How do you balance family activities at the cabin?
July 2, 2012 9:16 PM   Subscribe

Just got back from a weekend at the cabin with my husband, daughter, son and son's fiancé. My son and his fiancé are very active and want to spend the entire weekend outside - golfing, swimming, seadooing, fishing, sunbathing, eating outside and sitting by a roaring bonfire until 2 am every evening. I do not. They do usually sleep in so that does give me some down time, but seriously, how do I get them to back off telling me that I "should" be outside, super active and do everything with them at their intensity level? I have tried compromising but honestly they are not happy unless you are doing exactly what they want all the time. And they just keep on nagging - it is driving me crazy. How much is expected to keep the family peace?
posted by Minos888 to Human Relations (40 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
What approaches have you tried? I can imagine that if I tried to push my mom around like this, I'd get something like a sweet smile and the statement that she knows how she wants to vacation, thank you very much. If I got some sort of a wild hair up my ass to persist past that point (and that would be a wild hair indeed), she'd just yell at me.
posted by kavasa at 9:22 PM on July 2, 2012 [6 favorites]

I guess I have an out because of my physical difficulties, but even before then I described myself as a cave dweller. I'm simply not an outdoor person. I don't like the sun or the heat. If someone berates me that I need to get out and be in the fresh air, I tell them that not everyone likes the sun and I'll get out in the fresh air in my own damned time and to leave me alone. It's okay for them to do what they want, but I'll just sit here in the shade and rest, thank you very much. I know it's difficult to get across when they're so intense, but sometimes the blunt way is the best way.
posted by patheral at 9:24 PM on July 2, 2012

have you talked to your son about it, instead of immediately compromising?

my mother would totally say something to the effect of: i love you, and i love being here with you and everyone. however, we are on vacation, and that means different things to different people. so please, enjoy your time here however you like, and i will do the same. also, please do not push me - as i brought you into this world, i can also take you out.
posted by koroshiya at 9:25 PM on July 2, 2012 [35 favorites]

I'd tell them that you look forward to your down time and do not want to be busy all the time, but you're happy to hear about their exploits during dinner. If they keep pushing after you've been really direct, well, I know my mother would start waking me up at sunrise to say that I should be outside and that I am wasting the day.
posted by jeather at 9:27 PM on July 2, 2012 [8 favorites]

I have tried to explain nicely and bluntly (almost exactly as Patheral) but they are starting to say that it ruins their family vacation if we don't all do everything together - I know it sounds weird but they have this overarching attitude that they know what is best - now that I read this they sound insufferable and self absorbed but they really aren't. I just want them to respect that I know what is best for me.
posted by Minos888 at 9:32 PM on July 2, 2012

I hate to say it, but you raised a boy with little who doesn't seem to get it. He should back off and appreciate that you are doing what you want to do while on vacation.

I would call their bluff and wake them at 7:00am to see what they want for breakfast and tell them the day is wasting away.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 9:32 PM on July 2, 2012 [16 favorites]

You get them to back off by saying "Jeffery, Melissa, back off. Thank you."

And on preview, if they insist that you all do things together, suggest that they grab a book and a cup of tea and you can all sit around and read together.
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 9:36 PM on July 2, 2012 [17 favorites]

oooo, I was just about to post this same kind of question. You are not alone! What I have tried with my husband is to tell him I love him, I love being with him, but I am not an outdoor girl. It's been going on for the last 22 years! Once he told me I had to come with him to this incredible place. It was just a "short hike." A herd of cattle had just gone through and the hike consisted of plodding though cow dung. I was almost in tears. I finally just started say NO. If the hike did not end with ice cream or consist of window shopping, I was out. He still bugs me about this. He is very active, as I am. But we are active in different ways. We kind of compromise now, but he still prods and bugs me.
posted by fifilaru at 9:36 PM on July 2, 2012 [2 favorites]

fifilaru, sounds like your husband could use a hiking buddy. Does he have friends with whom he can go do things like this? Alternatively, you could do what I do: on occasion, I will hike with my husband part way, find a pleasant place to hang out with a book and wait for him to go up and come back, and join him on the way back to the trailhead. And I have a very good sense of my limits: for instance, on backpacking trips, my maximum distance is about 9-10 miles a day (much less with strenuous uphill climbs and large elevation gains), and he understands this.

