Generally speaking, we do not have a lot of drama. I'm not a very 'angsty' person. Being a 'what you see is what you get' kind of girl really keeps things very simple in that regard.
Every so often, though, drama is thrust at me.
I didn't even know I was getting involved.
Really it surprised me.
We got a Christmas card from one of The Professor's distant relations. (They're all distant when you live states away from them.) On the back was a personal note from Aunt So-and-so. "How sad it is that Mom in law hasn't seen you for so long..."
I hate guilt trips. It's manipulation. I really, really oppose it. Especially when it's aimed at me.
I would like to rant, just a bit. That Aunt so-and-so has made this comment to us - but not counting that Mom in law hasn't traveled to see us since 1998. So. huh. Let's try to guilt trip the family of 6.
This isn't the first time someone has said something to us. The last time was such a blatant hypocrisy on the 'guilt trip travel agent' that it was just hilarious. Though, I did get hilariously angry, too. This time it was just unexpected.
The last time we went to visit, Bubbles was still in her car seat. It was HELL to travel on the plane. Through two airports. Toting two car seats and stuff for four kids and two parents. Not to mention bathroom breaks. Food. A Professor who doesn't even LIKE to travel. I can say it was hell because there was much gnashing of teeth and wailing.
So when travel comes up...it's always us that has to do the traveling. As if we're the bad kids for not traveling two states away ....
Last time we went. I ended up with Strep Throat. My brother in law ended up with a major migraine because we disrupted his sleep patterns. It just irks me.
So I've decided that the next 'distant relation' that mentions to me that we should really travel two states away.... They're going to have to pay for the tickets.
It would cost, non-holiday plane tickets, a total of $4,606.20 to travel nonstop. Because the other options were changing planes. I don't want to change planes with four kids. This does not include hotel and car. Nor does it include meals, potty breaks, potty accidents, having to sit on a plane, having cranky kids who don't want to sit by the windows or who get bored.
To DRIVE, it takes two days travel time....and still it cuts the cost only by half. Doesn't include the cost of hotel and fixing the van up to make sure it lasts for those two days.
Don't get me wrong, I'd love for the distant two states away relations to see the kids more often, but seriously. It's not going to happen at a cost of nearly $5,000 AND the wear and tear on the mom. And it's only recently that we wouldn't be disrupting the lives of two working men by coming to visit.
So I'm rejecting the manipulation and hope that some how, some way - the people behind the "Sad sad tale" of us not visiting - will see the light and get over it.
Until then, I'm fighting the guilt trips.
And now I have a $4,606.20 weapon.