Etiquette Hell

General Etiquette => Family and Children => Topic started by: AylaM on May 07, 2013, 09:10:43 PM

Title: Is this out of line or am I oversensitive? Update about trip-post 64
Post by: AylaM on May 07, 2013, 09:10:43 PM
BG
I will start out by saying I have problems getting to know new people and it can take a few meetings for me to really warm up to anyone.    So this may be just me being oversensitive.  Dad is as anti-social as I am.  Mom is an extrovert.  So if I am being oversensitive, please let me know.

Mom and dad like to plan family vacations when they can.  Usually once a year unless money is tight.  Mom has a habit of inviting people along without asking for anyone for their opinion.  Dad had a talk with her and she seemed to have gotten better.  Before now she only invited people that I was comfortable with (mostly family and one old family friend).  I believe my sister was as well.  I don't know about dad.  So, for me, there was annoyance that someone was "barging in" on family time, but no discomfort in their presence.
END BG

The topic just came up to plan our family vacation trip again this year.  My parents are planning on renting a cabin we've rented before and liked.  2 bedrooms 1 queen bed and 2 twin beds.  1 bathroom and 1 combined living/kitchen/dining room.  It is small.  The appeal is in the nearby hiking, scenery, fishing, boating, etc. combined with the price. 

While talking about it with my sister my mother invited her to bring her boyfriend along.  They've been together just over a year.  Mom, Dad, and I have met him once.  I'm peeved that our planned family vacation has suddenly expanded to include him, for a couple of different reasons. 
 
And since my parents are paying for the cabin, I'm not sure if it would be polite to get them to look at larger, more expensive cabins so that everyone can have a bedroom.   Basically it comes down to "as things stand, I don't want to go, but don't know what to say".  This would actually be the first time that someone was backing out of a family vacation.   

How do I approach this topic without being rude?  I'm more or less self-employed, so work schedules couldn't be an excuse as we all know I can move just about anything around to whenever.  I've already said that I'd go and have discussed it with them. They are going to know that I'm backing out because I don't want to be there.  I'm also worried that what I say will come across like a little kid throwing a fit.  "But mommy I don't want him to come!  Waaahhhh!"
Title: Re: Is this out of line or am I oversensitive?
Post by: snowdragon on May 07, 2013, 09:20:59 PM
under those conditions I would not go either. There are not enough beds and as the single person, I can guaranty that in my family - I'd be on the couch.
  I would be telling the fam "Sorry,no, I can not sleep on the couch - so I'll let you make it a couple's week end."
Title: Re: Is this out of line or am I oversensitive?
Post by: gramma dishes on May 07, 2013, 09:27:40 PM
under those conditions I would not go either. There are not enough beds and as the single person, I can guaranty that in my family - I'd be on the couch.
  I would be telling the fam "Sorry,no, I can not sleep on the couch - so I'll let you make it a couple's week end."

I'd say almost the same thing with the exception of a couple of words.  "Sorry, no, I won't sleep on the couch.  ..."
Title: Re: Is this out of line or am I oversensitive?
Post by: WillyNilly on May 07, 2013, 09:29:37 PM
Sounds like you are an adult not a dependant kid. Just say "thaks but no thanks" and plan your own affordable vacation for when/where/with who you want. Sure it might be the first time someone says "no" to the family vacation, but I guarentee as you and your sister grow on with your own lives it won't be the last.
Title: Re: Is this out of line or am I oversensitive?
Post by: AylaM on May 07, 2013, 09:42:59 PM
Sounds like you are an adult not a dependant kid. Just say "thaks but no thanks" and plan your own affordable vacation for when/where/with who you want. Sure it might be the first time someone says "no" to the family vacation, but I guarantee as you and your sister grow on with your own lives it won't be the last.

What I was most worried about was that I have already agreed to go.  I helped look up the time line and book the cabin because it was a date when we were all free to go.  If either my sister or I hadn't been able to come, I don't think they'd have reserved it.

However, if they decide it isn't worth it they can get most of their money back. 

What I am hoping will happen is that sis will call and say her bf won't be able to make it.   
Title: Re: Is this out of line or am I oversensitive?
Post by: gramma dishes on May 07, 2013, 09:48:13 PM
Just out of curiosity, would you be willing to go if the boyfriend does decide to accompany your family, but volunteers to be the one who sleeps on the couch?

Or would you still be uncomfortable even then?

Also, had you already agreed to go before the boyfriend was invited?  or did you already know when you said yes?
Title: Re: Is this out of line or am I oversensitive?
Post by: katycoo on May 07, 2013, 10:03:10 PM
I'm stuck in the middle.

I think its nice that your mum wants to include your sister's boyfriend of 1 year.  But while I woudln't want to sleep on the couch in the loungeroom, I wouldn't be comfortable with him doing so either.  Tiptoeing around someone still sleeping when you barely know them is awkward.

The only way I'd be fine with this is if a third room was available for boyfriend (or sis and boyfriend - whatever).
Title: Re: Is this out of line or am I oversensitive?
Post by: KenveeB on May 07, 2013, 10:07:59 PM
I would bring up your concerns with your parents. It sounds like your mom just invites people without thinking about the practicalities. "Hey, I heard you invited Joe to join Sis on the trip. I was just wondering, since there's just the three beds, where is he going to sleep? Oh, in the room with Sis? Okay, where am I going to sleep? No, the couch in the living room won't work for me. Maybe we should look at a bigger place?" Walk your mom through all the consequences of the invitation, since she apparently doesn't think of them on her own, and make her come up with solutions.
Title: Re: Is this out of line or am I oversensitive?
Post by: AylaM on May 07, 2013, 10:23:26 PM
Just out of curiosity, would you be willing to go if the boyfriend does decide to accompany your family, but volunteers to be the one who sleeps on the couch?

Or would you still be uncomfortable even then?

Also, had you already agreed to go before the boyfriend was invited?  or did you already know when you said yes?


I agreed before the boyfriend was invited.  I was under the impression it would just the family.  If mom had plans to invite the boyfriend she never told me about it.  I don't think dad knows she invited him yet. 

I'd much prefer that everyone had a bedroom (so either he gets his own or he and sis sleep together).

