Ask Queen Simone: Girls Trip Mama Drama
“My Friends and I have been planning a girls vacay to Puerto Rico for months. Two weeks ago, one of my friends (who does not know the two others on the trip) called me to tell me she was also trying to plan a trip for her mom’s birthday sponsored by her dad. In jest, she said that she might have to go on ahead and combine both trips. We laughed and I never heard of it again. Two days ago, I sent an email to the group attendees giving them the details of our all day excursion to the rainforest and hiking. My friend responds with: This all sounds great. My mom may be down with the hiking but I am not sure about the kayaking. Upon further investigation I called her and she has booked her mom a stay and ticket at another hotel but wants her to join in on our activities. The other group participants are like heck naw and me myself is like how did a girls trip become bring your mama? How do I tell her that (as one attendee put it) her mama is prohibited from participating in any group activity? Matter of fact I do not want to see the mama!
Girls trips can be an amazing bonding experience with people that you love and care about. Most identify the term “girls trip” with friends, however, girls trips with female family members can also be a fun and rewarding experience. BUT mixing the two… without prior approval from all involved… not. cool. at. all. Actually it can be uncomfortable and quite creepy.
This situation is problematic on so many levels. First, it is clear that your friend was not mentioning her mother “in jest.” She was clever in trying to disguise her intentions as a joke. What isn’t funny is that she never ASKED if she could combine the trips—she informed you that she was going to do so.
This all sounds like a real life version of the movie Mean Girls. Your friend’s mom comes across as the long lost sister of Amy Pohler’s character in the movie, Mrs. George, who delusionally thinks, “I’m not like a regular mom, I’m a cool mom.” I get chills thinking about your friend’s mom (let’s call her Mrs. George) walking in asking “How are my best girlfriends?” Or worse, interrupting someone trying to get her groove back by asking “Can I get you guys anything? Some snacks? A condom? Let me know!” Maybe I am over reacting in my response. Mrs. George may be a wonderful person. But Mrs. George appears to be lacking in social graces (and possibly her own friends) if she knew that this was a girls trip for her daughter and raised no objection about tagging along.
Second, your friend (let’s call her Regina) is doing the MOST. By inviting her mom on the trip (even at a different hotel) and assuming that she will participate in group activities is rude, inconsiderate, and reeks of mean girl behavior. You and the other participants have every right to be upset. It is imperative that you tell Regina how you and the others feel ASAP. Specifically, tell her that you did not think she was serious when she mentioned combining the trips and that if she were serious, she should have asked (not informed) all of the participants prior to making plans. Be honest and tell her that not everyone knows her mother and that the thought of Mrs. George participating in group activities makes the others uncomfortable.
However, you must be prepared for the fact that Regina may be looking for a reason to get out of the girls trip in favor of the “sponsored” trip from her father. It seems unlikely that Mrs. George will eat alone and travel alone on her birthday. If you tell Regina that her mom is not welcome, it is very possible that she will opt to stay in her mom’s hotel room (for free), eat meals with her mom (for free), and take excursions with her mom (which I also assume will be part of the ”sponsored” trip courtesy of dad). If Regina tries to bail, politely point out to her that you expect full payment for all shared costs—specifically for the hotel room and car rental. Explain that the costs were based on all participants—and for her to bail on shared expenses at the last minute is not fair to the other participants.
If Regina agrees to pay her share and keep her mom separate, then all is well. There is nothing wrong with Regina deciding to split her time between her mother and the group. As long as she does not expect the group to accommodate her changes in plan (or alternative plans) then let her roam freely with mom. As a nice gesture, any of the attendees who WANT to meet with Regina and Mrs. George for breakfast, lunch, or birthday cake can do so, but no one should feel obligated to do so.
All of that being said, I would would not travel with Regina to the mall–much less an international trip in the future. Her rude travel behavior is not something I would want to risk enduring again. Good luck!
Sincerely, Queen Simone