Author Topic: DH as chauffeur?  (Read 5759 times)

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LeveeWoman

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Re: DH as chauffeur?
« Reply #45 on: October 20, 2014, 10:29:55 PM »
OP here, giving a final update as the event was yesterday.

So, DH called on Saturday and grandma said yes. DH and I took separate cars so he could get her and then get the balloons and then meet up at my dad's.  I did suggest the taxi idea to him but he refused as taxis aren't cheap in our area and he knew we'd be the ones paying (and we were already spending a lot on the party, so it made more sense than a cab,  in his opinion. )

Day of the party, he goes to get her, and she decides she isn't up for the party after all. Spends twenty minutes complaining at DH before he finally gets to go.

So, we still had two cars and the lost time. Didn't have to drive her back.

Responding to some of the later comments,  it is a hard situation.  Unlike DH's dad, who he cut, his grandma attends our church (as noted in the original post.) If he were to cut her out, he'd get well-meaning people from our church who know her trying to intervene and mend the relationship. She also is hard to avoid as she'll just show up in the nursery area when we're picking our kids up after church. 

Meanwhile,  her behavior never rose to the level of his father's (history of abuse) and she at least maintains that she wants a relationship with him and our family. So, DH has basically taken the "endure it until she dies" attitude as it seemed to him to be the best option.

As for those who say you don't have to invite her,  that's asking for more calls from her, or being corneted by her at church, where she berates him (or me) for some perceived slight. (Ex. -my dad remarried after my mom passed away. She harangued DH for not inviting her to the reception.  Didn't matter that DH had no control over the guest list and she had never met the bride and barely knows my father. She pulled the "I'm family" card (which is her favorite,  but only when it suits her, ) and DH would rather avoid it.

A note on driving, no, I wish she didn't drive. But she does, everywhere, just on side streets. Doctors, shopping , and not necessarily close to her. A drive to my dad's would be standard for her. She just picks and chooses when she likes to play the "I don't drive" card.

So yeah, maybe in the future we'll skip the invite, but odds are we'll have to go through it again.


Ah, yes. Flying monkeys always are difficult, but they're especially difficult if they're religious flying monkeys (members of  the same church).

You've hinted at a lengthy background, so I don't know what to suggest.

But, I'm of a tender heart right now, and I'd do whatever I could to shift things around to accommodate her. But, this time would be the absolute last time.

Lynn2000

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Re: DH as chauffeur?
« Reply #46 on: Yesterday at 11:23:47 AM »
I realize the OP's situation is over and done with, but for future situations, or maybe other people reading this, I think taking control of the event might be helpful. In this case, it was like the OP and her DH were just responding to Grandma's demands, which left them scrambling to change their own plans and caused them additional stress. Next time, it might be good to proactively say, "Okay, we're going to invite Grandma. Now, how is she going to get here? Let's have a couple ideas ready before we extend the invitation, that fit in with our other plans."

You could say it's because she's an elder and deserves that extra level of respect, or other nice sentiments that people have expressed in this thread. Or you could say it's for your own peace of mind, so you're in charge from the start instead of just improvising and getting stressed out.
~Lynn2000

TootsNYC

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Re: DH as chauffeur?
« Reply #47 on: Yesterday at 11:29:51 AM »
It sounds like you and DH could get huge benefit from stronger "get away from haranguing grandma" skills.
   You probably can't make her stop, but you might be able to get away sooner (Teflon...an eel...).

Then again, maybe interrupt her to say, "Is criticizing me the main thing you have to say, here in this conversation? Oh, well, I'm  not going to stand around and be scolded. Excuse me." And then go across the room.
    Well, maybe not, but it's sure tempting--in the "drag the unpleasantness out into the bright lights and identify it accurately for everyone to see" category.

And some "get off my back, fellow church members" tactics as well.
   For them, maybe a "I don't know what you mean, there's no rift, we are just always busy."
      Tempting again to say something more pointed, like, "I don't think it's really your place to try to micromanage my family relationships, even if you are my sister in Diety."


miranova

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Re: DH as chauffeur?
« Reply #48 on: Yesterday at 12:54:03 PM »
I think an individual person is absolutely OK with saying, "I can't drive on this roadway," and a 90+-yr-old woman is wise to limit herself to roadways where the risks are lower.

With friends who don't have the age issue, absolutely, I'm w/ you, darkprincess, that it's on them to figure out how.
    Though I would say it's good form to offer a suggestion, or any help you -can- (like, offering to mention their need for a lift to a fellow guest coming from their direction that you think might be willing; or giving them info on which train station is closest; whatever's specific to the situation).


