Author Topic: Quit honing in on our vacation!  (Read 5827 times)

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Orisha

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Quit honing in on our vacation!
« on: June 16, 2010, 12:59:01 PM »
DH and I are planning on traveling to Europe next spring.  The first part is a conference for me, but it's in a country we're itching to visit, so DH and the munchkin are planning to come with and we're going to add on a week's vacation.  It will be my first true vacay in 6 years, and our first vacay as a family.  The trouble?  MIL's hinting that she'd like to go and that just isn't going to happen. 

First and foremost, MIL doesn't have any of the same interests as we do.  We love things like museums and botanical gardens and generally exploring.  MIL's idea of vacation is sitting on your butt drinking coffee and people watching.  She'd try to dictate the agenda and sulk when she didn't get her way.  It's our first time in said country, so we don't feel as flexible as we might if we'd been there before.   We also feel protective of this trip because it's our first vacation in so long.  Having her go off on her own for part of the time isn't possible, because she's not comfortable navigating a non-English country on her own.  Plus, where I do read and speak just enough of the language to get around, she's decided that I'm her designated tour guide.

Second of all, we're going to be in major cities for at least part of the time.  Having to deal with driving and parking a car in an unfamiliar city is a huge pain in the tush.  We tend to do a lot of walking and rely on public transit when it's too far to walk.  I don't want to be mean, but MIL is about 100 pounds overweight and has significant trouble negotiating stairs and with mobility in general.  She will not be able to keep up and will insist on renting a car.  She cannot drive a stick, and even if she could, she'd refuse to drive in a strange city where she doesn't read the language, so this means that I have to deal with driving her around the city in a car that I didn't really want to have to pay to rent to begin with. 

Third of all, she is utterly unadventurous when it comes to food.  She will insist on eating at McDonalds or some other gross, touristy venue.

And finally, we're doing a stop over to visit a family that my side of the family is very close with on the way back in another country.  These friends are hosting us.  I don't feel comfortable asking if they can put MIL up, especially with her quirks about food, etc.  She is also nosy and tends to go through people's stuff.  To add to this, one of the dear friends (it's an older couple and their grown children) is battling terminal cancer, so this visit will be in part, to say goodbye.  I think this is not an opportune time to have her with us.

How to get I get MIL to back off?  I feel for her, in that she'd like to see more of the world, but my FIL's idea of adventure is finding a new series on cable.  I've tried several times to suggest that she maybe sign up for an Elderhostel trip, perhaps with her sister.  No dice.  Maybe we'd consider a trip that's more adaptable to her in the future, but this isn't it.

ShadesOfGrey

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Re: Quit honing in on our vacation!
« Reply #1 on: June 16, 2010, 01:07:09 PM »
1) Get your DH to back you/get on the same page.

2) Dont list reasons. 

3) Battle it out head-on "MIL, it sounds alot to me like you want to join us on this trip, unfortunately, that simply wont be possible this time around.  Perhaps in the future we'd be able to make a trip that would be enjoyable for all of us, but this one is for DH, littleone and I, and that's not going to change."

4) Ignore all future hints/comments/guilt trips.  If you must respond (I wouldnt, but if you must) simply repeat what you said above.

5) Enjoy your tripi guilt free!

Good luck!
Words mean more than what is set down on paper. It takes the human voice to infuse them with shades of deeper meaning. - Maya Angelou

I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. - Maya Angelou

blue2000

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Re: Quit honing in on our vacation!
« Reply #2 on: June 16, 2010, 01:25:44 PM »
If she is just hinting - don't take the hint! Be totally oblivious!

If she comes right out and says something - "This trip wouldn't be any fun for you. Why don't you look at places you would like to see and maybe we can plan a trip for next month/next year/whenever?" (even if it is just a weekend away that she can plan for, and look forward to).

If she makes suggestions about how to modify this trip, deflect her.

"You could rent a car."

"That's a good idea! We'll consider it for the next trip."

"How about X? That would be fun for me, and the munchkin too."

"The munchkin would like that. We'll have to remember that one for next year."

