Post # 1
WOW sorry this got to be really long but if you make it through thanks!!!
So back in June I posted about how my aunt (dad’s sister) was trying to bring her 16 year old daughter to Vegas for my 21st birthday, she expected us to change plans to be able to include her and pretty much change the whole atmosphere of my birthday. Like why go to Vegas if I have to make sure the 16 year old can come? Any way it fell through and they didn’t come but if you want you can read about it here: http://boards.weddingbee.com/topic/my-aunt-sucks#axzz2l3HdaYkE
So that is how they tried to make my birthday about them, I was really upset with them but I was finally over it until this past weekend. My dad is turning 50 year and my mom, my sister, and I wanted to do something really special for him. He absolutely LOVES to fly fish, he goes almost every weekend, spends hours tying flies, and is always saving money so he can get new fishing stuff. It is passion and he shares it with his best friend (Pat), talk about bromance lol. So we decided to send the two of them on a full expense paid for guided fishing trip, apparently it’s one of the best trips for fly fishers to go on. We are keeping it a surprise so he knows nothing about it. It is little pricey so we decide to ask my grandma and aunt to contribute if they didn’t have anything else planned for his birthday, they didn’t have to but we wanted to give them the option. His friend is already contributing a big chunk because it is a little more expensive for a two man trip. So my mom asks my grandma and she seems skeptical, asking if my dad would actually like going, UM HE WILL LOVE IT. We convince her that he will love it and she says she will contribute.
Then my mom asks my aunt with my grandma there and the first thing out of her mouth is “Well what about Jim (her husband)?” My mom is like what about him? My aunt then tells her that my uncle would probably like to go too. There are a few problems with this, my dad only tolerates my uncle, he is actually very frustrated with him right now because every time my dad hangs out with Pat my uncle complains that they didn’t invite him and then we all for some reason get chewed out by my grandma. He doesn’t really like fishing but wants to be included because he doesn’t like to be left out, it all is like high school. The other problem is that there is a two man trip and a one man trip so it would almost double the cost to send someone on my dad’s trip who he doesn’t want to spend time with. My mom told them the price problem and my grandma jumps in and has no problem offering to help with the costs to send my uncle even though it took us an hour to convince her that she should contribute for my dad. We know we can’t stop my uncle from going because it is there money (because we aren’t paying for him) and we can’t blockade him from the river. He will be the single man, which I don’t know how that helps his feelings of being left out. But he is going to want to ride with my dad and Pat and spend every minute they aren’t on the river together. If he doesn’t then who knows how long we will be guilted about not bending over backwards for him. Trust me we are still hearing about my birthday 6 months later and wasn’t even our fault they couldn’t go in the end. My mom is super upset because my dad does so much for everyone and we just wanted to do something that was all about him. Normally we would go to him to try to figure out how to handle his family but then that would ruin the surprise so were just kind of stuck here wondering what to do. We think we’re just gonna wait till my aunt asks for the information to book my uncles trip and hope it is booked up by the time she gets around to it but what happens if isn’t, my dad will suffer and then if it is we all suffer because we didn’t make sure my flaky aunt booked the trip in time. We are so lost as always with them. No matter what we do we are going to get to the short end of the stick. They are just always so spoiled and my family always ends up taking the back burner to them.
This is mostly just a vent but if you have any ideas on how to handle this then please share.
Post # 3
Yikes, what a nightmare. This aunt is your dad’s sister? Is it a younger sister? Reason I’m asking is because you made the comment about your grandmother chewing out your family when your aunt doesn’t feel included and your aunt always feels like she should be included. Sounds like this setup has been going on for a long time and is not likely to change.
Do you think your aunt’s husband wants to go on the trip with your dad and his friend? Or is he being pushed by your aunt to join them? I find it strange that your aunt’s husband would want to be included even though he senses he is not welcome. If this is the case, then it seems he is forcing the issue just to spite your dad and his friend. If your aunt is pushing for her husband to be included and he doesn’t really want to go, then it is up to him to convey that to her. If it were me, I would tell the aunt’s husband that he is welcome to join – and then proceed to very excitedly talk about all the things that he will hate on the trip. But I realize being passive-aggressive is not always the healthiest approach 🙂
Sorry you’re in such a tough position – it sucks that something nice you were trying to do for your dad has blown up to such a headache.
Post # 4
@alyssaC: No advice on this situation but I’d just avoid discussing anything she could ruin with her in future. I wouldn’t discuss birthdays or weddings or anything with her, just send her an invite like any other guest and give her no prior knowledge if she enquires just smile and tell her you want to surprise all the guests
Post # 5
@alyssaC: Are there any other male relatives? e.g. Brothers of your mother, cousins, perhaps even your mother’s father.
Then you could say, “If we invite uncle, we’ve got to invite ___ and ___ as well. So it’s best to only have him and Pat. He enjoys fishing with Pat, and it’s his time away from all of us. It makes no sense when he doesn’t normally go fishing with uncle”.
