The Great Alaskan Debate

My sister is all about the forced family fun – a term I used to use with affection, but in reading old posts, I see how sadly my feelings toward my family have really shifted in the last year. She’s a planner and a bit of a demander and likes to tell people what to do and currently, she is telling the family that we all need to go on an Alaskan cruise next summer.

Not in a “hey, let’s come up with a cool vacay and convince the parents to pay” kind of way; we’re all adults, so it’s more about everyone making the decision to go and paying their own way. Sis and my new BIL decided they want to go and they want it to be a big family event with both sides attending. 

Coming off of hijacking Christmas last year and their wedding “year,” it’s no doubt they expect everyone to go along with whatever they say.  They will continue their reign until someone stands up to them.

So, the thing is…well, there are many things.

I held her off long enough by saying I might have to pay for some major home repairs I was recently dealing with, but fortunately the HOA covered it. So, I just got an email asking since they took care of it, am I going to go?

My next response is that I kind of want my 2012 vacation to be a friend vacation and she made it pretty clear that I was just her sister, not her friend. I don’t think it’s the right time to snarkily bring up the fact that I’m upset about her choice of MOH, and although it’s on my mind and I want to say it to her, it’d be nice to NOT alienate the WHOLE family before the holidays.  But, with everything that’s going on with my family (still annoyingly and hurtfully unresolved), why would I want to be trapped on a boat with them? 

I’ve never been on a cruise before and, honestly, another reason is that I want my first cruise to be what you think of when you think of a cruise…bikinis and fruity drinks and lots of sex with the hot boyfriend you’re with and what not.

Let’s see, what else…the money really is an issue and even though I don’t have to shell out thousands on my house, I’m not feeling financially cushy right now. She (plus the other bride) dictated my savings funds last year and I haven’t established any savings funds/goals for next year. A travel fund would probably be at the top of the list, but I’m thinking international (sorry, Canada, not like that) or a big city or my most recent brilliant idea is surf + yoga in South Carolina.

I also have on good authority that a friend is getting engaged this New Year’s…a friend who lives in another state again and who I most likely wouldn’t have in my party, but who talks constantly about me being in hers.  Joy.  I know in theory that it’s maybe okay to say no to being in someone’s wedding party, but I don’t know that I’d ever actually do that.

Also, I’m 27 and I don’t necesarily want to go on vacation with my family when I feel fifth-wheely.  It makes me feel lonely and currently, it reminds me that my sister’s wedding and my father’s behavior were catalysts for why I’m lonely right now. 

The original idea was for me to room with my 88-year-old grandmother, but she doesn’t want to go, so now I would get to room with the best man from their wedding, who probably won’t go if he has to pay double occupancy for just himself.  So, now I just feel like a means to get him to go. 

Anyway, I guess the only reason stopping me from being like, “hell no” is that I don’t want to miss out.  What if when they come back and talk all about their experiences, I feel sad that I wasn’t a part of them?

It would be a neat trip, but is it at the top of my list of things to do and see and experience?  No.  I’d never considered it until she brought it up.  Coincidentally, my parents had been thinking of going on an Alaskan cruise in Septemberish next year…of course Sis and BIL won that war of going in the early summer instead.

Does that outweigh all the other emotions I have about not wanting to go?  Do you still enjoy talking family vacations as an adult?  Have you been on an Alaskan cruise and think I should absolutely do it?  Or do you want to hang out with me in South Carolina and learn to surf next summer?!


2 thoughts on “The Great Alaskan Debate

  1. You have a lot of reasons for not wanting to go. And unless you really like the best man from the wedding, I’ll just say it would suck to share a room with him on the cruise. B and I just cruised in September for our honeymoon and it was a blast, but it was totally all about the tiny bikinis, drinks, and hot sex. And the rooms are as tiny as the bikinis are. Just a warning.

    Though, I’m not sure there are lots of bikinis on Alaskan cruises in the early summer. Probably a lot more sweaters and jeans depending on the climate.

    I wouldn’t weigh the “would I be sad to miss out on the memories of the forced family fun” on an empty scale. Make it more of a “would I rather miss out on the memories of the forced family fun or miss out on the memories of learning to surf and have a good time with friends” kind of question.

    Since becoming an adult, which here I’m going to classify as graduating from my collegiate programs and getting a job, I have not traveled with my parents.

    B and I did vacay in Rome with his parent’s this last spring break. But that was more of a, this is where we’re going and we know you want to come see us so lets all go here kind of thing than forced fun. And, being honest, even that was hard at times. His parents wanted to go into every church in Rome, they only wanted to eat a small breakfast and a late night dinner, they originally wanted us to get an apartment where B and I would have had separate beds for the entire week. It was fun, but it was definitely a different idea of vacationing.

    Will we vacation with them again? Absolutely.* His family really wants big group vacations. But, I’m only going to be willing to go on the ones that interest me. Otherwise, I’ll give B the option to go without me but I won’t feel obligated to go. Same goes with my parents.

    This is a really long reply, it seems I’m getting good at sending those out. Honestly, if I were in your shoes and still rightfully hurting from the pain caused by the sister’s wedding and the other family drama involved, I would probably not go. It’s not worth it to me to keep the family peace at the sacrifice of my own happiness. I also wouldn’t enjoy the trip as much because I’d resent my money going to something else planned by a sister that snubbed me and not what I wanted it to go towards. But that’s me and I’ve lost a lot of my patience for doing things just because someone else wants me to do it.

    It’s a tough call though. (((hugs)))

  2. Pingback: On This Lovely Friday « The Next Moment

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