Ask Someone Else's Mom

Secondhand Offerings Annoy Newlyweds

DEAR SOMEONE ELSE’S MOM: Shortly after my new wife and I moved into our first apartment, both her parents and mine started showing up with stuff from their basements and attics that they’re convinced we just can’t live without. How do we get them to stop palming off their used crap on us? --- OUT WITH THE OLD

DEAR OUT: Mixed in with the dishes and cutlery my husband and I bought over the years are pieces we started out with when we had very little and couldn’t afford much beyond the barest essentials. These “donations” from our parents were generally odds and ends they’d replaced as their incomes and families grew.

By making use of these secondhand items, we were able to put our money towards the purchase of things we really wanted or needed. Three decades later, a few of those still serviceable pieces are reminders of the givers, too many of whom are now gone.

So long as what your folks drop off is in decent shape, even if not the latest and greatest or much to your taste, say, “Thanks,” with a smile and take it. If it’s not of any use to you, pass it on to a local charity or thrift shop where it may find another life in someone else’s home, or poll your friends to see if any of them are interested in the offerings.

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