Yet another "am i being an ass?" thread

I know, I know…if you have to ask, you are.

Hear me out:

Mrs. Mustard and I vacation annually with another couple, have for years. We are very close and all get along great. They have adult children and three grandchildren.

A few years ago, the family (one of their sons and his wife) with the three boys came along. It was a week of noise, crying, fistfights, attention-seeking, rasslin’, random punches, and general civil disobedience. The boys are…um…not well-behaved.

So now, in the early stages of planning the 2010 adventure, it seems as if the family with the unruly lads may be invited back (by the other couple).

My idea of a vacation is peace and relaxation and extended periods of quiet time with nothing to do. I will get none of this if the young scamps are present. I get one vacation a year, which I really look forward to. The thought that this next one will be filled with noise and commotion makes me queasy.

The other couple, for the record, are wonderful people and very close friends. I don’t want to vacation without them; suggesting as much, in fact, would be treated as a scandal. And I feel guilty about wishing the kids would not join us.

I know what will happen: they’ll come along, I’ll pretend to enjoy their antics, and no feelings will get damaged. The cost of me objecting is too great.

Just want to hear from y’all if I am being unfair.

I think you are being terribly unfair to yourself if you don’t say anything.

A few years have passed since your last experience with them? Kids do grow up and learn manners; well most kids.

How old were they then? How old are they now?

Yup, you should say something. Try to gently explain that you only get the one vacation a year, that you’d really prefer it to be relaxing and quiet, that you absolutely couldn’t imagine going without that couple, and that the extended family is lovely but vacations with kids just tend to be more… “lively” than what you need.

I think the kids are something like 4-6-8 now. I see them from time to time, and I know for a fact the two youngest are still terrors.

I agree; like you said, you have one vacation a year. Having the other couple invite people along without checking with you and your wife first is rude in my opinion.

who says you have to do everything together? If you aren’t taking children (are you?) then why are you spending time at child friendly locations/activities. why not split up and meet back at the resort/hotel for dinner?

Hmmm. Good luck. I also cannot stand ill-mannered kids. Mine are angels. No, I really mean it. My kids completely know how to behave and I have no patience for unruly terrors and would also be unable to relax.

Well, this is where it gets a little dicey. My two (now adult) kids come along as well, and always did. The couple openly welcomed mine all those years ago and wouldn’t have remotely considered not joining us because there were kids around. While my kids were extremely well-mannered, I know it wouldn’t have mattered if they were Taz and his twin - they still would have been welcomed.

If I were to object, it would cause an irreparable shitstorm.

Seeing as it seems a bit rude for the other family to invite others along to this vacation without getting your consent first, I would bring it up that you enjoy the time together when it’s just the “grown-ups”.

I don’t think you’re being a jerk, but I also don’t think you can ask the other couple to un-invite the kids, if they’ve already invited them with their parents. However, it was a few years ago, so maybe they are better behaved now. How old will they be?

I think it’s OK to suggest to the couple that you’d like to do some more adult things, that the kids wouldn’t be involved in - I wouldn’t expect 6 adults to always be with the kids, anyway.

Yeah, I know. We do go off apart sometimes. The parents of the boys have a habit, though, of dumping them off with their grandparents so they can have some time together.

Yeah, in light of the update, you’re going to have to suggest a lot of “adult” time, I think. If not with them, then with you and your wife.

Well, to be fair, there was a semi-conversation about it. It went something like this:

“I think I’m going to invite Harry and Mary this year, they really enjoyed it last time.”

This was clearly an opening for any objections, and of course I didn’t say a word. FWIW, I am the only one who feels this way; everyone else, I’m fairly certain, loves having them along.

Here’s where being an old fart pays off, dude.

These are close friends that you should be able to be honest with. Tell them that, while you appreciate how welcoming they were to your children, all those times, years previous, you find you’ve grown into a bit of a codger with age. You adore them and the kids, but the fights, fussing and noise are just more than you can bear these days. Tell them you appreciate the irony of it having been okay when they were your own. All true.

Life is too short to be unhappy on a holiday. Find separate accommodations nearby and spirit yourself away when you need to. Spend whatever time you’re comfortable with, together.

You get to holiday together and you also get to separate yourself from the worst of it if it gets too loud. Win-win.

Sounds to me like that’s the perfect time for you and your wife to have alone time!

Don’t you have an unexpected work/religious/medical/wedding/whatever thing that just popped up all of a sudden and means you have to cancel your plans, gosh darn it all to heck?

This exactly. Things change. It is great that you enjoyed travelling with these folk all these years. Unfortunately, there is no guarantee that will continue forever. So if the other couple prefers to vacation with their extended family, just appreciate the times you had and make your own independent plans.

I always figure if my friends are going to be pissed at me, it is better for me to be honest with them and for them to be pissed based on accurate information.

How does your wife feel about it?

Hum, tough situation. The other couple’s adult kid+spouse obviously see this as a way to enjoy a vacation with built-in, free babysitters. Your friends get stuck with the kids and you feel bad if you ditch your friends while they’re on sitting duty.

Maybe your hotel or resort will have a sitting service that the parents can use now that the kids aren’t quite so young.

The other thing you have going for you is that it’s been a few years since they’ve been along, so at least (hopefully) it won’t be like this every year. You might consider bringing something for the kids to do, like a travel game, activity book, or the like. Maybe teach them some simple card games or tricks. Yes, they’ll probably have that stuff anyway, but you’ll earn some points with them and they might be more likely to listen if you need to tell them to behave.

So basically the kids are behaving like kids :slight_smile:

No you’re not being a jerk for feeling the way you do.

The real question is this:

Which is more valuable to you, “your peace and quite,” or “the time spent with the other couple.”

Neither is a right answer. Only you know the right answer for you.

So if you want peace and quite, don’t go with them. Perhaps the answer could be take your main vacation with your wife and do a four day weekend or something like that, later on with the couple and kids.

Don’t talk to them, people are just gonna get their feelings hurt if you mention their kids, and face it, kids make noise and get dirty. That is what being a kid is about. Think back when you were a child, would you enjoy a vacation, beng well behaved?

So to get out of it, just blame your work schedule. Say, "you know with the economy being such as it is, I don’t want to risk making my boss mad, well just have to forgo the week vacation, but maybe we can do a long three or four day weekend?