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Can I get out of this without being unreasonable?

(65 Posts)
HappyJoyful Wed 10-Apr-13 12:21:16

Going away at the weekend with friends and our toddlers.

I'm really looking forward to it and can't wait, except 1 of the friends has emailed and suggested we could meet up nearby to where I live (as it's en-route for her) and then travel in one car to share petrol costs and because I think she's not feeling very confident about driving on her own as she's not driven for a while (its a 2.5hr journey).

I really don't fancy it, I admit, for what are sort of selfish reasons;

I'm a disorganised person and work full time, so was planning on just pottering on Fri am and packing throwing mine and DD's stuff in the car and setting off when I fancied (obviously I'd need to arrange a time if we were to meet and get into one car)

My 2.3yr DD is likely, left to own devices, to nod off on long car journey, making it nice peaceful 'me' time to listen to radio. I've no idea how friends 1.8yr old DD will be on long journey and I think it will stress me out. It feels like a responsibility to be driving with someone else's child in back of car and again.

We're spending 3 full days and nights together, I feel at the end of the holiday, I'd like to be 'flexible' in when I return and what I do and again, not have to factor someone else into the equation.

I may pass somewhere on the journey that I'd like to stop at, I'd just like to have the me time and only be responsible for me and my dd.

Am I being mean and unreasonable to try and come up with a reason why I don't fancy car sharing? Or should I just accept I'm being unreasonable, and be gracious and offer friend to come in our car (she has offered to drive too- but for all above reasons and fact I'm an awful passenger that would 'stress me out' even more')

magimedi Wed 10-Apr-13 12:26:03

YANBU - but am not sure how to get out of it tactfully.

You could say you have something to do en route or that your DD gets v car sick & don't want to inflict that on anyone else.

Or just say what you have said here - if she's a really good friend she should understand.

Backtobedlam Wed 10-Apr-13 12:26:12

I don't think you'd be unreasonable either way, although personally I'd prefer another adult with me when possible just in case car breaks down, child is sick...those kind of eventualities. Could you just say what you've put on here, you have a lot to do fri am and not sure what time you'll be done, so it'd be easier to go seperatley? You're spending the weekend together so you obviously get on well, can't see her being offended by that.

CajaDeLaMemoria Wed 10-Apr-13 12:26:12

Just say you are going direct from work, or something.

I'm the same. My car is mine. I like to sing, and to sit in the comfortable seat, and having other people in the car stresses me out. It'll be a much more relaxed, enjoyable trip if you go on your own, so do that.

Rainbowinthesky Wed 10-Apr-13 12:26:19

I understand your pain and would feel exactly the same. I enjoy travel time on my own and don't understand why some people don't although realise this is unreasonable.
I would be short and to the point and say some crap about not knowing exactly when I would be leaving and would hate to keep her waiting around plus you aren't sure when you are coming back and would hate it if she found this difficult.
She won't believe you but might get the hint.

Rainbowinthesky Wed 10-Apr-13 12:27:32

You might come across as being unreasonable but not nasty or mean. I could live with that.

TigOldBitties Wed 10-Apr-13 12:29:03

Maybe just tell a tactful lie

"Sorry, can we go separately as I'm having someone round/something delivered/visiting someone on the way and I can't predict how long it will take, I'd prefer the flexibility".

You could always soften it with "but will happily do any driving while we're there."

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Wed 10-Apr-13 12:33:25

YANBU and you could just say you are quite nervous yourself and need to focus on driving without distractions? Or in case DD is car-sick or something happens to delay your start, you'd really prefer to go on your own.

Ignore this but I can't help feeling sorry for your friend who is nervous of driving, sharing petrol costs seems a good idea; hopefully one of your other friends can work something out if going by train is out of the question.

OhTheConfusion Wed 10-Apr-13 12:35:41

I agree that you should just say your not organised, don't know when you will be leaving etc.

You could always offer to do the driving when you are there?

