Tell Me About It: Maybe he should vacation with parents - just because

Posted: July 27, 2013

Question: In the mid-'90s, when I was 22 and my brother 18, our family took a Caribbean cruise. It was fun, but not so much fun that I cared to do it again.

Now that my parents are in their late 60s, my mom has gotten it in her mind that we should take another cruise as a family. They have even offered to pay.

I am not interested in a family vacation. I am single and in my late 30s, and a family vacation smacks of desperation. Also, traveling anywhere with my parents is never a simple process (I suppose that can be said of a lot of people, though).

For the record, I take my own vacations, usually by myself. I also see my parents about once a month, so it is not as if I ignore them and am being "guilted" into a vacation. Any thoughts?

Answer: That's your reason for refusing to go, fear of looking desperate? To whom?

To be fair, that your parents are difficult is a fine reason not to want to travel with them - but I hope you'll put that reason into context and decide, knowing they (and you, for that matter) won't be around forever, whether there's anything that would move you to say yes. Would a more interesting destination do it? A just-this-once stipulation?

It's just that people can be absolutely sure they don't want to do something, absolutely solid in their reasons, and absolutely entitled to those reasons, and still be wrong in a way they don't give enough credit: the big-picture, emotional, just-because way.


E-mail Carolyn Hax at tellme@washpost.com, follow her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/carolyn.hax or chat with her online at noon Eastern time each Friday at www.washingtonpost.com.

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