Add to that the couch is too short to sleep on.  It is a love seat with rigid arms.    He (or I) would end up putting an air mattress somewhere.

I could suck it up if he wasn't staying for the whole trip, and he took the air mattress, but I'd hate it if he was there for the whole week.  I'd not be comfortable sneaking around him any time I wanted a glass of water or had to use the restroom.
Title: Re: Is this out of line or am I oversensitive?
Post by: citadelle on May 07, 2013, 10:38:00 PM
I can understand why your sister would like to include her bf and think it is nice of your parents to include him. As you both get older, the family dynamic is going to change, and the numbers are likely to grow. Maybe you will be bringing someone next year! Maybe she will change her mind and marry him, or even have a child. Who knows?

However, if you don't like the arrangements, you aren't obligated to go. There may be questions about your decision, but you'll have to weather those, I think. This is the trip that is being offered, so you will need to accept or decline. Your reasons are your reasons, so share them honestly.
Title: Re: Is this out of line or am I oversensitive?
Post by: WillyNilly on May 07, 2013, 10:45:26 PM
Sounds like you are an adult not a dependant kid. Just say "thaks but no thanks" and plan your own affordable vacation for when/where/with who you want. Sure it might be the first time someone says "no" to the family vacation, but I guarantee as you and your sister grow on with your own lives it won't be the last.

What I was most worried about was that I have already agreed to go.  I helped look up the time line and book the cabin because it was a date when we were all free to go.  If either my sister or I hadn't been able to come, I don't think they'd have reserved it.

However, if they decide it isn't worth it they can get most of their money back. 

What I am hoping will happen is that sis will call and say her bf won't be able to make it.

No you haven't. The nature of the trip has changed, it is a new situation now. You agreed to go on a vacation with 3 other people, all of whom you are related to, with enough beds for everyone invited. That is not the trip that is now being presented to you. This is a similar trip, but not the same trip - its now 4 other people, one you hardly know and not enough beds. the situation changed and its reasonable for your answer to change with it.

Don't get angry or upset with your mom, just matter of factly say "oh. You know I was happy to go on a family vacation with beds for everyone, but since the trip has changed, its really not something I'd like to do anymore. I hope you have a great time though!"
Title: Re: Is this out of line or am I oversensitive?
Post by: delabela on May 07, 2013, 10:58:50 PM
On some level, I kind of feel bad for your mom - sometimes it's hard being an extrovert surrounded by introverts.  I sometimes have a "the more, the merrier" view, and in this situation I would see it as a great opportunity to get to know someone who is important to my sister. 

However, I do recognize that not everyone feels that way.  If you have a good relationship with your mom (and it sounds like you generally do) you can say that you're simply not comfortable the close quarters and ask if there is some way you all can upgrade to the bigger place.  Or you can decide not to go.  That's about it. 

I get the sense that you do appreciate that your parents prioritize paying for a vacation for you and your sibling - that's really nice of them. 
Title: Re: Is this out of line or am I oversensitive?
Post by: LEMon on May 07, 2013, 11:52:27 PM
On some level, I kind of feel bad for your mom - sometimes it's hard being an extrovert surrounded by introverts.  I sometimes have a "the more, the merrier" view, and in this situation I would see it as a great opportunity to get to know someone who is important to my sister. 

However, I do recognize that not everyone feels that way.  If you have a good relationship with your mom (and it sounds like you generally do) you can say that you're simply not comfortable the close quarters and ask if there is some way you all can upgrade to the bigger place.  Or you can decide not to go.  That's about it. 

I get the sense that you do appreciate that your parents prioritize paying for a vacation for you and your sibling - that's really nice of them.
While it might be a great opportunity to get to know him, I see a few problems.

No place for someone to sleep since two bedrooms and three groups.
Someone needing to sleep in the public area (living room) on an air mattress.
One week is awfully long to spend with someone you don't know, especially for introverts.  A shorter time would be much better - both for the family introverts and for him.  I say 'for him' because there the challenge of drawing introverts out or just accepting that they are happy with the silence that not everyone understands.
Title: Re: Is this out of line or am I oversensitive?
Post by: *inviteseller on May 08, 2013, 07:05:40 AM
I am an extrovert and this would bother me!  The way to get to know your sister's new bf is NOT in a cabin in the woods with nebulous sleeping arrangements.  Tell your mom that you are extremely uncomfortable with the arrangements, and while you appreciate the vacations, you will be skipping this year.
Title: Re: Is this out of line or am I oversensitive?
Post by: TurtleDove on May 08, 2013, 07:50:13 AM
Why has the BF of a year not been around before this trip?  That to me is odd.  Under "normal" circumstances I would say the OP is oversensitive and should recognize that family dynamics often change to include significant others and children over time. But, to me, "normal" would mean that an other who is "significant" would be present relatively often over the course of a year so that the family would already have gotten to know him.
Title: Re: Is this out of line or am I oversensitive?
Post by: Winterlight on May 08, 2013, 07:59:22 AM
I would bring up your concerns with your parents. It sounds like your mom just invites people without thinking about the practicalities. "Hey, I heard you invited Joe to join Sis on the trip. I was just wondering, since there's just the three beds, where is he going to sleep? Oh, in the room with Sis? Okay, where am I going to sleep? No, the couch in the living room won't work for me. Maybe we should look at a bigger place?" Walk your mom through all the consequences of the invitation, since she apparently doesn't think of them on her own, and make her come up with solutions.

I think this is a reasonable approach. Trying to work it out before bailing on the vacation seems like a good plan.
Title: Re: Is this out of line or am I oversensitive?
Post by: Zilla on May 08, 2013, 08:16:36 AM
I would tell your mom that based on the number of beds available, you rather not go.  Explain why as you did in this thread and put it back to her to fix.  However expect some pushback from your sister who might be upset.  If you want to avoid drama, can you instead ask for extra hours from work that week and just tell them it turns out you can't go after all due to work?
Title: Re: Is this out of line or am I oversensitive?
Post by: Margo on May 08, 2013, 08:16:37 AM
The lack of sufficient beds and rooms would bother me.

