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Anonymous Mailbag

It’s Tuesday, time for the anonymous mailbag to come and rescue from your work doldrums. (And if you’re not working yet, get back to work, you lazy ass.)

As always you can send your anonymous mailbag questions to claytravis@gmail.com, anonymity guaranteed.

Okay, here we go:

“I met the girl that I will be marrying as soon as coronavirus is over about two years ago. We knew from the beginning that we were going to get married, and each of our families almost immediately welcomed us in.
I’ve been on two different trips with her family to Disney World. I had never been and never really wanted to go, but I was so happy to be included and ended up having a great time. My fiancee came to my family Thanksgiving and I spent Christmas morning with her family. I moved a state over to join her dad’s business and my fiancee and I have been living together since then (about 5 months now). This family has really taken me in.
HOWEVER… almost immediately after moving here and asking her parents to marry their daughter, her younger sister decided she wanted to take her college graduation trip to Hawaii. And she wanted it to just be the family. Which excludes exactly one person — me.
Now, the family is not wanting for money. I know that they could easily afford to bring me along, and even if they couldn’t, I’m established enough in my own career that I could afford to pay my own way to join them. It really is just that the little sister doesn’t want me there.
I totally understand the sentiment of wanting to have one last trip with just the family before any of the four siblings get married, but the timing of the trip, and the timing of telling me I wasn’t invited seemed extreeeemely shitty.
The trip was always scheduled for after I proposed, but now that the coronavirus has struck and Hawaii is basically making it impossible to have a vacation there, the timing of the rescheduled vacation is inching closer and closer to when I’m supposed to marry into the family.
Am I wrong for being upset for being left out of this trip?
What would Clay Travis do in this situation?”
I’d have my bachelor party while they are in Hawaii and I’d also stop whining about not being on this trip.
Not taking you on the family vacation doesn’t seem like a very big deal to me, especially since you’ve already been on family trips before. Trust me, you will be invited on many family trips in the years ahead and eventually, if you’re like most men, you’ll get to the point where you’d prefer not to be on the family trip and like to use your vacation on something else.
As is, you haven’t been a part of the family for most of their lives. It’s perfectly reasonable for the siblings, or at least one of the siblings who is the reason the trip is being taken, to want to spend time with each other — and their parents — before one of them gets married and embarks on their own life.
You may think that your fiancee doesn’t act any different when you’re around compared to when you’re not around, but that’s likely not to be true. You being on the trip alters the dynamics of the family event and it’s perfectly normal for some members of the family to prefer their non-relationship sister. After all, how many of you reading this right now have a friend that you liked far more before they ended up with their current boyfriend or girlfriend, husband or wife.
Your future sister-in-law may (rightly) be thinking this is her last time to spend time with her sister before her sister gets married. Her senior year has ended up pretty crappy — she got sent home in March and hasn’t had a traditional end to her college career. Now her big sister is getting married and she may be already mourning the loss of her sister as a traditional family member.
Yes, she may also not like you and be doing this in a passive aggressive way. But regardless of what her motivations are, I think you have to not be a pussy here and just move on with your life. This really isn’t that big of a deal. And if you pout about being left out you might well be doing what the sister hopes you’ll do, creating drama and reacting to her passive aggressiveness. Do you know what the absolute best way to deal with passive aggressive people? Ignore their passive aggressiveness because it drives them crazy.
That’s why I think scheduling your bachelor party during their family trip to Hawaii is a solid move. Don’t do it in a passive aggressive way, just take advantage of the the fact that your fiancee is going to be out of town anyway. You can take your own trip while they take their trip.
Finally, it’s possible this isn’t just the sister’s decision. I have three boys right now and all of them are, hopefully, a long way from being engaged or married. But if one of them was about to be married, I can totally see why it changes things to have a significant other on the trip. As a dad I’d rather spend time with my three boys for one last trip than have one of them bring a fiancee.
So while you’re blaming the sister it’s possible the family is just using her graduation as an excuse to take one final family vacation together. The family has been a unit since long before you arrived, they may just want to be a complete family unit, without additional partners, for one last time.
Trust me, don’t fight this.
It puts your fiancee in an awkward spot then and even if she fights to get you included, the “win” that comes with you being allowed on the trip is a hollow one that creates far more discord than its worth.
Have fun on the bachelor party.

“I’m in a friend group of about eleven guys, and while the commonwealth of Virginia has had pretty strict restrictions during the coronavirus, especially northern VA (parks just opened this weekend), most of us have continued to hang out, except for four of us, including me, whose parents aren’t letting them hang out with friends or go most places. I have been completely fine with social distancing for the time being because my dad is immuno compromised after recently starting to take chemotherapy, although it is bothersome to see many of my friends breaking social distancing rules, not because I don’t think they should be, but mainly because it sucks I can’t be apart of it. 

The first week of June we will be done with online school and are planning a field day where we would play a bunch of different sports. My mom and I have talked about the coronavirus a lot and both agree that there is little risk for going out in public if you’re wearing a mask and being cautious. My dad also has acknowledged the little risk of myself getting the coronavirus and then passing it to him and has even said he’d be comfortable with me getting a job this summer. However my sister, who lives with us, and just graduated college is pretty fearful of the coronavirus and thinks the restrictions should continue and gets very angry when she sees people in public not social distancing. 

Should I participate in the field day? Is it safe? In Northern Virginia numbers haven’t been looking as good as the rest of the country and I am worried of the possibility of contracting it and then passing it on to my dad. If it is safe, which is what I’m leaning towards because there will only be teenagers there, I would wear a mask, and being outside would make it very difficult for the coronavirus to be passed along, given that it’s main way of spreading is through respiratory droplets, then how should I ask my parents if I can participate and how would I be able to convince them and my sister that I should be allowed to go?” 

