Happened today. My folks decided to host a barbeque because I guess that's what older people do. I declined because I really don't like my two sisters, their husbands or their kids (wife and I are child free). Mom then pressured the wife. Long story short, we went.
By the time we arrived there were about 20 people there. My sisters and their husbands were already solidly buzzed. My mom was spending 100% of her time trying to keep the nieces & nephews (ages 7 to 11) more or less under control. My dad had strategically retreated to the whirlpool part of the pool with small cooler full of beers.
Wife and I made small talk with miscellaneous people, ate food and had a frozen margarita. Sisters/BILs took turns criticizing us for being late, not being in our swimsuits and screwing up the vibe. Whatever. Typical suburban summer get together.About 45 minutes in two of the kids ran at one of the neighbor guests who was standing next to the pool and pushed her in.
She was at the pool steps, stumbled in but didn't fall so only got half wet. She was clearly very unhappy about it but she didn't make a scene, just went over to where the parents were, grabbed their towels, dried herself off and left. Sisters and BILs thought it was all great fun.
A bit later I was standing a few feet away from the pool chatting away with someone. I saw three of the kids running full tilt at me from the corner of my eye. Obviously I was next. Not that it's terribly difficult to outwit young kids but I just jumped out of their way at the last second. All three of them ran straight into the pool at full speed.
Most of the other guests (including my wife and me) started laughing, but their moms - who as I mentioned were pretty sh*tfaced - absolutely freaked out. Apparently two of the kids couldn't swim even though they were in swimsuits. Since I wasn't in swim gear I stepped back from the pool and let other people fish the kids out. The kids were bawling their eyes out like they'd lost a limb.
At that point all hell broke loose. The four parents were yelling at everyone in general and me in particular for 'nearly letting their kids drown' and also because two of the kids had been videoing the trick using their parents' iPhones, which were now at the bottom of the pool.
One of my BILs got into the pool to try to retrieve the phones but his BMI and BAC made that impossible. No one else volunteered to help, unsurprising given that my sisters were still b*tching at everyone.
I told my sisters it was their job to watch the their kids and that if anything had happened to them it would have been their responsibility, not mine. There were some pretty strong words on both sides. Wife and I left after the other BIL fell over and face planted while yelling at us. Now they're saying I should have let the little sh*ts knock me into the pool and have their fun (and ruin my phone).
Side note: Dad, of course, never got out of the whirlpool.
NTA. The kids FAFO. IF the parents' phones got ruined in the process, that's on them for not controlling their little hellions. I can see why you avoid family get togethers. Hopefully, next time, your wife won't allow herself to be guilted into making you go.
That's probably the one positive thing that will come out of this. Wife is much more tolerant and forgiving than I am towards my siblings but based on what she was saying on the way home I think she's had it with them as well.
Maybe you and your wife can just have your dad over to your place next time? I’d party with him 8 days a week.
Dad was the smart one. He knew what was going to happen.
Dad was smart except he left it all on Mom to do the grandchild wrangling. Not that either of them should have to, but they were cohosts….
If they’re anything like my parents, the mom brings it upon herself, planning the whole thing and enabling her precious grandangels despite dad’s protests, then plays the victim when things go horribly wrong. Camping in the whirlpool is one giant “I told you so.”
First off, my folks tell me that my nieces and nephews are all good swimmers and that they use the pool all the time. The 7 year old is still a beginner but he loves the water. My sister just said they couldn't swim so I'd look bad. To be fair, none of the kids are allowed in the deep end, which is where they fell in. It was the two 10 year olds and the 9 year old who tried to push me into the pool.
After we left the party ended on a pretty sour note. My drunk brother in law who face planted while yelling at me had to go to an urgent care place and get his face stitched up. He was too toasted to drive so Dad took him. Dad was very not happy about this. Later that evening, my sisters started a group text and said some really nasty crap.
Their husbands threw in a few comments as well. Wife and I blocked the four of them. My mom called me, she was pretty upset about what they said (she and dad were in the chat) and I don't blame her. Because of the texts my folks insisted my sisters / BILs come over the next day (Sunday) without their kids to 'get some things straight and lay down some ground rules' (mom's wording).
The result was a contrite if unenthusiastic apology from the siblings via my mom's phone. I'm glad my wife was with me when they called - her hard stares kept me from saying what I wanted to. I just told them thanks and that we felt no need to discuss it further.