If you had a 3 bed cabin (2 doubles and a single, say) then the issue about being around someone you don't know well would be very much reduced as you have the option to retreat to your room if you don't want to socialise and he has the same choice (I would expect thathe and your sister might very well want to spend some time on their own together during the vacation, quite apart from the the issue of sleeping arrangements.

I agree that you can back out, because the arrangement has changed.  Or you can suggest that your parents look into alternatives - a larger cabin, with space for all of you, or perhaps a split vacation 

How would feel, for instance, if you and your parents were there for the first half of the week, then there was an overlap of 1-2 days when your sister's b/f slept on an airbed, then you went home and he and sis stayed? That might be a way of meeting everyone's needs.

Have you spoken with your sister? Is she aware of the accommodation available? Is she assuming that you will be the one of the airbed? If so, why? (I also wonder - is your Mom assuming that BF will be on the couch and Sister is assuming that BF will be sleeping with her?)

I would be uncomfortable going on a vacation which put me as the only single with 2 couples, especially if I was going to get stuck with sleeping on the floor in the common area rather than have my own space.

I think even if you know b/f quite well, it is still reasonable to object on this ocassion because of the lack of adequate accommodation. I think that  'this is a family holiday and he isn't family' is a bit over sensitive. Families change. He has been your sister's partner for a year; it would be bizarre to me to assume that he would not be a part of her holiday plans. So I'd make any issue you raise be about the fact that 5 adults in a property which only sleeps 4 is not do-able.
Title: Re: Is this out of line or am I oversensitive?
Post by: Outdoor Girl on May 08, 2013, 08:23:14 AM
KenveeB's idea for how to approach it with your mother is a good one.  I also like Margo's suggestion of a split week, if that works for you.  But to solve the sleeping in a common area problem, would it be possible to pitch a tent in the yard of the cabin?  That way, it would be its own space for whomever sleeps out there.  This only works if you would be comfortable in a tent, though.  Or if sister and BF would be willing to be out there.
Title: Re: Is this out of line or am I oversensitive?
Post by: MommyPenguin on May 08, 2013, 08:26:39 AM
Why has the BF of a year not been around before this trip?  That to me is odd.  Under "normal" circumstances I would say the OP is oversensitive and should recognize that family dynamics often change to include significant others and children over time. But, to me, "normal" would mean that an other who is "significant" would be present relatively often over the course of a year so that the family would already have gotten to know him.

Didn't the OP say that the sister and BF are at college?  Maybe they're *away* at college and live somewhere else.  In those circumstances, yes, it would be fairly normal to only see him once in the past year.  My brother has finally admitted to dating a girl (they were "friends" for a long time) and I've met her once, when he brought her to visit.  They live 3000 miles away from my parents and 2500 from me.  If there's a good distance between people, yes, sometimes it happens.

I like the idea of walking through with the mom the problems.  Where's he gonna sleep?  Where am I gonna sleep?  And then end with, "You know, I just don't feel comfortable with this.  I think I'll skip this trip, but I'll try to make it next time if it works out."  It might cause shock and horror, but... it might also be enough for her to think of the practicalities next time before inviting somebody without checking with everyone.
Title: Re: Is this out of line or am I oversensitive?
Post by: GrammarNerd on May 08, 2013, 08:48:51 AM
If the boyfriend's attendance had been in the planning from the very start, you would never have agreed to vacationing with them (at this particular cabin), correct?

The nature of the invitation changed, so therefore your answer changed (or can change).  Nothing wrong with that.  I hesitate to say bait and switch, but no matter what the motives, that's essentially what it's turned out to be.
Title: Re: Is this out of line or am I oversensitive?
Post by: AylaM on May 08, 2013, 09:31:04 AM
Sis is away at college.  She lives about 5 hours away and he lives about 10 hours from school in another direction.   He paid a visit over the winter break. And that was the one time we've met.

We've had boyfriends over before, and done things that are usually "family things" that included boyfriends.  This is just feels a little different, it has always been just the immediate family...to the extent that Dad gets upset if mom invited her mother or sibling to come along.  So to invite someone who isn't yet related seems bizarre to me.

He wasn't invited by mom because of how long he and sis were together.  He was actually invited last year too, but the invite was so last minute that sis told us immediately that he couldn't make it.  At that point they'd only been together for about a month.  The cabin is actually closer to my sister's school than to us, so I think that was how he ended up invited: "oh, he lives an hour away, why doesn't he come along? He's already right there". 

If he'd just shown up to hang out each day I'm not sure I'd really mind.

I'm planning on speaking with mom later tonight.  And maybe I won't bring up the fact that "he isn't family yet".  When I'm going over it in my head, that is the part that seems to put my argument on the childish side, rather than the reasonable one.

Title: Re: Is this out of line or am I oversensitive?
Post by: bopper on May 08, 2013, 09:38:25 AM
We do a family "camping" in a cabin thing every year.  This year, for the first time, we invited my DD19's boyfriend.  However this cabin has a counselor's room (it is at a summer camp although we go in the fall) so he could have a private area.   I had met him before, however. Has your mom?   I figure he is a big part of my daughter's life and also he seems easy to get along with.  I did check with my DD16 to make sure it was okay with her as it would change the dynamic.  However, I realize that as DD19 gets older the dynamic will change.   DD19 did request to bring another friend and I said no to that person because 1) I had never met her 2) it would make the cabin more crowded 3) stories I had heard of her had a bit of drama.

For us our "camping" is a yearly tradition and I didn't have a problem involving the boyfriend in that tradition.  However I knew that he was going to go with OUR flow and do the activities that we like. He and my DD did do some other activities but at any point in time there are 3 things you could be doing.

  This might be a chance to get to know the boyfriend better...for your mom, it might be a way to keep your sister interested in the tradition and not just do stuff with boyfriend.

