Sisters birthday

How to explain ERE, arranging family matters
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thrifty++
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Sisters birthday

Post by thrifty++ » Tue Mar 28, 2017 2:59 am

I'm in a quandary about whether to go to Aussie for my sisters big birthday party. Its her 40th. She has asked me to go and see her as well as see my new niece who was born about 8 months ago. Its only 3 and 1/2 weeks away that I have been asked and I already have worked stacked around it which will be hard to offload to enable me to get time off (if not impossible). Also I am actually dreading the thought of racing over to Aussie to spend a number of days surrounded by babies, little kids, and suburban people getting drunk. I actually feel exhausted and stressed just thinking about it. In an ERE sense it also feels like a big waste of money for me. And my little time is precious. The ONLY reason I would want to go is out of a sense of obligation. I also feel like a bit of a shit brother and uncle that I dont want to go but I just dont. Not in such a rush and at short notice anyway. Then I also think its their choice to live in a different country. Any thoughts on this?

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chenda
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Re: Sisters birthday

Post by chenda » Tue Mar 28, 2017 4:09 am

Don't go if you don't want to. ''Twas their decision to emigrate...

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Dragline
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Re: Sisters birthday

Post by Dragline » Tue Mar 28, 2017 7:10 am

A 40th birthday is a non-event, IMO. When somebody turns 80 or 100 and you have not seen them for awhile, then its probably a bigger deal.

But I would go visit them at a more convenient time. You'll have a better visit with fewer people anyway.

saving-10-years
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Re: Sisters birthday

Post by saving-10-years » Tue Mar 28, 2017 7:53 am

Counter offer? Offer to pay for the whole fare, or significant proportion for of one person (sister) to come back from Aussie as her birthday pressie, to be used later when you are free from work. (Same cost or lower than your fare there but without the disincentive (to you) of being surrounded by children). She will probably have already realised that children under 2 fly free as long as they sit on your lap and that option works best if they are younger.

halfmoon
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Re: Sisters birthday

Post by halfmoon » Tue Mar 28, 2017 8:36 am

Good suggestion from @saving-10-years if it's in your budget and you're close with your sister. Otherwise, a flashy gift makes up for a lot. ;)

My father lives on the other side of the country, and I never visit him during group events such as birthday parties, Christmas or family reunions. I explained to him awhile ago that I want to really hang out and talk with him, not a bunch of other people. He doesn't mind; in fact, it's probably a relief to have one less person to house and feed.

I do make a point, though, of calling him briefly on the big day so he can tell everyone it's his daughter on the phone. :D

7Wannabe5
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Re: Sisters birthday

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Tue Mar 28, 2017 9:48 am

Totally acceptable for Uncle* to evade such social events. Do five minutes of FaceTime and deposit some percentage of the funds you would have spent into something that will mature when sister turns 80 and her baby daughter turns 40.

*Will spare you tirade on the topic of how middle-aged women are the least likely to be able to evade wide range of such obligations.

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C40
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Re: Sisters birthday

Post by C40 » Tue Mar 28, 2017 10:15 am

No. Don't go. Because:
- It's not worth going for a few days during an event (unless the event is also a reason/way to see other family/friends you really want to but wouldn't see going sine other time)
- 3.5 weeks is not enough notice to buy plane tickets. It's actually a little rude for her to ask you that close to the event and expect you to come
- There's no use seeing an 8 month old child. They're almost the same as any other 8 month old in the world.
- It's not worth all that travel and money to go so far away and only stay a few days. Personally, I'd only go somewhere that far away if I was staying for at least a few months (or a few weeks while I was still working)
- And, mostly, because you don't want to. Your absence won't be a big deal. (And if it is a big deal to your sister, who basically invited you only on a whim (3.5 weeks notice) then don't worry about it as she would get mad over whatever other small thing.

saving-10-years
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Re: Sisters birthday

Post by saving-10-years » Tue Mar 28, 2017 10:51 am

@C40 Worth noting (in mitigation) that this is not an event which has sprung from nowhere. The niece was born 8 months ago and expected before that. The sister will have been on track to being 40 on a specific date for a very long time. Are there other siblings or parents who will be there? Is @thrifty the only one not to have seen the baby yet or the only close family member not to have been to visit in Australia? Or the only close family member at all? The sister may have thought until recently that @Thrifty would have been planning on combining the two events, visit sister for her birthday _and_ see niece. Perhaps as an extra special surprise?

I would imagine (admittedly without knowing the context) that the party conversation was a way to talk about whether he had intentions of coming to see her and her firstborn imminently. That does not mean (of course) that the sister won't get mad over other small things. This is however quite a big thing.

