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"It's your job to love SS"....camping trip from hell

iamlosingit's picture

We have a mutual friend/couple that we usually go camping with together due to having kids around the same age.  We went on one trip with kids and one trip with no kids last year and didn't really have any issues.  Memorial Day weekend was the first camping trip of the season, we had SS so naturally these friends invited themselves along once they figured out where we were going.

We told this couple two months in advance when the campsite was booked how much it would cost for them to stay.  DH and I were already paying $200 for the site, to add on this couple and her two kids was an extra $80 for the weekend.  They refused to contribute to the $200 saying we would be paying that anyway weather they went with or not, but they would pay for themselves.

DH got out of work early and picked up SS at noon despite the CO stating he isn't supposed to have him until 6 p.m...  BM has a two week "vacation" planned for the end of June so DH is using this to his advantage and has already had SS for an extra 18 hours in two months.

The camping trip was a disaster. 

We arrived before our 'guests' did so everything was ready to go when they showed up.  Found out he lied at the front desk and told them he lost his parking pass and gave them DH name, so they got to stay for free. Strike 1.  Still haven't discovered if the campsite found out and charged DH card on file, he hasn't said anything and he won't because he knows I'm mad about it. 

This campsite had an awesome water park for the kids with a climbing wall, floats, etc but there was a catch:  while the pool was included in the cost of the campsite, the 'splash pad' was not and you could either purchase a weekend long wrist-band for $23 (this allowed use of all campsite amenities; bikes, splash pad, mini golf, etc) or pay $11/day.  The couple purchased weekend wrist-bands for their two kids.  They all wanted to go to the splash pad.  SIL (who also got a campsite with her family) was going with her DD so the other kids asked if they could go to.  While they ran off, we started to figure out what to make for lunch.  We had told them they had to bring their own food.  Somehow all of our frozen burgers wound up on the grill (we had enough for two meals at least for our family).  When I realized this "friend" had all of our burgers on the grill I asked him what was going on.  He said he brought burgers too but his weren't frozen so we should use all of ours first then he would cook his the next day for everybody.  Okaaay....this wasn't in the plan. 

The kids all came back from swimming and went to eat.  DH had made pasta salad and the other couple had brought chips.  Her kids wanted pasta salad.  One of them grabbed a significant amount of pasta and a burger...took a bite of the burger...decided he 'didn't like it' and tossed the entire plate in the fire pit with no warning and asked for a hotdog.  Over the course of the weekend they ate DH entire bag of snack sized chips (about 14 bags total, they had their own, but for some reason 'ours were better'), delved into our can of corned beef hash we brought for our eggs (once again..'didn't like it' and tossed it in the garbage), it was a freaking mess.  Strike 2 for 'sharing' our food all weekend without asking and wasting most of it.

Final straw...the kids wanted to go to the splash pad again.  All of us decided to go up and check it out too.  Turns out for obvious reasons any child under the age of 18 has to be supervised at all activities.  DH and I purchased a daily wristband.  'Friend' declined, said he wasn't swimming so he wasn't going to buy one.  I'm sure you can see where this is going.  We get to the splash pad and there is staff at the gate checking everyone for wristbands.  He said the kids have one but he's not swimming.  She says it doesn't matter, you need a wristband to enter and the kids can't be in without supervision.  He throws a fit and heads to the front desk at the main office to confirm.  Despite him throwing a man-trum, they will not let him enter without a wrist-band.  He says he's not going and tells the kids to go with us.  DH is a bit miffed but all the kids are now in tears thinking they can't go swimming so he just says okay (we've now wasted an hour on this) and we end up bringing all 3 of them to the splash pad. 

Would have been nice if they told us one of their kids COULDN'T SWIM.

The rest of the weekend any time we tried to bring SS to the water park her kids would rush to grab their stuff to go.  Both 'friends' refused to spend the money on a wristband for themselves.  I was getting irate, DH was getting upset but refused to say anything.  We couldn't enjoy ourselves because one of us always had to have a set of eyes on the kid who couldn't swim.  Their parents were infuriating...it's like we had a beacon on our heads...when we tried to sneak off without them I heard her yell out "oh look...you have a tag-along!" and we'd turn and sure enough there was always one or both of her kids running after us.  Strike 3.  How nice for them that they got to stay for free at a campsite in our camper drinking, tanning, listening to music and relaxing while we became babysitters.  They found out where DH and I are camping for the July 4th weekend and discovered its only 15 minutes away from their house and started planning on how they would join us.  I told DH this is on him, I've already paid DH for half the costs of this years camping trips, if his friends are going to go and not contribute then he can pay for the food because I'm not going through that again.

