Author Topic: Etiquette Quagmire  (Read 6941 times)

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SPuck

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Etiquette Quagmire
« on: March 02, 2013, 09:08:01 PM »
Or my mother is trying to force me to make a decision I don't (or don't think I should have to) make:

Background: I am currently living at home (in Massachusetts) with my mother, brother, and there are two cars in the household. My car which was brought with my college funds, (but my mother is currently helping me maintain until I get a job), and my mom's car. My brother doesn't have a car, and relies on my mother for rides or borrowing her car. He isn't aloud to touch my car because we have had issues in the past. The three most prominent of which are leaving an illegal drug in a car we once shared that I was driving at the time, recently taking my car without asking (it was I woke up to discover my car wasn't in the driveway situation), and I don't like his driving. He has an app on his phone that tracks police cars and he spends more time paying attention to that than actually driving.

End Background:

My aunt invited me and my mom to her house on Cape Cod next weekend. A Saturday to Sunday trip. My mom wants me to leave my car home alone with my brother. Normally that would be fine if I got along with him, but he also goes into Boston every Friday to spend the weekend with his girlfriend. He is always driven and doesn't come home until later afternoon or even during the evening on Sunday. I don't want to even give him the option of borrowing my car because of his history and his regular schedule. Normally he wouldn't need it. If I give him the option he will take it because he is just that kind of person. For some reason my mom is trying to force me to make a decision. Either let my brother borrow my car or don't go down to the Cape for the weekend. I really want to go, but I just can't trust him. Any suggestions on ways I can convey to my mom she is putting unfair pressure on me. If my brother was going to be stuck out in the suburbs without a car then I would say yes he can borrow it. He is not though, and I don't want to give him the option of borrowing it either.
« Last Edit: March 02, 2013, 09:10:41 PM by SPuck »

Sharnita

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Re: Etiquette Quagmire
« Reply #1 on: March 02, 2013, 09:12:01 PM »
I totay get why you are torn but I think I would stay home if that is what it takes to make the point to both of them that this is a boundary that you will not negotiate.

LilacGirl1983

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Re: Etiquette Quagmire
« Reply #2 on: March 02, 2013, 09:12:41 PM »
Can you do a little of both? Can you drop off the car at a friend's house for the weekend? Since you paid for it it is yours..and if he wrecks it then will he be held responsible? I wouldn't want anyone else driving my car. I would tell my mom that if he needs transportation he can find his own car or like I suggested find an alternative spot for it for the weekend and take the keys with you on vacation. I don't think its fair of your mom to hold the vacation over your head to make you let your brother use something that is yours.

m2kbug

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Re: Etiquette Quagmire
« Reply #3 on: March 02, 2013, 09:20:46 PM »
Was your plan to drive your car to the Cape, but your mother doesn't want you to?  It seems a bit ridiculous to take two cars, but I would prefer to have my own transportation when I'm traveling anyway.  Is there a reason you two just can't take your car and leave hers behind?  Would hiding or taking your car keys with you work?  Do you know anyone where you can leave the car at their home for the weekend?  I certainly wouldn't want to leave the option open to my brother either.  If he wrecks it, who's going to pay for a new car?  If it's impossible to come to a solution, you might just have to resolve yourself to not going on this trip. 

White Lotus

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Re: Etiquette Quagmire
« Reply #4 on: March 02, 2013, 09:24:56 PM »
Take your car to Cape Cod, and let your mother leave hers for your brother.  Or to sit in the garage.  Or whatever.

weeblewobble

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Re: Etiquette Quagmire
« Reply #5 on: March 02, 2013, 09:26:37 PM »
Can you do a little of both? Can you drop off the car at a friend's house for the weekend? Since you paid for it it is yours..and if he wrecks it then will he be held responsible? I wouldn't want anyone else driving my car. I would tell my mom that if he needs transportation he can find his own car or like I suggested find an alternative spot for it for the weekend and take the keys with you on vacation. I don't think its fair of your mom to hold the vacation over your head to make you let your brother use something that is yours.

I was thinking the same thing.  Leave the key and the car with a trusted friend and don't tell your mom or brother where it is.

WillyNilly

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Re: Etiquette Quagmire
« Reply #6 on: March 02, 2013, 09:26:52 PM »
Can't you just be sure to take your keys with you?

I absolutely don't think you need to allow your brother usage of your car, even if your mom is currently helping you maintain it. You should let her use it if she's helping you out, but that needn't expand to your brother. I don't see why you have to travel with your mom and in her car though.  Just say "sorry mom, but your car just doesn't work for me for the weekend away.  You can come in my car with me, or we can drive separately."

If it comes down to it (like if you can't afford the gas to go without your mom and she won' go in your car), you might have to say "no" to the visit to the Cape.  You don't need to be secretive about it either, although don't be overt.  Just a brief, "I'm sorry I can't go. I can't afford the risk of leaving my car. I hope to see some other time soon! Thank you so much for the offer."

