Tag Archives: Traveling

Dear John: Parents Want ETA, Son Is MIA And For Good Reason

My 47-year-old son is employed at a prestigious university. His position involves a considerable amount of travel.

Over the years, he always emailed us his travel plans along with flight information. Lately, he tells us when and where he is going but omits the flight, hotel information, etc. When we ask, our requests are ignored. When we tell him we think it’s irresponsible for him not to share this information, his response is, “My secretary has the information if there are any problems.”

We always give our children our travel information, flights, hotels, etc. when we travel. Our question is, are we out of line for wanting this information from him? — LOVING PARENTS IN NEW HAMPSHIRE

Dear Loving Parents,

Your ADULT son is just that; an adult. I would understand if it were flight info and hotel info for when he was traveling to or from your home but not just for random trips. He probably wants some privacy and doesn’t want and, frankly, he doesn’t need to share any of his trip information with you. You are out of line for wanting this info from him when he has told you that he won’t be providing that information to you.

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“Jaw With John” – Paris je t’aime, But I’m Going to Bitch About Seeing You For Free

A few months ago a friend and I were in Paris. She had some family friends (whom she had not seen since she was young) who were available to host us for free.

Now, I have always been taught that when entertaining, a guest comes first. These people, however, made us feel as though we were an inconvenience to them and their two children, though we only slept on their pull-out couch — that was it.

The father in the family runs a touring company, and my friend thought we should ask for a tour, to be polite — with the intention of paying him.

He gave us a very short tour of one of Paris’ museums — one of my favorites — for free. But the tour was odd and he acted a bit rude, challenging my knowledge of the museum and the paintings and rushing us. I did not enjoy it.

Later on in our visit, we came home late (about midnight) after going up the Eiffel Tower. We did not have a key and he proceeded to go to sleep. Luckily, the au pair let us in. But after that behavior and his lack of an apology, I decided I can’t stand him.

Now he sends me emails about giving a review of the tour (which he insists must be a five-star review). I have refused. Should I keep ignoring his emails? Or should I write the bad review because the world has a right to know?

I don’t want to seem ungrateful, but what kind of host leaves someone locked out and then goes to sleep — and then demands a five-star review? — Frustrated with Friends of a Friend

Dear Frustrated:

Let me get this straight: you’re complaining that you got to stay in Paris FOR FREE and got a personal tour of a museum FOR FREE?


I don’t even know where to begin.

Firstly, it was on you to get a spare key or set up some type of system where you could get back into their place/meet up with them to get the key if they weren’t home. That’s just common sense. I did it when I stayed with a friend in Hong Kong and again in Chicago. Communication is key, especially in a foreign land. You’ve now learned this for another trip.

About the curt tour, as you described it. Perhaps something was lost in translation. What he might have perceived as gentle ribbing might have been rude to you, but he was doing his job (FOR FREE) and trying to engage you with the museum and the pieces. You know what else you could have done if you didn’t enjoy the trip? Gone again. That’s right. You could have gone back and taken the time you wanted to see things you didn’t before.

As far as the review goes, you don’t owe him 5 stars if you didn’t feel it was worth 5 stars. If reviews are anonymous then give whatever you feel best reflects your experience. But I ask you this: Did he give you the full tour as described by his company? Because if he did and it was a sub par experience then by all means give whatever rating you want (but if it were me I’d probably still give it 5 stars because it was FREE). If it wasn’t then think before you type and submit.

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“Jaw With John” – Ease Her Pain. Go The Distance.

I am a baby boomer with one old college friend. We were very close once and are still friends on Facebook. I have not seen her for 10 years.

On Facebook she sounds not exactly senile but a little crazy. She has poor health and I see online that one of the drugs she takes can cause delusions and symptoms of dementia.

She was once a brilliant woman. But her posts are mostly political rants or fan worship for her favorite pop star.

I am traveling to her city soon. Part of me wants to see her — for old times’ sake. Part of me thinks I will be depressed and horrified to see her now. I know from the death of my parents how hard it is to erase negative images of someone from my mind.

I guess I am writing to ask for permission not to visit her. Or as one of her oldest friends — should I visit her?

I loved her once but I am not sure I would like her now. — Sad to See

Dear Sad:

You don’t have to see her if you don’t want to. It’s that simple.

But maybe you should.

You might have answered your own question when you mentioned your parents. You want to remember them as they were but you need to be with them as they go so that they know you cared. Perhaps you should make a quick trip and see your friend. You might not get another chance.

*My question to you though is: How do you know what drugs she’s taking? Is she posting them on Facebook or are you super nosy? Also, if she’s a baby boomer who’s here favorite pop star? Half of The Beatles are dead. Madonna is a shade of her former self. And I highly doubt she’s a Tay-Sway super fan so her pop star posts are intriguing to me.*


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