As some of you know, a couple of years ago my car fell apart. Windows broke off, the battery constantly needed to be recharged, things got quirkier and quirkier by the day. We needed a new car, but it was not our highest priority--we figured we'd save up for it, and get one when we could. Then my mother in law offered to help us buy a car. We did not ask her to, we did not beg for a loan, she just got tired of seeing me drive around with saran wrap instead of a window, I guess. And she can make these bold, expensive gestures.
She offered us a chunk of money towards a car. She also all but insisted we buy a certain model, but the one she liked wasn't big enough for our tall sons, and it was also a lot more expensive than the one we ended up getting--so, yes, we would have had to pay a lot of our own money we didn't have for a car not as good as the cheap one. In fact, the car the Sons now call "The Powerful Mom 5" actually cost less than my mother in law had originally offered to give us "toward" the car. So we ended up needing less money than she'd offered, which kinda pleased us.
She stroked the check. We were grateful. I LOVE my car. And we have made it clear that we are thankful. It has been amazing, feeling like she just DID this for us, out of kindness, and never asked for anything in return.
Then yesterday we went out to lunch with her, in my car. And she asked the Sons all to be quiet and listen to her, because she had something to say.
"You know I bought this car for YOU. This is YOUR car. You're just letting Mom drive it, until you're old enough. And that's really nice of you, to let Mom drive your car. So, you should wash and vacuum it every day, because in a little while it won't be Mom's car anymore, and you want it to be in good condition when you get it from her."
I'm just gonna love that, the day the Sons decide I need to start hoofin' it everywhere. Thanks, Mom-in-Law, for the undermining. I really needed that shit, yesterday.