But an elderly family member, in my opinion, deserves the extra consideration of the host's putting forth a little effort. In my opinion, that's what "respect your elders" comes down to. It's part of the caretaking family does, and it's directly linked to the idea that your parents carted you around when you were little.

The reason I dislike "respect your elders" is that it always comes with the assumption that of course these people took good care of you when you were young and how could you not be grateful for that?  So, my question is, if my parents/grandparents did none of those things, am I off the hook, etiquettely speaking?   Because in my experience, those people who get angry that they are not being respected as they feel they should be, usually weren't great parents/grandparents to begin with.  Because if someone was a fabulous parent to me, I'd be falling all over myself to help them, because I'd love them and would feel grateful to them.  But when there is no real relationship, one can't pull the "but I'm your elder, I'm family, you need to respect me" card. 

I'm trying not to project too much on the the OP's story, but it doesn't really sound like this grandparent "carted Dh around" or was there for him in any meaningful way growing up. 

In this particular situation, since grandma is known to be a pill and change her mind at the drop of a hat (without bothering to call and save them a trip), I would be on board with continuing the courtesy invitations but not offering any transportation.  It is not OP and her DH's job to pretend that this is a beloved family member who just needs some help and consideration.  That's not the story I'm getting from OP's posts.  Not everyone's older family members are nice people.

metallicafan

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Re: DH as chauffeur?
« Reply #49 on: Yesterday at 03:51:07 PM »
I think an individual person is absolutely OK with saying, "I can't drive on this roadway," and a 90+-yr-old woman is wise to limit herself to roadways where the risks are lower.

With friends who don't have the age issue, absolutely, I'm w/ you, darkprincess, that it's on them to figure out how.
    Though I would say it's good form to offer a suggestion, or any help you -can- (like, offering to mention their need for a lift to a fellow guest coming from their direction that you think might be willing; or giving them info on which train station is closest; whatever's specific to the situation).


But an elderly family member, in my opinion, deserves the extra consideration of the host's putting forth a little effort. In my opinion, that's what "respect your elders" comes down to. It's part of the caretaking family does, and it's directly linked to the idea that your parents carted you around when you were little.

The reason I dislike "respect your elders" is that it always comes with the assumption that of course these people took good care of you when you were young and how could you not be grateful for that?  So, my question is, if my parents/grandparents did none of those things, am I off the hook, etiquettely speaking?   Because in my experience, those people who get angry that they are not being respected as they feel they should be, usually weren't great parents/grandparents to begin with.  Because if someone was a fabulous parent to me, I'd be falling all over myself to help them, because I'd love them and would feel grateful to them.  But when there is no real relationship, one can't pull the "but I'm your elder, I'm family, you need to respect me" card. 

I'm trying not to project too much on the the OP's story, but it doesn't really sound like this grandparent "carted Dh around" or was there for him in any meaningful way growing up. 

In this particular situation, since grandma is known to be a pill and change her mind at the drop of a hat (without bothering to call and save them a trip), I would be on board with continuing the courtesy invitations but not offering any transportation.  It is not OP and her DH's job to pretend that this is a beloved family member who just needs some help and consideration.  That's not the story I'm getting from OP's posts.  Not everyone's older family members are nice people.


That is true, not everyone's elderly family members are nice people.  It sounds like the grandma in the OP's  posts is not a particularly nice person.   OP and her husband are free to not provide transportation for grandma,  and I cannot say they would be wrong to do so.
I may be just soft.  If I invite an elderly relative to a party I'm hosting, I could not,  in good conscience,  leave them to their own devices to get to my party.  Not at the age of 90+.   

rose red

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Re: DH as chauffeur?
« Reply #50 on: Yesterday at 04:02:00 PM »
Yup. Sounds like there's a long back story since it sounds like the family barely tolerates her (and they do that only because of the baby) and the only reason the OP's husband hasn't cut her off is because they go to the same church. Love and respect is earned; you don't automatically get it just because you're an elder.

If your husband feels that he *has* to invite her next time, discuss a plan/strategy before calling her so he doesn't get caught off-guard when she springs a request for a ride. Write down phases if you have to.

Mammavan3

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Re: DH as chauffeur?
« Reply #51 on: Yesterday at 04:15:23 PM »
I can't wrap my head around the concept of inviting someone if you do not want them to come. It doesn't sound like any other relatives from that branch of the family will be invited, so in the unlikely event that a 90+YO woman remembers DD's birthday next year and asks about it, it would be very easy to say that you're not having a big family gathering to celebrate DD's birthday that year. You aren't, or at least not one big enough to include her. There would be no way for the people from church to be aware that she was being excluded.

