Author Topic: Re: Step in and simplify travel plans Minor UPDATE Pg. 6  (Read 16396 times)

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JeanFromBNA

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Re: Step in and simplify travel plans or keep my mouth shut?
« Reply #30 on: December 16, 2012, 06:42:55 PM »
I think wasted time and money, extra stress on your parents, and wear and tear on their car and their bones outweighs the inconvenience of spoiling a Christmas surprise.  I vote for telling them and letting the chips fall where they may.

Sounds like he's watched one too many Hallmark commercials.

weeblewobble

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Re: Step in and simplify travel plans or keep my mouth shut?
« Reply #31 on: December 16, 2012, 06:52:01 PM »
I think wasted time and money, extra stress on your parents, and wear and tear on their car and their bones outweighs the inconvenience of spoiling a Christmas surprise.  I vote for telling them and letting the chips fall where they may.

Sounds like he's watched one too many Hallmark commercials.

Two years ago, after Ted did pulled this sort of stunt (creeping into my parents house at 2 a.m. Christmas Eve after telling them he wouldn't be able to be there), my sister muttered, "It's like he's seen that Folgers commercial one too many (redacted) times."

The commercial: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I4kNl7cQdcU 

And she called him "Peter" for the rest of the visit.

So that's what I'm dealing with.

gmatoy

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Re: Step in and simplify travel plans or keep my mouth shut?
« Reply #32 on: December 16, 2012, 08:54:35 PM »
[

Two years ago, after Ted did pulled this sort of stunt (creeping into my parents house at 2 a.m. Christmas Eve after telling them he wouldn't be able to be there), my sister muttered, "It's like he's seen that Folgers commercial one too many (redacted) times."

The commercial: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I4kNl7cQdcU 

And she called him "Peter" for the rest of the visit.

So that's what I'm dealing with.
[/quote]

We know someone who almost shot their child in a situation similar to this. My children have been told that WE don't have a gun, but Mom might have a heart attack if you sneak into the house! And if you do it once, all locks will be changed!

ChiGirl

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Re: Step in and simplify travel plans or keep my mouth shut?
« Reply #33 on: December 16, 2012, 09:09:07 PM »

Two years ago, after Ted did pulled this sort of stunt (creeping into my parents house at 2 a.m. Christmas Eve after telling them he wouldn't be able to be there), my sister muttered, "It's like he's seen that Folgers commercial one too many (redacted) times."

The commercial: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I4kNl7cQdcU 

And she called him "Peter" for the rest of the visit.

So that's what I'm dealing with.

Oh god, do I remember that commercial...I swear it ran for 20 years.

Another vote for having a serious chat with your brother about it.  I am in perfect health and rather enjoy driving, but if I found out I'd driven 8 hours and spent $100 in gas money for a visit that was going to happen anyway, I'd be quite seriously peeved.

Lynn2000

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Re: Step in and simplify travel plans or keep my mouth shut?
« Reply #34 on: December 16, 2012, 09:37:04 PM »
OP, if it's your dad who will be most irritated by the prank, could you tell him about it, and let him decide whether to tell your mom or let it be a surprise for her? It sounds like she's the one who might enjoy it, if anyone would (besides Bro). Best-case scenario, they make the drive, Mom enjoys the surprise, and Dad at least knew what he was getting into before he started out. Or, if Dad doesn't want to make the drive now that he knows what Bro plans, then he can be the one to tell Mom (and take the blame for "meddling"), or try to talk his son out of it himself.
~Lynn2000

katycoo

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Re: Step in and simplify travel plans or keep my mouth shut?
« Reply #35 on: December 16, 2012, 09:47:21 PM »
I forsee a problem with speaking up - being if he changes his mind.  At present, he can pull out at any time without causing any disruption.  But if your parents decide not to travel to him and he decides 6-7 hours is all too much in Christmas traffic, you'll be blamed.

norrina

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Re: Step in and simplify travel plans or keep my mouth shut?
« Reply #36 on: December 16, 2012, 09:55:05 PM »
[

Two years ago, after Ted did pulled this sort of stunt (creeping into my parents house at 2 a.m. Christmas Eve after telling them he wouldn't be able to be there), my sister muttered, "It's like he's seen that Folgers commercial one too many (redacted) times."

The commercial: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I4kNl7cQdcU 

And she called him "Peter" for the rest of the visit.

So that's what I'm dealing with.

