Mad Mother-in-Law

Dear Mrs. McVeigh,

I recently got married and received a wedding gift from my new sister-in-law that is really not my taste. My husband mentioned in passing to my mother-in-law that we are going to return it, and she was really mad. She called me and told me that I should not return it since it was from my husband’s sister, and that would be really rude. I was as polite as I could be, but was steaming on the inside. I think she should mind her own business. Is there some etiquette rule that you cannot return a gift from close family or something?

Mad Bride

Dear Mad Bride,

There is not an official etiquette rule on returning gifts from anyone. I understand your frustration with your mother-in-law. Mother and Daughter-in-law relationships are often fragile. Both sides seem to interpret things in an extreme way when communicating with one another. If you want to improve your relationship with your mother-in-law, or if your husband thinks it will cause an issue with he and his mother or his sister, then I would not return the gift. If your husband if fine with returning it, then get something better suited for the both of you.  If your mother-in-law brings it up again, ask your husband to speak on your behalf and say that it was his decision too. Mother-in-laws tend to back off when their sons make it clear that you are united on an issue.