Wedding Woes

I think he doesn't want to go and is hiding behind his 'carbon footprint'

Dear Prudence,
I try to be thoughtful about the environment, and overall I manage to keep a relatively low carbon footprint. The most challenging decision I have made has been drastically limiting my flying. Luckily, my personal and work travel can be done by train. I tend to think that if I can’t take a train, it’s not worth going. I of course make exceptions for emergencies and transoceanic flights, but I really limit those. The closest member of my family is my brother, who lives a short flight but a long train ride away from me. (The rest of the family is on the other side of the country.) He gets angry with me for not visiting him and my nephews more often. He expects me to jump on a plane for every barbecue, birthday party, and family gathering. I could afford to, but I feel that visiting by train for a longer stay once a year and staying in touch regularly the rest of the time works better for me. How do we resolve this?


Re: I think he doesn't want to go and is hiding behind his 'carbon footprint'

  • I'm all for the environment, but it's not like I'm going to put my life on hold.
  • You run your own life.  It doesn't really matter how this person gets to and from his brother's place, Conn is right, it's an excuse.  Even if it was 30 minutes by foot from his house, if he only wants to visit his brother once/year and phone the rest in, that's the relationship they have.  Brother can accept it, or be a dick and push him farther away.

  • Choices have consequences.  Not flying helps the environment but doesn't help his relationship with his brother.
  • as someone on the receiving end of this a lot (guilt trips for not seeing family (ILs) for every little thing) - the appropriate response is "planes/trains go both ways - you can visit me as well.." 

    I agree that the "carbon footprint" thing is just a mask - but it sounds like brother is an asshole and needs to lay off. 

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