My FIL/MIL used our van this weekend to take our kids out to eat while DH and I went out on a date. When he drove our van, FIL noticed a litany of things that need fixed and told DH to come out on Saturday and they’d work on it. At first I had no issue with it, it sounded as though they were just going to replace the rotars on the wheels. We’re pretty strapped right now, but I was okay with springing for something as basic as this. Then last night the little ‘project’ just blew up. FIL is going to ask his mechanic about how much he thinks it’ll cost to have our van repaired and he’d foot the bill and we could just pay him back.
Gee, thanks. This will be the second loan we’ll owe his dad and I am VEHEMENTLY opposed. I didn’t say this to DH, but all I could think was, whenever my parents give us money, it’s an out-and-out gift, not conditional for repayment. If you’re going to offer someone help, just give it as a gift, don’t offer them a loan for something they neither want nor need. DH says that FIL’s thinking is that this is the primary vehicle for his grandkids and he wants us all to be safe. Well, that’s all very nice, but we can certainly wait 4 months to fix the van till we can afford to do it ourselves.
How can I put into words what I’m trying to say here? This ‘offer’ would just create a very offputting feeling in our relationship, that we ‘owe’ his father in some way. It almost feels like a bit of an ego trip, which FIL, as generous and sweet as he normally is, is known for.