsessive bitch about food, calories and exercise that everybody around her is afraid to invoke her wrath.

    I don’t understand that dynamic. It’s great that you’re finally taking some ownership over your health and well-being but do you have to make such a production out of counting every last calorie, carb or gram of fat?

    I wonder how many times Jennifer threw up her hands at a family gathering because there was no lowfat dressing or because Grandma went and slathered everything with gravy. “This is why I’m fat,” you likely screamed at everyone. “You people have been poisoning me with bad food since I was a little girl.”

    Grandma’s not being snarky about your weight, Jennifer, she’s trying ever so hard not to step on a landmine. Since April you’ve lost 15 pounds, but a lot of the calories you burned to get there were spent in food-related tizzies that left everybody feeling guilty.

    On a side note, it’s kind of sad that $15 will get you “just enough” at Cold Stone.

    Aug 6, 2010 at 10:18 am   rating: 2  small thumbs up

    • #24.1   RP

      Be honest, you know you go out of your way to provide the fattiest, saltiest, most sugar-laden food possible whenever you’re having a meal with someone you know is on a diet.

      Aug 6, 2010 at 10:22 am   rating: 6  small thumbs up

    • #24.2   ammali

      I’m wondering where you people live and what you get at Cold Stone that would cost that much? It’s been a while since I went but I’m positive it’s less than $5 for a scoop in a cone. Unless you’re getting some super-sized giant quadruple scoop in a dipped waffle bowl with 11 different candies mixed in, how is it $15?

      Aug 11, 2010 at 1:44 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

  • #25   mamason bang

    Your mother in law may not be your friend if…

    …she invites you over to look at the new photo albums she’s been working on and they’re full of pictures of your husband and his ex-wife.

    …she tells you that she just assumed it must be a new kitchen floor because it looked clean.

    …she asks you what on earth you eat to sustain your weight.

    …she mentions to everyone how surprising it was that you looked so nice the other night at your sister in laws birthday party.

    …she gives you a gift card for frozen fat in a cone when she knows you’ve been working toward better health and fitness.


    Aug 6, 2010 at 10:21 am   rating: 21  small thumbs up

    • #25.1   mamason bang

      Everything on this list, with the exception of the gift card, has happened to me. I blogged about this weeks ago after one of her visits.

      Aug 6, 2010 at 3:40 pm   rating: 3  small thumbs up

  • #26   Angela

    If $15 is just enough after she’s lost weight, she probably needs to lose more weight.

    Aug 6, 2010 at 2:19 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

  • #27   RunBarbara bang

    One time my grandmother gave me an Easy Bake Oven for Christmas when all I asked for was a treadmill and some ephedrine. The wrinkled old bitch didn’t even have the decency to include the low-carb cupcake packets, just some bullshit peanut butter shortbread mix. I couldn’t let that kind of bold faced disrespect go unchecked, so I proceeded to explain to my grandmother exactly how hard it is to lose one pound. I talked about ketosis and metabolic rates, I showed her my impeccably detailed food diary and my color-coded bar graph tracking my weight loss. She still just blinked stupidly, like an orphaned seal cub, and implied that maybe my diet was “making me cranky”.

    I cracked my knuckles and told granny that if she didn’t understand and support my goals, I would just have to try a different weight loss plan which I offered to demonstrate for her. Let me tell you, after feeding her Easy Baked treats for a couple of hours and then hacking off two pounds of her grizzled liver-spotted flesh to account for the increased caloric intake, she started coming correct with the gift giving.

    Aug 6, 2010 at 3:59 pm   rating: 9  small thumbs up

  • #28   Max Time bang

    I think jennifer’s mother in law is trying to bring jennifer to the dark side of the ice cream force

    Aug 11, 2010 at 9:37 am   rating: 0  small thumbs up

  • #29   Divvitar

    Gee, thanks, MIL! You forgot I’m lactose intolerant!


    Aug 19, 2010 at 11:11 am   rating: 1  small thumbs up