Author Topic: I don't Know How To Deal With These People Anymore (long, sorry)  (Read 2844 times)

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GreenEyedHawk

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So, last weekend Anthony's mom and stepdad came to town.  They came down in an RV and either didn't think or didn't bother to bring their own vehicle to drive around with (the RV allows you to hitch a regular car behind it for towing so once you get to where you're going, you can park your RV and drive your regular vehicle) so of course they were expecting Anthony and Ben (Anthony's brother) and Mel (Ben's girlfriend) and me to drop everything and chauffeur them wherever they wanted to go.  But the thing is, Anthony's stepdad, Don, is SUCH a cheapskate that he just wanted to go and LOOK at things, not DO anything.  So we drove them from mall to mall and store to store so they could browse, but they didn't need or want or buy anything. 

They wanted us to meet them for breakfast at McDonalds in Walmart on Saturday morning. Walmart for reasons unknown encourages people to 'camp out' in RVs in their parking lots, so that's where Crystal (Anthony's mom) and Don were staying because it's free.  By the time we all got there, as Ben was running late, Crystal and Don had eaten at McDonalds but McDonalds had stopped serving breakfast.  None of us really wanted fast-food burgers for breakfast so I pointed out that in the mall where the Walmart is, there's a chain family restaurant.  Don immediately said he didn't want to pay for breakfast but Crystal said it was fine, they'd eaten but they were happy to keep us company while we ate.  I assured Don that we'd be paying for our own breakfasts.  Once we were seated, they started ordering stuff, fully expecting us to pay for their second breakfast now.  Anthony just paid without a word as he didn't want to make waves.  I would not have done.  I would have just asked the server for separate checks.

Over the entire weekend (I refused to go along on Sunday; I have responsibilities around the house to see to..laundry needed done, the grass needed cutting badly, the kitchen was a mess, etc..I'd been counting on having my weekend to get all that stuff done.) Anthony drove them wherever they wanted to go.  They spent a LOT of time over at Ben and Mel's just sitting around, he said, because no matter what was suggested, Don refused to spend money to do anything.  When Ben and Anthony suggested we go for brunch Sunday morning to Crystal, she burst into hysterical tears begging them not to suggest it to Don because if they suggested spending money, there'd be a "price to pay".  Honestly she made it sound like as soon as none of us were looking, Don was going to thrash her to within an inch of her life.  When asked what this "price to pay" would be, Crystal said, "Don will complain, he will just complain the whole time about spending money, he'll complain and I can't handle the complaining!"  Really?  If true, that hardly seems worth the histrionics and I might be more deeply concerned if this wasn't her typical reaction to things...she likes to turn on the waterworks and create drama so her sons will come running to her rescue.  I've watched the cycle over and over and it drives me crazy.  Her favourite thing is that when she hasn't heard from Ben or Anthony (what she thinks is) frequently enough, she will send a text message from out of the blue saying she and Don are divorcing.  It never happens though; they've been married nearly two years and I can think of four instances just off the top of my head where she's announced their marriage is beyond repair and they're getting divorced.  At this point I'll believe it when I see it.

So after last weekend of driving them everywhere, Anthony's car (his dad decided he liked the van better, so he offered to trade us for a car that was exactly what Anthony had wanted in the first place, rgghh!!) was running on fumes.  I had set some money aside (money's still really really tight for us) so that we could go to a local event called Heritage Days, which is a big multicultural festival where all different cultures display their food, art, music, dance and traditions for everyone to experience. It's a hugely fun popular event and we'd planned to go with friends.  I had set aside what little money I had left (about $40) so Anthony and I could go, and sample the food and see the shows and just have a day to have a good time with friends after last weekend being pretty much monopolised by his family.  But because he'd had to drive them around all last weekend and they didn't so much as mention gas  money, the money I had set aside for this weekend for us ended up going into the gas tank.  So now, I'm missing an event I've been looking forward to for weeks because they're too cheap to offer to pay for gas.  Whether or not Anthony brought up the topic of gas money I don't know.  Crystal and Don left on Tuesday (FINALLY!) to go see Don's family in Saskatchewan (we are in Alberta).  Crystal and Don actually live in British Columbia.  They were not supposed to be coming back through our town for at least another week.