And Minos888, that's appalling, and I'm sorry, but they do sound insufferable and self-absorbed, if they're sulking because you refuse to be dragged along on every single one of their activities. And incredibly disrespectful, too. I'm sure they'll grow out of it in time; you simply have to stand your ground. You don't need an excuse or an out. Tell them you enjoy their company and appreciate the gesture, but that you just don't enjoy all those things and that they should go off and have a good time. I'm very much with you--for me, vacation is all about relaxing with a book in a beautiful place and maybe doing some leisurely activity for a couple hours like going out for a walk or a paddle, but not going full tilt all day long.

Can't you enlist your husband for support? Or your daughter? A friend of my mother's is always pushing Mom to get involved in social groups and activities in which the friend is immersed, walk miles a day at a pace that's simply too much for my mother, and do a lot of other things Mom would just absolutely detest. She started harassing my mother during one of my visits, saying that Mom was just sitting at home getting old and not doing anything, and I called her on it, saying Mom was already pretty busy being an active grandmother. Her friend immediately got very defensive, and I'm afraid Mom (who's not all that great at being assertive) thought I was being rude, but she says her friend hasn't bugged her about it since, go figure.
posted by tully_monster at 10:19 PM on July 2, 2012 [1 favorite]

It's possible that if family vacations to the cabin end up with no one really getting what they want, then you might need to rethink family vacations to the cabin. Maybe it's time for you to say "you know what, you guys go and have a good time." Or maybe think about a different kind of vacation that has a better mix of stuff you like and stuff they like. If they press you on it, be blunt - "Look, you guys have way more energy than I do and these trips always tire me out too much. It's not a fun vacation for me if I end up exhausted, so I'm bowing out."

And then stick to it, at least once, and then when you do end up at the cabin, make sure you have your own transportation out. Because when they start up the nagging - and they will - you need to be able to lay down the law. After the first time you leave at noon on Saturday, they'll start to get the hint that what they're doing is not acceptable. (And it isn't - it's rude and inconsiderate.)

You don't mention your husband's role in all this - he should really be on your side. Ask him to back you up when you need some downtime. And he should be prepared to drive you home if it comes down to it. Your daughter, too, could be an ally.
posted by restless_nomad at 10:21 PM on July 2, 2012 [12 favorites]

I would call their bluff and wake them at 7:00am to see what they want for breakfast and tell them the day is wasting away.

I would wake them up at 5am because it was suddenly my fondest heart's desire to share the majestic beauty of the sunrise with them. When they demurred, I would turn back all their same arguments on them. I would repeat this until comprehension was achieved.
posted by elizardbits at 10:22 PM on July 2, 2012 [42 favorites]

I'm sorry and I don't know what your family dynamic is but you.are.the.parent! I would never ever force my parents into activities they don't want to do. Now I understand if there was a specific plan (i.e. the family getting together especially for a canoe trip) but otherwise they need to go off & do their own thing while mom & dad relax. You deserve that respect!
posted by lychee at 10:27 PM on July 2, 2012 [3 favorites]

"It's possible that if family vacations to the cabin end up with no one really getting what they want, then you might need to rethink family vacations to the cabin. Maybe it's time for you to say "you know what, you guys go and have a good time."

I was thinking the same thing. If you "ruin" family vacation by not always traveling as a four-pack, then maybe you should just not go if everyone ends up unhappy?

Seriously, they're being jerks about this. It can't possibly RUIN FOREVER the vacation if you don't go waterskiing with them every afternoon when they see you in the morning and at night! I've been on family vacations and dear god, did I ever want some alone time BREAK from all the other people. Daily. Frequently. And I'm borderline on the intro/extrovert scale. Of course, my family would be all, "Hey, we've got the car and no driver's license and we're not leaving you alone here, you're stuck," but you're not.
posted by jenfullmoon at 10:28 PM on July 2, 2012 [3 favorites]

We have one very strict cabin rule: You Can Do Whatever You Want. It's said in a sort of sing-songy voice and, though it is invoked in a funny way, is meant very seriously.

Part of being at the cabin means understanding that relaxation means different things to different people at different times. In order for this to happen, the cabin needs to be a judgement-free zone. You want to take a nap at 4:00 in the afternoon? Cool. You decided to spend two hours picking blueberries? Go for it! You want to sit around the bonfire until the wee hours of the morning? Sounds fun! Here's the best part: it is not a requirement that everyone do the exact same things at the exact same time.