If he does not want to visit Aussie now or in the near future (ever?), and he wants to maintain a good relationship with his sister, he needs a plan.

thrifty++
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Re: Sisters birthday

Post by thrifty++ » Tue Mar 28, 2017 10:14 pm

@C40 and @saving10years - yep both good points. I did think it was a little annoying to be given such short notice. I had forgotten it was a 40th ocassion. But yes absolutely I need a plan to maintain the relationship.

I am not the only relative going. I am the only close relative who has not yet met my neice though.

@saving10years I think you are right that I do need a plan. I tend to be a little bit lazy in that I wait for them all to come home here to see them at the family home. But what I might do is book flights to go in a few months time and stay for a few days when there is not all the commotion of being trapped in a house with heaps of people around who I dont know getting drunk and kids everywhere making noise etc and all that stuff. Just stresses me out thinking of it, Then what I might do is just stay for a few days to catch up and then tag on maybe another week as a solo holiday to shift off somewhere else to another part of Aussie where I can relax by a beach somewhere. I might plan to take a friend with me too which might make it more enjoyable.

saving-10-years
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Re: Sisters birthday

Post by saving-10-years » Wed Mar 29, 2017 1:05 am

Excellent plans and should give you something to look forward to. Bonus points if you can agree to go somewhere or do something while visiting which would be a treat for your sister and niece and which you all can enjoy. If you can fix on this before you go then your sister can tell people that her brother is coming in XXX month so that you can do YYY 'together' and she's really looking forward to it. This gives her something to say with a smile when people ask whether you will be there for her special birthday.

She's your sister and she knows you pretty well so if you don't usually make much of an effort to plan social things, or don't like parties or travel much, she will know all that and simply be relieved that you are going to make an effort for her. In theory anyhow. (You know that having said you'll do it you do need to deliver, but planning to make that more palatable sounds good).

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Eureka
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Re: Sisters birthday

Post by Eureka » Fri Apr 14, 2017 4:29 am

Just say that it is impossible to get time off from work. End of story.

thrifty++
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Re: Sisters birthday

Post by thrifty++ » Sat Apr 15, 2017 4:25 pm

Seeking gift ideas for a decent gift that hopefully wont hack too much into my extreme savings budget! Wishful thinking I suppose.

Note they are overseas and timeline to birthday is less than 2 weeks so it will inevitably have to be something paper based that I can send electronically.

thrifty++
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Re: Sisters birthday

Post by thrifty++ » Sat Apr 15, 2017 4:25 pm

Seeking gift ideas for a decent gift that hopefully wont hack too much into my extreme savings budget! Wishful thinking I suppose.

Note they are overseas and timeline to birthday is less than 2 weeks so it will inevitably have to be something paper based that I can send electronically.

trailblazer
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Re: Sisters birthday

Post by trailblazer » Sat Apr 15, 2017 10:29 pm

Eureka wrote:
Fri Apr 14, 2017 4:29 am
Just say that it is impossible to get time off from work. End of story.
I like this advice. I just used it to get out of a family Easter event. Saved me the trouble of thinking up elaborate excuse.

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Eureka
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Re: Sisters birthday

Post by Eureka » Sun Apr 16, 2017 2:20 am

This might be one of the very few positive side-effects of having a job. I wonder how to excuse myself from such events once I quit working in a few months.

Did
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Re: Sisters birthday

Post by Did » Sun Apr 16, 2017 2:23 am

Do Americans really say Aussie to mean Australia? (cf Australian).

Anyway, no way man don't go !! It's too far and too expensive for such a thing. And if you were to go that way then do it on your own terms, and have all of the attention yourself when you get there (ie you are guest of honour rather than her with you just one of the hordes).

She should get it. I turned 40 here in Ireland last year (from Oz) and didn't even think to ask anyone. What a selfish thing to do really. Nobody would have come - too far. Too expensive. Even for non-ERE types.

saving-10-years
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Re: Sisters birthday

Post by saving-10-years » Mon Apr 17, 2017 5:34 am

@Did, Thrifty++ is based in Auckland I think, so its not quite such an expensive trip. (There is also the new niece angle). He is taking your advice I think in going later and with a friend and staying longer. Hopefully that worked well as a counter-offer (along with a thoughtful gift?).

enigmaT120
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Re: Sisters birthday

Post by enigmaT120 » Mon Apr 17, 2017 5:27 pm

Eureka wrote:
Sun Apr 16, 2017 2:20 am
This might be one of the very few positive side-effects of having a job. I wonder how to excuse myself from such events once I quit working in a few months.
I told my brother that I was cutting down trees yesterday (Easter), which I was. It's not my job but it's what I like to do on my days off. If it had been a crummy day I might have gone to his Easter feast.

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Eureka
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Re: Sisters birthday

Post by Eureka » Thu Apr 20, 2017 5:55 pm

Thanks, enigmaT120, let it be my future excuse that I am cutting trees. I better buy a forrest ...

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