For your mom I would concentrate on logistics...who is sleeping where?  I would be firm that you get a bedroom.
Title: Re: Is this out of line or am I oversensitive?
Post by: Kimberami on May 08, 2013, 09:40:23 AM
IMHO it seems to be a long time to spend with a person that you don't know very well.  Did you get along with him the last time you met?   
Title: Re: Is this out of line or am I oversensitive?
Post by: Hillia on May 08, 2013, 09:48:04 AM
There are 2 issues:
1. including a person that no one outside of sister knows at all, really
2. the difficult logistics that adding another person creates

Even if the addition were a person well known and loved by all, the fact is that the cabin is really too small to accommodate the number of people expected to occupy it.  Then add the awkwardness of spending a week in very close quarters with someone new, and it doesn't sound like a fun trip at all to me.

I do like the idea of splitting the week; that seems like a good compromise between including and getting to know BF and not making everyone physically uncomfortable.
Title: Re: Is this out of line or am I oversensitive?
Post by: gramma dishes on May 08, 2013, 09:53:01 AM
If he only lives an hour drive away, would it be possible for him to join your family for a few specific 'outings' and then go home rather than staying overnight in your family's cabin?
Title: Re: Is this out of line or am I oversensitive?
Post by: Hmmmmm on May 08, 2013, 10:02:35 AM
Sis is away at college.  She lives about 5 hours away and he lives about 10 hours from school in another direction.   He paid a visit over the winter break. And that was the one time we've met.

We've had boyfriends over before, and done things that are usually "family things" that included boyfriends.  This is just feels a little different, it has always been just the immediate family...to the extent that Dad gets upset if mom invited her mother or sibling to come along.  So to invite someone who isn't yet related seems bizarre to me.

He wasn't invited by mom because of how long he and sis were together.  He was actually invited last year too, but the invite was so last minute that sis told us immediately that he couldn't make it.  At that point they'd only been together for about a month.  The cabin is actually closer to my sister's school than to us, so I think that was how he ended up invited: "oh, he lives an hour away, why doesn't he come along? He's already right there". 

If he'd just shown up to hang out each day I'm not sure I'd really mind.

I'm planning on speaking with mom later tonight.  And maybe I won't bring up the fact that "he isn't family yet".  When I'm going over it in my head, that is the part that seems to put my argument on the childish side, rather than the reasonable one.

While I completely understand you not being happy with this,, I'm going to respond from your mom's point of view.

Her college age DD is living 5 hours away. She has a new boyfriend that mom would like to get to know but because of distance, that's not possible. She has the opportunity to have the boyfriend spend time with the family at a cabin. She also gets the opportunity to convey to her DD that she is looking upon her as an adult by offering DD the opportunity to include her BF into the family get together.

I think it is fair for you to say "Mom, what is your plans for sleeping arrangements. I don't want to share a room with sis's BF and I think I'd be uncomfortable if he were sleeping on an air mattress in the common area."  Then get a conversation with sis going. "Sis, I think it would be great for your BF to join us but I'm concerned about sleeping arrangements. I'm definately not sharing a room with him. And if he sleeps in the common area, is he going to be upset if he's trying to sleep in and Dad and I are up fixing coffee before going out hiking early in the morning?"

I also wouldn't bring up your reasoning of "he's not family yet". Would you feel any different about sharing space with him if Sis calls tomorrow with "Guess what, we just eloped"? Or if your mom had invited a male cousin you havent' seen in 6 years?
I would not broach the idea of you giving up the bedroom at all. You were invited first and accpeted based on having a private sleeping area.

I wouldn't worry about day time activities. Sis and BF will most likely plan some separate activities, giving you guys a break. And if the norm for your family is for everyone to retreat into a book at night, then do that. Don't feel you have to entertain him. If they are really thinking about long term, he needs to be aware of the habits of what could become his extended family.

Title: Re: Is this out of line or am I oversensitive?
Post by: AylaM on May 08, 2013, 10:20:32 AM
Dad just called to talk about mom's mother's day present.  I asked if he knew about boyfriend being invited. He didn't.  He kind of sighed and said "well it just wouldn't be a vacation if your mom didn't try to invite everyone".

Then I asked if he knew what we were doing for sleeping arrangements.  And said I wouldn't be the one on the air mattress.  He's going to look at other cabins in the area. 

Since dad is paying for everything he has leverage with mom when it comes to changing cabins.

Great success!  I do feel a little bad about ratting mom out 'cause now dad sounds a little peeved too.  When he said he'd look at other cabins he actually said:

Dad:  "I'll look at other cabins to see of there are any with more bedrooms."
Me:  "That's nice I didn't want to be the on on the air mattress"
Dad:  "Even with him on the air mattress it wouldn't work.  Where would your grandmother sleep?"
Me:  "Oh?  Mom invited grandma too?"
Dad: "Not yet"





Title: Re: Is this out of line or am I oversensitive?
Post by: magicdomino on May 08, 2013, 10:28:50 AM
Dad:  "I'll look at other cabins to see of there are any with more bedrooms."
Me:  "That's nice I didn't want to be the one on the air mattress"
Dad:  "Even with him on the air mattress it wouldn't work.  Where would your grandmother sleep?"
Me:  "Oh?  Mom invited grandma too?"
Dad: "Not yet"

 :D
Title: Re: Is this out of line or am I oversensitive?
Post by: lurkerwisp on May 08, 2013, 10:35:35 AM
If it helps any, I was invited on a vacation with my DH's family about a year after we started dating and two years before we were engaged.  (Three before we actually got married even.)  I went.  I had fun.  I got to know the very odd people who eventually became my inlaws.  They decided they didn't actually hate me.  It all worked out pretty well in the end.  :)

I was (and mostly still am) horribly shy and introverted myself.  I wouldn't have gone if DH hadn't promised that there would be hiking and I wasn't so very lonely living away from my own family over the summer.
Title: Re: Is this out of line or am I oversensitive?
Post by: TurtleDove on May 08, 2013, 10:44:56 AM
With the updates I think the OP should look at this vacation as a time to get to know the BF who apparently will be a part of her family's life. He wasn't not around because the sister and BF were not serious; instead he spent time with his GF's family when he could. There is no red flag that I see and if the OP doesn't get to know him now, when they are able to spend time together, when will she? The excuse will forever be "but I don't even know him."

