My mother is a complainer. I don't mind that she complains, but I do mind when she complains about a place, in excess, on location. I can handle a comment or two expressing disappointment, but once she starts it is one complaint after the other.
We went to an farm to pick apples a couple of weeks ago. We thought we could pick apples and they had a small fair set up. Turns out they pick their apples and the fair was geared towards very young kids, with nothing really for us to do. She complained about it and kept telling me, my grandma, and my aunt that "don't worry we'll go somewhere better next year". And about how disappointed she was. Every time something new came up to complain about we heard about it.
Meanwhile I'm trying to enjoy petting goats and shopping before I have to pile into the car for a long drive home. As a side note: I got to pet a goat! Nothing terribly exciting, but one day I am going to have my own mini-herd of dairy goats. Until then I have to enjoy them where I can.
Anyways, the thing is, I'd prefer if mom would wait least wait to tell me about it until after we left. What happens a good portion of the time is when she says something with an employee nearby, thinking she is being all quiet and secretive, and said employee will then turn around and ask about the visit. And then Mom is all smiles and "it's great!".
I have had very limited success with saying something about it. For example: We went to a Chinese food buffet once and she tried a very little bit of a lot of stuff. Whenever she took a bite she would tell me exactly what was wrong with it. Fed up, I finally said "Mom, you haven't said one nice thing about it since we got here." She said "Oh, well xyz dish isn't bad". But after a short while she started up again.
I don't want her to pretend she's having a blast when she isn't, especially as sometimes I agree. For example the apple farm fair was pretty lame if you were not a 4 year old. Nice trip if you live nearby, but we drove 3 hours to pet some goats and go grocery shopping. It was a bad choice. On the other hand I was ok with the Chinese food place. It was mediocre but better than my attempts at the same dishes.
I just don't know if there is anything to say to her to postpone the complaints. Or am I just being too sensitive to the subject. It annoys me, but I suppose she does have a right to her opinions. And it isn't like she's screaming at managers and demanding they change their businesses to suit her needs.
Anyone have any advice?