Author Topic: Etiquette Quagmire  (Read 6897 times)

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SPuck

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Re: Etiquette Quagmire
« Reply #15 on: March 02, 2013, 10:02:41 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.

That is actually what happened before. The illegal drug was a couple of years ago, but he was banned from driving my car because of another reason I can't even remember now. But my mom wore me down into letting him borrow it for minor reasons, and then late last year he decided to take it without asking me.

Let me make it clear. I have little doubt I can win this argument (getting to go down to the cape with my mom without my brother borrowing me car), but I would rather avoid the war it is going to take to get there.

MrTango

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Re: Etiquette Quagmire
« Reply #16 on: March 02, 2013, 10:12:20 PM »
Take your car with you on this trip.  If your mother wants your brother to have a car, she can let him use hers.

kudeebee

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Re: Etiquette Quagmire
« Reply #17 on: March 02, 2013, 10:16:57 PM »
 
Not a golden child, but my mom doesn't know how to say no to anyone and is way to considerate.

She isn't having trouble saying no to you! If the invitation was extended to both of you, I don't see how she can decide whether or not you can go.  You are an adult now, not a minor child.

I would not argue with her. As we say here do not JADE.   Tell her "Mom, I will not be leaving my car at home for brother to drive.  Aunt has invited me to visit her and I want to go, so if I need to drive by myself to visit aunt at the Cape, I will.  I am not going to discuss it anymore."

When she starts in, stop her and say something like "Mom, I have told you what I am doing."  Then leave the room or change the subject.  Don't let her draw you in.  Repeat this every time.


PastryGoddess

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Re: Etiquette Quagmire
« Reply #18 on: March 02, 2013, 10:20:13 PM »
It sounds like your aunt extended the invitation to BOTH you and your mother.  She can't stop you from going since...well because you are an adult and have your own transportation.

But you have a invitation AND means to get there.  Your decision should not be whether or not you will be going, but whether or not you'll be taking your car with you.  Call your aunt and tell her when you'll be getting there.  When your mother brings it up, you can let her know your plans. 

I understand you live with her, but she can't stop you from getting in your car and driving up there


ETA: Apparently me and Kudebee posted at the same time  :P

sweetonsno

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Re: Etiquette Quagmire
« Reply #19 on: March 02, 2013, 10:21:16 PM »
Definitely put your foot down.

I'd try to figure out whether the invitation was extended to both of you equally or if your mom was the primary recipient. If your aunt invited you explicitly and equally, then your mom really has no right to put a condition on your coming (or not). I'm not sure how best to phrase it, but can you say something like, "Mom, Aunt is inviting me to come for the weekend, not you. If she wants to make the invitation conditional, she can, but it's not fair for you to set requirements for me going." Basically, let her know that it isn't her place to make an ultimatum like that. Don't even bring your brother and your objections to giving him use of your property into it.

I also agree with WhiteLotus and CrochetFanatic. If your mom is simply trying to save gas, offer to take your car and be the driver. She can leave her own car for your brother.

If you don't want to fight, then don't. The next time she tells you "my way or the highway," take Sharnita's advice. "I'm not willing to accept those conditions. I'll have to decline Auntie's invitation. I hope you have fun in Cape Cod." Then don't go. Yes, it will be a disappointment to both you and your aunt, but your mom will probably continue to push the boundaries that you've set if you don't show her that you're not going to bend. (Plus, if it's in her nature to hold things over your head or complain about them, this gives her zero ammo.)

Sharnita

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Re: Etiquette Quagmire
« Reply #20 on: March 02, 2013, 10:22:23 PM »
I think there is theory and then there is reality.  Yes you are an adult and yes you own the car.  However, you live with her and it sounds like she helps you right now while you are looking for a job.  Nothing wrong with that but it sounds like she feels like it gives her some power. And in some ways, that might be the reality.  If nothing else, saying no to her is going to create tension and unpleasantness.  (Saying yes will too, just in a different way).  Saying she can't stop you or that you are an adult is true but it kind of overlooks the fact that she can make you pretty miserable before and after.

SPuck

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Re: Etiquette Quagmire
« Reply #21 on: March 02, 2013, 10:27:27 PM »
Sharnita said it best.

Normally I wouldn't justify, but besides my own limited funds at the moment my aunt also has limited parking. She lives in apartment housing and shares her garage/driveway with another tenant. I don't know if street parking is aloud (they are private roads) and I also don't remember anyone parking on the street last time I visited.

TootsNYC

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Re: Etiquette Quagmire
« Reply #22 on: March 02, 2013, 10:30:58 PM »
Either let my brother borrow my car or don't go down to the Cape for the weekend.

What the hell?

I would say, "Fine, Mom, I'm not going to the Cape. And it's your fault that I don't get to enjoy this weekend."

Seriously, can you find all the keys to your car, and take them into your custody? Take them out of your purse if you have to.

Or better yet, drive yourself with your car. If Mom wants to leave a car behind for brother, let it be hers.

He's not allowed to borrow your car. Full stop. Even, frankly, if he's stuck with no transportation.

Ye gods! All your reasons are incredibly good ones. The last thing you need is a smashed up car, or an impounded one (if he's got illegal drugs in it when he's driving).

And I agree w/ PastryGoddess--you don't need your mother's permission for any of this, even if she is helping to pay for the car.


Let me make it clear. I have little doubt I can win this argument (getting to go down to the cape with my mom without my brother borrowing me car), but I would rather avoid the war it is going to take to get there.

I think it might be worth the war. And in fact, I think it might be worth it for you to raise the stakes. As a parent, I finally figured out that the BEST thing to do was to drop the WORST punishment right away. Find something that would really, really make the kid cry. No half measures. If there's going to be a battle, I made sure I won it, and I did it by going nuclear right away. Then the conflict was over, and we could move forward without power struggles. It actually meant there were fewer battles, and fewer hours of *both* our lives spent in unhappy conflict.

