Etiquette Dilemma Solved, Thanks to TJ Maxx & You

by Lian on October 27, 2011

My 84 year- old mother is a Maxxinista. Unfortunately, most of her TJ Maxx purchases end up in my closet. It’s not like I don’t like stuff, I just have enough stuff.  My mother is from the More is More school of home decorating;  I live in an Enough is Enough house.  So whenever my mother utters the phrase, “‘I picked up a few things for you at TJ Maxx,” I start thinking about a home addition to store the “few things.” Last week, my mother did some Thanksgiving shopping for me at TJ Maxx, despite my please not to buy anything. I asked the Chaos Crew how to handle the constant barrage of table runners and matching napkins ( that don’t always match my taste!). You wisely answered, “Say thank you and take it without question. You can give it away later.”

Excellent advice. So with that attitude, I headed out to Santa Monica last week to take my dad out to lunch and haul home my new linens n’ things. Good news, Crew! My mom did not buy another 3 dozen white napkins! (She had previously commandeered most of  the white napkins available in North America.) Instead, abundance in some of my favorite Fall Colors, including griege.

Good thing I drove the mini van to Santa Monica to pick up my haul. This is a portion of the items I brought home. Love them all, though.

More napkins, runners and table clothes. Lovely colors and by that I mean Not White. Maybe next year, she'll buy me a house with a bigger linen closet.

Yes, that IS a vintage Ralph Lauren sweater. Thanks for noticing. Not only did my mother buy all the table decor, she gave me personal decor. She thought I might like to WEAR this on Thanksgiving, along with the matching turtlenecks she made me take. Despite the fact that's it's usually 8o degrees here and I've been allergic to wool since childhood. Did I mention that it's VINTAGE?

But the best advice on how to handle the donations came from you.... and TJ Maxx. Thanks, Mom.

Embracing my Chaos,



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Adrian October 31, 2011 at 7:22 AM

When my sisters and I were in our 20s, we got yelled at for taking beer out of my grandmother’s fridge. She said, “Who said you could have a beer?! You’d better finish that thing!” It was so incongruous that we burst into laughter. But, now that I’m older, I understand that it was my grandmother’s way of holding on to our childhood. To her, we will always be little kids.

I think, in the same way, you’re mother is taking care of you. This is a small way for her to hold on to her babies. If shopping for you isn’t a financial burden, you should just let her do it. It must bring her great joy to be able to take care of her little girl.

Lian October 28, 2011 at 7:43 AM

Mari– Dare I day the bathroom IS NOT DONE YET!!!! okay, got that off my chest. Everything was going great guns until soccer season started and my husband insisted on finishing the trim himself. It will look great! Hopefully by Thanksgiving– then I’ll post pics.

As for Dolan– think it was on The Good Wife. Character name. Haven’t read Maine but it’s on my list. Lian

Barbara October 27, 2011 at 4:36 PM

I am in the enough is enough stage myself! I have enticed my teenage boys into selling our “extras” online by giving the a share of the profits. Win, win. Someone would love to turn the vintage sweater into a pillow or another accessory.

Mari (Bookworm with a View) October 27, 2011 at 4:18 PM

I love the tall grass in the pots, I might have to get some for our house! First I need to think about getting my Halloween decorations out (yikes).

Different subject… is your bathroom done? Maybe you posted an update while I was on strike duty (don’t remind me). Do you love it?

A few weeks ago you referenced Dolan in a novel you were reading, was it Maine? There is a Dolan family in Maine. Wondering if you liked it. I should finish reading it this weekend.

Anne Yee October 27, 2011 at 12:06 PM

Felted Wool (You boil the heck out of the sweater until it shrinks as far as it can shrink) sweaters can be transformed into hats, purses and other fashion accessories. I have a friend that even turns them into rosaries and crosses. I know you have SO much time for crafty things! Maybe just take it to a thrift shop and let some crafty (or cold) person have a chance to purchase it.

Cyndi October 27, 2011 at 11:16 AM

Just looking at that wool sweater makes me want to run in the opposite direction – I, too am so allergic to wool that the very thought of wearing it makes me cringe!

I also don’t like decorating clutter in my own home, but enjoy it in other people’s homes. Love the phrase “Enough is Enough” house.

I would let your mother’s lucky finds in the front door, but the back door would be cracked open for easy exit after the holidays …

Michele October 27, 2011 at 10:28 AM

You handled this sitution with diplomacy and grace. Mom/daughter relationships can be tricky sometimes. When you first brought up this dilemma, I was a little bit worried that you were thinking of taking the honesty route with your mom. I should have known better:)

Kristin October 27, 2011 at 9:27 AM

I’ll take the vintage sweater! :) So cute that your mom is such a Maxxinista. Mine can be too, but more a “bargainista.” Usually that means my kids end up with tons of clothes, but that’s not all bad. Cracks me up that she delights in the bargain, even if I HATE what she’s bought. Say thank you and give it away later…. well, said Chaos Crew!

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