Since I thought things were settled I unblocked them. That evening I got a text from one of the BILs telling me the phones cost $XXXX and asking when I'd be paying for them. WTF???
I replied 'Never', took a screenshot of his text and forwarded it to my folks with a note that we were done with this nonsense, were going no contact with sisters / spouses and not to invite us to any more holidays or get togethers if they'll be present. Then I blocked the sisters and their spouses again.
At that point the sh*t really hit the fan. Dad called them and ripped them a new one. Among other things he told them the grandkids were not welcome at his place indefinitely. Since my mom regularly provides free babysitting that got them pretty rattled. He also banned them from using the vacation house and told them my wife and I actually own it, not he and mom.
This completely freaked them out - both of my sisters' / families use the place a lot including having their friends up for weekend getaways. This was very much out of character for my folks. They'd clearly had it. And for reference, I never wanted my sisters to know we own the place.
We bought it for my folks; they'd always wanted a place in the mountains. Keeping the ownership quiet was just a way to avoid drama with my siblings. A couple of days later my sisters and their husbands came to our place unannounced to apologize in person. We were out to dinner and they left a note.
One sister also called me at work too, I sent her to voicemail. We've decided being no contact is the best thing for the indefinite future and haven't interacted with them for the last 3+ weeks. Personally I'm done, they can go pound sand.
They’re just really sorry now bc their free babysitting is gone and you own the cabin.
Remind me to thank my brother for how well he's raising my nephews, who have never tried anything even remotely close to this nonsense despite occasionally being little shits in their own right.
“Now tell mom and dad we apologized so they’ll take the kids again.”
Love this outcome for you!! The effed around and found out. They’re only sorry because they no longer get free babysitting or a vacation spot.
100% this. Do we have the same parents???? My mom enables one of my siblings and their children to the detriment of literally everything else.
'One of my BILs got into the pool to try to retrieve the phones but his BMI and BAC made that impossible.'
lol NTA. they are lucky the neighbor they pushed didn’t get hurt, those kids sound terrible.
If this sub is the barbecue/pool party, then we’re all collectively the dad chilling in the whirlpool section, watching the drama unfold.
Well, it's been an interesting last few days. I thought the sh*t had hit the fan before but it was more of a fart compared to what's happened this week. For this to make sense I need to provide some financial context.
My folks haven't ever been any good at saving money (I've been doing their taxes for years so I know pretty much everything about them moneywise). Their house is paid for and they have minimal debt but they didn't save much for retirement.
Both of them get Social Security, dad gets a solid pension and they have a bit of savings but there's no treasure chest in the basement. I bought their current car for them after they retired, a retirement present so they could have something nice to drive. It was the first car in probably 20 years they didn't lease.
My sisters are convinced the folks are dripping with money and that our parents will be leaving the two of them everything since I don't need more money, so they've never cared about saving either.
Turns out my oldest sister and her husband (they have three kids) have been living beyond their means for some time and are in financial straits. They've maxxed out their credit cards and are behind on their car leases to the point that one is about to get repossessed. He'd bragged in the past about making X per year but it turns out to be about half that.
She confessed all this to mom on Tuesday because they need a loan and because (and this was a WTF moment for mom and dad) for the last three years, instead of staying at the vacation house regularly, she's actually been renting it out once a month or so and pocketing the cash - we're talking $2000+ for a weekend and at least $4000 for a week.
With her being cut off from using the place she's had to cancel one group already. She's now worried they'll lose everything. My folks aren't in any position to give them a loan. My other sister was aware of her renting out the place but of course hasn't ever said anything.
I suspect she's done the same thing as well because I went up there once to drop off an ATV I'd had worked on and there was a family there who claimed to be staying there with my sister / her family and that they'd "gone to town for something". At the time I let it go - I figured she'd loaned out the house to some friends. But I've always wondered.
I found all this out through my folks who are pretty stressed out about it, mom more than dad, he's mainly just p*ssed off about it all. I know dad feels betrayed. And I imagine he's embarrassed that he's in no position to help his daughter out. He did reiterate that as long as it's up to him, the girls won't be using the vacation home anytime soon.
My folks let me know what's going on because they figured my sisters would put a full court press on me next. And they were right. On Thursday my sisters came to our place again (without husbands this time) and waited outside the door until I got home. I had to choose between fighting with them in public, them making a scene if I went in without them or letting them in so I let them in.
