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  • February 09, 2016, 06:25:47 AM

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Family and Children / Re: Ask Amy 2/7/16
« Last post by Redneck Gravy on Yesterday at 04:20:34 PM »
Very interesting thread...

I think that there may well be something edited out to justify Amy's response, however, if not her reply was just snarky.

One of the issues I am hearing is that the LW makes this trip several times a year, I am assuming with the DD with life threatening allergies.  What accommodations are made for them on those trips?  Or do they bring food/rent a special place or do they stay with someone that understands the allergies and is able to work with them?  Is it possible the children have not gone on previous trips?

As for the long drive both ways in one day, the LW doesn't want to do it, she doesn't need to JADE.  She would obviously know how her children travel - difficult or easy. 

I think sending the DH alone or with one child is a reasonable compromise.  It does sound like the LW doesn't want to attend and is offering excuses as to why this won't work for them, she shouldn't have to offer excuses, a simple I do not feel up to making this trip is sufficient, period. 

Following along to see what others think.



Family and Children / Re: Can we bring the kids?
« Last post by shhh its me on Yesterday at 04:16:51 PM »
by 'steakhouse' do you mean a restaurant on the level of capitol grille, ruth's chris, etc?

no. no kids...there isn't a kid's menu at such places that i know of, and unless the parents are going to have the kid eat off their plate (assuming it's even allowed!) they will be spending $$ on a dish the kids won't finish.

While I agree OP can say no (should say no) , it should have nothing to do with "Oh you will be paying $90 for a steak for a 4 year old , that's not reasonable" at least from OPs perspective.
Family and Children / Re: Ask Amy 2/7/16
« Last post by DavidH on Yesterday at 04:12:43 PM »
If the question is does she have to attend, the answer is no.  If the question is whether it should be okay not to attend because her needs aren't met, then it's maybe.  If it's was the invitation so rude as to make it socially acceptable not to attend it's more problematic. 

Her child has life threatening food allergies.  That's an entirely different level then cousin X is vegan by choice, or cousin y gets indigestion from peppers.  For the latter, I'd try to arrange something to accommodate them, since if something goes wrong and there is cross contamination the person will still be alive.  "Life threatening" is an entirely different obligation and I can fully understand someone reluctant to take that on. 

I will admit, I'm not entirely sure I understand why dealing with this couldn't be as simple as throw something in a cooler.  I've never heard of an allergy to cold food, but I suppose it's possible.  Preparing food for a 24 hour period that can be kept and eaten cold or at room temperature shouldn't be an insurmountable task.  In many parts of the US, there are chain hotels that are designed for longer term stays that have a kitchenette in the rooms.  I've found that their price point is similar to all but the least expensive hotels, and certainly not at the top of the market. 

I wouldn't want to drive 400 miles round trip in a day, let alone with a party in the middle and two kids, but I'd consider it for the right event. 

It's all about prioritization and tone.  She comes across as not wanting to attend and thus magnifying all obstacles rather than trying to find a way to make it work.
Having worked in corporate travel for about 200 years, I can tell you very definitively that some companies do very much care if you bring your spouse, even if you pay for it.

I have my own ideas about why they would care, can you tell me the politically correct wording you have heard please?

Honestly, I don't know the reasons behind why.  The companies who looked down upon it tended to be kind of odd ducks about small things.

I'd assume distractions, mainly? 
I am a US Citizen. If I fly Chicago-Copenhagen-Milan, do I get to get out, grab my bags and go through customs in Copenhagen and then recheck my bags to go to Italy? How much time should I allow for it?

I have always landed directly into the country I am visiting before.

As long as you aren't leaving the airport, you don't have to go through customs.  The airline should check your bags through to your final destination.  Frankfurt airport requires you to go through security on the way to your European connection (which can take a long time), but I don't know if Copenhagen airport requires that as well.
closed captioning that starts out perfectly legible for the first several minutes then degenerates into gibberish for the remainder of the program.
77 general / Re: Once a grump always a grump
« Last post by m2kbug on Yesterday at 04:00:47 PM »
I'm going to agree that you do not owe extra time just because they're sick.  I think I like the suggestion of doing small things according to your ability, like drop off a meal, but you can't stay because of work/obligations, and you could even pass along things through another family member who gets along with her, like pick up a prescription or groceries and drop these off with Auntie Joan.  Your support could be support of the family/friends who probably have more on their hands during this time in assisting her.  This way, you can be charitable without being directly involved all the time.  Auntie Joan already has to give up extra time to take her to appointments and help with laundry, so if you can take some tasks off her hands in a helpful way, this could be a way to help while avoiding the patient as much as possible. 

I also think that there is no obligation to subject yourself to abuse, let alone vamp up how much you receive.  If you need to back off, back off.  Maybe not unfriend, but hide her posts as one way of removing yourself.  I would be clear to someone like my mom or aunt that there's no way I'm subjecting myself to that abuse, but I will help my mom and aunt in any way I can to help lessen their burden. 
Family and Children / Re: Ask Amy 2/7/16
« Last post by wolfie on Yesterday at 04:00:42 PM »
I think wording has a lot to do with it.  If I'm told "I'm not sure how to accommodate Child's allergies", then I would respond "Don't worry, I'll bring something for Child."  If I'm told "We may not have enough beds.", then I would respond "Don't worry, We'll stay in a hotel."  If I'm told "You will bring Child's food because we aren't going to do allergy free things", then I feel that my child and I are being punished for having an allergy.  "You will stay in a hotel because the beds are already full" feels like my family is not a priority to the host.  That would set me up for an expectation of a very unattractive trip.  Suddenly a 200 mile !road trip! turns into a 200 endurance drive.

