Wedding Woes

Rent the car

Dear Prudence,

Next month I will be going to visit my grandparents with my husband and son. We will be flying and won’t have our vehicle with us. We had planned on renting a car, but my grandparents keep saying we don’t need to. But I’m terrified of riding with them. My grandmother has been involved in several serious accidents in recent years. And the last few times I rode with my grandfather he almost drove into oncoming traffic more than once. Is there a polite way of explaining that we’d be more comfortable renting a car?

—Nervous Passenger

Re: Rent the car

  • Rent the car.   I'd say that you just don't want to impose and you'd rather be able to get the vehicle that's comfortable for your family.

    Beyond that if you think there are possible issues with their driving is there a family member that you can contact regarding the next steps for the grandparents?   They may benefit from a driver re-training course or perhaps it's time to give up the keys.   
    charlotte989875OliveOilsMomOurWildKingdom
  • edited September 7
    Rent the car. Tell them you don't want to tie up the transportation the entire time. 

    But yeah if they're unsafe take some steps to reach out to family, I can't believe you're the only ones who have noticed. 
    LondonLisaOurWildKingdom
  • Oh my god, do you adult? Or do you prioritize appeasing people over the safety of your family. Rent the damn car. You don't need a reason or excuses.

    "Grandma - thanks for the offer, but we already rented a car. We will be at your place around 4:00 and will let you know if anything changes."
    *********************************************************************************

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    short+sassyLondonLisaeileenrobOurWildKingdom
  • LondonLisaLondonLisa London, UK
    Fifth Anniversary 1000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    member

    I read the letter a bit differently than some of you.  I didn't read it like she is questioning if she should rent the car, I read it that she is looking for a polite way to explain why she is renting a car.

    As for that, my advice would be, "And, why exactly do you want to be polite and make an excuse?"  It's the perfect opening to gently, but strongly, discuss your concerns with their driving.

    It very well may not do any good.  But how is the family going to feel if (probably when) their grandparents kill themselves and, potentially other people, in a car crash?  And they didn't even TRY.  Didn't.Even.Try. to talk their grandparents into giving up their licenses.  Just because that would be an awkward conversation.

    I told the long version of this a week or two ago, so I won't completely repeat myself.  But my H's former FIL (with his ex-wife) got on the freeway going the wrong way one night and had a head-on collision that killed himself and four people in the other car.  They'd pleaded with him many times to stop driving and, as horrible as the incident was, at least didn't have to carry the guilt that they'd been too "polite" to say something.

    That's horrible! I would be so frustrated and sad for that other family. 
  • I read the letter a bit differently than some of you.  I didn't read it like she is questioning if she should rent the car, I read it that she is looking for a polite way to explain why she is renting a car.

    As for that, my advice would be, "And, why exactly do you want to be polite and make an excuse?"  It's the perfect opening to gently, but strongly, discuss your concerns with their driving.

    It very well may not do any good.  But how is the family going to feel if (probably when) their grandparents kill themselves and, potentially other people, in a car crash?  And they didn't even TRY.  Didn't.Even.Try. to talk their grandparents into giving up their licenses.  Just because that would be an awkward conversation.

    I told the long version of this a week or two ago, so I won't completely repeat myself.  But my H's former FIL (with his ex-wife) got on the freeway going the wrong way one night and had a head-on collision that killed himself and four people in the other car.  They'd pleaded with him many times to stop driving and, as horrible as the incident was, at least didn't have to carry the guilt that they'd been too "polite" to say something.

    I agree with this completely.  We've had those discussions with my grandmother, as we did with my grandfather before he passed.  It's a difficult conversation to have, but necessary.  I hated having to suggest that someone who I'd looked up to and thought invincible my entire life was no longer capable of doing something most adults take for granted as a right.

    I might rent the car with the explanation that we don't want to be an imposition, and then save the difficult conversation for the end of the trip so as not to potentially foul the visit (but that's just me being timid about rocking the boat, so to speak).

    OurWildKingdom
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