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Old 02-01-06, 11:04 PM   #1
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my family has an issue with a relative

Ok, where to begin. I live with my family and my grandfather lives right next to us. (Think Everyone Loves Raymond) My uncle comes down every 3 or 4 months to visit and stays with my grandfather. Now here's where things get weird. When my uncle comes down he does absolutely nothing. My grandfather (uncle's father) is expected to provide 3 meals a day, per day, he's down visiting. My uncle does not shop, cook, or offer to buy dinner. This eventually leads to my grandfather asking my mother to make some extra dinner for them. Second, I mentioned he does absolutely nothing. I live in Orlando, it's not like their isn't anything to do. He comes down for a week and sits on the couch watching TV or surfs the internet -for a week and then goes home. He also comes over our house (which is fine) and eats all our food (not cool) without asking.

Naturally, he's the topic of almost every conversation during his stay when he's not around. I suggested we have an intervention but my mom does not want hurt any feelings, afterall it's her brother; however it is her father too and she doesn't like seeing him being taken advantage of. I want to get some perspective on this, I don't think it's right to visit your 80+ year old father and expect to be treated like you're in a resort.
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Old 02-01-06, 11:34 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by PopcornTreeCt mom does not want hurt any feelings, afterall it's her brother; however it is her father too...
Did you move to Florida from Arkansas by any chance?

He is in his father's (or father/brother's) house, if his father wants to let him hang out in his own house and eat the food, it's really their own business. You might mention to your grandfather that he could ask his son to buy some food.

Last edited by Heat; 02-01-06 at 11:37 PM.
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Old 02-01-06, 11:38 PM   #3
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Perhaps it should be the topic of conversation when he IS around.

My thoughts are that it's not right, but there could be any number of reasons why he's doing this (most of them involve a fair degree of selfishness on his part). But perhaps he's not aware of what he's doing or how his actions are perceived?

Have you or your mother gotten any feedback on what your grandfather thinks of this? While she doesn't want to rock the boat, if your grandfather isn't happy with it, perhaps something should be done.

OTOH, if it is going to cause him [your grandfather] grief, then maybe it's better just to accept it as it is, and deal with the problem every 3-4 months (getting it off your chest after he leaves).
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Old 02-02-06, 07:27 AM   #4
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Unless your grandfather is incapacitated mentally, he can fight his own battles. Maybe he doesn't mind doing it.

As far as your uncle coming to your place and eating your food, well then you have a right to confront him. Suggesting that he not be a freeloader when he visits might make him see what he's doing next door as well.
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Old 02-02-06, 08:34 AM   #5
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I have a brother who will do this. I think some people never grow up in their minds. He's in Daddy's house again, so it's Daddy's responsibility to provide everything and do everything for him. My mother, God rest her, used to do the same way your grandfather does -- she'd bitch to me about my brother's laziness and selfishness, but never confront HIM about it. Finally I just told her, "I love you, Mom, but you keep letting him do this to you, so there's no point complaining to me. He's not going to change until you tell him he needs to." She never brought it up again.

I agree with the others who've said that you can't fight Grandpa's battles for him. But you can certainly keep him from eating you out of house and home. Don't give him a key to your place, and when he is there, stay in control of the situation. If he's walking around your house like he owns it, it's because up till now he's been allowed to. Tell your mom to grow a spine. He's her brother, not her child.
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Old 02-02-06, 08:38 AM   #6
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I remember my mother telling me that some of my great-grandmother's fondest memories were when us kids would just come over and hang out. She took comfort in the fact that we were just "there" being with her.....
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Old 02-02-06, 08:57 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Heat
Did you move to Florida from Arkansas by any chance?
That's great! I loved it.

On the serious side, what does your Grandfather feel about this.

And to your Mom, her brother's feelings > your families frustration and annoyance?

Honestly, it sounds like she's scared of confrontation, not opposed to hurting his feelings. I think it should be pointed out to him that he should contribute something, like buying groceries on occasion, treating to dinner, etc...

Will it cause drama? Yes. But will that drama be worth it if he modifies his behavior? That's what you have to decide.
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Old 02-02-06, 11:38 AM   #8
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How does your grandfather feel about this? I'm sure that some older parents like being able to "take care" of their kids again from time to time. Maybe he prefers this compared to if he rarely even saw his son. The uncle is definitely lazy and taking advantage of the situation, but if it's ok with gramps, I say no problem. I would definitely call him on it when he comes to your house and takes your food though.
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Old 02-02-06, 11:43 AM   #9
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My wife's parents do this to us at least 4 times a year, sometimes more.

It is amazing how lazy and cheap two grown adults can be.
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Old 02-02-06, 12:03 PM   #10
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Well, my grandfather doesn't seem to care too much. He would vent sometimes after my uncle left but that's about it. The only thing is that sometimes the providing food burden my grandfather deals with becomes a problem my mom has to deal with because my grandfather isn't used to doing that. He gets along perfectly fine when he's by himself but as soon as my uncle comes down he starts to place the dinner issue on my mom.

I'm sure my grandfather enjoys the company but it's just not right. Oh and it's cool to see that others have relatives that do the samething.
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