"Well, XYZ isn't that much... and it would be fun for me... <puppy dog eyes>"

"Gosh, yes. And Hubby likes that too. Another good idea for next years trip. Boy, you'll have a whole list full by the time we leave next year!!"
You are only young once. After that you have to think up some other excuse.

Orisha

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Re: Quit honing in on our vacation!
« Reply #3 on: June 16, 2010, 01:45:42 PM »
These are good ideas.  Personally, I think that the UK would be a better introduction to Europe for a first-timer with a limited sense of adventure.  I could see inviting her along a trip to say, Scotland and Wales.  But definitely *not* this time.

(And by hint, I was being polite.  Pushing is really more accurate.  As one who has never travelled outside the US, there are a lot of realities of international travel - especially to a country where you don't speak the language - that she is likely not thinking about.)

Mikayla

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Re: Quit honing in on our vacation!
« Reply #4 on: June 16, 2010, 05:30:49 PM »
POD to Digital Pumpkin.  Hubby needs to talk to her (with or without you) and it needs to be hit head-on.  Obviously, this can be done politely, but what she is doing is rude, even if it's just a *hint*, and you don't want to have to fight this battle 1000 times.  

Shortcake

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Re: Quit honing in on our vacation!
« Reply #5 on: June 16, 2010, 08:29:24 PM »
POD to Digital Pumpkin.  Hubby needs to talk to her (with or without you) and it needs to be hit head-on.  Obviously, this can be done politely, but what she is doing is rude, even if it's just a *hint*, and you don't want to have to fight this battle 1000 times.  

Double POD to Digital Pumppkin.  I think your DH needs to talk with her. It is important to not give reasons why. This will only give her something to argue about.
"Carry out a random act of kindness, safe in the knowledge that one day someone might do the same for you."  Princess Diana

rhirhi

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Re: Quit honing in on our vacation!
« Reply #6 on: June 19, 2010, 09:40:07 PM »
I would also talk to your DH about this, now, too. Even if you just want to ignore MIL, she will eventually learn what you are doing, and *might* throw out the suggestion to your DH alone on the 'it would be so great if the two of you had someone to watch munchkin one night so you could have some alone time' and he, being the awesome DH I am assuming he is, will think 'that's a great idea! I can't wait to surprise her with this!'

Raintree

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Re: Quit honing in on our vacation!
« Reply #7 on: June 24, 2010, 03:22:43 AM »
"No, sorry. This is a family vacation for just me, DH, and munchkin to spend some time alone together. Having another person along just isn't practical." (You don't need to add, "....nor desirable" but you can think it!!!)

Missy2U

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Re: Quit honing in on our vacation!
« Reply #8 on: June 24, 2010, 10:30:50 AM »
POD to Digital Pumpkin.  Hubby needs to talk to her (with or without you) and it needs to be hit head-on.  Obviously, this can be done politely, but what she is doing is rude, even if it's just a *hint*, and you don't want to have to fight this battle 1000 times.  

Double POD to Digital Pumppkin.  I think your DH needs to talk with her. It is important to not give reasons why. This will only give her something to argue about.


And here's the hat trick - POD!  Have your DH talk with her and tell her, in no uncertain terms, that this is not going to happen.

Orisha

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Re: Quit honing in on our vacation!
« Reply #9 on: June 25, 2010, 12:04:28 AM »
I took the advice.  We've also gone ahead and booked the flight, which is now sold out.  MIL would never do her first international flight on her own.  I think that'll settle the matter.

VorFemme

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Re: Quit honing in on our vacation!
« Reply #10 on: June 25, 2010, 01:11:50 PM »
I took the advice.  We've also gone ahead and booked the flight, which is now sold out.  MIL would never do her first international flight on her own.  I think that'll settle the matter.

That should keep her from trying to shoe horn herself into the vacation!
Let sleeping dragons be.......morning breath......need I say more?

Carnation

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Re: Quit honing in on our vacation!
« Reply #11 on: June 28, 2010, 11:27:42 AM »
I'm glad you found a solution.

Now, may I express my sheer envy?  Museums, botanical gardens, oh my!