We know someone who almost shot their child in a situation similar to this. My children have been told that WE don't have a gun, but Mom might have a heart attack if you sneak into the house! And if you do it once, all locks will be changed!
[/quote]

The first Christmas that my now XH and I were married, I decided I didn't want to fight over whether we were spending Christmas with his family (who lived 90 min. away and saw us every weekend) or my family (who lived 1000+ miles away and saw me only at holidays, and had only met him twice). We originally announced we would spend Christmas as home, then as the holidays approached, we decided that we would spend a few days before Christmas with my family, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day driving, and then a few days after Christmas with his family. Rather than tell my parents the change in plans though, I called some friends of the family to invite my parents and brothers over for dinner on the evening XH were scheduled to arrive in town. While mom, dad, and my brothers were gone, XH and I arrived and parked our car out of sight of the house, let ourselves in, and put some cranberry bread (dad's favorite) I had baked in the oven to warm and a kettle on for tea. Shortly thereafter, my family came home from visiting and my middle brother was sent to put some things in the shop. In doing so noticed our not-so-well-hidden-after all car (which he had only seen once before and therefore did not recognize as mine), and ran back to mom and dad to report this oddity, at which point everyone piled hastily back into the car and drove to the neighbor's house to call the cops. I had to wait half an hour for the police to show up, then go out with my hands in the air to try and explain that I wasn't a robber, but just the homeowner's daughter with an ill-planned Christmas surprise.



cicero

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Re: Step in and simplify travel plans or keep my mouth shut?
« Reply #37 on: December 17, 2012, 03:00:17 AM »
even with your additional info, I still stand by my original suggestion - tell your parents. do it by accident if you have to , but tell them. they might be annoyed that you ruined the 'surprise' but i bet they will be more annoyed (not to mentioned physically stressed/tired and out mumble-mumble dollars) if they do go.

many years ago, my son's bar mitsva. we lived in a city that didn't have hotels and my family doesn't travel on the Sabbath. so we had to find accommodation (neighbors, friends) who would put up my relatives who were coming from out of town/country for the weekend (this was the norm in our neighborhood). I was also going through chemo at the time. anyway, a few days before, my ssiter called me and let me know that my oldest brother was planning to "surprise" me by coming to the bar mitsva. it was such a sweet gesture on his part - but so typical of him to just *appear* at the last minute and not think that someone had to arrange meals, a bed etc. he isnt' a bad person (quite the opposite) but just a bit clueless. he was so focused on the surprise aspect that he just didn't think that/how this would affect us. so my sister gave me a head's up, i was able to find him a room, we were still happy that he was able to join us, it just wasn't a MAJOR surprise. I don't know if he was annoyed or hurt that she told me but I know that it would have more annoying had she not.

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bopper

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Re: Step in and simplify travel plans or keep my mouth shut?
« Reply #38 on: December 17, 2012, 09:34:31 AM »
I would call Bro up and lay it all out for him to think about...

So Mom and Dad are going to be driving X hours on <whatever day> solely to be able to see you at Christmas time. They feel sorry because you say you can't get off for Christmas. They will be driving in heavy holiday traffic. They will not be spending time prepping for Xmas, but they do this all because they want you to have family at Christmas.  Now, you are going to turn around and come home with them?  That is like saying "Fooled you! Made you come all the way out here for nothing! I lied to you again about not being able to come home!"  At some point you will be the boy who cried wolf and they won't bother.

artk2002

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Re: Step in and simplify travel plans or keep my mouth shut?
« Reply #39 on: December 17, 2012, 10:55:38 AM »

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.

While the image is amusing, it tells me that you're taking on far too much responsibility for other peoples' emotions and actions.

So, you feel that your mom would get mad if you told, and your dad would get mad if you didn't? Then it doesn't really matter which you choose, does it? When the excrement hits the ventilation device the response is "I would have gotten in trouble if I told/didn't tell, because you two have different expectations. Get your own acts together and respect that I have had to make a choice made more difficult by you. Subject closed." If it's dad being upset because you knew and didn't tell, I'd be a bit more specific: "The person you need to be upset with is Ted. He set this thing up and had plenty of opportunity to tell you himself. I chose not to interfere because you're all grown-ups."

You're a grown-up. It's ok to disappoint one or both parents now. Your parents are grown-up. They can handle disappointment if they have to. Your brother and sister are grown-up. They need to take care of their own emotions and expectations. Stop trying to parent all of these not-really-grown-up people. You'll just make yourself crazy.
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bow lines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. -Mark Twain

Roe

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Re: Step in and simplify travel plans or keep my mouth shut?
« Reply #40 on: December 17, 2012, 12:11:15 PM »
Every family is different.  If it were my family (and granted, it's not), I'd tell my dad and then let them make their own decision. 

pierrotlunaire0

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Re: Step in and simplify travel plans or keep my mouth shut?
« Reply #41 on: December 17, 2012, 01:17:59 PM »
OP, if it's your dad who will be most irritated by the prank, could you tell him about it, and let him decide whether to tell your mom or let it be a surprise for her? It sounds like she's the one who might enjoy it, if anyone would (besides Bro). Best-case scenario, they make the drive, Mom enjoys the surprise, and Dad at least knew what he was getting into before he started out. Or, if Dad doesn't want to make the drive now that he knows what Bro plans, then he can be the one to tell Mom (and take the blame for "meddling"), or try to talk his son out of it himself.

