It’s the day after Christmas and Joanna is in a bit of a pickle… Months ago, she and her mother-in-law Liz had a conversation about what Joanna and her husband Jake might need or want for their new home. Somewhere in the conversation, Joanna must of mentioned that the couple was planning on getting a new flat screen tv for the family room. And when her in-laws arrived for Christmas brunch, they also delivered the extremely generous gift of a new TV – plus professional installation for the 29th of December!
Overwhelmed by the generosity and thoughtfulness of the gift, Joanna and Jake were genuinely appreciative, but… the TV was not what they had planned to get at all. They had had their eye a specific brand, style and size – that likely costs double of what Jake’s parents spent on the Christmas flat screen.
Knowing how excited his mother gets about giving gifts, Jake feels like a jerk, and doesn’t want to hurt his mother’s feelings by telling her that it wasn’t exactly what they wanted. He told Joanna that they should just accept the gift and have it installed on the 29th. It may not be what they planned, but it was still way better than the crappy old TV that they had been using.
Joanna disagrees. She wants to tell Liz the truth and return the flat screen. She feels, after the initial sting, Liz will totally understand and will much rather put the money towards the TV they really want – and Joanna and Jake can pay the difference. Jake thinks it’s rude, and he knows his mother will want to pay the difference – which he does not want to put his parents in the position to do. Joanna thinks Jake is acting like an overprotective mama’s boy.
Is it really that rude to let Liz know the truth, or should Joanna push Jake to let her speak up? Is Joanna being ungrateful, or is Jake treating his mother too sensitively?
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