Blake’s Advice Column
I’m a female high school teacher who works about 60 hours a week during the school year between teaching, grading, attending meetings, completing paperwork, tutoring before and after school, and planning lessons. My sister wants to plan an elaborate road trip this summer that involves renting an RV and driving cross-country with our nieces to visit Disneyland. She feels that since I have the summer off, I should be more than happy to go on this trek. But by the time summer rolls around, the last thing I want to do is spend a week or more in a camper with teenagers. I told her I have some summer training to go to, which is true, hoping she would drop the subject. She hasn’t. I don’t want my sister’s or my nieces’ feelings to be hurt, but I flat-out don’t want to do this. What can I tell them?
From Houston, Texas
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After working with teenagers all year, it’s understandable that you would want some time away from them. But if you can’t stop your sister from bringing it up, you should try to get her daughters to stop her, by getting them to hate you. Here are some options for your consideration. Tell your nieces that if you go, you’re going to throw them out of the RV while it’s moving, if any of them uses the word “like”. Or this. You can get them mad at you if you find out that one of them was devastated when a “cute guy” dumped them for another girl, and then tell your niece she should be happy that he found someone better. Inform your nieces that you won’t go unless during the entire trip they exclusively play your music, and you only like opera music and show tunes from 1950’s and 60’s musicals. However, if they still want you to go, then go, but make them regret it. As soon as the RV hits the road confiscate all of their cell phones, and tell them there will be no contact with outsiders because the trip is family time. But definitely keep your phone, so you can contact your friends from the ICU of a hospital, after the girls viciously assault you. And don’t bother trying to film your beating, because the girls will be proud to admit what they did to you during their trial, and they might even admit that they are a little disappointed that you’re still alive. I hope this helps.