I am glad the Dad is working on sleeping arrangements, but the issue is with the mom not with the BF. And I agree with the poster who explained this situation fromthe mom's perspective. She wants to get to know the man who may be her future son in law, and she wants to support her adult daughter.
Title: Re: Is this out of line or am I oversensitive?
Post by: Dorrie78 on May 08, 2013, 11:02:54 AM
OP - I think that is a great update and you did nothing wrong talking about this with your dad. As the "single" person in my family (my BF was very long distance for several years until last fall), I'm always the person who is shunted to the air mattress, couch, shared room with my parents or something like that and it really bothers me (I'm 41 years old). You are not remotely overreacting to the sleeping complications and you should not be forced to share a room with a strange man (or really, any stranger) nor be forced onto the couch.

I do think that your argument that he "isn't family" is not very strong and should not be brought up. Many families include the significant others of their children in vacations. The fact that your mother keeps inviting people without telling your dad is a whole separate situation.
Title: Re: Is this out of line or am I oversensitive?
Post by: citadelle on May 08, 2013, 12:01:52 PM
I am confused about what your goal is, OP. Is your goal to have the BF uninvited? Or to encourage mom/dad to get a different cabin with more room? Or just to ensure you that you aren't the one on the air mattress? Or for your parents to understand that you need to back out?

The last three seem reasonable to me, but the first one doesn't.
Title: Re: Is this out of line or am I oversensitive?
Post by: GSNW on May 08, 2013, 12:18:04 PM
Just chiming in to say I don't think you are being overly sensitive or unreasonable.  I remember a big family Christmas when I was 19 or 20, and my parents advised me I would (finally) be receiving my own room in the house we were renting.  As the youngest, I always got kicked to the couches and the floors.  At the last minute, a distant cousin advised she would be joining us in the house and bringing her kid, so I got the boot... to the couch. 

When you're staying on someone else's dime it's not okay to pitch a fit, but I did tell my parents I was not okay with the arrangement.  If someone wanted to stay up and watch TV, I had no bed.  If someone loves to get up at 5am and cook eggs, I had no privacy.  I simply told my parents I would be staying home instead of being uncomfortable for a week.  My parents were cool about it and wound up finding a bigger place, and cousin and I both kicked in for the increased cost.

With the update I think you handled it fine, but I also agree with Citadelle above.  If you are not comfortable with the status of the vacation you can stay home or try to find a bigger place, but getting the bf uninvited would be unfair, and also not a great way to start off his relationship with your family. 
Title: Re: Is this out of line or am I oversensitive?
Post by: VorFemme on May 08, 2013, 12:42:37 PM
I got married the first weekend in December.

VorGuy and I went to my father's family Christmas four hours away - he'd met most of them for the first time at the wedding.

Instead of a room at one of the aunts' & uncles' houses, since we couldn't drive up until after I got off work (and the manager didn't lock the door Christmas Eve until after closing and right behind a family group of ten or so people that took an HOUR to finish "shopping" after we'd closed) and we were late.....we ended up on blankets on the floor in the combination living & dining room.  The only room in the house large enough for the tree and the whole family.....who started showing up for breakfast......in a house with one bathroom that WE hadn't had a chance to get to yet.

It was not honeymoon material - unless you were writing for a situation comedy series.....but he did get to know the aunts & uncles.
Title: Re: Is this out of line or am I oversensitive?
Post by: AylaM on May 08, 2013, 12:49:10 PM
My ultimate goal is really to not have anyone sleeping on the floor in the common room, I guess.  I don't really care how that happens.  I'll still go if that problem was solved.  Which it sounds like dad is planning on doing. I included the bit about not really wanting him to come because I thought it may be important to the answers.  I waffled back and forth about not even mentioning it in the post, but decided to do so, just so I could paint the right picture.  I never really planned on asking mom to uninvite him, I was going to back out instead if arrangements couldn't be made.

I'm not adverse to spending time with my sisters boyfriend, I just don't like how they chose to do it.  If mom had said "Hey!  we're going down to SistersCollegeTown for a week.  We're going to meet her boyfriend and do some sight seeing together.  Do you wanna go?"  I'd have been "yay, ok!"  That means we get to see boyfriend by day and at night I don't have to be around stranger.  We still get to meet him/get to know him, but I can relax in between visits.  I can live with a 3br cabin because I can either ask sis to visit in his room or I'll have my own room.  So if it gets to be too much I can retreat to the bedroom.
 
Title: Re: Is this out of line or am I oversensitive?
Post by: TheBardess on May 08, 2013, 01:03:07 PM
How far does BF live from the cabin you are renting? Would it be possible for him to come down during the day to spend time with you all, but go back home to sleep?
Title: Re: Is this out of line or am I oversensitive?
Post by: GSNW on May 08, 2013, 01:25:35 PM
I can live with a 3br cabin because I can either ask sis to visit in his room or I'll have my own room.  So if it gets to be too much I can retreat to the bedroom.

I hope they manage to make this work out for you, because I totally get this.  Another family reunion when I was 13... I just wanted a tiny bit of privacy so I could read my book, and my younger cousin would not leave me alone.  I didn't have a bedroom, none of the kids did.  I would up taking a pillow and hiding in the walk-in closet of my parents' room to read.
Title: Re: Is this out of line or am I oversensitive?
Post by: Calistoga on May 08, 2013, 02:06:00 PM
I don't think either side is in the wrong here. It seems fair for your sister to bring her BF since they've been dating for a fairly long time. It's also fair for you to not like the situation and not want to be stuck on the couch.
Title: Re: Is this out of line or am I oversensitive?
Post by: Waterlight on May 08, 2013, 02:06:53 PM
If he only lives an hour drive away, would it be possible for him to join your family for a few specific 'outings' and then go home rather than staying overnight in your family's cabin?

POD--I really like this idea!  It would give everyone a chance to get to know BF without the added stress of being in too-cramped quarters for a week.  (And FWIW, I'm an off-the-scale introvert too--INFJ on the Myers-Briggs for those who are familiar with that--so I sympathize with the OP completely.)
Title: Re: Is this out of line or am I oversensitive?
Post by: Calistoga on May 08, 2013, 02:13:50 PM
If he only lives an hour drive away, would it be possible for him to join your family for a few specific 'outings' and then go home rather than staying overnight in your family's cabin?

