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My parents

Discussion in 'Personal' started by happyrabbit, May 6, 2012.

  1. It is really embarrassing. I don't think that it's Alzeimers - they both fully understand what they are doing and why. It's my dad more, though. My mother is actually a stepmother. She's been married to my dad for years and years but she's always been slightly enthralled by him, looking back. I don't think she'd steal sugar and the like alone but it gets 'approval' from my dad when she does!
    In fairness to them, I don't think they go out for tea and cake a lot, by any stretch of the imagination - it happens when they come to visit me. I try to keep them out of my house because I have cats and my dad always has a "witty" put down about my decor or my tidiness. I do think they must go at least once a week for tea though - certainly their house is full of condiments from various well known chains. Oh dear!
  2. I think all you can do is voice your disapprovement, in that case.
    Without wishing to pry, it doesn't sound like your relationship is that great? (if you are thinking that if you say something, they would no longer visit?)
  3. I'm not sure I understand why.
    Is it to get something for nothing?
    They must be able to see that having a meal at Wetherspoons in order to steal a few condiments isn't saving money.
    And it is stealing, if what they're taking isn't for use on the premises.
  4. No, I don't really understand why either. I suspect my dad may have a touch of OCD - as I was typing this I remembered that a few years ago my brother and his girlfriend were living in a house with a log fire and my brother mentioned to my dad that if he saw any decent logs when out in the woods to bring them to him (my dad is a keen walker.) A few weeks later, they had so many logs they were begging my dad not to bring them any more as there was nowhere to put them all but he still carried on! I do think he is a little bored and unstimulated - he was very young when he retired.
    Celticqueen, it's hard to say really. I have had a couple of hospital admissions and on those occasions, he's been so demonstratively upset and anxious that I've been able to see he does love me and cares about me. Unfortunately, he isn't interested in me as a person and he never has been, really. I feel disloyal saying so but as a younger child a lot of his treatment of me bordered on what would certainly be considered neglect nowadays (although in fairness it was obviously a different generation so to judge by today's standards is harsh) but even so. His 'thriftiness' also meant I was a victim of bullying at secondary school because of the really awful clothes and school bag I used to have to take with me. I wore school uniform of course but my coat, bag and shoes were horrible! I hate looking through family albums - I always look like a raggedy ann doll!
    As a younger person his lack of interest did used to upset me, but I've had to accept it to a certain extent now. In some ways, he can be quite selfish and other people exist for his entertainment and his enjoyment so if he doesn't enjoy a person's company, he will cast them aside even if there is a good reason for that person not being full of fun at that moment. He says he doesn't like coming to my house because I have cats and he can't stand the smell and if I'm honest I don't really like him visiting because he always finds something to moan about! Hence why we end up in Wetherspoons. Gosh, I hope he doesn't read this!
    In some ways it wouldn't be a complete tragedy if he didn't visit as the visits aren't hugely enjoyable (aside from the sugar, we always end up walking miles, in the freezing cold and rain because he won't pay for parking, even if I offer to pay!) but what I don't want to do is instigate a big family row as there already has been one in recent history.
    Oh dear, families hey!
  5. kibosh

    kibosh Star commenter

    I suspect Ellen was right first time round; they are thrill seeking to liven things up a bit. This is how they get their kicks. As to your fear about starting a big row if you speak to them about it, can you not just say your bit calmly and leave them to think about?
  6. lurk_much

    lurk_much Occasional commenter

    next time you are in a cafe with them you should call the police on the thieving old scrotes. Well pretend to make the call anyway. That should cheer them up
  7. dozymare1957

