Author Topic: Re: Step in and simplify travel plans Minor UPDATE Pg. 6  (Read 16352 times)

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Please pass the Calgon

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Re: Step in and simplify travel plans or keep my mouth shut?
« Reply #15 on: December 16, 2012, 01:34:18 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'd point out to bro that if he does go through with this and the parents get upset with me for knowing about it, I'm going to be very clear about the fact that I told him it was not a good plan and he insisted that I keep it a secret.

I can easily see my younger bro doing something like this to my mom, and her just going along with it. I've washed my hand of interfereing in their relationship after years of watching her allow him to inconvienience and take advantage of her. He knows better than to pull any of that on me.

JenJay

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Re: Step in and simplify travel plans or keep my mouth shut?
« Reply #16 on: December 16, 2012, 02:23:56 PM »
I would first call my brother and say "Listen, I appreciate that you want to surprise them by being here for Christmas, but I have some concerns." Then point out all you've said about health issues, weather conditions, traffic, expense, etc. Hopefully he'll have a lightbulb moment and realize he needs to let them off the hook on coming to see him.

If he insisted his Big Surprise will be worth it I'd say "At the risk of upsetting you, I'm going to tell them your plans if you won't. I'm very concerned for the reasons I stated and I think Mom and Dad should know their options before making the trip." Then I'd tell them, just not behind his back.

Lynn2000

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Re: Step in and simplify travel plans or keep my mouth shut?
« Reply #17 on: December 16, 2012, 02:37:30 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.

I kind of like this approach. I lean towards staying out of it, and letting your parents be mad at your brother (if they are)--that might snap them out of finding his antics charming. On the other hand, he's kind of forced you to be in it by telling you about it. In some families, blame might shift away from the golden child who deserves it towards someone else (you) who knew about the plan but didn't say anything.

And then of course there's the health and safety aspects to consider. If you are really, really concerned about them doing all that driving, and your brother won't change his mind, maybe you need to pull a "safety trumps etiquette" card and tell them.

So, I would only flat-out tell them if I were really concerned about their safety/health, and Bro refused to budge. If it was more that I was afraid of misplaced blame, I would try to find some indirect way to change his mind, like by refusing to host him. And if it was more that I was just generally aggravated at his immaturity, I would just stay out of it, and let the chips fall where they may.
~Lynn2000

QuiltLady

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Re: Step in and simplify travel plans or keep my mouth shut?
« Reply #18 on: December 16, 2012, 03:44:55 PM »
I think it is the height of selfishness on your brother's part.  He is not thinking of anyone else but himself.  I don't see a normal, caring person, doing this to someone.  Have them drive all the way there, pay for a hotel room, and then spring this "surprise (joke)" on them?  It's horrible.

I would tell my parents if I knew about this.  Let your brother suffer the consequences, not your parents, of his bad actions.  You might take some flak from your brother but really... would it be so bad for him to know that this idea is so totally selfish that you cannot condone it?

wolfie

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Re: Step in and simplify travel plans or keep my mouth shut?
« Reply #19 on: December 16, 2012, 03:51:45 PM »
What happens if you tell your parents and they decline to go visit bro and he decides that he doesn't want to drive to your city by himself and doesn't come to Christmas afterall? I would stay out of it - they are adults and can deal with their own relationship.

delabela

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Re: Step in and simplify travel plans or keep my mouth shut?
« Reply #20 on: December 16, 2012, 03:56:38 PM »
If it was me, I would absolutely talk pretty frankly with my sibling about my concerns.  I think your brother is valuing the fun surprise element without really looking at whether it would be fun for anyone else.  It's probably just a touch of cluelessness, and another perspective could help. 

weeblewobble

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Re: Step in and simplify travel plans or keep my mouth shut?
« Reply #21 on: December 16, 2012, 04:06:54 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.

I kind of like this approach. I lean towards staying out of it, and letting your parents be mad at your brother (if they are)--that might snap them out of finding his antics charming. On the other hand, he's kind of forced you to be in it by telling you about it. In some families, blame might shift away from the golden child who deserves it towards someone else (you) who knew about the plan but didn't say anything.

And then of course there's the health and safety aspects to consider. If you are really, really concerned about them doing all that driving, and your brother won't change his mind, maybe you need to pull a "safety trumps etiquette" card and tell them.

So, I would only flat-out tell them if I were really concerned about their safety/health, and Bro refused to budge. If it was more that I was afraid of misplaced blame, I would try to find some indirect way to change his mind, like by refusing to host him. And if it was more that I was just generally aggravated at his immaturity, I would just stay out of it, and let the chips fall where they may.

The more I think about this the more irritated I get.  Ted put me in the middle of this and I either way I respond, I will probably end up being the bad guy.  If I don't tell Mom and Dad and they realize that I had "prior knowledge," the blame won't be laid at my feet alone, but I can see my dad being pretty irritated with me.  If I do tell them, I'll be the meddling spoil-sport that ruined brother's surprise and my mom will tell I should I have minded my own business.