LeveeWoman

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Re: Etiquette Quagmire
« Reply #7 on: March 02, 2013, 09:32:34 PM »
I'd ask her if she realized that she is conditioning the acceptance of someone else's offer of hospitality by trying to force you to loan your property to an irresponsible druggie who's stolen it once.

CrochetFanatic

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Re: Etiquette Quagmire
« Reply #8 on: March 02, 2013, 09:33:18 PM »
Take your car to Cape Cod, and let your mother leave hers for your brother.  Or to sit in the garage.  Or whatever.

That's a good idea, if she'd go for it.  You bought the car, so it belongs to you.  If she only wants to take one car (be it to conserve gas, or whatever), you could suggest that the two of you take yours instead.  Then, if your mother's reasons for not wanting your brother to drive her car are the same as your reasons, you're in the clear to say, "Exactly my point."  You might or might not have to skip the trip, at least if your mother insists that it be on her terms, but you don't have to let your brother drive a car that's in your name, or leave it where he is tempted to drive it.  Heck, you could still go if you're able to make other lodging arrangements.

SPuck

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Re: Etiquette Quagmire
« Reply #9 on: March 02, 2013, 09:37:28 PM »
There are so many alternative. She has already given me the ultimatum either I give my brother the car or I don't go. What is going to happen is that we are going to argue about for a week, and I'm going to win because I can stand my ground. I don't want fight though, and the thing is my brother doesn't even need the car. He spends his weekend in the city and is always driven there. He would be driven there if it were a normal weekend and would be without car and wold be fine.

I'd ask her if she realized that she is conditioning the acceptance of someone else's offer of hospitality by trying to force you to loan your property to an irresponsible druggie who's stolen it once.

That is actually a good one, but if I insult my brother I won't get my point across.

weeblewobble

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Re: Etiquette Quagmire
« Reply #10 on: March 02, 2013, 09:40:09 PM »
There are so many alternative. She has already given me the ultimatum either I give my brother the car or I don't go. What is going to happen is that we are going to argue about for a week, and I'm going to win because I can stand my ground. I don't want fight though, and the thing is my brother doesn't even need the car. He spends his weekend in the city and is always driven there. He would be driven there if it were a normal weekend and would be without car and wold be fine.

I'd ask her if she realized that she is conditioning the acceptance of someone else's offer of hospitality by trying to force you to loan your property to an irresponsible druggie who's stolen it once.

That is actually a good one, but if I insult my brother I won't get my point across.

I think I would just not go.  I know you're looking forward to the trip.  But she has set her terms under the impression that you will cave in.  At this point, it may be more important to show her that you can't be pushed around like this.

LeveeWoman

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Re: Etiquette Quagmire
« Reply #11 on: March 02, 2013, 09:40:48 PM »
There are so many alternative. She has already given me the ultimatum either I give my brother the car or I don't go. What is going to happen is that we are going to argue about for a week, and I'm going to win because I can stand my ground. I don't want fight though, and the thing is my brother doesn't even need the car. He spends his weekend in the city and is always driven there. He would be driven there if it were a normal weekend and would be without car and wold be fine.

I'd ask her if she realized that she is conditioning the acceptance of someone else's offer of hospitality by trying to force you to loan your property to an irresponsible druggie who's stolen it once.

That is actually a good one, but if I insult my brother I won't get my point across.

Would it "insult" him if, instead of calling him a thieving, irresponsible druggie, you describe what he has done in factual language?

Is he the golden child?

SPuck

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Re: Etiquette Quagmire
« Reply #12 on: March 02, 2013, 09:44:42 PM »
Would it "insult" him if, instead of calling him a thieving, irresponsible druggie, you describe what he has done in factual language?

Is he the golden child?

Not a golden child, but my mom doesn't know how to say no to anyone and is way to considerate.

weeblewobble

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Re: Etiquette Quagmire
« Reply #13 on: March 02, 2013, 09:47:37 PM »
It strikes me as odd that she dangles this carrot over your head but ONLY if you do this one specific thing that you have said you will not do.  Particularly as this thing you have said you will not do probably complicates mom's life a bit.  You won't let brother drive your car (rightly so) so she has to lend him her car or drive him. It seems like she's trying to force you into making an exception so after the vacation, Mom can continue to ask/enforce this car-borrowing demand.  Afterall, you "let him" drive the car while you were out of town, so why wouldn't you continue to do so?  It sounds like she is arranging this trip to "break your resolve" and make her life easier.

I've said before that I have a real problem with trying to control me.  So my natural instinct would be to dig my heels in and said, "You know what, if those are your terms, I won't be going.  Enjoy your trip."  But that's me.

LeveeWoman

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Re: Etiquette Quagmire
« Reply #14 on: March 02, 2013, 09:51:05 PM »
Would it "insult" him if, instead of calling him a thieving, irresponsible druggie, you describe what he has done in factual language?

Is he the golden child?

Not a golden child, but my mom doesn't know how to say no to anyone and is way to considerate.

She's saying "no" to you unless you give her what she wants, and is not showing you any consideration right now.