Campfire talk.  When the kids are sleeping.  Somehow got into talking about skids (she has four kids from previous marriage and they are now getting married next year).  This guy (who has been friends with DH since elementary school) decided that "all my problems would be solved if I told SS that I loved him".  That because DH and I are now married, it is my job to take on that role and SS needs to know I love him because he wishes his SM would have told him that.  This was right after he was sharing his woes about how the oldest teen SS has pulled the 'your not my dad!' card and how upset he was over it and the blatant disrespect being shown in the household in general.  I almost spat my coffee. 

I'm not going to go into the rest of the convo that night, but I love how some people think they have "stepping" all figured out and in the same breath they are cursing the oldest child for behavior commonly displayed by skids.

More to write later.

EDITED TO ADD: they also do not have their kids that weekend....since it is literally a 15 minute drive from their house SHE thinks she will just "come on up" on Wednesday and her almost-husband will come up on Friday when he is done with work.  Um.....no?

 

Comments

susanm's picture

Wow.  I would change the 4th of July plans now.  No way would I take the chance of these "friends" ever showing up again.  That sounds like the weekend from hell!

futurobrillante99's picture

Time to tell your "friends" that someone else is camping on your site for the 4th of July so they have to get their own site. At the last minute, the people staying on your site will cancel (but they never existed).

Make your camper off limits and be clear that meals will NOT be together.

Better yet, switch up where you're staying on July 4th and don't tell them.

iamlosingit's picture

wish we could but this is the site that has TONS of stuff to do and we are skid-free so I am looking forward to it.  Also we scheduled all these trips months in advance, trying to find a last-minute campsite for July 4 in June is impossible.  This is why we ended up at my cousins cabin last year with SS...DH tried to find something in June (I put my foot down and refused to be the 'planner' that year) and everything within a 2 hour radius was booked up.  I saw the panic in DH eyes after he 'word-vomit' what our plans were for the fourth...was quite comical.  I'm waiting to see what he does.

futurobrillante99's picture

You're skid free? Does that mean you're also KID free? If so, tell them your site is not available because it's adults only and a romantic stay for you and your husband.

iamlosingit's picture

the reason they are so excited about this trip is they too don't have skids that weekend.  Sigh.

Jjs868's picture

Wow that was some weekend. Your "friends" are loafers and they know yall are pleasant enough not to tell them off at risk of offending the friendship. But they take things too far because they didn't contribute a single thing and on top of that wasted what you bought. Like the other commenters said either change your venue or tell them it's fill they can't come. Because this is just the beginning of their behaviour. 

beebeel's picture

Yeah...that would be the last joint family camping trip I would ever attend with that group. Your DH's friend has apparently landed himself a GUBM who thinks it's everyone else's job to provide for and supervise her litter of children. I could never imagine not bringing enough food for my ONE child and then expecting others to watch him all weekend. While dude's comments were naive and not his place, the rest of this rests squarely on the mom's shoulders. 

susanm's picture

Just had a thought.

As you are trying to sneak away.....

The mom:  "Looks like you have a tag-along..."

You:  "OK but I don't think the strip club is going to let her in.  Should we just leave her in the car with the window cracked?"

ESMOD's picture

Honestly.. this probably calls for honest.

1.  No, we aren't interested in sharing our camp site. 

2.  We will be kid free so won't be up for kids in our activities.. it's an adult only weekend.

3.  We aren't interested in meeting up for meals.  If you go, plan on eating on your own.

Why?  Because you and your kids made our campsite too crowded and at every turn you pushed your kids off onto us and you ate all our food without contributing ANYTHING financially or even much in the way of food.

your assumption that we were "paying the 200" already so we shouldn't care is false.. we would have paid that 200 to be by ourselves and have the luxury of not having to share our space with moochers.  You are welcome to camp whereever you like 4th of july.. but it ain't gonna be on the site we reserved.

Monkeysee's picture

Oh wow.... I’m not sure I would leave it to DH to tell them no, I’d likely end up saying something myself. 

Especially since you don’t have SS that weekend & they’ll still have their kids. Not only will you be roped into paying for their weekend again, you’ll also be babysitting while they relax & enjoy YOUR campsite. 

Either you or your DH need to find a way to tell these moochers no. If you don’t want to straight up confront them on how inappropriate their behaviour was last weekend, tell them it’s a couples weekend & you’re celebrating an anniversary or something. Alone. No kids, no friends. Just straight up couple time, and they’re not invited. 