This is how I feel about it too.  My first thought when reading the letter was that the "hosts" really don't want this family to come:
1. They didn't even inform this family about the party -- until all 'free' sleeping slots had already been filled. 
2. There was no mention made of hosts being willing to even check into possibilities for feeding the child.
3. There was no acknowledgement that the 200 miles each direction might be both time consuming and difficult for them.
4. There was no mention that Hotel Allerelief has special rooms with kitchenettes and we'd be happy to reserve one for you (much less pay for it). 

I'm not at all sure that I wouldn't feel the same way as the hosts, but I do think the LW is correct in thinking their family's presence isn't really desired.

I think they should either decline, knowing that they do see Great Grandpa at other times during the year and get to spend more or less one-on-one time with him then, or encourage the husband to go with the more resilient child only.

I don't think it is a matter of them not liking this family.  I just think no one from the hosting city wants to take on the responsibility of feeding this child because of the perceived (and very real) dangers involved.

There is a lot we don't know that could explain all that.

1.We don't know how many free sleeping spots there are - if there is only one then it makes sense that this family wouldn't be the first priority for it - the great grandfather's peers are probably first priority for any free sleeping spots and it could very well be they take up all of them.

2. - we don't know they didn't look into it either. The LW said most restaurants are not able to accommodate the child - if the party is catered then it is a good bet they won't be able to either. They could have checked to make sure that the LW bringing in food won't be an issue, but there really isn't that much more they can do.

3 - We don't know that one either. LW didn't say either way - and LW did say they have seen GGF in the past so if they made the trip before the family could be thinking it isn't that big a deal since they did it in the past with no complaints.

4 - I have no idea what hotels in my area have kitchenettes and if I am planning a big party I also don't have the time to go calling every one to find one that suits another families needs. I would assume they would be able to do that themselves. And if I need to pay for their hotel room then how many other people will be upset that I didn't pay for theirs? I do think that expecting the host to pay for the room is unreasonable. If they can't afford it then I would expect them to mention it their parents and see if they offer to pay for the room. if they don't then I would expect them to decline with no hard feelings. But if they complain they can't go because the hosts won't pay for a hotel room it isn't the hosts I would be thinking badly of.
I really don't think she will react with anger to a conversation on the topic, she is not an angry person and when we have had disagreements in the past in both directions, we have handled them calmly and rationally. I think I can point out that my guests were taken aback by her visit and asked about it as an opening. I will definitely spell out clearly that her friend is not welcome in my home and that I expect her to honor that from now on. I won't mention her being rude to her guests, because that is curious, but not part of my problem.

I am not trying to excuse her behavior, I don't think she has handled the divorce well and I don't think she is handling her friendships well. I can't make her behave better, heal more quickly, or adjust in any way. I am just trying to paint a picture, and that her life is in a bad place gives me some sympathy for her. And being close acquaintances with neighbors is preferable for a million tiny reasons, none of which are crucial, but they add up. And I hate to give up a friendship of a decade. And I want my children to have access to their close friends who live within feet of our home, for that reason alone cutting her off would be a nightmare. So I will try a gentle conversation spelling out my concerns, getting her feedback, and hopefully planning how we will handle this sort of thing going forward.

And yes, she knew there was a big spread from Facebook, as well as from knowing me and DH and that we tend to go big, and probably even from smelling the food cooking.

I get it.  Almost no-one is purely toxic or 100% mooch and no-one is purely benevolent and generous. 

Family and Children / Re: Ask Amy 2/7/16
« Last post by Deetee on Yesterday at 03:57:02 PM »
I'm not getting this "she should own her choice" business. It may be that she doesn't want to go (I don't necessarily agree that her letter indicates this) but she also has valid reasons why such a trip would be pretty difficult. "Oh, she really just doesn't want to go" trivializes those reasons, IMO.

If I say "I don't to go because a 400 mile round trip with kids is a pain, trying to bring food for DD is a hassle, and the cost of a hotel would hurt our budget." then I'm owning my decision.

If I say "I don't want to go because no one made arrangements for feeding my death inducing allergic DD or made arrangement for free lodging" then I would be passing my reason on other people's actions and deciding to perceive their actions as unwelcoming.

Yup, I 100% agree with this. This what I mean by owning the decision. You weigh the pros and cons and decide what to do.

In an outsourced decision you try to make it sound like that is the only reasonable or possible decision that anyone could ever make. When you own your decision, you make the decision and recognise that it was your decision.

And it can get subtle because the lack of welcoming from the family is a a totally reasonable factor.

Owning your decision is great. It's also the difference between agonizing over  whether an invitation is "rude" enough that you are allowed to refuse it versus deciding whether to attend or not based on whether you want to.
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