If that doesn’t work I’d be more blunt: “if uncle goes he’ll be a 3rd wheel and it will spoil the present. We’d rather not do it if uncle wants to come”.
Post # 6
@flummoxed: You nailed, she is the younger sister, the “princess” of the family. She was the kid who asked for a pony and then was given a pony. I wish she was just pushing it but he will for sure want to go, not because he wants to fish but because he is a pain in the ass who cannot live without drama, although I’m hopping when he hears he’ll have to be alone for most of the time, he’ll decide not to go. But we would still get in trouble for that because they would expect us to disinvite Pat so he could go. Him and my dad work together so it is extra fun for my dad, anytime my uncle “catches” my dad going out without he will seriously act like a three old and pout and be passive agressive until the next time he is invited. Ugh it’s just terrible, he would probably miserable the entire time but take such joy in the fact that he wasn’t “left out.”
A real headache, I just wish we would have stepped back and brought my birthday to the front of our brains before we decided to let them in 🙁 Like they ruined the entire week leading up to my birthday, it all became about making sure my cousin was happy and my feelings didn’t mean much. My grandma (who is great when they aren’t involved!) seriously asked me why I had to go all the way to Vegas for my birthday and didn’t I care about my family and making them happy? I’m just glad that my dad won’t have to be a part of the befor drama and he’ll make the best of any situation and will be happy because that is just the guy he is, always finding the positive in any situation.
@BtoR: Ugh I wish but we are all just so close, I really do love them when they aren’t like this. We see them at least a few times a month so keeping stuff from them is hard and then if we did they would find out from my grandma and then we would get the third degree on “why didn’t you tell them????” It’s just easier said than done, but they we do try to keep as many details as possible from them. We just gave them to much credit thinking they would want to make my dad happy since he does so much for them, not gonna happen again!
@paula1248: Great idea but no other male relatives who would be able to go to something like this. But we might have my sister be blunt, she isn’t here atm but I’m sure if we ask her to she’ll say something, she is the one person who isn’t afraid of confrontation in my family. I envy her.
Post # 7
I don’t have any good suggestions for you except to keep ideas and trips to yourselves in the future. I remember the post about your birthday and now this. You guys need to NOT include them in information or “hey, do you want to chip in” kind of things. Knowing your uncle the way you do, didn’t you guys think this would happen?
Post # 8
@alyssaC: When is the trip? How many weeks or months until then?
Is it possible to just avoid their phone calls or tell them “I’m sorry but we got the last two seats?”
Or just tell them “this is for Dad and Pat only?
Or how about saying that Pat decided to pay for the trip as a gift so only he and your Dad are going?
Is it something they can easily google and get information about?
Post # 9
@alyssaC: Your dad sounds like a wonderful man. Do NOT let your uncle ruin this trip for him!!! Let Princess Aunt get upset and grandma too!!
Post # 10
@LuvMySailor: The trip isn’t until April but we’re giving it to him on Christmas, because that’s his birthday. So no avoiding them 🙁 but I like the idea of saying Pat paid for it but instead maybe say that Pat is driving them there because his truck only holds two people. But we’re really hoping the spots fill up.
@hermom: Well we were trying to offset the costs because it is an expensive trip, we can afford it but help would be nice. We thought they wouldn’t have a leg to stand since we already planned for Pat to go, there is no three man trip, and it would double the costs which they can’t afford. We didn’t expect my grandma to jump because she wasn’t fond of the trip idea in the first place.
Post # 11
- Wedding: January 2013 - Harbourfront Grand Hall
@alyssaC: Damn, your aunt!!! I remember your last post and thinking WTF!
Personally, knowing what you wrote about how your aunt always wants her husband included I would not have asked the extended family to help. But now that you have I would just blatantly point out that your dad likes fishing with his bromantical friend so that’s how you planned the trip PERIOD. And then stop asking her to contribute obviously. I would cut all unnecessary communication with that all-about-me biatch.
Post # 12
I would end all conversation with the aunt and grandmother about the trip. Go ahead and book the trip for your dad and his friend. If one of the ladies brings it up in the future or find out the trip took place just tell them that you thought it best that this trip just be the two of them…nothing more, nothing less. This trip is first and foremost for you father and if he doesn’t want the uncle there then he shouldn’t be there. You owe them nothing.
Post # 13
@alyssaC: Is there a way you can give him the gift privately? Maybe on Christmas Eve with just you and your mother? And after the excitement has worn off tell him what is going on and tell him to mention nothing to his sister and mother about the trip?
If they ask have him say ‘oh you have to ask alyssaC aboout that” and when they come to you say “Pat paid for it and will be driving them. Sorry the trip is all full”. If they keep pressuing for informaition tell them nicely “Im sorry but there is nothing I can do” and end the convo??
Post # 14
- Wedding: September 2014 - Turf Valley
It is situations like these that make me glad I do not have much of a family. How stressful.
I know it is likely different in your situation, but if it were me, I’d be like “He’s not invited. This trip is for my dad, and he wants to bring his BFF Pat, not Uncle Crybaby.”