March 3, 2008

Departure Date Omission
Lima, Peru

Tatiana's family still doesn't know we're leaving (a week from today). I've been nudging her to tell before she returns to Lima from Chile, which now looks like it won't be until Saturday, the 8th, at the earliest.

The problem is her mother. She's overtly manipulative to a degree that I haven't seen since I last hung out with my mother's mom. "The General"—that's what folks call my grandmother.

Tatiana told me over a text chat last night: "Let me put it this way: if I tell her now it'll be more days of bitching, as opposed to telling her two days beforehand."

I told her that "There's a cutoff point when it just gets a little… rude, no? What if they have want to do something special? They have plans of their own; there's got to be some level courtesy or pre-departure buffer, no? They won't see their grandson for lord knows how long, and you should prepare from for that a little. …I wouldn't drop something like this on my dad without any notice."

"That's because your dad doesn't spend the whole day trying to brainwash you, convince you to stay, emotionally blackmail you, or throw tantrums about your leaving."

Which is all very true. Tatiana gets a lot of grief from her mom about traveling and living abroad. I imagine there a battle every time she has return (off and on) for the past three-something years.

"It's a little awkward to be talking about stuff for next week, when we won't be here," I told her. "I'm lying by omission, though it's not my place to say anything… so I don't. I don't want to leave them with this impression…"

But I'm not judging—I'm in Tatiana's corner on this 100%. We're united. Her position is our position.

After observing how this family operates for 4+ months, I know what the ramifications will be for Tatiana to actually give people a specific date of departure, instead of the arbitrary "we're going as soon as Aidric's paperwork is done" that she's been responding with.

Like I told Tatiana, I'm grateful for her family's hospitality, and don't take any pleasure in withholding details of this importance from them—especially since they'll know I've been sitting on the tickets without telling them for all this time.

But again, I know my place without having to be told. I'm savvy enough to know that this is ultimately about Tatiana and her mother, and actually has little to do with Aidric or myself.

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