SURPRISE!! Don got into a fight with his family so they cut short their visit and are back in town Friday!  Which they called to tell us on..you guessed it!  Friday!  If you are not familiar with Canadian geography, go online, look at a map and find Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, where Don's family is, and then find Edmonton, Alberta, where we are.  Look at the distance.  That's how much time they had to let us know they'd be back in town sooner.  But they didn't.  So now for the second weekend in a row, Ben, Mel, Anthony and I are expected to drop all our responsibilities and plans to go...I don't know, sit in the RV and stare at each other in a Walmart parking lot, because Anthony and I are flat broke, Mel and Ben are in the process of breaking up*, Don certainly won't spend any money and Crystal will dissolve into hysterics if anyone even suggests it.

* Oh yeah, I forgot to mention...since Don and Crystal INSISTED on hanging out at Ben and Mel's for like the four days they were here, refused to go do their own thing and just generally made home life as uncomfortable as possible for Ben and Mel, it was pretty much the last straw that ended their relationship.  They'd hit a rough patch and wanted to spend some private time trying to work things out, but even when Ben privately mentioned this to Crystal, she wouldn't hear of it and either didn't or wouldn't understand that Ben and Mel were in a bad time and needed their privacy.  Ben is HER BABY so OF COURSE she would be there and how dare he even suggest otherwise!  Ben and Mel are now broken up (this was really the last straw I guess) and Mel is getting herself together to move out, and Ben needs to either find a new place or a room mate stat, because he cannot afford the rent on their house himself.*

Even just refusing to be around these people (which I plan to do...they want us to spend the whole day with them today, I've already told Anthony I am not going; I have things to do) isn't enough because even though it means I don't have to deal with them as much, Anthony still does and by extension, so do I because their demands and expectations are costing me financially, they are costing me relationship-wise (their presence always always causes tension between Anthony and I because he has a really hard time refusing their demands, no matter how unreasonable, and because I flat-out refuse to drop everything and spend my weekend with them unexpectedly.  The weekends are really the only time Anthony and I get to spend together because of work and everything during the week, and now his family is taking that away from us for the second week in a row. 

They often treat us and talk to us like we're still children; they seem to have a hard time getting that we are adults with adult lives and adult responsibilities.  We are not misbehaving teenagers.  We are never treated with respect.  They have no respect for our privacy, our homes, our relationships, our responsibilities or for us as adults and I am sick of it.

I feel like I cannot win for losing with these people.  I can't stand being around them, Anthony is disappointed if I refuse to go because it means he has no backup...I'm apparently the only one with the nerve to say "Well, we have to get going now!" If I'm not there, Crystal and Don want to know where I am or why I never come out with them...they are convinced I'm a recluse I think.  If I go, I spend the whole time trying to hide how annoyed/miserable/bored/uncomfortable I am the entire time (last time, when they insisted we hang out with them for the entire day, Don wouldn't hear of stopping for something to eat so by the end of things, I was ravenous, cranky, tired and light-headed because we had been on the go all day and not even paused for a snack.  Don even thought it was hilarious how loud my stomach was growling.)

I've really just had it with these people.  What should I do?


"After all this time?"
"Always."

BarensMom

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Re: I don't Know How To Deal With These People Anymore (long, sorry)
« Reply #1 on: August 04, 2013, 01:37:41 PM »
It sounds like Ben and Anthony are both lacking spines - no wonder Mel is moving out.

I would flat-out refuse to spend any of your money or time on these cheapskates.  Tell Anthony, "They're YOUR family and if you're broke and out of gas, too bad."  If you have a separate car from Anthony, take the his set of keys away while they're there so he can't empty your tank as well.

LeveeWoman

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Re: I don't Know How To Deal With These People Anymore (long, sorry)
« Reply #2 on: August 04, 2013, 01:39:59 PM »
I'd tell Anthony he's on his own. He can either have your back, or his mother's back, but he cannot have both.

GreenEyedHawk

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Re: I don't Know How To Deal With These People Anymore (long, sorry)
« Reply #3 on: August 04, 2013, 01:41:29 PM »
I don't have a separate vehicle (in fact I don't drive at all) so that's another thing...if there's errands that need running that require a vehicle (say, groceries, or pet food) I have to now find another way, like spending MORE money on a taxi, or put it off for another time (which I HATE to do).