SarahAndFuck Wed 10-Apr-13 12:38:06


Can you just tell her that you would prefer to take your own car as you need to be a little more flexible with your journey times and stopping off on the way etc.

HappyJoyful Wed 10-Apr-13 12:45:01

Thanks for speedy responses.

I chuckled at the singing caja yes, exactly, I certainly wouldn't want to inflict me doing that on someone.

She is a dear friend but still feel I'd have to go down the path of one of the white lies suggested.

Just can't help feeling I'm being unreasonable/selfish, which genuinely isn't me, but then I always do that and do something to be kind to someone else at my sanities detriment.

Contemplating we could go in 'convoy' as a sort of compromise? as donkey says I do feel anxious, (hence why I'm having this dilemma) for her as she's nervous, though again, that sort of adds it's own stresses and sounds more unreasonable; 'you can follow me, but can't come in my car?!' The other friends are coming from totally different directions so impossible for them to share.

MrsMangelFanciedPaulRobinson Wed 10-Apr-13 12:49:36

YANBU at all; I am exactly the same about that kind of thing. I can't put my finger on why, but I like to make my own travel arrangements to things, and do my own thing, plus it is good to have the flexibility to be able to come home when you please, and not have to consider anyone else.

I went on a girls' weekend to Birmingham a couple of years ago and ended up 'sharing' lifts with 3 other women, two of whom I didn't really know well, and it just was such a disaster. On the Sunday we ended up coming home far later than planned as one of the girls had a monster hangover and was in bed until late. Then one of them kept wanting to stop for cigarette breaks. I know it makes me sound really intolerant but I just wanted to get home by that point!

My advice would be to be honest with her; "I hope you don't mind but I am not sure what my schedule on the day will be yet, nor on the day we return home. It's probably fairer on you if we both make our own way there, as otherwise I might end up keeping you waiting or having to rush off before you're ready to come home"

Of course, you could also mention that, with a toddler, your car will be full of toddler equipment and the journey will be uncomfortable for 4 of you with her toddler's equipment too!

ChocolateCoins Wed 10-Apr-13 12:57:44


Could you say that you're waiting for a parcel to be delievered on Friday and don't know what time it's coming, so you can't leave until it's here and don't want to keep her waiting?

But if it was me I would just apologise and be honest.

Bejeena Wed 10-Apr-13 13:34:56

I think the cost of the extra petrol and the impact on the environment would do it for me. I'd feel too guilty if we went in seperate cars the same distance, carbon footprint and all.

But you do whatever you think is best. I would use the parcel delivery excuse or something to get you out of it.

manicinsomniac Wed 10-Apr-13 13:39:15

I can understand all your objections but I have a friend who is a nervous driver too and I can't imagine not helping her out in this situation tbh. If it was just about petrol costs then I think YWNBU but as this is a good friend of yours who is actually anxious and upset and it is in your power to make her happier then I think YABU.

HappyJoyful Wed 10-Apr-13 13:46:47

dilemma's, dilemma's!

I'm afraid bejeena I can't place my 'sanity' over the environmental argument so don't feel too guilty about separate cars for that reason.

manic yes, that's my concern, the nervous driver, I have to say though, selfishly, my experience also means she could be a nervous passenger and this could just make me twitchy and nervous as donkey has said, in a way, I'm best left to my own devices just concentrating on driving without distractions of an unknown entity as in her and her 1yr old dd.

MrsMangel I smiled at a distant memory of a similar road-trip with friends to a uni reunion. I was one with the hangover Perhaps this is what has made me uneasy about the lack of delights of car sharing.

Veering off white lies now and just going for honesty.

Any thoughts on the 'convoy' as a compromise position ? Least then we've potentially more elements of flexibility.

MrsMangelFanciedPaulRobinson Wed 10-Apr-13 14:02:51

I think honesty is definitely the way to go, Happy!

