Care and Feeding

My Husband’s Family Has Taken Their Disney Obsession Too Far

It seems weird for a 40-year-old man to spend hours a day watching Disney vloggers.

A theme park Mickey is shown blowing a kiss in front of a multi-colored background.
Photo illustration by Slate. Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images.

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Dear Care and Feeding,

Everyone on my husband’s side of the family are hardcore Disney fans. This has been mildly annoying and amusing during the 10 years we’ve been together, but it’s bugged me a lot more since we had a baby. My son was born last year, and my husband and his mom and siblings have already taken two extended weekend trips to Disneyland, leaving me home alone with the baby because I didn’t want to travel with a newborn during a pandemic.

Now, my MIL wants all of us to go on a weeklong Disney-themed cruise next spring, which would eat up half of my annual leave, not to mention being super expensive (about $10,000 including flights). I’m becoming more resentful and contemptuous of my husband’s fandom. I know he has really positive memories of family trips to Disneyland growing up and all that, but it seems weird for a 40-year-old man to spend hours a day watching Disney vloggers on YouTube and planning elaborate Disney vacations with his mom. Also, while I don’t really have anything against Disney (grew up watching Lion King, Mulan, etc.), I want to protect my son from all this Disney indoctrination! Any suggestions on how I can do this, without raining on everyone’s parade?

—Against the Mouse

Dear Against the Mouse,

Yikes. Disney super fans are a completely different breed than most human beings, so I offer my deepest sympathies since you happen to be in a family with a bunch of them. I would also agree that watching Disney bloggers for hours on end as a 40-year-old man is somewhat abnormal, but I would be fine with it as long as he wasn’t hurting anyone by it. That’s certainly not the case here due to your rising resentment of his behavior.

Can we address the elephant in the room, please? Forget wanting to protect your son from Disney indoctrination—how about protecting him from COVID? Who in their right minds would think that spending thousands of dollars to board a floating petri dish with hundreds of strangers in the middle the ocean for a week is a good idea? Especially since your son most likely won’t be vaccinated by that point. It’s irresponsible and quite frankly, dumb. Hell, you couldn’t pay me $10,000 to go on a cruise right now.

Being against this idea doesn’t make you a wet blanket, it makes you a smart mom—especially since your primary job is keeping your son safe. I would tell your husband in no uncertain terms that you’re not going forward with this because of your son—but you can also include the cost and whatever else comes to mind.

And if there’s a second elephant in the room to address, you should discuss why a grown man is planning Disney vacations with his mom instead of his own wife. That’s also quite weird. If anything, it seems like you and your husband need to meet with a marriage counselor immediately, because if left unchecked, your resentment may grow to the point of no return.

Put differently, say no to the cruise and say yes to counseling. It’s not a stretch to say that your house isn’t the “happiest place on earth” right now, and you need to set some boundaries in order to improve your lives.

—Doyin

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