Author Topic: Re: Step in and simplify travel plans Minor UPDATE Pg. 6  (Read 16382 times)

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weeblewobble

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Re: Step in and simplify travel plans Minor UPDATE Pg. 6
« on: December 16, 2012, 07:43:51 AM »
BG: My family is pretty spread out.  I live in City A, halfway between my parents in City B, to the east of me, and my sister in City C, to the west of me.  Each have to drive about 4-5 hours to reach my city.  My brother, Ted, recently moved to City D, a few hundred miles east of my parents' city, a 4 hour drive from my parents' city and a 6-7 hour drive from my city.

So in an oversimplified map it would look like this:


SIS--------------------ME----------------------PARENTS-----------------------------------------------------------------BRO


Still with me?

I love my younger brother, but I have posted here before about his maturity issues.  He's 28 but in the past my parents have had to step in and rescue him from various financial problems or situations of his own making.  He has been doing much better in the past year or so.

Because of his job, he frequently has to miss Thanksgiving with our side of the family.  He has a history of telling my parents he can't make Christmas, only to show up in dramatic fashion late at night on Christmas Eve, having finagled a complicated compromise with his boss/coworkers.  He has done this several times in the last few years.  I don't know if it's because he likes the attention from my parents because they tend to over-compensate for his missing the holiday or because he genuinely likes to surprise them.  Either way, it really doesn't affect me as long as my parents are happy.

END BG

This year, things got more complicated with brother's move to City D.  My parents were upset at the prospect of him missing Christmas, so they decided to drive the 4 hours from City B to City D the weekend before Christmas to see him and have a mini-celebration, then turn around on Monday and drive the 6-7 to my city, where I am hosting Christmas Day festivities at my house for my parents and sis' family.

I was a little worried about them spending this much time on the road during high-traffic holiday time.  They're getting older and I would hate for anything to happen to them.  But I figured, they're adults, they make their own decisions and they want to see their son on Christmas. MYOB.

So earlier this week, my brother calls me and tells me he's planning on coming to my house on Christmas to surprise Mom and Dad.  His plan is that on Monday when my parents are leaving, he will grab a suitcase and tell them, surprise, I'm riding along with you!  I said, OK, here's a list of hotels where you can stay, (My house is already full) and recommended that he drive himself to my house, so Mom and Dad don't have to drive him home four hours out of their way.  He hadn't thought of the driving issue, so he agreed to do that.

I don't begrudge him time with the whole family on Christmas Day, but basically, my parents are driving 4 hours to his city for the express purpose of making sure that he has some family time over Christmas.  And he's going to end up getting that on Christmas Day anyway.  So my parents are driving all that way for nothing.

Brother told me several times not to ruin the "surprise" but the more I think about, the more this is bothering me in terms of worrying about my parents' safety, wearing them out with unnecessary travel right before the holiday (both have health issues), my parents paying for a hotel room in City D when they don't have to, and just the dramatic quality of it all.   Should I call my brother and tell him he should let Mom and Dad know his plans so they can adjust theirs?  Or just keep my mouth shut and let them work it out?   
« Last Edit: December 27, 2012, 10:16:26 AM by weeblewobble »

cicero

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Re: Step in and simplify travel plans or keep my mouth shut?
« Reply #1 on: December 16, 2012, 07:47:57 AM »
depends on your family , but i would so "accidentally" mention this to my parents. I have a feeling that mentioning this to your brother would not push him into changing the plans.

your brother is really wrong about this - it's bad enough that your parents are driving all this way out of their way just to make sure they see him, but for them to do this *for nothing* is unconscionable.

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kckgirl

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Re: Step in and simplify travel plans or keep my mouth shut?
« Reply #2 on: December 16, 2012, 07:48:45 AM »
I say keep your mouth shut and let them work it out. You aren't in charge of them or your brother. Your suggestion for brother to drive himself was thoughtful and really all you should do. I would be really upset with my adult daughter if she interfered in something like this.
Maryland

bonyk

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Re: Step in and simplify travel plans or keep my mouth shut?
« Reply #3 on: December 16, 2012, 07:50:54 AM »
I would gently point out to bro that travel is rough on my parents and if they don't have to drive to his house the weekend before they would probably enjoy Christmas more.  If he didn't listen, I would probably call my mom and let her know his plans.  That would work in my family; not sure if it would in yours.

AmethystAnne

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Re: Step in and simplify travel plans or keep my mouth shut?
« Reply #4 on: December 16, 2012, 08:58:15 AM »
I would gently point out to bro that travel is rough on my parents and if they don't have to drive to his house the weekend before they would probably enjoy Christmas more.  If he didn't listen, I would probably call my mom and let her know his plans.  That would work in my family; not sure if it would in yours.

This!

OP,

From your background, Brother seems to be used to y'alls DParents investing in the extra effort to go see him. He may have the mindset that they are invincible.

It would be a wake-up call to Brother, and a loving kindness to your parents, if you followed Boynk's advice.

No matter how old, at times, a person needs a sibling's perspective on family situations. (Me too, even at age 58,  ;D )


PastryGoddess

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Re: Step in and simplify travel plans or keep my mouth shut?
« Reply #5 on: December 16, 2012, 10:00:44 AM »
It's one thing when your parents are healthy driving road warriors who make long drives on a regular basis.  It's another thing when you have parents who have health issues and are getting up there in age.

I think it would be a kindness for you to call your brother and break it down into simple sentences for him to understand.  Then call or conference in your parents and let them know that brother will be at your place for Xmas dinner so there is no need to do all of that travelling during the holidays.