It may take a bit of doing to get everyone on board with this philosophy, but if you can, the cabin is able to become a freeing, truly enjoyable place for everyone to be.
posted by WaspEnterprises at 10:29 PM on July 2, 2012 [20 favorites]

I suggest also that when the next trip is planned, you have a conversation with your son and his fiancée *before* heading to the cabin. Take wording from the great responses in this thread, then if they start harassing you, you can just say "We talked about this already, hon. Back off."
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 10:51 PM on July 2, 2012 [1 favorite]

It sounds like they are not approaching this in a mature way. They are only seeing their own side of the story - "we want to go swimming/hiking/biking and these stick in the muds won't join us!" - rather than also taking into account that relaxing, reading, board games, or whatever quiet enjoyment you prefer are also wonderfully valid vacation activities that they are not allowing you to participate in.

I can definitely see the appeal of being passive aggressive and just trying to force them to do things they don't want to do in return. But I don't think you should go that route. I think you should take the high road on this one. You are the mom.

Just have a discussion with them in which you reach a compromise, such as "we'll let you sleep in every morning, you'll let us have our quiet time and do what we like to do for the majority of the time, and for our part of the bargain, we'll join you for a walk/bike ride or swim once per day (or once every other day, or whatever you decide is reasonable)."

Once you have agreed on these terms for vacation happiness, you can all relax, and hopefully your son and his fiancee will feel satisfied because they know for sure that you are going to participate in at least X number of activities with them as agreed, without argument, and you will feel satisfied because you will not have to feel guilty about saying no to them or arguing about all the other activities, and you can do what you like with the rest of your time. I do think a compromise is worthwhile instead of just trying to go your separate ways or do your own things. I feel that anyone whose family really enjoys spending time with them and actively makes an effort to do so is blessed and should be grateful and take advantage of it, even if it means not always getting what you want.
posted by treehorn+bunny at 10:56 PM on July 2, 2012

Yeah, Mr. Arnicae and I are kind of with you - my family is extremely active (as am I, for the most part) and Mr. Arnicae is not. He gets up late (very late) and stays up late. He is mostly a cave dweller.

My family can be pushy and overbearing, he is extremely good at saying no. Repeatedly. Sometimes less nicely when they've already pushed him. When they act like golden retrievers, he treats them like golden retrievers - a breed that sometimes just doesn't understand "NO" even the seventieth time. He never lets it get his goat.

I'm not sure if that helps at all, because it makes me feel bad, too, but I'd suggest a family rule about everyone getting to do precisely what they want on vacation (as mentioned above), and have a candid talk with your son about whether he'd prefer to do some other things than vacation with you, if the only way he can have a good time is everyone do the same thing at the same time.
posted by arnicae at 10:57 PM on July 2, 2012

Maybe you could record the Toyota ads about the young ones who think their parents just aren't having any activity because they are not ding what the children do. The parents are doing their own thing - in a Toyota of course, but the message is there.
Force your arrogant, controlling kids to watch until they get it.
posted by Cranberry at 11:20 PM on July 2, 2012

"Kid, you need to grow the fuck up and start acting like an adult and not like some whiney 10-yr-old stomping his foot when he doesn't get the toy he wants. I am your Mother who needs her down-time, not some punk you get to make demands on, and you will start showing me a dollop of respect or so help me I will take the fucking wooden spoon upside your head in front of your fiance.

"Yes, I just said fuck. This is how much you're pissing me off."
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 11:23 PM on July 2, 2012 [33 favorites]

as an alternate question - it sounds like they also do this to your husband and daughter. what's their take on it? are they perfectly happy to go along with it all the time? also, was your son always like this (mr. rarin' to go and everyone join in kumbaya) or just since he's been with the fiancé?
posted by koroshiya at 12:40 AM on July 3, 2012

Have you seen the "it's okay to not like things" song? Find it an play it. It's oky that they don't like not having a whole family doing exactly what they're told, but they shouldn't be dicks about it.

