My mom subscribed me to a religious magazine.

I am filled with moderate grr because of this.

Background: I was raised Catholic, and my mom is still a devout Catholic. I’m not. I haven’t been to church since I was 17, apart from occasional trips to midnight Mass just to make her happy. I don’t even do that anymore. She knows I’m not Catholic. I didn’t have my kids baptized. This distresses her, but she mostly stays quiet about it, except for very occasional pointed comments. We essentially have a “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy on religion.

So, imagine my surprise when copies of “Catholic Digest” started showing up in my mailbox. Mom has a subscription. I’m 100% sure she’s the one who’s behind my anonymous gift subscription, too, because my sister reported that she also started getting copies in the mail. (My sister is also a lapsed Catholic, although not quite as lapsed as I am.)

The reason this fills me with grr is not that I can’t stand seeing Catholic Digest in my mailbox. I just throw it in the recycling bin, no harm, no foul. The problem is that now my name and address are on their goddamned mailing list, and I’m getting inundated with charity requests from Catholic charitable organizations and whatnot. Thanks a whole fucking lot, Mom.

My sister thinks that we should return the favor by subscribing Mom to some other magazine – perhaps “High Times”, or something of that nature. My husband, clearly still unable to comprehend the passive-aggressive nature of communication in my family, even after 10 years of living amongst us, thinks we should just have a discussion “like adults” about how this sort of thing is unacceptable. Ha. In the interest of preserving family harmony, for now I’m going with just rolling my eyes and continuing to throw the damn thing in the recycling bin. But if the proselytizing escalates, I’m looking up the subscription info for the International Male catalog.

Don’t pick High Times. It won’t have enough of an affiliation with the mailing lists. Is she conservative? If so, try a subscription to The Nation. I get that, and I get tons and tons of liberal junk mail now.

I wouldn’t be filled with moderate grrr - mine would be pretty much full-on. I’ve thought of buying my mom a subscription to a gardening magazine because I think she’d really enjoy it, not because I’m trying to make her garden more. Can you call the magazine and ask them to quit sending you their crap?

I don’t know how to get you off the junk list, but you can manage your subscription at the website by using the customer number on your mailing label. I’d suggest a name change to Belial Whatsit, and an address change to her home, apt.2.

I’ll admit that my initial response was to become completely insane with rage, but I’ve dialed it back a bit, mostly due to reminding myself that this is fairly unusual for my mom, who mostly keeps her religion to herself. I am hoping this is not an early sign of more to come.

Thanks for the info on unsubscribing, Disgscen. I’ve been procrastinating calling the subscription line, because I don’t really like talking on the phone in the first place and I wasn’t looking forward to having to explain why I don’t want their stupid magazine. I’ll check out the website.

Or, more importantly, get them to take your name off the list they sell to other groups.

Alternately, see if you can donate the subscription to someone who might actually want it. If your mother won’t admit that she was the one who signed you up for CD, she’s not allowed to complain when she gets the gift renewal letter, and is asked if she wants to re-up the subscription she bought for the retirement home. :wink:

She means well. Don’t get excited. Just line the bird cage and go on with life.

She’s your mother. Thank her politely for the gift, hang on to the newest edition to throw on a coffee table when she comes to visit, use the rest to line the cat box or recycle. She didn’t do this to harm you or make you angry. She did it because she loves you and she doesn’t want you to burn in Hell forever. Moms get to do stuff like that.

Donate them to the library.

And call once in a while - you don’t know how to work a phone? You know I worry.


Don’t unsubscribe have it sent to your Mother’s house. It will adequately communicate your passive-aggressive distaste for what she has done, and you keep the access to the change of address so that she can’t do anything about it. Your sister should do the same. So when your Mother receives three issues of the magazine a month, she’ll get the message, and all future spam will go to her.

Here’s a very, very bad idea for how to respond:

Make a donation in her name, using her address, to Planned Parenthood.

Doesn’t have to be much. 10 bucks will do nicely.

She will be inundated with junk mail and fundraising phone calls for years to come.

Don’t do this. Really. It’d be a dickish thing to do.

But feel free to fantasize about having done so. Mental revenge is (almost) as sweet as actually doing it. And your mom really did (I suspect) mean well, even if she was a real jerk to do it.

Does Scientology have a magazine? Because a subscription to that would be a nice present for Mom.

Looks that way. Unfortunately, it also looks to be an electronic magazine.


Also, Oakminster, for me to thank her politely for the gift, she’d have to acknowledge that she was the one responsible for the subscription. So far she hasn’t said a word about it, and knowing my mom, I strongly suspect that if I were to confront her about it (which I’m not going to), she would deny any and all involvement. It’s just the way she is.

Mama Zappa, I like the cut of your jib! No, I’m not going to do anything vengeful, much though I might find the idea entertaining. But if I were going to do something vengeful (which I’m not), that would fit the bill admirably!

As for donating to the library, no. I have clutter problems. You would not know this to currently look at my nice, neat, and tidy house. That’s because I don’t make little piles of things to be taken to Goodwill, the library, or other such places. Trust me on this one; I have made peace with certain aspects of my personality, and my complete and utter inability to get things to donation centers in a timely fashion is one of them.

Two words: Presbyterian Life :smiley:

If it helps, here’s an expired coupon from White Castle.

(Hey, its the thought that counts…)

My parents did the exact same thing to me, except that they are Mormon. We never talk about church stuff but after years of not talking about it, I suddenly received a magazine in the mail. I called the circulation department, canceled my subscription, and asked who paid for it. They confirmed it was my parents. Very annoying and passive aggressive.

Anyway, it should be easy to cancel your subscription; they’ll probably just refund your mom’s credit card and she’ll never notice. My parents have still never mentioned the fact that a) they signed me up for a church magazine without my knowledge or b) that I canceled it after just one month. That don’t ask/don’t tell thing works both ways.

Oh, and I can confirm what Mama Zappa said. My wife made one or two donations to Planned Parenthood a couple years ago and we get at least one piece of mail from them every week. It’s insane.

We had a neighbor in our apartment building who apparently dabbled for a short time in $cientology. He must have sensibly decided it was all bunk and we started seeing all the junk mail from them in the handy trash bin next to the mail box. Every day there was more of it. Then he moved out. That shit kept coming for MONTHS and we’d get a kick out of seeing the current resident continuing to throw that trash away.

They’d drive your mother crazy with junk mail.

I’m kind of curious, not being Catholic I want to know, exactly what does a Catholic magazine have articles on?

[li]How to make your Eucharist its whitest![/li][li]Are you a St. Jerome or a St. Bartholemew?[/li][li]Win tickets to Popeapalooza 2010![/li][li]Should we add a new mortal sin?[/li][/ul]

(I’m not giving you my address, though. I’m not that curious … )

Just throw it out and forget it. There are some battles not worth fighting, even if you win, you’ll wind up losing in other ways.

Throw it out and throw out all the other things on the mailing list.