All this happened, more or less...

My name is G and these are the true stories of my adventures.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Ask My Kids I: Conflict Resolution

Some days I just can't find words to express how much I love my kids. They make me laugh 'til my sides hurt.

I was having a little trouble last week with my plans for traveling to the UK. First off, as you know, our housing arrangement in London fell through. S & I decided we're going to stay in a hostel. I told my kids. They think I'm insane. They insist I'm going to be robbed, raped, and strangled with my own intestines. They are genuinely concerned for my health and well-being. Of course, this all stems from the movie "Hostel" which they have seen and take to be Gospel truth.

A few days later, S emailed me and said her roommate, Tara, wanted to come on the trip with us. The more, the merrier, I always say, so Tara bought a ticket. The following day, we had a three-way conference call to discuss our plans. S and I had already decided we'd stay for a week in London, then spend a week in Dublin. We're both seasoned travelers and prefer spending more time in fewer places to rushing all around the countryside, so two weeks, two cities suited both of us fine.

Well, five minutes into our phone call, Tag-a-Long (which shall henceforth be the roommate's pseudonym) starts to whine about wanting to go to Paris. I've already been to Paris, and to be frank, I wouldn't cry if I never went back, but what bothered me about Tag-a-Long's little Detour de France was that it would add well over $500 to our expenses (each) and take time away from our stays in England and Ireland. Even that didn't annoy me nearly as much as her basic violation of vacation etiquette -- when you invite yourself on a trip and people are gracious enough to take you on, you do not whine about the itinerary. As a final straw, she insisted that she wanted to go to Paris because she'd never been there before. Unfortunately for her, that doesn't hold much water when you've never been anywhere before! I firmly believe everyone should travel, no matter who they are or what their station is in life. That doesn't mean I like traveling with rookies.

I tried to be diplomatic with her, but by the time we got off the phone I was seething mad. Naturally, the next day I told my kids. I asked them what conflict resolution suggestions they had. Their responses were as follows:

  • "Aw, man, Miss G. You shoulda callt me! I'da come ovah there 'n busted her in'a face straight up!"

  • "Naw, look, doh. Here's whatcha do, doh. She all like 'I wanna goda Paris" and you go "Fine. We goda Paris witchou. Da's coo. Butchou payin'.'"

  • "She can't come 'round like that bustin' up y'all's trip! Tell her she can stay the f*ck home! She ain't invited!"

  • "No, mira, Miss G, she ain't been like nowhere, right? So she don't know. So you jus' get to London and go like 'Wow, isn't Paris great? It's like so beautiful here in Paris.' And she won't wanna look, ya know, stupid, so she'll be like 'O yeah, it's so cool.' And she'll never know. Maybe pay somebody to like come up and pretend to speak French to her. That's what I would do."

  • "No, see, here we go. I got 'is, doh. You tell ya friend 'Okay, since you bringin' somebody on 'a trip, Imma bring somebody too.' And 'en we all go witchou!"

Remarkably, their advice actually helped me a great deal. I didn't take any of it, but I did have a chance to cool off and see the humor in the situation. The actual way I'm solving this conflict is thus: If Tag-a-Long really wants to go to Paris, she can go ahead, and I'll just hang back in London on my own. S can do whatever she wants too. We're all big girls.

1 comment:

maggie said...

u should def tell her london IS paris. just to see if it works.