I 'solved' this by going for a scorched earth policy - doing NOTHING with my family for a few months. Fuck them, they don't give a shit what I like so why am I killing myself going to stupid parties and doing stupid shit that I hate, that is actively harming my mental health? So for a few months I stayed home, went to things I enjoyed with my kid and my kid only, or friends, or alone. And slowly the nagging and the invites stopped. It's probably not the best option, but it's working for me. I occasionally hang out with them, but I've stopped compromising for their sake when they cannot respect my boundaries.
posted by geek anachronism at 2:39 AM on July 3, 2012 [3 favorites]

Whose cabin is it? Personally, I'd tell them this behavior must stop because they will lose the privilege of going to the cabin at all, if it doesn't.

(Consider also the possibility that "family weekend for ALL of us at the cabin" and "EVERYONE should be doing the same activity" may be errors of a similar type, within your particular family unit.)
posted by SMPA at 3:07 AM on July 3, 2012 [2 favorites]

All you really need to do is say no and stick to it. It will be difficult, because you've apparently trained them to whine / guilt trip / plead to get what they want, and when it doesn't immediately work they'll initially amp up the behavior to try to get your compliance. If you cave, you'll only entrench the behavior even further. Say no and stick to it. It won't be fun, because this is a will-get-worse-before-it-gets-better sort of situation, but it will work.

Don't "compromise" in response to behavior you don't want to encourage. If they're asking nicely and being generally respectful of your preferences, then maybe consider stretching a bit, but stop rewarding the jerky behavior.
posted by jon1270 at 3:52 AM on July 3, 2012 [1 favorite]

they are starting to say that it ruins their family vacation if we don't all do everything together

That is your cue to say "well, I don't want to ruin your vacation, so you all go to the cabin without me and I'll stay home and do what I want instead."
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:06 AM on July 3, 2012 [5 favorites]

I like the idea of establishing the you can do whatever you want rule before starting the trip, or even planning it. At my family's cabin, do whatever you want is just the rule, mostly unspoken. I'm I'm the woods all day, someone is out fishing, other peole are playing cornhole in the yard, someone is napping, and someone else is sitting on the porch reading a book. We all end up back at the table for dinner. It's all good.
posted by rockindata at 4:23 AM on July 3, 2012 [1 favorite]

Sitting up all night tending the campfire gets real boring if everyone else goes to sleep. What's the fun of swimming if you only have one other person to splash? Half the fun of cornhole is drinking/chatting while your teammates are throwing, which doesn't work if there's only two people playing.

Their desires seem reasonable but it sounds like you (and your husband and daughter) are the only options for playmates. Could some of their friends come up for the day or even a night or two? Are there other cabins nearby that are facing the same issues that making friends with them might solve?

The other thing that comes to mind is that when I have seen this sort of thing it is when small groups of people who are close but don't see each other very often get together for a weekend, a trip or whatnot. Maybe your son and fiancé feel like they are losing touch with you, or are about to... and are trying to make up for it in one trip to the cabin.

This does not excuse them driving you crazy but it might suggest solutions.
posted by mountmccabe at 5:47 AM on July 3, 2012 [3 favorites]

You are a grown person, with free-will and a soul. You don't have to do what your child wants you to do, when he wants you to do it.

So what if you "ruin" his vacation, that's on him. It's not your job to amuse him. If he doesn't think he'll have fun, he doesn't have to come up to the cabin.

The next time you make a plan to go, have a short chat with him before you even pack up the car. "Son, you know I love you, and I love spending time with you, but some of the things you and your girlfriend enjoy aren't things that I enjoy. You are both always welcome to come with us to the cabin, but you need to respect that I like to spend my time doing things that I enjoy. That means that I don't want to hear any noise about what I must be doing and when I must be doing it. If this is going to be a problem for you, I'd rather you made other plans, because the whining, and cajoling and guilt trips are a real bummer."

Why is your son so disrespectful? You said no. That should have been the end of it.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 5:55 AM on July 3, 2012 [3 favorites]

You are saying his fiance is involved so I am wondering if maybe she is feeling insecure about the family dynamic and that by you saying no she thinks you are trying to avoid her.

I know as the "new" person in my husbands family misunderstandings happen so easily. As an example just saying no I don't really want to do anything on the forth of july but have a nice quiet day (I'm from Australia the day means nothing to me) when she asked me in passing one day, pissed my mother in law off no end. She doesn't get it's just a day off to me and I didn't get that it was a big family bbq day thingy for her, she felt rejected, I felt pressured, it almost turned into a big passive aggressive fight, until we talked about it had a laugh and came up with a smaller lunch time compromise.