In this conflict, you are the one in the right. Absolutely. And so you are entitled to win this battle, because you are right.

So, this time maybe you should be the one who takes it nuclear. Maybe you should be the one who gets really, really mad. (It's not rude, actually, to be mad. Really mad.) Figure out, as if you were the parent, what are the consequences that would make her most unhappy? That would make her most upset? Then drop those. So maybe you silently pick up your book and leave the room in a stony, disapproving silence, and you go to your room and refuse to speak to her for 2 days. Or maybe you leave the house. Something that says, "I'm the grownup and you are out of line."

Maybe you feel a power imbalance because you're living w/ Mom and she's helping to pay for stuff. But this car is in your name, and you are responsible for it.

You might also try the "cut and paste." Two sentences that you simply repeat over and over, without ANY variation (except maybe getting a bit more exasperated) every time she brings up the topic.

SPuck

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Re: Etiquette Quagmire
« Reply #23 on: March 02, 2013, 10:46:52 PM »
Okay, here is what I am going to say to my mom tomorrow after we have had some time to calm down.

"Mom you are putting me in an unfair situation. You are trying to put conditions on Aunt's invite that are not needed. My brother is not going to need the car because he spends his weekend in Boston anyway. We will be going down to the Cape Saturday to Sunday afternoon. Brother spends time in Boston From Friday to Sunday evening. You have gone and picked him up on Sunday after spending a weekend in Boston before so why should this situation be any different. I could drive him into Boston Friday and pick him up Sunday if you don't want to be driving all weekend. You promised be before after he stole/borrowed my car that he wouldn't be aloud to drive it any longer, and yet you are trying to regale on the promise. You say you are not trying to upset me but that is exactly what you are doing. I could not go to the Cape this weekend, but I want it to be clear the reason I would not be going is because of the unacceptable choice you are presenting me with."

Kaypeep

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Re: Etiquette Quagmire
« Reply #24 on: March 02, 2013, 11:02:07 PM »
I think you're saying too much.

I think you should keep it at:
"The car is in my name, as is the insurance.  The current house rule is that it's not possible for him to drive it, and I'm standing firm on that. If I miss visiting Aunt this weekend, then so be it."

If she attempts to argue, stay calm and tell her "You gave me two options.  I selected one.  There's nothing more to discuss."

Call you aunt and fill her in, and make a plan to go visit her yourself on your own time.

Firecat

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Re: Etiquette Quagmire
« Reply #25 on: March 03, 2013, 01:14:31 AM »
I think you're saying a bit too much, too. It's not about whether or not your brother "needs" the car; it's about your mother not respecting your reasonable boundaries about what is, after all, your car.

So I think you should say something more like: "Mom, I am not going to leave my car for brother; he is not allowed to drive it. If you like, we can take my car to the Cape and you can leave yours for brother. But whatever you decide, Aunt invited me to the Cape, an invitation which I have accepted. Let me know by (X day/time) if you'd like me to drive."

And be prepared to, if you have to, leave your car at a friend's place if that's an option...preferably a friend for whom your brother does not have contact information.

blarg314

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Re: Etiquette Quagmire
« Reply #26 on: March 03, 2013, 01:14:42 AM »
Try disengaging.  Your mom wants a fight. She wants you to explain, and argue, because that means that she can argue back, and she's still got a chance of forcing you to give in. So refuse to play.

"Oh.  That's too bad. I was really looking forward to the trip. I hope you have  a good time, though"

Then you completely drop it, and go on with life. Maybe contact your aunt yourself and tell her you can't make it this time, but you'd love to come another time if she's willing.

I'd say there's a good chance that you will get the same result - your mother backing down - but without all the hassle of fighting.

If you do end up going, then I agree that you should hide the car keys, and maybe leave the car at a friend's house. You don't want to risk the loss of the car due to your brother's issues.

PastryGoddess

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Re: Etiquette Quagmire
« Reply #27 on: March 03, 2013, 01:34:45 AM »
Try disengaging.  Your mom wants a fight. She wants you to explain, and argue, because that means that she can argue back, and she's still got a chance of forcing you to give in. So refuse to play.

"Oh.  That's too bad. I was really looking forward to the trip. I hope you have  a good time, though"

Then you completely drop it, and go on with life. Maybe contact your aunt yourself and tell her you can't make it this time, but you'd love to come another time if she's willing.

I'd say there's a good chance that you will get the same result - your mother backing down - but without all the hassle of fighting.

If you do end up going, then I agree that you should hide the car keys, and maybe leave the car at a friend's house. You don't want to risk the loss of the car due to your brother's issues.



This is the verbal equivalent of a mike drop.  And you reap all of the benefits. You have made a decision that you are happy with and your mother can take it or leave it.

GSNW

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Re: Etiquette Quagmire
« Reply #28 on: March 03, 2013, 01:42:27 AM »
I agree with above.  Just shrug and say you won't be going.  This takes all of your morher's power in the situation.  She thinks she's threatening a consequence you can't deal with.  Show her she is wrong, and that her threats won't work.  Hopefully this will help her understand that the issue of your car is a hard boundary.

I understand that you want to go on the trip.  It sucks to not go when you've been looking forward to it!  But missing 24 hours on the Cape will be worth it to very firmly mark your line in the sand.

Sharnita

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Re: Etiquette Quagmire
« Reply #29 on: March 03, 2013, 08:24:41 AM »
I agree.  Tell her to have fun.  It makes it clear you aren't looking to argue with her terms but that on those serms you will protect your property.  It also makes it clear that you are not going to argue.