Over a year ago I (29F) started planning a family vacation for my brothers and parents. I figured we could each pay our share as well as split the cost for my parents to treat them. My brothers are both adults (youngest 25, oldest 33) with well paying jobs. My younger brother was more than happy to contribute while my oldest brother made excuses.
We spoke to my parents about it and they were ecstatic, although I clarified I was unsure if oldest would be going. We were all having dinner together so it prompted them to ask him why he wasn't going.
He gave a mirage of excuses which ranged from "I don't know if I'll be busy that day" to "I am not sure I can afford it" but he did not give a concrete answer. My parents tried convincing him that if he saved now he should be able to go, he said he'd think about it.
Fast forward to six months ago and I am giving updates for the no shows (oldest brother) and asked him to give me an answer as I was booking plane tickets. He said he hasn't decided and will book his own ticket given if he does go. Okay, fair enough.
Three months ago I told him this was the last time I will be asking him, is he attending yes or no. He again made excuses but nothing concrete so I told him I will be taking that as a no.
Today my younger brother and I had lunch together when he called us saying he will be going after all. We told him that was great and it'd make mom and dad happy but to be aware his share went up since last minute changes are expensive. He absolutely lost it and said it wasn't fair and that it wasn't his fault I was a sh%tty planner.
My younger brother jumped in and told him that we both paid for our parents share and have been asking and asking for months if he was going, it's not our fault you can't make up your mind. He hung up on us.
We then got a call from our parents saying the oldest was very upset as he was excited to go but now he can't because he can't afford it. They offered to pay for him. I told them it wasn't right as this trip was a gift for them, we gave our oldest brother fair warning and he didn't care. Now hes saying I'm an a%#hole for excluding him from the trip.
OP answered a few questions:
NTA (Not the A%#hole). Do your parents have a habit of bailing him out? Was that his plan all along?
All. The. Time. I've tried reasoning with them that they are not helping him at all. It's caused quite a few fights.
NTA and I would remind your parents of all the times you asked him and reminded him and gave him very clear boundaries. Also, it's totally unfair of your parents to pay for him when you and your other brother are paying for yourselves and your parents.
You can't play happy families unless parents actually treat all their kids like the adults they are. This should be a lesson for your brother that your parents should let him learn, rather than reinforcing his tantrum.
They usually say "Family helps family" And sweep everything under the rug.
Your oldest brother is weird and acting like a child over something completely his fault. NTA. Continue with your plans on the trip and let him figure his sh^t out, he’s grown and did it to himself. Ignore his comments and complaints, I genuinely can’t see how you’re TA here.
Thank you. Only problem is my parents saying they feel bad for leaving him behind. I want them to enjoy their vacation and our older brother is only thinking of himself by guilt tripping them.
What do you think? Should OP let his parents pay for his brother, or was he right to make him pay his fair share?