The only reason I spent my money on refilling the car is that Anthony needs to get back and forth to work...he works in other people's houses so his starting location varies and buses don't always go where he needs to be..he HAS to have a vehicle in order to do his job.  If it weren't for that, I'd have told him tough cookies and refused to spend my 'fun money' (which I finally had after a very long stretch of just barely scraping by and not even being able to consider doing anything fun) on gas.
"After all this time?"
"Always."

Carotte

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Re: I don't Know How To Deal With These People Anymore (long, sorry)
« Reply #4 on: August 04, 2013, 01:57:37 PM »
Whow, well that sounds like fun times...

I'd say keep on doing what you are doing. say you are busy and enjoy knowing you're are not being bored to death.
What does it matter to you if they think you are a no-fun recluse? Nothing.
Remind Anthony that he's a big boy and even if it's his mom, he has the right to make decisions, to say that he wants to go, to say that he's not available to taxi them all day long and so on.


gramma dishes

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Re: I don't Know How To Deal With These People Anymore (long, sorry)
« Reply #5 on: August 04, 2013, 01:59:09 PM »
There is no reason in the world why you should be financially supporting Anthony's family in any way.  None of this was emergency stuff.

Obviously only you know him well enough to know what would happen and whether or not you'd be able to deal with the consequences, but I'd certainly be tempted to just tell him,  "No, I am not allowing one red cent from my bank account to be spent on your free-loading, disrespectful relatives.  If you want to spend all your time and money hauling them around, buying their food, using up all our gas and disrespecting everyone's privacy, then YOU handle it on your own.  I want to spend my money on things that WE enjoy and benefit from -- not your relatives."

gramma dishes

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Re: I don't Know How To Deal With These People Anymore (long, sorry)
« Reply #6 on: August 04, 2013, 02:01:35 PM »
P.S.  Kudos to Don's family for having the backbone to refuse to put up with his nonsense!! 

Reika

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Re: I don't Know How To Deal With These People Anymore (long, sorry)
« Reply #7 on: August 04, 2013, 02:06:09 PM »
P.S.  Kudos to Don's family for having the backbone to refuse to put up with his nonsense!!

I agree. And I think you need to have a serious talk with Anthony about his family. Between this and his father's antics, there seems to be issues all over the place.

Venus193

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Re: I don't Know How To Deal With These People Anymore (long, sorry)
« Reply #8 on: August 04, 2013, 02:10:49 PM »
I think you're very fortunate they aren't actually staying under your roof. 

However, you need to enforce the financial boundary by letting them know that they are responsible for their own expenses.  The second you get into a food situation, tell the waitperson that you are to have separate checks.

You can't do anything about Crystal's histrionics except to let her know you will not be her audience.  This is an intrusion into your life and personal space.  Tell her to leave the drama at home.

Anthony needs a stronger spine.  They're his relatives and if he doesn't draw boundary lines and enforce them you will be at their mercy.

JoyinVirginia

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Re: I don't Know How To Deal With These People Anymore (long, sorry)
« Reply #9 on: August 04, 2013, 02:11:54 PM »
Ask Anthony if he enjoys these visits. If the answer is no, then suggest the next time they call and will be visiting to say ” we will not be available that time to visit”. The reason doesn't matter, better if he doesn't give a reason.
Or on the days they are there, go for a late visit so the stores will be closed. And if you will be along, always ask for separate checks in advance.
If Anthony is not willing to modify his behavior in response to his mother and stepfather, not sure what you can do except have other plans when ever they are in town. Other plans can definitely include cleaning your kitchen!

Seven Ate Nine

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Re: I don't Know How To Deal With These People Anymore (long, sorry)
« Reply #10 on: August 04, 2013, 02:12:32 PM »
Do you think you could get Anthony to tell them "I'm sorry but I don't have the money to drive anywhere, not even to Walmart."  At this point I'd be throwing my lack of gas money firmly in their laps.  If they want me to do anything they need to pay me back for the freeloading that they did last weekend.

Also, I've never seen a Walmart that *encourages* people to camp out in their parking lot.  Many stores allow overnight parking, but that's totally different from spending multiple days.  While I probably wouldn't go to management or anything about it, that's so far beyond the "cheap" label I'm not sure they're in the same ZIP code.