Friday, August 3, 2012

The Road Trip to Hell is Paved with Good Intentions...

There is a saying, "No good deed goes unpunished." That certainly applies to me, when it comes to my apparently ill-conceived good intentions.  One of my family members has been feeling rather dispirited lately, and I came up with the brilliant idea that perhaps a road trip might cheer this person up.  I have a week off work this week -- a staycation -- and I called last week and invited this family member and some other family members on a little day trip.  I told them they can choose the destination, and all expenses, including gas mileage for the trip, would be paid by me.  My invitation seemed to have been met with enthusiasm, and that made me happy.  Oh, goodness, what was I thinking?  I should have put the receiver down and stepped away from the telephone before I even dialled the number.

I have vacations the way Mary Richards had parties -- A "Mary Richards party" is a euphemism for a party that is disastrous.  Well, those are my vacations -- and particularly my well-intended road trip.  It turned into a horror show, and I'm not sure how or when it even happened, but I suspect it started before my guests had arrived to pick me up.  When they got to my apartment, I sensed agitation, irritation, anger and a distinct lack of enthusiasm in some of the family members.  My instincts were telling me, "Don't go!  Don't go!  This will not end well!  Do not get into that car!"  Yes, my instincts did use all those exclamation marks.  I should have listened to them.  But I forged on, thinking that once we were on the road and had started our journey, we would all be one big happy family, and actually have fun.

Oh, goodness, what was I thinking?

Without going into details, let me just say that the trip was a trip to hell horrible beyond belief.  As it turned out, no one wanted to go.  Well, that's a great start, isn't it?  The destination that was chosen by the family members was not my first choice as a destination, but my main concern was that the four of us have some fun together as a family, and make some positive memories.  We don't often get together on family outings, and I thought perhaps we could do something light-hearted that would give everyone a "warm, fuzzy" feeling that they would remember.  Well, they'll remember it all right, but for all the wrong reasons.  And I still have an earache in my left ear.

The moral of the story is, always, always, always trust your instincts.  If something doesn't feel right, don't do it.

"Hell isn't merely paved with good intentions; it's walled and roofed with them. Yes, and furnished too." ~~ Aldous Huxley

11 comments:

MerCyn said...

You still get an A for effort. But you are right - trust your instincts and listen to them!

joanne said...

always trust your instincts and your exclamation marks...they are always right!! So sorry things didn't work out the way you hoped. I tend to have these little fantasies about get togethers and how wonderful they will all be but in reality it's a Mary thing every single time. Take care.

Linda Myers said...

Sounds like you got that "uh oh" feeling after you'd already made the arrangements. How disappointing!

VioletSky said...

oh dear. I suppose you were also wondering why they even bothered to accept - a last minute cancellation would have been preferable for all.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Oh, dear, that all sounds dreadful. I'm so sorry. I know how much you hoped it would be a lovely, bonding day for you and your loved ones. I know it doesn't help, but you can only be responsible for your own actions, not what others choose to do. Please don't let this bad experience close your heart, even if for now you may have to love them from afar.

the walking man said...

Put your feet out the window and take the long way home

Dr. Kathy McCoy said...

OMG, Jo! I'm so sorry that your well-intentioned family get-together went so wrong! It's so funny how we all have these fantasies about togetherness and bonding that almost never turn out as we had hoped. I've long harbored this fantasy of getting my brother and sister and their families together and having a family vacation in Hawaii at this quiet, lovely resort area my husband and I love. I imagine us frolicking in the surf the way we did as children and everyone enjoying everyone else. I think the frolic in the surf might happen but everything else would be dicey. So I'm biting my tongue and not suggesting it. It's so interesting that your instincts told you immediately not to get in that car. How many times we all ignore that voice within because we're trying so hard to be kind and polite! Hope the rest of your staycation is happier!

Paula Slade said...

I'm sorry that happened to you Jo.

I too pay dearly when I don't trust my gut.

Single and Sane said...

It's a shame that it didn't work out. Perhaps even if it isn't a situation that you will laugh about one day -- in the far distant future -- your family will recognize your desire to spend time with them and be touched by the effort.

Margaret

PhilipH said...

As Jean-Paul Sartre shrewdly observed: Hell is other people ...

Family members oft included.

Carol E. said...

We also had a family vacation from hell, and it was my idea. I'll never live that one down.