Wednesday, May 17, 2006

As The Blog Turns

I almost didn't post today.

I don't really have anything funny to say.

In fact, I'm feeling quite the opposite of funny today.

But then I started thinking... You all have shared your bad days with me. You've raged, hurt, mourned and fought. I didn't love you any less for being human. In fact, I found I loved you more for sharing. So I hope you all will understand. I hope you can forgive me.

The family has been planning a trip to California for almost a year now. The tickets are bought. The hotel rooms are booked. I haven't been on a vacation longer than four days since I was 16. Just us: Mom and Papa Bear, Gma and Gpa, Lil' Bit and Big Bit, and me. Hoop was invited, but can't go. I have two weeks of vacation to his one, and he decided to use his days for the week of his graduation from Business school instead.

I can't tell you the last time I went on vacation with my family. I'm always excluded because someone has to watch the house and their 10 dogs. I don't mean to sound bitter. I understand how difficult and expensive it would be to board them all. But for once I was really excited not to be in charge of it. And then Mom asked me if Hoop would mind. "I'll pay him $100 a day!" For a moment even I was convinced it was a good idea. And then it dawned on me how much it wasn't.

Let me color in the lines a little bit for you. Hoop would have to get up at 5:30 to let all 12 (including our 2) dogs out. He'd have to leave by 6 to make it to work at 7, work for 11-13 hours and leave directly from work to drive an hour back to my parent's house. He'd spend the remainder of the night in the middle of nowhere with absolutely no one to talk to but 12 dogs. Then it would start all over in the morning. Not to mention the weekend. And then there's school on Tuesdays until 10:30 PM. The dogs would be caged for 17 hours.

When I mentioned all of this to Mom she suggested Hoop take some days off work without pay. "We'll compensate him." I tried to make her understand how irrational that idea was for a sales guy in the middle of summer. They'd fire him. "We'll build a kennel outside so the dogs won't be caged so long." For every problem I came up with, she had an answer. I proposed the idea to Hoop. "No," was all he said. "No?" "No, it's much too difficult with my schedule. Besides, I'd like to go out with the guys during that weekend." I couldn't blame him. He had every right.

I sat in the bathroom crying. No one tells my Mom "No." She doesn't understand that word. She'll be mad at me. She'll be furious at Hoop. She'll take it as an insult to the family. Families help each other out. Which almost always boils down to sacrificing yourself when the occasion arises. I can't let Hoop lose face in front of my family. But I can't disappoint my Mom. They have no other options.

So I've decided to stay. I was a fool to think I'd have gotten off so easily.

I stayed up all night. I smoked. I cried. I thought about driving to nowhere. Somewhere between Conan O'Brien and the start of infomercials I realized, "The only way to make everyone happy is by making yourself miserable. You can't think of everyone AND yourself." And then I lied. I came into work this morning and emailed a horrible lie to my own Mom. "I'm not going to be able to get the vacation days after all. So I'll be able to watch the dogs if you use the money you would have paid Hoop to reimburse my ticket."

Not five minutes later came her response, "That's bullshit! They can't take away your vacation days. Call me right now." But I can't. I can't lie to her in person. 30 minutes, an hour, two has ticked by. "What do I do?!" I text Hoop. "Tell her the truth. She'll get over it." No she won't. She'll be hurt. She'll be mad. She'll be stuck. He doesn't even care. My thoughts are a blender of all the words they've fed to me.

I can't even self destruct properly!

(Hoop) "I'm either going to go out with the guys that Friday or Saturday. But you don't have to worry. I'll behave."
(Tink) "That's nice."

(Tink) "I'll just stay. It'll be easier for me to watch the dogs since I won't be working."
(Hoop) "Aw babe. Well you know I'll come visit you."

(Mom) "If I board them then I'll have to get them all caught up on vaccinations too. I can't afford that."