Hmmm, not sure I'd be happy on the convoy option in your position either, because you won't be able to do any stops en route, plus you will have to leave when she does on the last day so that she can follow you.

kitsmummy Wed 10-Apr-13 14:17:55

I think convoys are a bit dangerous actually - getting obsessed with keeping people in your view can distract you from actually driving safely.

I totally get your feelings on this, but I do think it's a bit of a tricky one to get out of and, if it were me and it was my friend who was nervous of driving, I'd put my irritation aside and share with her.

LadyVoldemort Wed 10-Apr-13 14:28:08

I don't think Yabu to want to travel on your own but with this one I would just suck it up for the sake of your friend. You can still leave on your say so at the end of the break, she'll just have to go along with it.

cornflakegirl Wed 10-Apr-13 14:30:16

I'm not very confident driving on unknown routes, so I can imagine suggesting sharing a car like your friend has. I think the convoy suggestion would leave me feeling fobbed off, and unsure why you didn't want to share a car. Unless there was a reason that we might both need cars once at the destination - maybe for flexibility on day trips? I also, as an unconfident driver, don't particularly like driving in convoy - I actually find it harder than just using a map or directions because I don't know what is coming up and get worried that I will be left behind if the cars get separated.

If having passengers will make driving unpleasant and stressful for you then tell your friend. I would understand someone not helping me in a situation that I find a bit stressful if by doing so it makes the situation stressful for them. But I think I would be a bit hurt if you didn't want to help me just because it meant you would have to decide in advance what time to leave. I'm not a natural planner myself, so understand your preference, but it's a bit of a poor reason not to help, I think. (Unless she's just suggesting sharing because she thinks it would make the journey more fun, in which case it would be a perfectly valid reason to say no.)

HappyJoyful Wed 10-Apr-13 14:34:15

I agree kitsmummy about the convoy, it's far from ideal as kind of defeats majority of reasons for wanting to travel on my own, and can be dangerous as you say.

Really appreciate comments and support that I'm not being unreasonable, just need to draft honest email now, referring back to tigs comments, I need to learn to keep it short and sweet though, I always tend to waffle rubbish when I feel like I'm doing the 'wrong thing' she says still leaning to a white lie version though must add am useless at lying so I think I'm best with honesty.

Something like this..

"I'm really sorry, no idea when I'm going to leave and would rather get there in my own time and don't want to rush you or have you waiting round, I'm a bit nervous myself and need to concentrate on driving myself"

Arghh, it sounds lame written down like that... but I know I'll regret it if I take her dd -back onto the white lie for sure.

"So sorry, I've got few things to sort out before I go, so no idea what time I'm going to leave?"

"Not going directly home on Monday as got to go to my sisters to babysit"

BackforGood Wed 10-Apr-13 14:36:36

Definitely don't suggest the convoy - that's yet another thing to concentrate on - makes it worse if you're (your friend) is nervous of driving!
Also means you lose the flexibility side without the gain of halving the fuel costs.
Personally, I'd have thought the combination of the cost of fuel / impact on the environment, and the fact your friend is nervous of driving it, would make me want to share, but if you don't, then at least be honest... if you start making up things then she'll be very likely to sy "Oh, I don't mind being flexible with the times - you can just give me a ring once your parcel's delivered, etc."

BackforGood Wed 10-Apr-13 14:36:52

x posted

MimsyBorogroves Wed 10-Apr-13 14:37:33


I love having the car and the journey to myself.

I'd probably just waffle a million flimsy excuses as to why I couldn't car share, in the hope of her taking the hint. Then again, I'm not brilliant at those sort of situations grin

Bejeena Wed 10-Apr-13 14:39:39

I don't think travelling in convoy is safe either.

I think either you have to be honest and say you prefer to travel alone or say you have to go to your sisters or similar (would be handy if your sister was closer to destination). On reflection the waiting for a parcel or not sure when you'll leave excuse might not work, she might just say she is happy to wait.

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