    dozymare1957 Occasional commenter

    When we ate out my mum always wrapped up any left over food in the serviette and put in her bag. This wasn't because she'd paid for it but so that it didn't get wasted. It was fine if it was a paper serviette but she'd happily take a linen one if that's all that was available!
    We went for afternoon tea once years ago in Cornwall. The price was so extortionate that she put the tea pot in the pocket of her dress because she said she'd paid for it (it was a flowery dress with two huge patch pockets on the skirt) Luckily my dad noticed and made her put it back. She was furious with him.
    She went to a ball once and came home with a "souvenir" which she had removed from the bar in the very posh London hotel. I won't say what it was because I now have it in my house and someone might identify me. It is something that was used to promote a particular alcoholic drink.
    We had various promotional ashtrays that she collect when she went out - luckily this was usually only once or twice a year.
    As kids we found her excentricity hilarious but as adults it was unbelievably embarrassing.
    HR, your parents are taking this to an extreme it almost sounds like it's become an addiction. I'd be more worried about the loo visits where they collect things than
    the ones where they actually pay for something. That really is blatent
    When they are with you, you are vulnerable as you could be included in any theft charges that involve them. Avoid taking them anywhere that they can collect things.
    You could tell them that you've been to Wetherspoons with a friend and the manager told you that if you bring them in again, he'll call the police. That might be enough to curb their antics.
    Is your dad doing it to wind you up because he knows he'll get a reaction? That's just the sort of thing my mum would do.
    I don't think you telling them not to do it will work. After all, you are still the child in that relationship and have no right to tell them what to do as far as they are concerned. You really aren't responsible for their actions any more than you are for your kid's actions (if you have any). You've advised them about the risks and now it's up to them. I know that seems harsh but that's just the way it is. Please don't think I'm being unsympathetic because I really feel for you but you have to protect yourself both mentally and physically. You cannot stop another adult from doing something and worrying about it is going to make you ill. Try to put this out of your mind and don't worry about them. I doubt if they'll be in huge trouble over it. Chances are they'll just be barred from places where they are caught. In all honesty, they are probably well known and the staff watch out for them.
    If it's any consolation Wetherspoons throw away any sachets that are touched by a member of the public so, if you take ten sachets of ketchup to use and then don't use them all, you might as well take them home to stop them being wasted.
    Keep your pecker up
  8. Could you meet up somewhere where condiments are not on open display? That way your parents are less likely to be tempted to pinch them. If they still do so, may be you should confront them and point out that these items are there for people to use when eating on the premises ... They are NOT freebies for people to help themselves to for personal use at home. This is stealing and they risk being caught and prosecuted.
  9. They wouldn't entertain eating somewhere that isn't Wetherspoons, because it's cheap! [​IMG]
    I have asked them (nicely) to please not do it, but they just find it funny (I think they see it as "old fogeys embarrassing the teeange daughter" except I left my teens over a decade ago, unfortunately.)
    I think that they just get these ideas in their heads and I honestly don't know where this latest 'game' has come from but it is embarrassing for me and worrying too of course.
  10. dozymare1957

    dozymare1957 Occasional commenter

    Who pays? If it's you then you choose where you eat. If they are paying then you could leave before them and go to get the car so you don't have to walk out with them.
    If you eat in 'Spoons regularly do you know the manager? Give him the heads up and ask him to speak with them about it on your next visit.

  11. No - they only come up once every few months, although I know they do it a lot more regularly at home. Parents!
  12. kibosh

    kibosh Star commenter

    I wouldn't worry about it . . . . . it will be a phase and they will grow out of it. I know you said that you are the 'child' in this . . . . . .but maybe they are at that age now when they behave more and more like children.
  13. Linda555

    Linda555 New commenter

    Some of the things you have said made me think of Aspergers syndrome - there are sensory issues (smell and needing to comment about it, not sensitive to cold), lack of social awareness (not realising it isn't acceptable as well as their relationship with their friends as well as yourself), rigidity and even not knowing when to stop (logs), difficulty in being close - but anxious reactions when you are "at risk", cutting off friends when they don't meet expectations ... I have a few relatives with Aspergers - and when they catch planes / go to restaurants etc they feel very pleased with themselves (in a very child-like way) when they bring all the "freebies" home - not realising that someone has paid for them and doesn't expect them to take more than they need. One relative used to give them out as gifts, which really upset his non-Asperger kids. Have a look at one of the adult Aspergers websites and you may get a bit more insight. Not saying he has Aspergers, but there are a few similarities and if you see a link, it may help with dealing with them. Good luck.
  14. Tigger1962

    Tigger1962 New commenter

    Sorry but it doesn't sound like Aspergers syndrome at all - this couple is not unaware of the social rules they are revelling in breaking them. Also once Aspergers people are informed of the rules they can be very strict about keeping them rather than laughing off criminal behaviour Also collective Aspergers with 2 people??
    To be it sounds more like an compulsive behaviour - or perhaps an early form of Alzheimers - my grandfather exhibited very strange and inappropriate behaviour in the early stages that in some ways was similar - i think that my mother is going the same way as she's obsessed with BOGOF deals at the supermarket and has cupboards of stuff she doesn't even like such as oxtail soup because it was a bargain!
    I understand how difficult it is for OP - perhaps you just need to walk out and leave them when they start this behaviour - as a teacher you would not want to get arrested with them for stealing sugar sachets
  15. Linda555

    Linda555 New commenter

    Not suggesting they both have Aspergers, just the dad. And Aspergers people DO follow their own rules, even if it geos against those of society (trust me - that's what I've witnessed in my own family). Not sure how you can say it doesn't sound at all like Aspergers - I've listed lots of reasons why it does, based on what the OP has said. And Aspergers people are often very compulsive, cnhave OCD. All of his characteristics that don't follow the usual social norms, and there are lots quoted. Ddn't say he has Aspergers, but offering it as a route to follow.

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