(Hoop) "I'll watch them, for you."
(Tink) "But I don't want to make you do something you don't want to."
(Hoop) "Then I'll just tell your Mom 'No' and she'll have to get over it."
(Tink) "But then what will she do with the dogs?"

(Tink) "If I tell her I lied, then I can't lie again. It's done."


At 17 May, 2006, Blogger Arabella said...


So, basically, you're caught between lovah and family. It sucks; you have my sympathy.

I understand your mom's difficult position, but, as you said, it sounds like Hoop is being perfectly reasonable here. Therefore, I wouldn't make him watch the dogs. I'd either tell your mom the truth, or maintain the little white lie, if you're really willing to stay home. I think little white lies are often unfairly vilified. (That said, though, I think you deserve a vacation, too.)

Are you willing/able to offer to chip in with your mom to have the dogs vaccinated? It's really best for them, in the long run. What about investigating local low-cost vaccination programs? Is there another friend who could dog-sit, either in exchange for a different favor or in exchange for pay?

I know it's not easy, but if you envision a long future with Hoop, and I know you do, it's important to support him when he's being reasonable and your sympathies generally lies on his side. Your mom may get angry, but she loves you, and that's not going to change just because of a disagreement. Calmly explain to her why it's unfair to ask Hoop to take care of the dogs, just like you explained it to us, and offer to help her find a suitable alternative. If you do this, you can rest assured that you will have gone above and beyond the call of duty.

Good luck!

At 17 May, 2006, Anonymous TB said...

Aw Tink. I'm so sorry. And of course we want to know when something is bothering you. This whole thing is a give and take. I will give you my advice for what it's worth.

Be honest with your mom. You will feel so much better. If she gets angry, she'll get over it. Good lord, what she's asking Hoop and you to do is too much. She has to see that.

I hope you get some resolution soon because I know sitting on something like this sucks sweaty donkey balls. I'm here if you need to vent.

At 17 May, 2006, Blogger mama_tulip said...

Aw, Tink, I'm sorry. You're stuck between a rock and a hard place.

I have to echo Teebs -- be honest with your mom. You'll be getting that weight off of your shoulders and I think in the long she'll appreciate your honesty. If she does get mad, she'll get over it. The fact is that Hoop just can't do all of that. You know that and I think your mom will realize that too, if she hasn't already.

((hugs)) I hope everything works out, girl.

At 17 May, 2006, Blogger Jay said...

Ok, here comes Mr. Useless Advice:

Is it possilbe to reach a compromise here? Could Hoop and someone else split the time taking care of the dogs? Is there anyone that can take, say, 3 days and then Hoop take the others?

There's always a way to work these things out. You just have to all get together and work on a solution. If someone is only complaining leave them out of the decision making process.

I don't think Hoop is being unreasonalbe, but I think that it would be reasonable to help out a few of the days if you could find someone to take the other days.

And, you should appraoch this with the idea that YOU are going to Cali. Set that as an absolute. Then work from there.

As for your mother, just tell her the truth. You were trying to resolve this the best way you know how. She'll accept that.

You could always fly me to Flordia and I'd take care of the dogs. haha

P.S. You're welcome to come here and gripe anytime you want. It is YOUR blog after all.

At 17 May, 2006, Anonymous Sharon said...

Having just been through similar straits with my mum and my sister, all's I can say is, "Oh the agony and the ecstacy that is family!!" I'm so sorry you have found yourself in that terrible place in the middle of them all...with no easy answer, and NO WAY to make everyone happy. If you can find a way to get out of being stuck in the middle, that would really help...

Is there a way your folks can find a house/pet sitter (not Hoop) to stay at the house while they're gone?

I will be interested in hearing how you work this all out, Tink, and I'll be crossing my fingers for you. Don't feel badly about ranting in your blog - if it helps you feel better, and to think things out, then that's what we're all here for!

At 17 May, 2006, Blogger Mignon said...

I liked Arabella's advice. A lot. I have a mom that I have a hard time saying no to, and a husband that has no issues saying no. The thing is, she respects him for it, so the two of them get along wonderfully. I just get stuck in the middle with white lies and guilt.