I got a bullsh*t story from the older sister with the younger one backing her up regarding why I needed to let them use the mountain place again immediately. They also said I've been a sh*tty brother and that I needed to "step up" and plan on paying for their kids' college tuitions since "that's what family does".
I let them pitch their story then called them out based on what my folks had told me. Things went to sh*t from there. There was denial, crying, cursing, yelling, you name it. I swear my ears are still ringing two days later. I won't lie - I said some really mean and sh*tty things to them but nothing that wasn't true. They finally left after about an hour.
After that, I took a shower and laid down. When I got up my wife was home and her first words were that she'd had to block more phone numbers because my sisters were blowing up our phones from new ones. Folks messaged me yesterday asking me to call. I'm sure my sisters have told them some bullsh*t version of what happened but I'm not up to rehashing it yet.
I'm usually a pretty energetic person but this drama has me beaten down. I had just enough energy today to drive up to the vacation house and padlock the entrance gate shut. I'm the only one with a key. I'm guessing that will be enough to ensure my siblings leave the place alone.
Wow, your sisters are sh*tty people. The whole "because family" statement is such a cop-out for shitty people. They believe it allows them the ability to treat you badly and still ask for money/help. I am not sure what your parents want to talk about. However, if I were you, I would not help your sister out money wise.
I think they need to hit rock bottom to jar them enough to pull their heads out of their a**es. The fantasy world they live in does not exist, and its about time for them to realize that. Hopefully, your parents don't try and press you to assist. I think that would just enable your sister and her family to continue to live beyond their means.
Honestly, if you were to give your sister money, you can expect to never see it again. Just reading all of your posts has made me tired. Haha, I hope for your sake that things start to slow down.
I get that this is about way more than a kids' prank. I know that. But dang, what an escalation that was from start to finish.
I hope he just sells the mountain house. The sisters will be coming at him—and his parents—for access to that place as long as there’s the tiniest sliver of hope. And renting it out like that without insurance? OOP has been carrying that liability for three years.
You just know that when he does finally sell that house, the sisters will be coming for the money. “For the kids’ college” or suchlike.
Cameras on the vacation property. Even just a Ring camera. They are absolutely going to try to get in. OP also needs to grow a f*cking spine- you know your sisters are trying to pick a fight, so you let them inside your house?!?!!? Nuh-uh! Make them meet you in public so they are forced to keep their bullsh*t toned down, or risk arrest.
And start a goddamn paper trail. Police reports, restraining orders, something, so that when they- inevitably- do something criminal, you can take them to task for it. Family who bullies you isn't family- it's just d0uchebags you have DNA in common with.
Yet another update regarding the cluster f that is my extended family. Thought it might be time given what's gone on over the past two weeks.
After my sisters came to my place my mom and dad told me they were done with managing the vacation home. Sounded like the sisters had been pressuring them to let them use the place again.
Basically my folks handed the responsibility for place over to me and told me it was my problem from here on out. Up until then, they'd kept track of who would be using it when and they'd taken care of routine maintenance, replacing worn out items, etc.
In any case, they decided they didn't want to be in the middle of all this crap. While I don't blame them, I'm disappointed because the damn place was supposed to be something for them to enjoy and hang out in and they use it regularly.
Plus I've never cared that they let my sisters and their families use it, because really I've always thought that was my parents' call even though I technically own it. But now my folks are going to be in the position of not having access without me being involved and that changes the whole dynamic of the place. I've taken several steps to secure the place.
I already mentioned that I locked the gate, it has a heavy duty chain and the best lock I could find. I also did a full reset on all the door keypads and created all new codes. Security cameras got installed yesterday, which is actually pretty cool because the installer convinced me to put a high res one that looks out over the valley.
The system cost me way more than I thought it would but the peace of mind is worth it. The installer also put up signs on the property saying the place was monitored by video.
I also installed a heavy duty lockout for the water shutoff / drain valve. I hope to hell I don't lose the keys for it because if I do it's going to be a bear to try to remove. Haven't told anyone but my wife that the water is locked off and again, only we have the keys.
Last week I got separate calls at my office from both of the husbands trying to convince me to let them use the house "like they always have". The older one had gone up with some friends for a guy's hangout but couldn't get in because of the gate lock. He was pretty p*ssed and embarrassed about being locked out, I'm sure he would have broken the lock if he could have.