My husband heard about this development this morning and winced, saying, "That will make your dad really angry.  What are you going to do?"

I told him I was contemplating not doing anything and he turned sort of pale and said, "Well, I'm not calling them!" 

So we haven't quite figured out what we're going to do, but I was sort of glad DH confirmed my feelings of "This is such a stupid thing to do my parents."


dawbs

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Re: Step in and simplify travel plans or keep my mouth shut?
« Reply #22 on: December 16, 2012, 04:13:43 PM »
It's also a complete de-value-ing of their time.
Youre talking 8 hours (4 each way, right?) spent on the road in the midst of the holiday season for NO reason?


Shoo

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Re: Step in and simplify travel plans or keep my mouth shut?
« Reply #23 on: December 16, 2012, 04:16:09 PM »
OP, if you tell your parents about his ridiculous plan and they decide to not travel early to see him and simply wait to see him at your house, what are the chances he will NOT come to your house after all?  Is your brother otherwise trustworthy, or would he use this as an opportunity to punish you for "spilling the beans?"

weeblewobble

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Re: Step in and simplify travel plans or keep my mouth shut?
« Reply #24 on: December 16, 2012, 04:23:51 PM »
OP, if you tell your parents about his ridiculous plan and they decide to not travel early to see him and simply wait to see him at your house, what are the chances he will NOT come to your house after all?  Is your brother otherwise trustworthy, or would he use this as an opportunity to punish you for "spilling the beans?"

No.  I don't see him doing that. He wouldn't risk missing out on presents. (I'm only half-kidding.)

Deetee

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Re: Step in and simplify travel plans or keep my mouth shut?
« Reply #25 on: December 16, 2012, 04:26:55 PM »
I have thought about this some more and I realised that if either of my sisters tried this, I would shoot it down in a nanosecond and MAKE them tell their parents.

You also say your dad will be annoyed so this doesn't sound like your parents are totally bought into this.

How's this for a script

"Brother, I've been thinking about this I'm thrilled you can come and join us for Christmas, but I'm really not comfortable being part of this "surprise". You are asking our parents to drive hours and hours to spend time with you before Christmas only because they think  you won't be able to join us for Christmas.

You need to let them make this choice. Just call them and tell them that you got the time off work for Christmas. It's still a happy surprise for them and maybe they will still want to make the trip beforehand, but it should be up to them whether they want all the extra driving and hotels, not you.

So, I need you to call them. If you won't, then I will and I really, really, really don't want to get involved but I will rather than having you go through this fake surprise."

Shoo

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Re: Step in and simplify travel plans or keep my mouth shut?
« Reply #26 on: December 16, 2012, 04:27:07 PM »
OP, if you tell your parents about his ridiculous plan and they decide to not travel early to see him and simply wait to see him at your house, what are the chances he will NOT come to your house after all?  Is your brother otherwise trustworthy, or would he use this as an opportunity to punish you for "spilling the beans?"

No.  I don't see him doing that. He wouldn't risk missing out on presents. (I'm only half-kidding.)

Then I think you should definitely tell your parents what he's planning.  At least give them the option of not wasting 8 hours of their lives driving to see your brother, when they're going to get to see him at your house anyway.

bonyk

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Re: Step in and simplify travel plans or keep my mouth shut?
« Reply #27 on: December 16, 2012, 05:32:15 PM »
So we haven't quite figured out what we're going to do, but I was sort of glad DH confirmed my feelings of "This is such a stupid thing to do my parents."
[/quote

How close are you to your sister?  Could you tell her bro's plan and "forget" to tell her it's a surprise?  Then she could call your parents and ask them why they're driving to bro's if he's coming to your place.

weeblewobble

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Re: Step in and simplify travel plans or keep my mouth shut?
« Reply #28 on: December 16, 2012, 05:44:22 PM »

How close are you to your sister?  Could you tell her bro's plan and "forget" to tell her it's a surprise?  Then she could call your parents and ask them why they're driving to bro's if he's coming to your place.



My sister and I are very close.  But that's a whole 'nother wrench in the works.  Sis (middle child) gets frustrated very easily with Ted.  I usually play the peacemaker.  If I was to include her in this big ol' mess, I foresee an implosion of insane proportions.  Ted would get defensive and escalate somehow.  ("Oh, you think I'm immature?  You haven't even SEEN immature!") and I would end up in the fetal position crying under my dining room table, slugging down wine.
« Last Edit: December 16, 2012, 05:46:05 PM by weeblewobble »

Roses

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Re: Step in and simplify travel plans or keep my mouth shut?
« Reply #29 on: December 16, 2012, 06:11:26 PM »

I would end up in the fetal position crying under my dining room table, slugging down wine.

I nearly spit out my drink.  That's a hilarious image - and oh holidays with family.  I often feel this way mid holiday chaos when the annual last minute "surpirse" gets thrown in...

On the more serious side, I would go with the call brother option and inform him of your concerns, see if you can get him to drop the plan.  Could tell your parents he has to now work or something? Then it's still a surprise, but they don't have to make the drive.