POD--I really like this idea!  It would give everyone a chance to get to know BF without the added stress of being in too-cramped quarters for a week.  (And FWIW, I'm an off-the-scale introvert too--INFJ on the Myers-Briggs for those who are familiar with that--so I sympathize with the OP completely.)

As BF, I probably wouldn't like the idea as much...just because a 2 hour round trip doesn't sound like much fun to me. I think if the invite was extended so everyone can get to know him, it was poor planning... better to get to know him over dinner at home.
Title: Re: Is this out of line or am I oversensitive?
Post by: camlan on May 08, 2013, 05:43:39 PM
There are two separate issues here, really.

One, inviting someone who isn't a member of the family along on a family trip.

Two, renting a cabin and then inviting more people than the cabin will hold.

For the first, I think it's okay for your mom to invite a close friend of a member of the family along. I'm very introverted too, but as long as there was an escape route for me, like a room I could retreat to, or being able to go off by myself for a few hours every day, I'd be fine with that.

For the second, I don't know why people invite more people than there are beds. Unless the person extending the invitation is willing to take the floor/air mattress/sofa. It's just plain silly to rent a cabin that clearly sleeps 4 people and then invite 5 (or more) people to stay there. This is the issue I think you should address, because if you can solve the problem of the sleeping quarters, it will be much, much easier to deal with the boyfriend's presence.

Keeping my fingers crossed that your dad can find a larger cabin.
Title: Re: Is this out of line or am I oversensitive?
Post by: White Lotus on May 08, 2013, 07:18:55 PM
If this happened to me, and it has, and renting a bigger house wasn't an option, I would consider bringing camping gear and setting up in the yard, if that was at all possible.  Seriously.  I actually did this once.  Beat the heck out of an air mattress on the floor fom my perspective.  Next time, there were enough rooms. <G>
Title: Re: Is this out of line or am I oversensitive?
Post by: Slartibartfast on May 08, 2013, 08:02:44 PM
Important point: your mom didn't invite your sister's boyfriend, she invited your SISTER to invite her boyfriend.  Big difference!  It means that the power to decide whether or not he's "family enough" rests with your sister (as it should), and it also means he probably haven't actually been invited yet.  Instead of railing at your mom, have a talk with your sister.  Ask her - sibling to sibling - if this is a "meet the family" visit with the guy, or whether it's not at that point yet.  Because if you both feel this is a "family" outing, and she's not at the "introduce him to everyone" stage yet, she may already be inclined not to extend the invitation to begin with.
Title: Re: Is this out of line or am I oversensitive?
Post by: Slartibartfast on May 08, 2013, 08:05:55 PM
That said, the first time my brother met DH was when my family went canoeing in Canada.  For two weeks, just the five of us (parents, DS, DB, and me) and then-BF-now-DH.  Dropped in by airplane and picked up on a different lake two weeks later.  DH and DB had to share a tent, and it turns out DB snores.  Loudly.

It was definitely a trial by fire for DH, but he passed  ;D  It was his first time really spending much time around my parents, too, although he knew my sister already.  That kind of thing is definitely not for everyone, but it worked out well in my case - DH is a pretty reserved guy, so there's no way my family would have gotten to know him as well as they did without it being a "completely cut off from civilization" thing.
Title: Re: Is this out of line or am I oversensitive?
Post by: Optimoose Prime on May 08, 2013, 08:30:27 PM
I get it.  I am somewhat of an introvert and I need time to be "off".  When I stay at someone's house or they stay here (especially people I don't know well) I feel that I have to "on" all the time.  Be charming and chatty, ready to do whatever, and go along with everyone.  Too much of this kind of thing makes me twitchy and I need time away that I don't have to be on my best behavior.
Title: Re: Is this out of line or am I oversensitive?
Post by: AylaM on May 28, 2013, 10:49:20 PM
OP here with an odd update

We hammered out the details and the only cabins in the area/price range are 2 bedrooms.  And sisters boyfriend was coming for one weekend, but would be on an air mattress.  Since it was one night I was ok with that.


Then mom happened.

The mostly-just-family vacation has become a family reunion.  Mom was able to transfer the cabin to another location in the same system (still 2 bedroom, same price)  that is next to 2 other cabins.  And now there are 17 people fitting into 12 beds.  (Each cabin is allowed 6 people, but only has four beds).

I told sister today and she immediately began in on "Well, boyfriend can't make it" and "mom invited them again? we never get to spend time with just us anymore".  And she had began to say "well, you know what, I don't think I can get off work".  She is thinking about inviting just mom, dad, and me to come visit her.

So now I get my own room.

Unless mom invites SpecialSnowflakeAunt and ToddlerCousin out of the fuller cabin to stay with us.
Title: Re: Is this out of line or am I oversensitive? Update Post 46
Post by: TootsNYC on May 28, 2013, 11:05:49 PM
maybe you can't get off from work.

Maybe you and your sister both need to say, "We never get to spend any time, just us! I'm sorry, Mom, but I'm not interested in taking off work for a big family reunion. I only have so much time, and I'm not willing to spend it on some other sort of vacation."

She doesn't suffer any negative consequences for doing this sort of thing. So maybe it's time for her to do so.

Title: Re: Is this out of line or am I oversensitive? Update Post 46
Post by: JeseC on May 29, 2013, 12:08:13 AM
Yeah, at this point I'd just plain start getting annoyed with the last-minute changes in plans.  I'm firmly of the opinion that the plans should be made as clear as possible before anyone is invited.  I don't care who it is, once the invitations are out for this sort of thing you don't add people without consulting those already invited.  You're perfectly justified in backing out.

And who knows?  Maybe you can take your time off and spend a day or two getting to know your sister and her bf!
Title: Re: Is this out of line or am I oversensitive? Update Post 46
Post by: jedikaiti on May 29, 2013, 01:44:57 AM
Does your Dad know about these changes yet?
Title: Re: Is this out of line or am I oversensitive? Update Post 46
Post by: Roe on May 29, 2013, 07:03:38 AM
maybe you can't get off from work.

Maybe you and your sister both need to say, "We never get to spend any time, just us! I'm sorry, Mom, but I'm not interested in taking off work for a big family reunion. I only have so much time, and I'm not willing to spend it on some other sort of vacation."