And I would never invite an elderly relative and not provide transportation. It would be just my luck she'd have a fatal accident on the way and I'd have to live with the guilt the rest of my life c :-[

miranova

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Re: DH as chauffeur?
« Reply #52 on: Yesterday at 04:19:58 PM »
I think an individual person is absolutely OK with saying, "I can't drive on this roadway," and a 90+-yr-old woman is wise to limit herself to roadways where the risks are lower.

With friends who don't have the age issue, absolutely, I'm w/ you, darkprincess, that it's on them to figure out how.
    Though I would say it's good form to offer a suggestion, or any help you -can- (like, offering to mention their need for a lift to a fellow guest coming from their direction that you think might be willing; or giving them info on which train station is closest; whatever's specific to the situation).


But an elderly family member, in my opinion, deserves the extra consideration of the host's putting forth a little effort. In my opinion, that's what "respect your elders" comes down to. It's part of the caretaking family does, and it's directly linked to the idea that your parents carted you around when you were little.

The reason I dislike "respect your elders" is that it always comes with the assumption that of course these people took good care of you when you were young and how could you not be grateful for that?  So, my question is, if my parents/grandparents did none of those things, am I off the hook, etiquettely speaking?   Because in my experience, those people who get angry that they are not being respected as they feel they should be, usually weren't great parents/grandparents to begin with.  Because if someone was a fabulous parent to me, I'd be falling all over myself to help them, because I'd love them and would feel grateful to them.  But when there is no real relationship, one can't pull the "but I'm your elder, I'm family, you need to respect me" card. 

I'm trying not to project too much on the the OP's story, but it doesn't really sound like this grandparent "carted Dh around" or was there for him in any meaningful way growing up. 

In this particular situation, since grandma is known to be a pill and change her mind at the drop of a hat (without bothering to call and save them a trip), I would be on board with continuing the courtesy invitations but not offering any transportation.  It is not OP and her DH's job to pretend that this is a beloved family member who just needs some help and consideration.  That's not the story I'm getting from OP's posts.  Not everyone's older family members are nice people.


That is true, not everyone's elderly family members are nice people.  It sounds like the grandma in the OP's  posts is not a particularly nice person.   OP and her husband are free to not provide transportation for grandma,  and I cannot say they would be wrong to do so.
I may be just soft.  If I invite an elderly relative to a party I'm hosting, I could not,  in good conscience,  leave them to their own devices to get to my party.  Not at the age of 90+.

But we leave people to their own devices to get to parties all the time.  Why does being 90+ mean that someone can't call a cab?  Unless there is some kind of mental decline related to age (which there is no evidence of), there is nothing stopping grandma from getting to the party--safely-- if she actually wanted to be there.  That's what it boils down to, to me.  Grandma didn't really want to be there, she just wanted someone to jump through hoops to get her there.  There's a difference.

« Last Edit: Yesterday at 04:21:31 PM by miranova »

lkdrymom

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Re: DH as chauffeur?
« Reply #53 on: Yesterday at 05:56:57 PM »
I totally agree with you Miranova.

Surianne

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Re: DH as chauffeur?
« Reply #54 on: Yesterday at 06:56:41 PM »
Sorry to hear the update that it didn't work out.  I think you absolutely did the right thing in figuring out transportation for her.  She was very rude in not cancelling before your husband left. 

I hope the party was fantastic otherwise! 

metallicafan

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Re: DH as chauffeur?
« Reply #55 on: Yesterday at 08:18:17 PM »
I think an individual person is absolutely OK with saying, "I can't drive on this roadway," and a 90+-yr-old woman is wise to limit herself to roadways where the risks are lower.

With friends who don't have the age issue, absolutely, I'm w/ you, darkprincess, that it's on them to figure out how.
    Though I would say it's good form to offer a suggestion, or any help you -can- (like, offering to mention their need for a lift to a fellow guest coming from their direction that you think might be willing; or giving them info on which train station is closest; whatever's specific to the situation).


But an elderly family member, in my opinion, deserves the extra consideration of the host's putting forth a little effort. In my opinion, that's what "respect your elders" comes down to. It's part of the caretaking family does, and it's directly linked to the idea that your parents carted you around when you were little.

The reason I dislike "respect your elders" is that it always comes with the assumption that of course these people took good care of you when you were young and how could you not be grateful for that?  So, my question is, if my parents/grandparents did none of those things, am I off the hook, etiquettely speaking?   Because in my experience, those people who get angry that they are not being respected as they feel they should be, usually weren't great parents/grandparents to begin with.  Because if someone was a fabulous parent to me, I'd be falling all over myself to help them, because I'd love them and would feel grateful to them.  But when there is no real relationship, one can't pull the "but I'm your elder, I'm family, you need to respect me" card. 