So, my sympathies. I'm going to go back and read what Arabella said again, because that shit was wicked smart.

At 17 May, 2006, Blogger Newt said...

It's easier to say than do I know, but talk to your mom. I personally feel horrible when I ask someone to sit my 2 dogs. I don't know how I could approach someone with 12. But I bet your mom could find a service that would come in and feed and exercise the dogs. I had a friend that used someone and they charged $50.00 a day for four visits because that is what she asked for. There are companies out there that will do this. And if Hoop can do it a few days then the service could do it the rest. Don't ever be afraid to blog the bumm days. That's what friends are for darl'n.

At 17 May, 2006, Blogger Arabella said...

(Awww...thanks, Mignon!)

Let us know how you're doing, Tink. You're always so funny that my world is a little bit turned upside down to know that you're upset. But, like the other commenters said, that's what we're here for! Vent away!

At 17 May, 2006, Blogger graymama said...

I am so glad that you shared your feelings! You obviously have an awesome support system of readers here. Vent whenever you like, girlie :-)

About your mum: You deserve a vacation. It is not fair for them to expect you to stay home with the dogs every time. The wrath of moms can be horrible, believe me I know, but the real truth is that your mum needs to decide which means more to her 1) you joining them on vacation or 2) you not joining them and watching the dogs. If it truly means more to her to have you along then she will find a way for the dogs to get care. It is not your job to find care for the dogs, since the majority of them are not your own, and they have had a year to figure out dog care. It is not your fault that mum dropped the ball in this part of the planning. Hoops is very busy, and I admire you for taking the high road and not forcing him to watch the dogs. You love and respect him and know when you would be asking too much. Your mum could learn a thing or two from you.

I don't think your mum is evil, and I hope this comment does not come out that way! I just think the truth you tell her today might make her a better person tomorrow. Nobody is perfect, but how would we improve if we weren't called on our shit every once and a while?

Good Luck! {{{{hugs}}}}

At 17 May, 2006, Blogger EE said...

Awww sweetie. I feel so badly for you. And YES, you should share even when you don't feel funny. We'll support you no matter what!

I agree. Talk to your mom. Tell her the truth. I totally understand where you are coming from. But in the end, I think you will feel much better.

*hugs* Let us know how things go.

At 17 May, 2006, Blogger Chris said...

Ugh is right. Talk about a no-win situation... I hope you come up with something, tho!


At 17 May, 2006, Blogger Tink said...

I can't possibly express how much all of your support and advice means to me. I NEVER expected such an overwhelming response. Thank you guys!

So... I didn't exactly take the high road. After my email, Mom wrote back. She was outraged at my boss. Instead of admitting the lie, I explained how it might be a "blessing" since it would solve the dog situation and reiterated that Hoop would not be able to help.

She wrote back again, upset. My grandparents are elderly. This may very well be our only chance at a family trip. So she didn't understand why I wasn't fighting my boss for the days.

I told her I would right the situation, but that in doing so I wouldn't be able to watch the dogs. She responded, "Our dogs are dogs. You are our child, and this is a once-in-a-lifetime trip."

So you might think all the worry and such was unwarranted. But I know this would not have ended so positively had I or Hoop just told my Mom "No." I guess she had to think she was going to lose something more important first.

I didn't expect this ending. But God am I grateful for it. We still don't know what's going to be done about the pets. You all had such wonderful advice. Hopefully one of your suggestions will pan out.

As for Hoop... He's been really quiet today. Its hard to know what's going through his head. I don't think he understands I did this because I love him, and not because I'm a total nut job.

I love my family. I wouldn't trade them for the world. But they've raised me to have "Guilty Child" syndrome. LOL. I'm 23 years old, I own my own house, I live an hour away, I have a wonderful partner and STILL... I feel like I'm always on the brink of disappointing them.


Thank you all again. You are wonderful, caring people and I love you all.

