FWP: Nursery Decor No One Wants
PROBLEM: I’m pregnant, and my inlaws have gifted me a large, ornate rocking chair. It’s quite ugly and takes up most of my bedroom in our small flat. Do I have to keep this nightmare of nursery decor?
KB: No. As my wise uncle used to say: The only things you have to do are pay taxes and die. The nice part about being a fully grown adult is that you no longer have to do what other people want you to do, or what you think will make them happy; you can do exactly what you want. And hideous nursery decor sounds exactly like something you don’t want. Get rid of it. Blame it on the climate, or the pet, or the upholstery, or whatever other excuse is most likely to spare their feelings. But you categorically do not have to retain large pieces of furniture you don’t want.
MM: KB’s wise uncle has some sound advice. Unfortunately I’ve never been able to put anything of the sort into practice and have spent hours of regret over the time I unintentionally refused a hug from a close aunt. So, I can relate. It’s obvious this rocking chair is already giving you sleepless nights, so you’re not the carefree human who can easily get rid of gifts she doesn’t like. (Even if you want to be her.)
Disposing of it is sure to keep you on edge for a long, long time. Imagine the ordeal of coming up with a believable cover story, making sure your husband doesn’t mess up the details, and then teaching the story to your future kid to repeat whenever grandma visits and asks about the rocking chair? Sounds like it would be easier to just deal with the chair. At best you can change the upholstery.
LG: Unprepossessing nursery decor that has been foisted on you, even out of love, will only stir up bad feng shui that will set your baby on the path to a life of lovelessness, or ingrown toenails, or something equally distressing, like a rocking chair fetish. (Don’t Google that.)
And why visit your inlaws’ decorational sins upon your offspring when you have the perfect excuse: You’re pregnant. Say you have this weird hormonal thing going on, which is like the opposite of nesting. Or that you have an acute sensitivity and aversion to the chair’s furniture polish, which smells like fish to you. No one argues with a pregnant lady once hormones or hurling enter the picture; in fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if, with that hanging over their heads, they actually help you turn that chair into kindling.
RK: Go the diplomatic route: Usually, I let my husband step in and deal with all the crazy ideas that his family has for our house. It just works better because I don’t want to come across as a difficult you-know-what to the new family I have come into. So, bring out that whip and let your husband say “thanks but no thanks.”
SB: Gotta go with the majority on this one: a subtle but firm, “No,” is the way to go. Trust me, there are going to be a lot of things to compromised on when it comes to your in-laws and your kid, but don’t start with the nursery furniture. You’re the only one in this equation who is going to have to live with that monstrosity, so save meeting your in-laws halfway for something with more impact, like future sleepovers. RT’s got the right idea: If you can’t stomach the confrontation, have your significant other step in.