I'm trying not to project too much on the the OP's story, but it doesn't really sound like this grandparent "carted Dh around" or was there for him in any meaningful way growing up. 

In this particular situation, since grandma is known to be a pill and change her mind at the drop of a hat (without bothering to call and save them a trip), I would be on board with continuing the courtesy invitations but not offering any transportation.  It is not OP and her DH's job to pretend that this is a beloved family member who just needs some help and consideration.  That's not the story I'm getting from OP's posts.  Not everyone's older family members are nice people.


That is true, not everyone's elderly family members are nice people.  It sounds like the grandma in the OP's  posts is not a particularly nice person.   OP and her husband are free to not provide transportation for grandma,  and I cannot say they would be wrong to do so.
I may be just soft.  If I invite an elderly relative to a party I'm hosting, I could not,  in good conscience,  leave them to their own devices to get to my party.  Not at the age of 90+.

But we leave people to their own devices to get to parties all the time.  Why does being 90+ mean that someone can't call a cab?  Unless there is some kind of mental decline related to age (which there is no evidence of), there is nothing stopping grandma from getting to the party--safely-- if she actually wanted to be there.  That's what it boils down to, to me.  Grandma didn't really want to be there, she just wanted someone to jump through hoops to get her there.  There's a difference.


I do understand your point Miranova.
How I would handle the situation if it were me is still the same though.  But, I would be going on the assumption that my relative would truly want to be there.  That makes the difference to me.

AnnaJ

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Re: DH as chauffeur?
« Reply #56 on: Yesterday at 08:39:34 PM »
I think an individual person is absolutely OK with saying, "I can't drive on this roadway," and a 90+-yr-old woman is wise to limit herself to roadways where the risks are lower.

With friends who don't have the age issue, absolutely, I'm w/ you, darkprincess, that it's on them to figure out how.
    Though I would say it's good form to offer a suggestion, or any help you -can- (like, offering to mention their need for a lift to a fellow guest coming from their direction that you think might be willing; or giving them info on which train station is closest; whatever's specific to the situation).


But an elderly family member, in my opinion, deserves the extra consideration of the host's putting forth a little effort. In my opinion, that's what "respect your elders" comes down to. It's part of the caretaking family does, and it's directly linked to the idea that your parents carted you around when you were little.

The reason I dislike "respect your elders" is that it always comes with the assumption that of course these people took good care of you when you were young and how could you not be grateful for that?  So, my question is, if my parents/grandparents did none of those things, am I off the hook, etiquettely speaking?   Because in my experience, those people who get angry that they are not being respected as they feel they should be, usually weren't great parents/grandparents to begin with.  Because if someone was a fabulous parent to me, I'd be falling all over myself to help them, because I'd love them and would feel grateful to them.  But when there is no real relationship, one can't pull the "but I'm your elder, I'm family, you need to respect me" card. 

I'm trying not to project too much on the the OP's story, but it doesn't really sound like this grandparent "carted Dh around" or was there for him in any meaningful way growing up. 

In this particular situation, since grandma is known to be a pill and change her mind at the drop of a hat (without bothering to call and save them a trip), I would be on board with continuing the courtesy invitations but not offering any transportation.  It is not OP and her DH's job to pretend that this is a beloved family member who just needs some help and consideration.  That's not the story I'm getting from OP's posts.  Not everyone's older family members are nice people.


That is true, not everyone's elderly family members are nice people.  It sounds like the grandma in the OP's  posts is not a particularly nice person.   OP and her husband are free to not provide transportation for grandma,  and I cannot say they would be wrong to do so.
I may be just soft.  If I invite an elderly relative to a party I'm hosting, I could not,  in good conscience,  leave them to their own devices to get to my party.  Not at the age of 90+.

But we leave people to their own devices to get to parties all the time.  Why does being 90+ mean that someone can't call a cab?  Unless there is some kind of mental decline related to age (which there is no evidence of), there is nothing stopping grandma from getting to the party--safely-- if she actually wanted to be there.  That's what it boils down to, to me.  Grandma didn't really want to be there, she just wanted someone to jump through hoops to get her there.  There's a difference.

And the OP and her husband didn't want her there, so it all worked out to everyone's satisfaction.

DavidH

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Re: DH as chauffeur?
« Reply #57 on: Today at 05:14:10 AM »
It sounds like a bit of a mess and I'd be frustrated too.  If you choose to invite her again, I'd scale back my offer to be more along the lines of here is the name of a cab company rather than I'll come and collect you.  i'd also confirm that morning so I could plan accordingly, since she is, apparently, prone to changing her mind.  Even putting a charitable spin on it, that she realized that morning that she wasn't up to it after all, she certainly could have called to let you know.