I say that from the position of having a lovely caring MIL who has been nothing but welcoming to me and is a good friend, when you add a new family member into the mix it's a lot easier for misunderstandings to occur and your son to get stuck in the middle no matter how much you and his fiance actually like each other.

Talk maybe to your sons fiance instead of your son, make sure she is feeling welcome at the cabin, explain your position to her about how you love the two of them but man you need some time to just sit and veg and your not wanting to go isn't a rejection of her or your son.

Of course if that doesn't work and they keep acting like 8 year olds treat them like kids and follow EmpressCallipygos great suggestion.
posted by wwax at 6:00 AM on July 3, 2012 [1 favorite]

I think one tact that hasn't been mentioned above--and it's a bit of parenting advice that never goes out of style--is to step back and try to figure out what the underlying, unmet need is here and if there's a different way that you can meet your kids'/kids-in-laws' need without compromising your integrity.

I mean, it could just be that they are self-centered Jerky McJerkersons. But making that assumption right off the bat doesn't take you very far. And you yourself say in your follow-up that you know they are not insufferable and self-absorbed. So let's start with the more charitable assumption that the real, underlying need is a desire to recapture some sense of togetherness and sharing that you guys shared when your son was younger.

If that's the case, are there activities that you can plan and share that are more within your comfort zone? What would happen if the compromise you propose was a TRUE compromise--you plan for an "non-active" activity or two that can be shared with the family--(board or card games, maybe), maybe one activity that is not what you would chose to do but that is your end of the compromise bargain, and respectfully bowing out of some things like 2 am bonfires so that you can get up earlier and have some alone/recharge time.

It seems to me that refusing to go on family vacations is the nuclear option.
posted by drlith at 6:07 AM on July 3, 2012 [2 favorites]

Can you explain that THEY are ruining YOUR vacation by imposing what they want to do on you?
posted by biscotti at 6:44 AM on July 3, 2012 [9 favorites]

I should clarify that you should maybe seriously consider following through on letting them go without you, if they truly are going to stick in on the "everyone must be doing the same thing" thing, rather than making it sound like just an idle threat. If they really are going to try to force you to go along with them, it may indeed be the only solution.

But there's nothing wrong with that - one thing I really appreciated about my family when I was a teen is that when they wanted to go on ski weekends, they let me stay home; I would have been okay if they said I had to come along, but it was kind of an open secret that I was flat-out pathetic on skis and we all knew I'd just be sitting around bored in the lodge all day anyway, so they said "eh, you can come if you want, or you can stay here and just go nuts reading all day, it's all good," and my staying home and letting them all go by themselves made everyone happy all around; my parents liked that there was someone watching the house, I liked having the house to myself and caught up on a lot of stuff on my own, my brother liked getting all my parents' attention, and everyone was happy.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:44 AM on July 3, 2012

I've been dealing with this for twelve years now.

Finally I just laid down the law: each individual is entitled to the cabin experience of his or her choice. My choice is to read books and occasionally take a boat ride. It's not to learn to waterski. Within limits, as I do not allow my children to choose "lie on the floor watching movies all day" as a cabin experience option.

Constant and gentle repetition ("It's not nice of you to give me a hard time about lying in the hammock; everyone is entitled to the cabin experience of their choice and I would never criticize yours") over the last several visits conditioned my husband well enough that I only had to say it once or twice over this past cabin weekend. Which made it a pretty great weekend, truly.
posted by padraigin at 7:29 AM on July 3, 2012

Have you tried turning it around on him and asked why he wants you to do things you don't like? "Son, I do not enjoy [blank], and I am trying to understand why you want me to do things I don't enjoy on my vacation." Maybe if he had to really confront the fact that he is ruining your cabin time he'd be able to get out of his own head.
posted by Mavri at 7:36 AM on July 3, 2012 [3 favorites]

It may be that he is making a big misguided effort to create togetherness. If that is so, maybe you could try turning him down starting with a general positive comment like, "I really appreciate that you want us all to spend time together; by this point in life a lot of families aren't interested so I value that." And then whatever reasons you have for not wanting to do a dozen activities every day. Normally people advise against giving reasons when saying no, but this in an ongoing thing where your son is not taking no for an answer.
posted by BibiRose at 7:48 AM on July 3, 2012

I bet mountmccabe is right; they're pressuring you largely because those things aren't fun to do as just a twosome. They have an idealized notion of how the vacation ought to be, in their head. Maybe part of it is also the "LET'S ALL BOND DAMMIT" thing.