Winterlight

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Re: Step in and simplify travel plans or keep my mouth shut?
« Reply #6 on: December 16, 2012, 10:18:29 AM »
I would gently point out to bro that travel is rough on my parents and if they don't have to drive to his house the weekend before they would probably enjoy Christmas more.  If he didn't listen, I would probably call my mom and let her know his plans.  That would work in my family; not sure if it would in yours.

This. I know my parents would be very upset if my brother or I pulled a stunt like that.
If wisdom’s ways you wisely seek,
Five things observe with care,
To whom you speak,
Of whom you speak,
And how, and when, and where.
Caroline Lake Ingalls

AuntyEm

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Re: Step in and simplify travel plans or keep my mouth shut?
« Reply #7 on: December 16, 2012, 10:24:56 AM »
And how will your parents feel when they find out that you knew about the plan but didn't tell them?  That won't stay a secret.

Hmmmmm

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Re: Step in and simplify travel plans or keep my mouth shut?
« Reply #8 on: December 16, 2012, 11:55:58 AM »
I would gently point out to bro that travel is rough on my parents and if they don't have to drive to his house the weekend before they would probably enjoy Christmas more.  If he didn't listen, I would probably call my mom and let her know his plans.  That would work in my family; not sure if it would in yours.

This. I know my parents would be very upset if my brother or I pulled a stunt like that.

It sounds like your brother doesn't really plan well.  Id be pretty up front with him and tell him that his plan puts a lot of unnecessary hardship on the parents.  If he wants the suprise he could go visit them over the weekend and then suprise I'm going with you to sis's, and suprise, I'm going to do the mature thing and drive you to and from sis's house before heading back home.

doodlemor

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Re: Step in and simplify travel plans or keep my mouth shut?
« Reply #9 on: December 16, 2012, 12:13:52 PM »
I would gently point out to bro that travel is rough on my parents and if they don't have to drive to his house the weekend before they would probably enjoy Christmas more.  If he didn't listen, I would probably call my mom and let her know his plans.  That would work in my family; not sure if it would in yours.

This. I know my parents would be very upset if my brother or I pulled a stunt like that.

It sounds like your brother doesn't really plan well.  Id be pretty up front with him and tell him that his plan puts a lot of unnecessary hardship on the parents.  If he wants the suprise he could go visit them over the weekend and then suprise I'm going with you to sis's, and suprise, I'm going to do the mature thing and drive you to and from sis's house before heading back home.

I have a son just a bit older than your brother.  To me, these behaviors would get old pretty fast.  I agree with the PP.

This probably sounds harsh, but he reminds me of a toddler who likes to come to an adult and say, "Here I am."  This behavior is adorable and delightful.........in little children.

Tell bro that he needs to tell mom before she has all of her packing done.  She will likely want to run out to the grocery store, too, instead of planning an empty fridge for the weekend.

If he persists in this nonsense, tell on him.

Shoo

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Re: Step in and simplify travel plans or keep my mouth shut?
« Reply #10 on: December 16, 2012, 12:32:16 PM »
What your brother is planning is really juvenile.  He's going to be seeing them right before his plan to "surprise" them at the family Christmas?  In his world, his parents will be so glad to see him at your house, they will just forget the enormous amount of driving they just did so they could save him the trip he decided to make after all?  I'm betting your parents are going to be confused.  I mean, why would their son put them through all that driving needlessly?

Please call your brother and tell him to forget about this plan.  He has to make a choice.  He either celebrates Christmas at your house with the rest of the family and tells your parents he is doing so, or the jig is up and YOU tell your parents so you will save them from the burden of driving all the way to and from their son's house.

Luci

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Re: Step in and simplify travel plans or keep my mouth shut?
« Reply #11 on: December 16, 2012, 12:54:20 PM »
As parents who think little of driving 750 miles in one day and are in pretty good health, I would be livid if our child pulled a stunt like letting us drive 800 miles in iffy weather and at a very busy time of year to accomplish something that will be done anyway! And I would be pretty upset with the sibling that knew and didn't somehow let us know. The quality of the visit wouldn't be quite as great as one on two, but the improvement wouldn't be worth it.

That would be especially true if much of that driving is in very heavy traffic areas.


camlan

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Re: Step in and simplify travel plans or keep my mouth shut?
« Reply #12 on: December 16, 2012, 01:25:26 PM »
Your brother is thinking more of the happiness he will have in surprising your parents than about how they will feel. That's not how you plan a surprise.

I'd have a good, long talk with Dear Brother about how selfish his proposal is. And if that doesn't change his mind, I'd flat out tell my parents what he is planning.
Nothing is impossible, the word itself says, “I’m possible!” –Audrey Hepburn


citadelle

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Re: Step in and simplify travel plans or keep my mouth shut?
« Reply #13 on: December 16, 2012, 01:29:25 PM »
I would stay out of it.

Deetee

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Re: Step in and simplify travel plans or keep my mouth shut?
« Reply #14 on: December 16, 2012, 01:30:22 PM »
I don't think you should tell your parents. I do think you should tell your brother to rethink this.

It sounds (from your hints at a back story) that your parents enjoy bailing out and helping your brother and driving for hours is a proof of love for them.

Both your parents and your brother are embroiled in this dynamic, but I really think that it is up to them to sort out. You can't say "no" to your parents.

What you can do is you can refuse to host your brother unless he tells your parents his plan beforehand. This might seem a bit like blackmail, but if you don't think you will be able to get over your resentment at your brother I think you should consider that.

Granted, this means telling your brother that he is not welcome at Christmas dinner, but on the other hand it means telling your brother that someone who take advantage of your parents in such a fashion is not welcome at your Christmas dinner.

Or maybe you should tell your parents. I don't know. If you can't host your brother ungrudgingly you shouldn't host him. Basically you need to either accept that their dyanamic is NOT your problem and host them all or not host/tell parents etc...