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Old 02-18-2014, 04:59 PM
4,573 posts, read 7,057,201 times
Reputation: 4222


I'm hoping to get some input on this situation from folks my own age. As some of you may know, my brother and his family are not close with me, even though I have made alot of effort over the decades and there has been alot of pain and hurt over the way they have treated me. I finally gave up after my last trip back to see them a few years ago.

Anyway, I am planning to retire sometime this year. I have always sent them some gift (4 people, 4 gift cards) at Christmas because Christmas does mean alot to me and that's just the way I am, although they never invite me to visit. Anyway, this past Christmas Day, as I was talking to my bro on the phone and they were actually opening their gift cards while I was on the phone with him, I hadn't received anything from them this year as yet so I mentioned that possibly my "gift" might be lost or late, which has happened in the past. He said..oh no, we're not getting you anything this year because "surprise" we all decided to come visit you when you retire and you get to see us (his actual words)...that's your Christmas gift. I was in shock and didn't know what to say about all of it. I've lived here 36 years and no visits from anyone. I don't quite see the correlation between a Christmas gift....that 4 people couldn't chip in $10 a piece and at least send a gift card...and visiting your sister after 36 years! If they didn't want to exchange gifts anymore, they could have just told me and I wouldn't have sent them anything either, which would have been fine with me.

What kind of gift is it when, I mean, it's going to cost me money to have them come....gas, going to different tourist spots, meals, getting the house cleaned, etc. I'm on the fence as to whether I really even care about them coming, but I would do my part to show them a good time (more than they have ever done for me). I've talked to him a couple times about possible dates, since I've moved my retirement date back a bit. I work on forgiving them but I just don't know how I feel about all this. I'd like to think they have had a change of heart but I feel I should take this at face value, that they want to come out here and see California before I move away after I retire, and not read anything more into it. I wanted the time right after I retire to be restful, relaxing, and have some fun with my friends. I have to admit if they had sent me a small gift at Christmas maybe my feelings would be more positive. Anybody gone through something like this?
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Old 02-18-2014, 05:07 PM
2,038 posts, read 1,947,008 times
Reputation: 3449
Tell them you have vacation plans and you'll be away at the times they visit. They sound like rude idiots. Or if they visit, let them buy their own food if they want to eat. You can take them to tourist spots but they have to pay their own way, like their own Disneyland tickets. This might sound rude but you have to reply to rudeness with rudeness.
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Old 02-18-2014, 05:13 PM
1,227 posts, read 1,259,322 times
Reputation: 4309
People will use you if you let them.
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Old 02-18-2014, 05:17 PM
Location: Edina, MN, USA
6,954 posts, read 7,390,876 times
Reputation: 16283
Holy crap! Your brother sounds very much like mine and I bet like mine he just thinks and repeats his wife's comments.

Sounds like God is paying you a visit.

You have to do what you feel is right but I guess I don't see the point in forgiving someone's bad behavior - over and over and over simply because we share parents.

Establish your boundaries and let them know what they are. If it doesn't work for them - oh well.

You have a right to be upset by this.
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Old 02-18-2014, 05:22 PM
Location: Near a river
16,042 posts, read 18,971,705 times
Reputation: 15649
If I remember, you live in a desirable location in CA ~ San Diego? My first thought is that they are looking to do a vacation partly on your dime. Will you be putting them up? Even if not, this trip is going to cost you as you escort them around ~ gas, eating out, etc. Sounds fishy and I wouldn't have given bro the slightest encouragement by talking dates. I may be jaded, but imo the relationship between siblings, formed in childhood and often fed by parents, doesn't improve other than on the surface. The way your bro sprang this on you is extremely selfish. If it were me, I'd back away, citing sudden health problems or somesuch. No point in bringing out the truth, will never work.
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Old 02-18-2014, 06:11 PM
Location: Florida
490 posts, read 894,698 times
Reputation: 655
They're using you for a dirt cheap vacation. They want to see California and you are the hotel, restaurant, and rental car all in one. Your feelings are correct about them. If it were me I wouldn't go for this at all. Tell your brother no thanks.
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Old 02-18-2014, 06:21 PM
4,787 posts, read 9,297,319 times
Reputation: 12632
Hah- your brother seems to be be just trying to have a San Diego vacation on your dime. He seriously thinks his presence is a Christmas gift ? - lol

I would contact him and casually mention that you don't mind helping him find lodging for the time he is there . Ask him if he can give you some parameters you could suggest some B & B's/ motels/ hotels for him to reserve. Don't offer your house.

Then suggest some attractions all of you could visit together. Then suggest he can probably find some good deals for tickets for his family online.

Next make note of the fact that you know some nice restaurants that won't break his budget when he pays for his family to eat. Make sure he understands that going Dutch is going to be the rule.

What you don't want to do is to offer your house, your bedrooms, your time, your cleaning, your food and your money to entertain for four additional people for whatever length of time they plan on staying. Set those boundary now and make sure they are understood before this " invitation " to visit goes any further along. And don't feel guilty about it.

After 36 years and can't even be bothered to send you a Christmas gift, he doesn't deserve much more consideration than that.
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Old 02-18-2014, 10:40 PM
Location: Tucson/Nogales
17,391 posts, read 21,228,976 times
Reputation: 24216
What saves me from having visitors is I still smoke! In the house! Works wonders!

"Oh, don't tell me you're still smoking!!! I can't just can't deal with smoking in the house!"

I also have a roommate, so no extra space for visitors in a 2 bedroom house.

I'm the type of person, even when I go back to visit relatives in Minnesota, I always stay in a motel, no matter how much they beg me to stay in their houses!

How about buying a couple of pet boa constrictors or pythons, tell them you've fallen in love with snakes for pets! That might do it! Scare them away!
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Old 02-18-2014, 10:43 PM
Location: State of Being
35,885 posts, read 67,154,265 times
Reputation: 22373
I agree with others! He is using you and your intuition is right . . . they just want their freebie trip to CA in b/f you leave.

Find an excuse. Change dates. Come up with something. It is expensive to entertain and it is stressful to have a group in one's home, plus all the stress of preparing for the visit and cleaning up afterward.

Don't feel bad about this and NO, this has nothing to do with a change in heart. This is the same ole heart -- deceitful, as this trip is nothing but an attempt to use you as hotel, concierge and cook.
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Old 02-18-2014, 11:07 PM
Location: Florida -
8,763 posts, read 10,837,755 times
Reputation: 16633
Yours is an interesting ... and odd situation, about which you obviously feel no small amount of resentment. Given your feelings, having them in your home for a week (?) is likely to be more uncomfortable for everyone - than simply getting the entire matter out in the open now, over the phone.

What do you have to lose by simply telling them how you feel and asking them to talk with you about their perception of the situation ... and expectations during their visit?

Last edited by jghorton; 02-18-2014 at 11:23 PM..
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