General Etiquette > Family and Children

I'm the bait - please help me get off the hook!

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TOLady:
Long story, sorry.

My dear Father is going on a Cruise that leaves from the other side of the country and is paying for me to come with him for a week before his girlfriend and her family arrive to go on the cruise with him.

The reason he booked to go a week early is to try and see my Brother who moved there 20+ years ago. After Dad booked, he invited me along paying my expenses - hotel, flight, occasional meals etc. He did not check with me before booking or I might have been able to head this all off before, but he booked and then asked me and I agreed since I've never been there before and was looking forward to spending time with him - we've not been on vacation together since I was 20. It was supposed to be a nice week travelling around the Province and seeing the beauty of the Mountains.

However, there is a caveat to this.

BG

My Brother gave the cut-direct to my Father many, many years ago. He does not want to make contact At All. He does not want to meet with Dad, talk to Dad - nothing. Therefore, I am supposed to be the bait.

When I agreed to go with Dad, I made it very clear that my DB was not interested in re-connecting that that DF should accept that. I spoke to DB and made my best effort to persuade him to give Dad a chance (no - I have no idea why the CD was made. Even DB can't remember the exact reasons - just that he is not prepared, at this time, to re-establish a connection).

My DB and I do Facebook and talk very rarely on the phone. When he was in my City last year, he did meet my Mom (parents are divorced) and they still keep in contact. It's just my DF that has been cut off.

end BG

So - my dilemma is - my DF's girlfriends daughter booked the hotel after looking up DB on the interwebs and found his home address and work address. Our hotel is located about 10km from both. We are renting a car and I KNOW that DF is planning on "surprising" DB whilst we're there. I do not want to be a party to this in any way, shape or form. DF is planning on emailing DB the day before we leave giving him the hotel name, phone number and my cell and telling him that they should really meet. He is not computer savvy and is hoping that having sent the email, it would  be enough "permission" to then track DB down since he can't check his email for a response (I'll be bringing my tablet, so hopefully I can get him to check his email on it).

My DB will NOT be pleased to have this happen and will give me the CD if he thinks I have anything to do with this.

When I first agreed to go, I let DB know I was coming and he said he was really busy, but he'd love to get together for a coffee or something. When I told him DF was coming and paying for me to come, he changed his mind and is now too busy to meet with me at all.

In an email that he sent to me to forward to my DF (he tried to email it, but had the wrong email address), he was very, very nice and told DF that even though he can't remember the exact details of why he did it, he did not want to get together and that DF should not be putting me in the middle. He would contact DF when he was ready. It was a very nice email, but made it very clear that I should not be used to get to him. DF did NOT read it that way and is reading into it that DB contacted him via email so MUST be ready to make-up and be happy families.

I think that DF is hoping that if DB sees him, all will be sunshine and unicorns and all with be right with the World. This is not reality. This will all end in tears.

What can I do? I have the feeling that, although DF also wants to see the sites of the beautiful province we are going to, he will get me in the car for a drive "to the Mountains" and we'll end up at DB's house or office and that if I am there, DB will, of course, be thrilled to see me, and therefore will talk to DF.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I'm already feeling nauseous.

Deetee:
Just assume that the worst will happen. That is, your father will take you captive and try to meet with your brother. And have a plan.

I would suggest being blunt with your father "Dad, I am not meeting with brother while I am there. He has made it clear that he does not want to meet with you yet. If you try to surprise him, I will leave."

And always travel with a cell phone and enough cash for a taxi/bus/tardis to get away from any "surprise meeting" so you are not forced to get a ride with your dad.

And enjoy the trip! (Ugh)

Firecat:
I think the only real way to avoid this is to not go. I don't think there's any way to go on this trip and not be dragged into the situation between your brother and your father.

I don't think there's any way to back out of this trip without your father being angry with you. On the other hand, the other option is to most likely end up with both your father and your brother angry.

As for what to say,  maybe something like: "Dad, I understand that you want to be back in contact with Brother. Brother has clearly expressed his feelings on it; he has indicated that he will contact you when he is ready. If you want to have the chance of a positive relationship with him, I think it's important to respect his feelings for right now. As such, I won't be going on the trip."

GratefulMaria:
I'd also consider giving your brother a heads up that your father is planning to ambush him.

Phoebe:
I'd call my brother and tell him what your father and his girlfriend's daughter have planned and then I'd call my father and tell him I'm not going on the trip.  I'd also tell him exactly why I'm backing out.

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