During his call he kept bouncing between pushy and victimhood. At one point he threatened to "rip that gate outta the goddamn ground". He also admitted they'd been renting it out to "a few friends." He said that they needed the money, I was ruining their "business" and that I should refund their guests' money (Me?? F that).
I should have recorded the conversation with him but I don't know how to do that from an office phone anyway. The other BIL just sounded like he was being made to call by my sister, he didn't really put up a fight when I told him not to plan on ever using the place again. In any case, I told them they can't use the place and not to ask again.
At this point I'm considering selling the vacation home. My wife and I won't use it enough to justify keeping it and it's not like there's going to be any family get togethers there anytime soon. I mentioned selling it to my folks, their response was pretty much "whatever".
I'd more than double my money by selling it, the place consists of three lots with killer views and is at the end of a private road. But I'll probably wait for a while to sell, doing so now would be an emotional decision. My sisters and I aren't currently speaking and I have no plans to initiate contact. I don't know what the status between them and my folks is and I don't want to.
On the upside, we spent an evening with my folks last week, went to a new restaurant that was nice. No one brought up any of this crap. My mom did update us on the nieces and nephews, she's spending time with them at their homes. Sorry this update isn't full of laughs or owns, that's just life sometimes.
Thank you so much for the update. I'll advise you to check with your adviser if renting your property would be worth while, after all this improvements, a conscious minded renter might give you a good buck for month, or year rental. Selling now as you said, may not be in your best interest.
About your pushy bil, I'll ask my lawyer to draft a letter of intent to sue for the profits from the rentals. Also include a change of missuse and any property loss or destroyed. Maybe do it for both. This will stop any further attempts, as they seem very entitled to your property and money. Good luck! Update us if you can or need more ideas.
I agree that my sisters and their families are very entitled. They're also in an extremely weak position in all of this. The place is a bit remote to rent as a long term home. Plus there are times during the winter the road is impassable, so staying there year round is pretty iffy.
There are a couple of permanent residents on the road who are at a lower elevation and relatively close to the year round public road but even they have to hunker down or bug out a few times each winter.
Regarding making it a vacation rental: doing so would be seen by my sisters as rubbing salt in the wound and would give them a reason to create more drama. And honestly we don't need the money. The place is paid for, it's in great shape, it doesn't cost much to keep the lights on, etc.
I did think about lawyering up and covering them with paper. It wouldn't even cost me much, a good friend is a property law attorney. But again, doing so would escalate things and give them reason to create family drama.
My primary goal at this point is to minimize my involvement with them and minimize any nonsense that causes my parents stress. I'm willing to take some short term flak and absorb some expenses like the camera system to keep things contained. It could blow up again but I suppose I'll drive off that bridge when I come to it.
I don't think we'll sell right away if at all, it's more of a last resort / personal fantasy thought than anything else. There's a good chance that come holiday season my folks will reset and want to have the entire family there.
Which is fine, we won't be going of course but I don't care if my parents have guests there. I intend to keep control of the place for the indefinite future though, which will be inconvenient at times because I'll be the only person with a gate key. But I can live with that.
I'm still amazed at this: HOW are you gonna tell somebody that YOU rented out THEIR property...without their knowledge or consent...and then demand that THEY, the rightful owner, reimburse the guests that YOU illegally rented to??? I need that level of audacity. I'd be Queen of the World by now. Good Lord! I'm sorry, OP.
Some relatives are best endured at arm's length. Your sisters and their husbands are definitely the arm's length variety. Your parents just chose peace and low-key threw you under the bus. By turning the property back to you, they don't have to deal with your siblings' shenanigans while making you the heavy.
I'm not really mad at them about that, your sisters sound monstrous, but you seem to have a titanium spine. Respect! Came back to add, I sure as shootin' wouldn't give them access to the property EVER again. If they were renting it out without your knowledge, they might decide to just move in and squat in the house and on the property. UGH!
Yeah, the renting thing... I just don't have words. One of the harsh-but-true things I told my sisters was that they had risked my property and stolen from me and that made them no better than common thieves. They're response was that our parents hadn't told them they couldn't so it was OK. I just can't think that way.
Don't know about the spine but thanks. I think it's more that I just don't care that much for them and because of all this nonsense I'm now having trouble caring if they live or die. That might be unhealthy of me but I'm comfortable with my feelings.
I agree about the arm's length thing too. We're staying no contact with them all for the indefinite future.
Thanks for the update. Looking forward to the next ones if there is any. Also karma’s a b*tch!