Family Obligations

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My older brother and his family live overseas.  The last several years, we’ve tried to do a family reunion thing where we all gather where my parents now live.  We don’t stay at their house since there isn’t room and it would drive my Mom crazy to have all of us underfoot.

The problem is that he usually gets to define the schedule because they plan for a two week trip so they can see both sides of his family.  That means we’ll get a email announcing his return dates and it is just assumed that we’ll figure out how to make it work to be there.

This year is different because his kids are going to college so the trip is timed around dropping the kids at the various schools so one of them wouldn’t even be there.  Actually, both won’t be there since the plan was for him to take the other one to school and then come back to my parents town for a weekend.

As luck would have it, that happens to be the weekend of the Big Dance Event.  I have been ambivalent about that event.  I signed up but I haven’t committed anything because I need to know that OwnerGuy is going to come through on his promises.  Which he has started to.  As much as those events can be stressful, there are many reasons why I really want to go.

So, I have a dilemma.  I let them know about the Big Dance Event and that I hadn’t paid for anything yet so I could always choose not to go.  I’m probably reading between the lines but then that is just we INFP’s do, but I kind of get the sense from their responses that “it’s just a dance thing, what’s the big deal”.

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy seeing my family and we don’t get together often enough and I’d hate for another year to go by without seeing them.  Then, I think of my wife who doesn’t get to see her family that often since she’s the one overseas so missing this year wouldn’t be the end of the world.  There is social media and email and other means to communicate.

Missing this comp isn’t the end of the world either.  But, if I’m ready and I miss it, then it may be June of next year before I get to do another big one.  That would be two full years without doing a big comp.  There would be Showcases for sure but there is a magnitude of difference between the two.

Talked to my parents today since it is Father’s Day.  My Dad’s only comment was that he hoped I’d be able to make it.  In other words, family trumps dancing.  And maybe that is the way it should be.  I don’t know.  I hate having to make the choice.

The one strong voice in all of this has been my Mom.  When I first mentioned this as a conflict, her response was “do the dance comp”.  And she’s been in that camp ever since and strongly in that camp.  Maybe she truly gets what this means to me and, while family stuff is important, this is important to me and maybe it should come first.  Is it wrong and selfish to put my needs ahead of family obligations?

I suspect I have about 3 weeks before OwnerGuy comes calling with the sign up for the Big Dance Event in Chicago.  If he’s continued to come through, then I have a difficult call.  Either way, I disappoint someone.  Because of the uncertainty, I’m going to go up to see my parents in early July.  If I do that, then it might be easier to do the Dance Event although it would still disappoint my Father.

Of all the freaking weekends, why does he have to pick this one??


  1. Hard choice for you. I had a similar situation last year with a big Famous Franchise comp and a family event. In the end I chose the family event and it was the right decision for me. But I did really miss not going to the comp. Instead I chose another one a couple of months later. Perhaps you could do the same. Go to Superama in Vegas at the end of October. Or see if there is an independent comp you could do with the new studio? Either way I’m sure you will make the right choice. Good luck 😄

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