She doesn't suffer any negative consequences for doing this sort of thing. So maybe it's time for her to do so.

I couldn't agree more!!!  My mother used to do the same thing every.single.time. 

As a result, I have no childhood memories of "just us" family vacations.  The "family" pictures always include close friends, cousins, aunts, uncles, etc.   Though I love those pictures, I wish I had some of 'just us' moments.  It's so important to have true family vacations.  Those are the moments when the family bonds.  When others are along, it's easy to be distracted and actually never spend one on one time with the parents. 

My DH and I are so protective of our family vacations.  My oldest son's girlfriend has joined us on a couple of family vacations but she's almost part of the family so that doesn't count.  :)   

OP, if I were you, I wouldn't go.  What's the point?  It's not a family vacation. 
Title: Re: Is this out of line or am I oversensitive? Update Post 46
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on May 29, 2013, 07:14:16 AM
As an introvert, that would have me running and screaming, honestly!  I think your sister's of the right mind in just deciding she can't make it and I'd want to back out before your mom invited the neighborhood along as well. 

I also sympathize as my mother is an extrovert and I remember several times our house was so full for parties that you could barely move from one room to another.  I'd go up and hide out in my room for a bit to breathe, only to have someone come up and insist I come back down.  Though my dad's sisters were sympathetic and would often come up and hang out with me in my room and chat for a bit then suggest we rejoin the party and by then I was ready.  But then most of my dad's side of the family are also introverts.

I'm reminded of a Tom Chapin song, "Cousins" where, in the last verse it says "My mom sat down and gave a sigh and said to me, you know? I love to see your cousins come, but I love to see them go!"

My family vacations were always with the extended family and as a kid I enjoyed it but I've become more introverted. 
Title: Re: Is this out of line or am I oversensitive? Update Post 46
Post by: Margo on May 29, 2013, 07:28:32 AM
maybe you can't get off from work.

Maybe you and your sister both need to say, "We never get to spend any time, just us! I'm sorry, Mom, but I'm not interested in taking off work for a big family reunion. I only have so much time, and I'm not willing to spend it on some other sort of vacation."

She doesn't suffer any negative consequences for doing this sort of thing. So maybe it's time for her to do so.

I agree with Toots. You were originally invited to a family vacation - you, your parents, and sister. now suddenly there are 17 people and only 12 beds (and I would not bet a penny on you getting to keep that room to yourself, especially when there are 5 people (or 3, if the 17 included sister & her BF)  without beds.  that's a massive change and is not what you signed up for.

but if you don;t go, be absolutely clear with your parents why. Make sure that they know that you were looking forward to vacationing with them and with your sister, but that you expect to have a room (and bed) to yourself (unless you explicitly agree otherwise in advance) and you expect any changes to the number of people invited, or who is invited, to be discussed in advance.

That way, you are setting clear boundaries for the future.

i would also, in future, be clear when accepting any invite. Ask if it is intended to invite anyone extra, and make it clear that you are accepting on the basis that there won;t be any changes unless these are discussed and agreed in advance.



Title: Re: Is this out of line or am I oversensitive? Update Post 46
Post by: Cami on May 29, 2013, 11:57:07 AM
As an introvert, that would have me running and screaming, honestly!  I think your sister's of the right mind in just deciding she can't make it and I'd want to back out before your mom invited the neighborhood along as well. 

I also sympathize as my mother is an extrovert and I remember several times our house was so full for parties that you could barely move from one room to another.  I'd go up and hide out in my room for a bit to breathe, only to have someone come up and insist I come back down.  Though my dad's sisters were sympathetic and would often come up and hang out with me in my room and chat for a bit then suggest we rejoin the party and by then I was ready.  But then most of my dad's side of the family are also introverts.

I'm reminded of a Tom Chapin song, "Cousins" where, in the last verse it says "My mom sat down and gave a sigh and said to me, you know? I love to see your cousins come, but I love to see them go!"

My family vacations were always with the extended family and as a kid I enjoyed it but I've become more introverted.
It's not about being an introvert or an extrovert.  It's about (1) overcrowded chaos and (2) changing the basics of a plan means that I am now considering the value of a new invitation.

I'm an extrovert, but the idea of 17 people in a venue that sleeps only 12 sounds like a bad movie waiting to happen.  I think I suddenly could not get off work.

I also have to say that as an extrovert, I like crowds and noise BUT I would never change my family's plans like that. It's inconsiderate to say the least, not just because of the introvert/extrovert situation. But also because I consider it a dealbreaker when the basic plans of an activity are changed and going from a family vacation of 4 to one of 17 is breaking the basic plans of the vacation. So to me, that's like the original plans were cancelled and I'm now being asked if I want to participate in a new plan. If I didn't want to participate, I'd say no and not worry about it again.
Title: Re: Is this out of line or am I oversensitive? Update Post 46
Post by: TootsNYC on May 29, 2013, 12:00:26 PM
I agree--it's not extrovert/introvert.

I'm an extrovert. Perhaps extremely.

I'm also VERY protective of my family's "together" time. I'm hyper sensitive to boundaries like that.
Title: Re: Is this out of line or am I oversensitive? Update Post 46
Post by: jedikaiti on May 29, 2013, 12:09:21 PM
I am totally on board with bailing, but in the event you do decide to go, is this going to be a location where you can a) bail and head home easily if your Mom tries to convince you to sleep on a couch instead of a room to yourself or b) bail on the cabin and get a hotel room?

I still think not going at all - with the PP's suggestions for a polite but explicit explanation as to why - is the best course of action at this point.
Title: Re: Is this out of line or am I oversensitive? Update Post 46
Post by: artk2002 on May 29, 2013, 06:45:53 PM
My advice? "Bail! Bail, the gang's all here!"

The nature of the invitation has changed and any RSVP thereby cancelled.
Title: Re: Is this out of line or am I oversensitive? Update Post 46
Post by: Deetee on May 29, 2013, 06:57:48 PM
Just a factual point. I believe there are 12 beds, not just 12 sleeping spots for the 17 people so that could be 12 double beds ( sleeping for 24 if sharing beds). This doesn't address the real question of changing a small family vacation into a family reunion but I don't think this like a disaster.

