Dear Carolyn: We are planning a long-weekend vacation at a family-type inn with out daughters and grandchildren. One of our daughters has a lesbian friend whom she vacationed with last summer, and she plans to do so again this summer. My other daughter insists that we need to include this friend in our family vacation. Neither my husband nor I feels inclined to do so as we do not enjoy the personality of the friend.
This daughter feels the same, but insists her sister will be upset if her friend is not included. They became acquainted two years ago. They do not live together, but their relationship is exclusive.
Do we have to invite someone for a family vacation that three of us are uncomfortable with?
The Right Decision?
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She’s not your daughter’s “lesbian friend,” she’s your daughter’s girlfriend — and yes, you must include her as you would a girlfriend you liked. Or a boyfriend you didn’t. Your other daughter is right.
You could also exclude the girlfriend as you would anyone your daughter hasn’t fully committed to, but even if that’s your established precedent, expect her to see it for the flimsy excuse it is.
To be clear: As sentient creatures, you always have final say in whom you interact with. Given that you’ve rebuilt your life around your children, though, you need to be mindful not just of what’s right, but also of the price you’d pay with your daughter for not making the noble choice.
Email Carolyn at firstname.lastname@example.org.