Shouting match with my Dad. Over a laundry hamper.

I replaced an old laundry hamper.
It was nasty, rickety & moldy.
Cost to replace: $12.
Dad started bellowing in outrage.

Blah-blah-blah --“You didn’t check it out with me first!”–Blah-blah-blah–“It doesn’t fit!”–Blah-blah-blah–“I’m gonna sell the house!”–Blah-blah-blah–“I’m gonna throw you out!”


I offered to pay for it.
I offered to take it back.

I didn’t junk the old one, it’s still in the garage.
None of that matters.

Is he becoming (more of) a Control Freak, after Mom’s death?
Is he going nuts?
Does he just like to fight (read: quarrel, not fisticuffs)?

Was I unreasonable, to replace a common household item?

Feeling frustrated & baffled. :smack:

My vote would be on “control freak.” I’ve dealt with that a few times in my life, and it is always turns out to be a completely unreasonable argument to a perfectly logical decision that just happened not to involve the other person, and no matter how sensible the decision was, the fact that it didn’t involve the other person is grounds to dismiss it entirely as something they just did not want – even if they did.

I’m sorry to hear the ol’ man is being this way. It sounds he has some unresolved anger issues that he needs to take up with a therapist. (Not that encouraging him to see one would have any effect other than to start another shouting match. He has to be the one to decide to see a therapist, and men being men, it’s going to take something significant to make him realize that he should.)

I do hope it’s just a temporary phase. It’s hard dealing with people like that because they refuse to see reason, no matter how much sense it makes. Denial’s a bitch.

You probably need to give us more information.

If I remember correctly, you are an adult living at home and are negotiating a bank loan?

It sounds like that there are tensions and emotions in the house that come out when something minor happens (like replacing the laundry basket).

Here are some guesses:

  • your Dad is missing your Mum a lot
  • your Dad is fed up with you about something else
  • your Dad has some bad news you don’t know about

I don’t think this has anything to do with the basket and maybe you should try to talk with your Dad about how he is feeling in general.

My mom has been the same way since dad’s death. It’s a control thing, I think. She couldn’t save him, help him, protect him. It pissed her off. Unfortunately we’re the ones left to be on the receiving end.

(In her mind she was supposed to die first - no woman on her maternal side of the family lived to 65. She forgot that her dad’s mom lived to 102 and her paternal aunts well into their 90’s)

You dad is probably pissed that he’s “left behind”, that he couldn’t manage it. So now you’re getting it over the smallest of things. There’s not a lot you can do. When my mom goes on a rant about how no one cleans up after themselves at the cabin (we do it to her specifications, but since SHE didn’t do it it’s not right) all I can do is promise to do better in the future. I once tried to explain where she was wrong. Bad move.

He’s also probably feeling his mortality and age - and it hurts for him. I can no longer just do things for mom, I have to ask for permission and usually when she says no I don’t so it. Sometimes I do and take the wrath because I think it’s cleansing for her.

Therapy would be good - but much easier said than done for some generations.

Maybe he just doesn’t want you to mess with his stuff?

Mom’s death has a lot to do with it.

Also, my younger brother didn’t come over for Father’s Day, as promised, nor did he call & apologize.

I bet Mom bought the hamper, and maybe there was a funny story attached to it that only the two of them knew, and you went and threw away a part of her memory as if she never mattered or existed.

Just a thought. Sometimes grief comes out in funny ways at funny times. Add to that your brother being a jerk, and your father’s anger is perfectly rational and understandable.

Sounds to me like Dad doesn’t know what to do (with his life) and is frustrated, grieving and angry.

you need to get out, asap. You can’t solve this for him, although you can help him as much he allows you to. (and say something to Bro–what a tool to not at least call).

It’s a common enough reaction for somebody in grieving and you can’t tell what it is really, and we sure can’t.

Change “Bosda” to “Nava” and “Dad” to “Mom,” and it sounds an awful lot like the situation I had after Dad died. Hopefully your Dad won’t ladle the guilt out as plentifully as my Mom, but still, it was quite untenable yet I felt guilty that I couldn’t breathe around her.

By the time I moved out, I felt like it was that or dying - but by moving out, she finally was forced to stand on her own two feet. During the months between Dad dying and me moving out, she’d been refusing to do anything that needed to be done, to have any serious conversations, she hadn’t kept her part of any agreement… but of course if she hadn’t prepared the menu and I went and cooked lunch, whatever I’d chosen was bound to be wrong.

Move out. For yourself and your Dad both.

Replacing a common household item isn’t unreasonable, especially if it’s a nasty piece of stuff. However, replacing it without saying a single word to the owner (or co-owner, or whatever) is a bit much. If my wife came home and found that out of the blue, without even mentioning it at all, I’d replaced the laundry hamper, she’d be surprised, to say the least. Why wouldn’t I just mention it before doing it? In our case, at least, it wouldn’t have anything to do with control. We just typically say something before replacing an item we both use all the time and that has been there for years now.

Bosda, seriously, how much longer are you going to take this kind of shit? You’re constantly here on the Dope whining about how your life sucks, you have no RL friends, you don’t get along with your Dad, you never get laid - it’s the same crap, over and over and over. I mean, look at the shit you’ve posted in the past few months: You can’t buy a goddamn *bed *without advice from people on a message board?? You can’t get a car loan on your own?? You’re over forty and you’re still living with your dad in a parent/*juvenile *child relationship?? Good lord, it’s getting pretty damn hard to have any sympathy for you at all.

You don’t *have *to be a loser. Get the hell out of your parent’s house and make a life for yourself. Do it now, for chrissake, even if you have to stuff your clothes into the trunk of your car, fill the gas tank, and drive until it’s empty so you’re forced to start over with a clean slate.

  1. Go out to garage and get old hamper.
  2. Take it back to where it went.
  3. Replace new hamper with old hamper.
  4. Take new hamper to your room and use it yourself.
  5. Leave the house – go for a walk or drive.

None of this requires any response to your dad.

  1. Leave the house with your clothes and the hamper.

  2. Find vacant lot, alley, or wooded area and place hamper upside-down.

  3. Drape clothes over top of hamper.

  4. Enjoy your new home!

UV and VT, that was really nice. :rolleyes:


I called dad and he broke a lamp while we were talking, so we had to hang-up so mom could patch him up. I am definately my father’s daughter!

Dad has had 6 bypasses, & I’ve had to rush him to the ER.

He can’t be left totally alone.

So now we learn a little more, but does he agree with this assessment of yours? In your OP it sounds like he was ready to sell the house out from under you.

Maybe he is thinking about a retirement community and an easier life?

Maybe you could actually broach the subject of moving out with him and see what he says. It might do you both a lot of good.

No matter what, at least start planning for moving out. If he has had 6 bypasses, the next heart attack might see him go into assisted care permanently and his assets turned over to the Medicaid*.


  • I think this is how it works, but I have not gone through it myself. Hopefully someone else can fill you in on this situation.

No, he is hostile to this.

Oh, & his diabetes (sp?) really amps his temper, too. This accounts for part of that.

This is what I think is going on. Once, when I was a teenager, my mom and I had a big argument one morning over sandwich baggies. The real problem was that I had an exam coming up that I was stressed about, and she had something stressful going on in her life.