(But I go for Christmas with a couple days with 14 people and one bathroom and 5 or 6 rooms and it is a wonderful time)
Title: Re: Is this out of line or am I oversensitive? Update Post 46
Post by: citadelle on May 29, 2013, 08:48:43 PM
I understand it is frustrating. I do feel for mom, though. It sounds like she is someone who loves to be surrounded by people and activity. Hopefully, each family member can get their needs met. Perhaps planning an immediate family only trip and also a separate, more open gathering would be possible for the future.
Title: Re: Is this out of line or am I oversensitive? Update Post 46
Post by: Addy on May 30, 2013, 03:36:57 PM
I understand it is frustrating. I do feel for mom, though. It sounds like she is someone who loves to be surrounded by people and activity. Hopefully, each family member can get their needs met. Perhaps planning an immediate family only trip and also a separate, more open gathering would be possible for the future.

Regarding the bolded, may I ask why? Mom is the one getting exactly what she wants, and it sounds like she gets her way most, if not all of the time.
Title: Re: Is this out of line or am I oversensitive? Update Post 46
Post by: AylaM on June 05, 2013, 09:50:19 PM
Does your Dad know about these changes yet?

OP here.  Dad was out of town when all of this happened.

When he got home he got very upset.  We had rented a cabin in a state park.  This park has about 25 cabins.  The whole group had rented 3 cabins, ours was right next to another and the third was a few cabins over,  but was less appealing (no deck, bad view).  Dad insisted on changing to a cabin a bit away so that we were right on the water (though I think the main reason was because it isn't next to grandma, who we/he don't much get along with). 

We told the others and the family in the less appealing cabin moved to a more appealing cabin.  Now all 3 cabins are spread out.  They are within a 5 minute walk of the "middle cabin", but we can't see each other at all.  The family that moved seems much happier now too.  It seems they had kept that cabin because they didn't want to hurt any feelings by moving further out.

Sister is coming again, and her BF is planing to come for a weekend only.  He will be on an air mattress.  Once SpecialSnowflakeAunt heard of this she tried to join us for the rest of the week.   I told Mom I wouldn't come if she was invited to stay with us.  I feel a little guilty about issuing an ultimatum, but I do not get along with SSAunt.  Mom agreed because, though she fakes it well, she apparently doesn't get along with SSAunt either.

So SSAunt has the option to stay with grandma and WildChildAunt.  I expect SSAunt to back out of the trip all together because she can't stand WildChildAunt.

Mom has agreed that we can pick at least one day and limit it to "family only activities".  And that we can have some "family only" things during the week.

In short...mom mostly got her way (as usual),  but she met enough resistance that we're all ok with the outcome.




As a side note, I learned later that she had tried to rent us a lodge that basically had a bunk hall.  One of my uncles put a stop to that.  Thank you uncle!
Title: Re: Is this out of line or am I oversensitive? Final update post 60
Post by: gramma dishes on June 05, 2013, 09:56:44 PM
Glad it worked out if not "perfectly", at least acceptably!  Now all that's left is to go and have fun! 
Title: Re: Is this out of line or am I oversensitive? Final update post 60
Post by: Lynda_34 on June 06, 2013, 12:28:25 AM
this sounds great and I'm hoping for updates after the vacation.
Title: Re: Is this out of line or am I oversensitive? Final update post 60
Post by: gmatoy on June 06, 2013, 10:30:31 PM
I loved the update ! It is nice when when a reasonable solution can be reached. (Although I have more than once made an ultimatum myself!)
Title: Re: Is this out of line or am I oversensitive? Final update post 60
Post by: AylaM on August 20, 2013, 10:22:09 AM
We returned from the vacation this past weekend.  It was both fun and disappointing. 

Though mom promised that we could have one day that was "just us", it never happened.  A small part was because of visitors that dropped by unexpectedly.  A big part was mom catering to them.


Some examples:

So while the activities were fun mom turned everything into "lets invite everyone"  even though she had agreed to having at least one night where it was just us.  Then when we said anything about it she'd say "well I'm just being nice!".  And she'd get mad.




And SSAunt was kind of a jerk the whole time.  But that isn't mom's fault.  We did a lot of impromptu babysitting because she would come over with her kid and then leave without him.  She never asked.  The first time we just brought the kid back to her cabin.  But once she dropped him off and then went to get her hair and nails done and go shopping.
Title: Re: Is this out of line or am I oversensitive? Update about trip-post 64
Post by: Elisabunny on August 20, 2013, 10:25:26 AM
"But you're not being nice to us."
Title: Re: Is this out of line or am I oversensitive? Update about trip-post 64
Post by: WillyNilly on August 20, 2013, 10:29:21 AM
I think you need to start responding to your mom's "well I'm just being nice!" with a calm but firm "nice to who? Not to us. You are being cruel and hurtful to us." Make eye contact, say it and hold eye contact but stop talking. Make her defend herself. And if she tries to say she's not being hurtful to you, calmly respond, "actually it is hurtful. It makes me me feel like you would rather spend time with anyone else in the whole world but me. Every time you have the option of me or someone else, every time you pick someone else, and that hurts."
Title: Re: Is this out of line or am I oversensitive? Update about trip-post 64
Post by: gramma dishes on August 20, 2013, 11:00:43 AM
"But you're not being nice to us."

I think you need to start responding to your mom's "well I'm just being nice!" with a calm but firm "nice to who? Not to us. You are being cruel and hurtful to us." Make eye contact, say it and hold eye contact but stop talking. Make her defend herself. And if she tries to say she's not being hurtful to you, calmly respond, "actually it is hurtful. It makes me me feel like you would rather spend time with anyone else in the whole world but me. Every time you have the option of me or someone else, every time you pick someone else, and that hurts."

Exactly!  That's just so sad.   :'(
Title: Re: Is this out of line or am I oversensitive? Update about trip-post 64
Post by: ladyknight1 on August 20, 2013, 11:20:38 AM
When does an extended family vacation go beyond guests and hosts? That is a little strange in my experience.

I'm glad you made it through, sorry it was disappointing.