Gimlet's picture

No is a complete sentence.  Learning how to say it is the only way you will stop being used.

Every time you turn around, someone is asking (or taking) something from you.  These people are cheap skate losers with no manners, friends do not treat you this way.

Harry's picture

its only the two of you. You can go anywhere, May not be as nice, but you will be by yourself  not babysitting 

Want2's picture

It all sounds so passive aggressive. You allow all these things to happen in real time. You say nothing to their faces. You hiss to your husband between clenched teeth and post all your martyrdom details here.

Are you a pot banger too? I’d bet yes. And you keep close track of the costs, not in order to garner fair recompense, but as points you can bring up later.

As for the guy giving you his opinion, it’s just that, his opinion. So what? Why take his opinion so seriously? He doesn’t sound like anyone whose opinion I would put any stock in. Speak your own truth and let him blabber.

iamlosingit's picture

As stated, we went camping with this couple twice last year with and without kids and had no issues.  This behavior was very off compared to last year and completely unexpected.  DH has known them since elementary school, I've only known them since they got "back in touch" maybe three years ago?  So YES I'm going to voice my complaints to my husband and "post on here" the site is "where step-parents come to vent" that doesn't make me a "martyr".  Her kids snuck off to the pool without supervision the entire weekend (pool not staffed), but you can't get into the splash area without an adult due to wrist-band checking.  And the last thing we need is a fight in front of three skids when we are sharing a living space for three days.  We were not aware they didn't pay until later since they arrived after we did with a car pass attached.

  As for the guy giving his opinion, who says I'm taking it seriously? I shared it because I found it funny that another step thinks he has this "all figured out" when nobody does and in the same breath goes on a rant about how upset he is that his SS playing the "not my dad" card.

Siemprematahari's picture

The lesson to this story is to NOT invite or go ANYWHERE with them again. You and your H may not like confrontation but this couple needed to be told about themselves. Nothing worse than smooching adults and than wonder why the kids do the same thing......sucks you didn't have a good time but now you know not to go there with this couple again and/or address what's going on right than and there.

 

tog redux's picture

Just tell them for July 4, they will be responsible for half the campsite, parking, and the free passes for everyone to make up for what they didn't pay last time.

They will vote themselves out if you do that. 

Winterglow's picture

I'd tell them that you want to be just with your own family for the 4th July and, if necessary, tell them that you do not want to see them. Good grief, woman, you're allowed to relax, you know!

FrenchPeas's picture

tell them your 4th weekend is a getaway for the two of you. No extra folks included. You’re sure they can find something else fun to do since you’ll be having a romantic time together. Thanks! 

FrenchPeas's picture

tell them your 4th weekend is a getaway for the two of you. No extra folks included. You’re sure they can find something else fun to do since you’ll be having a romantic time together. Thanks! 

zerostepdrama's picture

As long as you don't speak up, they are going to continue to walk all over you. If you don't want the next trip to go like the past trip, then YOU need to speak up. I would not count on your DH doing it.

NoWireCoatHangarsEVER's picture

So when I can't make myself say what I need to say in situations like you are facing, I start scratching my head repeatedly and say, "So the school says there is a lice outbreak and man oh man is my head itching.  I hope we don't all have lice" and walk away.  9/10 times that does the trick. 

hereiam's picture

God love you, girl, but I feel like I'm watching the movie Groundhog Day (which I've never been able to get all the way through, drove me crazy). It's the same crap over and over. Stop.letting.people.take.advantage. That includes your husband.

notasm3's picture

I realize it can be uncomfortable and difficult to confront people. Sometimes it can be easier to do it in writing. You have the option to review it before sending and to say what you want without being interrupted. 

Just make it clear that there are no options for them to join you. It’s not a case of “if you do or do not do x you can come”. It’s a hard no. 

ESMOD's picture

These people don't really sound like friends really.. maybe DH's friends..lol.

I would send them a very specific message.  "Hi DH Friends, We cannot include you on our July 4th plans.  Hope you guys have fun whatever you end up doing.  Regards, downtrodden one."  AND.... tell your DH in advance you are doing this.  "DH, I didn't enjoy our last trip with User/loser friends and their kids.  I don't want them to join us for the 4th and I am going to send them a message stating they cannot join us".  If he gives you any push back clearly tell him that if they are included, you will not be attending.. and neither will any of your money, equipment or work.

lieutenant_dad's picture

I'd pull my money out of this trip, flip them all the bird, and use it as down payment money on my own apartment. This BS would be beyond old at this point.

OP, please read your previous blog from about this time last year. Not a damn thing is different except the players.