At 17 May, 2006, Blogger Tink said...

P.S. Tomorrow, after some sleep and possibly a couple drinks, I should be closer to my usual self.

Right now I feel like someone sucked all my emotion out with a straw and then filled me back up with lead. Bleh.

At 17 May, 2006, Blogger Arabella said...

You did great, girl. Give yourself a pat on the back and have a nice pina colada or something.

At 17 May, 2006, Blogger FA said...

"The only way to make everyone happy is by making yourself miserable. You can't think of everyone AND yourself."

I know exactly how feel. I feel like that every single day.

Parents are odd with the way they take things. My mother gets all upset and pissy when we say we can't do something for her. I finally had to explain that I am 32 years old, married, with a job and hobbies and I don't always have time to drop everything to come to her aid (if it's not life threatning). She cried and yelled but ultimately understood.

With that said, your mother needs to come to grips with the fact that she has 10 dogs. We have horses, cats, and dogs and we KNOW we have to pay someone (non-family) to take care of them when we go on vacation -- even if one of the family is home. She should use the $100 a day to pay a pet sitter to come take care of them. What pet sitter wouldn't stay 2 weeks to make $1400?

I hope things work out.

At 17 May, 2006, Anonymous TB said...

I'm so glad things are on the road to resolution. Now go have a few beers and forget about it for a while. I command it.

At 17 May, 2006, Blogger Peevish said...

You give yourself some credit, Tink! Now! That's a really horrible situation to be in, and I'm glad it seems to have settled itself a bit.

If you can't help your mom, say NO. I know it's hard to do, hard to say, hard to even think about - but it's the best way. Yep, your mom will be pissed at you. But you are not living your life for your mom.

*Supportive hugs*

At 17 May, 2006, Blogger Jess Riley said...

Oh Tink, I'm so sorry to hear of the situation. But I'm glad to hear it may be resolved soon. I believe that everything will work out; and I don't see how you could disappoint anyone. You've got a heart of gold.

We women sometimes take on too much trying to please everyone. Be good to yourself and take care. *hugs*

At 18 May, 2006, Blogger Mary said...


I hope your mom can find a solution to the problem. I probably would have done what you did-it's hard to admit a lie sometimes, and this way seems to have worked out. I'm sure Hoop understands you, and why you are doing things like you are. Sometimes, that's the only way you can cope.

At 18 May, 2006, Blogger Alien said...


I'm glad to hear you're (probably) going on vacation after all. I'm sure you'll all work something out.

And um, TEN DOGS?!?!?! Dear LORD! LOL!

At 18 May, 2006, Blogger Melissa said...


At 19 May, 2006, Blogger DebbieDoesLife said...

Good Lord, I feel like I missed out on so much yesterday! Damn!!

Your mom sounds quite authoritative and its best for HER to decide that the dogs are just dogs and not for you to tell her. Still, Mr. Worthless's advice is pretty good about Hoop maybe splitting the duties with someone??

Can you blog about the whole issue that your mom has TEN dogs??? That's crazy right there. Is she running a no-kill shelter?? Is she a collector??

From one guilt ridden child to another: there is no winning here. You will feel guilty no matter what happens. Sorry.

At 19 May, 2006, Blogger Chelle Y. said...

Tink, my mom is the same way. She does not take no easily from me. She takes is as an insult too, then won't talk to me for days afterward.

I have the "guilty child" syndrome too. I am so sorry that you are stuck in the middle. It's a bad place to be, huh?

Hope things work out for all of you.

At 23 May, 2006, Anonymous Sarah said...

The guilty child syndrome is the worst - and in a situation like this, it's hard to figure out a compromise when you know no one's behavior will change, and you're expected to do all the bending. I empathize with that one - been there many times.

At 24 May, 2006, Blogger Ditsy Chick said...

UGh, what a mess...I am shocked it will cost more than $500 to get the dogs shots up-to-date....Tink I am so sad you cancelled your trip.


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