In any case, it needs to stop, but maybe if you see it from their point of view you can seize the bull by the horns. Before the next trip happens, tell them - together, not just your son - "before we go we need to address the activities issue. I feel like the vacation you want, with everyone doing everything together all the time, isn't something I can deliver. I go to the cabin to rest as well as also enjoy your company. I won't be bullied on this issue any more; and it's fine if you'd like to plan a trip with your friends instead. But if we are going to go together this time, how about we designate Saturday dinner as the all-together-family-cookout, and the rest of the time I'll probably be doing my own thing, and you need to not bug me about it."
posted by fingersandtoes at 8:59 AM on July 3, 2012

Biscotti mentioned something along the lines of what I was thinking. On the face of it, it's nice to want to do a lot of family stuff together, at the cabin or wherever, but that's not all of what's going on here. "[T]hey are starting to say that it ruins their family vacation if we don't all do everything together," but from your description, "everything" is what they want to do.

Now, just speaking from my experiences in my family, there may be a Thing where "something to do" never includes "nothing," so spending time is dependent on someone coming up with something to do and saying something about it. So it becomes a tyranny (of sorts) of whoever speaks up. "If you wanted to do nothing, then why didn't you say so?" "Because I was already doing it."

Maybe the fiancee comes from a more-active family, I don't know, but it sounds like they need a little Road to Damascus moment about "live and let live."
posted by rhizome at 9:06 AM on July 3, 2012 [1 favorite]

Well, I may have acted as your son sometimes. I have coerced my mother to go to aerobics classes with me, to go hiking, etc. In my defense, I did it because I think it's good for her. She could stand to lose not a little weight and to move more often. During my teenage years, I hadn't noticed that, but when I grew up, I started seeing my parents as, well, people and not just parents, and I could see their problems and imperfections. (And wanted to help them in my own clumsy way, sigh.)

So maybe your son thinks that being outside is so very important/healthy/something that you should do it for your own good? I mean, that still doesn't excuse his behavior, but it's one possible reason to look into.
posted by gakiko at 12:14 PM on July 3, 2012

One can't bully one's parents into doing anything for their own good (unless it's a medical emergency; then all bets are off). Not even with the best of intentions. Especially where physical activity and/or weight are concerned. You can suggest -- easy, pleasant things, like mall-walking, maybe -- but ultimately their health is their own business, and you have no say in it, and bringing it up will just cause bad feelings for the most part.

The original poster's issue was that not only did her son and his fiancee want her along on everything, but at their level of intensity. I'm betting that they were probably also impatient with her for not being as fast or intense as they were and for not enjoying it enough. That would be enough to put anyone off practically anything.
posted by tully_monster at 3:31 PM on July 3, 2012

I would wake them up at 5am because it was suddenly my fondest heart's desire to share the majestic beauty of the sunrise with them. When they demurred, I would turn back all their same arguments on them. I would repeat this until comprehension was achieved.

This. I don't think it's passive-aggressive at all. It's simple justice, as well as a teaching moment for two domineering, intolerant people , self-righteous They are equating their preferences with virtue. They are not "right" and you are not "wrong." On the contrary, they are the ones incapable of compromise. Worse, when they don't get what they want, they practice emotional blackmail--you are ruining "their" family vacation. When in fact they are ruining your family vacation! If you've explained your feelings already, don't tolerate this any further. Don't give in to these tantrums.
posted by uans at 5:15 PM on July 3, 2012

> they are starting to say that it ruins their family vacation if we don't all do everything together

"Being constantly nagged and criticised is ruining MY family vacation. If I can't spend my time at the cabin doing things I enjoy, there's not much point in my coming."

If that doesn't work, I would, in fact, stay home next time—and go to the cabin by myself (or with friends who will let me make my own choices) on another occasion. I would be very open and non-passive aggressive about why I was doing this, and make it clear that I'd love to come with the family next time, provided they back the fuck off.

If your family members are intent on bullying you, you may not be able to stop them with pleas and reasoning. You might have to actually physically walk away from the situation.
posted by hot soup girl at 9:21 AM on July 4, 2012 [2 favorites]

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