Surviving the weekend with my cranky right-wing grandparents.
July 7, 2009 8:14 AM Subscribe
My elderly grandparents live 45 minutes south of Orlando. My husband and I are visiting them next weekend. What do we do while we're there to minimize drama and maybe have a bit of fun?
posted by desjardins to human relations (23 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
First of all, I am not close to them at all, and am really only visiting them because my grandfather is seriously ill and this may be the last opportunity to see him. I honestly do not enjoy spending time with them. Their political and religious views are 180 degrees from mine and 145 degrees from my husband's, so those are topics to avoid. They're extremely racist, and while I've learned to keep my mouth shut (given that it won't change anything), my (white) husband reacts strongly to racial slurs. Neither of them understand our (technical) career fields, so we can't talk about that. They don't have hobbies besides watching TV so nothing to talk about there. There is all kinds of family drama that my grandmother just loves to bring up, and I don't want to discuss that, especially since their treatment of my cousin before his suicide is an extremely sore point with me.
The drama has started before we're even there - they're insisting on picking us up at the airport (orlando) even though they're extremely dangerous drivers and I've already booked a rental car. They want me to cancel the rental car - at this point I'd be eating the fee since it's through Priceline and there's no-cancellation policy. My mother has written me emails on how to tiptoe around their preferences and eccentricities.
My husband and I are extremely stressed by a recent move and job/economic insecurity, and this trip just feels like a burden at this point. Yet I want to make it somewhat enjoyable if at all possible. My grandfather can barely leave the house, not only because he's physically ill but because he's bipolar and frequently severely depressed. My grandmother likes to go shopping, etc., but tires very quickly. What the heck can we do for 4 days? I don't mind driving to Orlando or Tampa or points in between.
Aside: I would really prefer air-conditioned activities as I get heatstroke easily (and I can't imagine the heat would be good for 80-somethings either).