I like this idea.
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lowspark

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Re: Step in and simplify travel plans or keep my mouth shut?
« Reply #42 on: December 17, 2012, 01:52:19 PM »

<snip>
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.

If you're going to be the bad guy either way, then I think you're in a situation of choosing the lesser of two evils. Spoiling the surprise and thereby saving your parents this unnecessary arduous trip is most likely much better than just staying out of it.

Let's face it, Ted really did sort of put the matter in your hands by telling you. If he'd just surprised everyone, including you, you wouldn't be in this quandry. By telling you, he sort of put the power in your hands. Based on everything you've posted in this thread about your family dynamics, I think you ought to tell your parents.

I'd preface it by telling them the reason first.

"Hey, great news! Looks like you won't have to drive up to see Ted! He's planning on coming to my house after all!"

And me? I wouldn't mention or even acknowledge the surprise aspect of it. Just say Ted told you. If Ted or anyone else says you spoiled the surprise then act innocent.

"You really wanted it to be a surprise? I figured you were just kidding about that since it made more sense if Mom & Dad knew so they wouldn't have to drive to see you after all."

or

"I must have misunderstood. I could have sworn you said for me to tell them since surprising them would entail an unnecessary trip for them."


TootsNYC

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Re: Step in and simplify travel plans or keep my mouth shut?
« Reply #43 on: December 17, 2012, 02:06:11 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.

This is what I'd do w/ my husband's little brother. When he was younger, he just didn't get it. He didn't see how anything affected anybody but himself.

I considered it important to point certain facts out to him.

He wanted to leave my hometown right after my wedding, and skip the reception. He didn't drive; so I said to him, "So you want someone else, someone who is there to celebrate our wedding, like my brother or your dad, to leave the wedding, drive two hours to the airport and two hours back, which will mean that they will completely miss the entire celebration and time with their family. All so you can leave early because you think you'll be uncomfortable.
    "I can't ask anybody to do that. I don't think you should ask anybody to do that. I don't think you realize exactly what you're asking.
     "If you think you'll be uncomfortable, please don't feel you're required to attend the wedding."

Then there was the time that DH was driving him back to college at Christmas and a nor'easter was heading in, due to hit at 9pm. The highway to his college was the most winding road I've ever seen, w/ no shoulders and no lighting (Taconic for those of you who know it). And it was a 2 hour drive. (and, end of December, so early darkness)

DH and I decided they needed to leave at 5:30, so DH could be home safely.  Brother balked at leaving, so I said, "there's a storm coming, and it's going to hit at 9pm. That's not a safe road in that kind of a storm." He said, "but it's only a 2 hour drive, we don't need to leave until 7." I blew up, and said, "That puts YOU safe in the dorm at 9pm, and MY HUSBAND driving on the Taconic through the worst of the storm. My husband's trip does not end when he drops you off--he doesn't magically dematerialize and reappear down here. He has to turn around and drive TWO HOURS HOME!" (yes, I was sort of loud then). "It's not all about you. Get ready to leave." And I walked off.

He got much better. He's not selfish and mean--but he was very self-focused. And  he just didn't THINK. He saw only the thing that was in his head.

This is what I'd say.

I would call Bro up and lay it all out for him to think about...

So Mom and Dad are going to be driving X hours on <whatever day> solely to be able to see you at Christmas time. They feel sorry because you say you can't get off for Christmas. They will be driving in heavy holiday traffic. They will not be spending time prepping for Xmas, but they do this all because they want you to have family at Christmas.  Now, you are going to turn around and come home with them?  That is like saying "Fooled you! Made you come all the way out here for nothing! I lied to you again about not being able to come home!"  At some point you will be the boy who cried wolf and they won't bother.

With the "tone" of "I'm offering you another way to look at your plans. More info for you."

lady_disdain

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Re: Step in and simplify travel plans or keep my mouth shut?
« Reply #44 on: December 17, 2012, 02:11:42 PM »
This isn't the first time your brother has pulled a stunt like this and it isn't the first time that your parents have fallen for it. Surely they have realized his modus operandus by now so why are they playing along, again? This does make me lose a lot of sympathy for them.

I would ask them if they were sure that Ted wasn't just "pulling a Ted" again and try to make them see it for themselves. If they really refuse to, I would either give up on it all together or just spill the beans.