You’re in high school so you’re young and still under the guidance of your parents.

I can imagine how frustrating I would have found it to be stuck inside when I was in high school, especially if the virus wasn’t very dangerous at all to people of my age and if many of my friends were continuing with their ordinary lives.

That sucks.

But here’s the deal, I can’t give you advice about what to do because my advice might conflict with your parents ultimate advice and when you’re still under 18 you don’t have the autonomy to make your own life decisions.

Now I can tell you what I let my boys to do — I’m fine with them hanging out with other kids their own ages, heck we are taking our kids canoeing this morning as soon as I finish the anonymous mailbag — but my wife and I are very healthy and don’t really have anything to fear from the coronavirus.

Plus, every parent is different.

So I think you, or anyone else of your age in a similar situation about the coronavirus, which is truly a situation without precedent in our modern lives, needs to sit down with your parents and have a legitimate conversation about this.

Here’s some data for you: 1208 people are reported to have died of the coronavirus in the state of Virginia so far, that’s nearly identical, a bit less actually, than the 1283 who died of the flu two years ago. The flu from two years ago was actually much more dangerous to young people than the coronavirus is. So if you got sick from the flu two years ago you were more likely to die than if you get sick from the coronavirus now.

That’s a stat you’re welcome to use in a discussion with your family, but that data only applies to you. I don’t know your family’s particular circumstances so I can’t assess their risk level. Which is why ultimately you should listen to what your parents say. Even if, as might be the case here, you don’t agree with their decision.

Final thought: if your dad is okay with you getting a job this summer, I don’t see how he can be opposed to you playing athletics outside with your friends. If you are working indoors this summer, the risk of infection would be much higher here than playing with your friends.

I don’t know all of the sports you’ll be playing, but in general your risk of infection from outdoor athletics is fairly low. Now that obviously can increase depending on the sporting event — tackle football, for instance, requires far more contact than baseball.

Good luck.

“I am 32 and have two major skills I’ve developed over the years to make my money: 1) professional golf caddie 2) piano bar entertainer. I spend half the time in NYC and half on Cape Cod, MA. 
Question: How screwed do you think I am?”
First, hell of a combo here.
I think your caddying opportunities will return faster (probably) than your piano playing. If anything, people are more desperate than ever for activities to do so I’d think rounds of golf played have been growing.
I played earlier this month with a caddy here in Tennessee and I’d imagine many golf courses are bringing their caddies back sooner rather than later across much of the country.
As for the piano bar entertainer, here in Nashville they just allowed live music to return. But they limited it to two performers at a time. It seems to me that playing the piano would be one of the first live music performers allowed to return across the country. But there’s a big difference between, say, being a live piano player in a fancy restaurant and working in a dueling piano bar. If you’re doing the latter and relying on people getting drunk and paying you to play certain songs, I think it’s going to be a decent amount of time before you’re able to make the living you are used to from that profession. If you’re a lounge or restaurant piano player, I’d think you’d be back to work really soon.
Good luck with both.
“Hey Clay, I am a big fan of Outkick and the mailbag and have come here to seek advice. I am 25 years old and live with my parents and work as an accountant on Long Island. Since I am working remotely for the time being I was thinking of moving to New Haven, Connecticut for June and July to have some freedom and peace of mind to enjoy myself and not worry about getting my parents sick. 
I have a friend who lives in CT and another friend would move with me. CT is ahead of LI in terms of reopening, they already have outdoor seating at restaurants, while LI hasn’t opened anything up except for curbside and take out. 
The main reasons for moving are to have freedom, salvage this summer (since I only have 5 more years in my 20’s, the last two summers I spent a big chunk of time working and studying for the CPA exam) to hang out with friends and hang out with girls while having peace of mind that I won’t get my parents sick (I have already turned down this one girl, who straight up told me she wants to have sex, out of fear she infects me with coronavirus and I in turn infect my parents.)  
My parents are both 60 and in good health but my Dad is concerned about the virus, not overly concerned in a way that he forces me to stay home or anything like that but he is taking the risk seriously and I am not allowed to have anyone over and I have for the most part been very cautious since I think it’s only right to respect his wishes since he raised me, took care of me, paid for college etc. Does it make sense to spend about $1600 in total for two months of rent in order to have a fun summer? ($1600 is two weeks worth of pay from my current job) I have zero debt and have a good amount of money saved up. Some cons I thought about include: If me or my friend get sick near the end of July when we have to move back home or if we are asymptomatic, we said we would self quarantine the last two weeks to try and ensure we are safe to return home.  So Clay is it worth it to start paying rent to enjoy the reopened new normal CT, and to have the peace of mind to hang out with friends and girls for the next two months?”
Why in the world would you become the first single person in recorded history to move to Connecticut from the New York area?
Since you’re working remotely I love the idea of thinking creatively and relocating for work, but I’d use this as an opportunity to go live somewhere else. That’s especially the case when the entire South is pretty much opened back up. Sure, you may be able to do a bit more in Connecticut than you can on Long Island, but I suspect both states will eventually end up in a similar place. (My theory in general is it’s hard for a city or a state to have that much different rules than the city or states that it neighbors. Eventually everything moves in the direction of more openness.
Why not rent a really great place in a Southern state? You could pick from cities in Tennessee, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, or Texas.
Get your buddy to come down South with you and you may never leave, honestly.
But even if you don’t like it you get a couple of months to try out a new lifestyle.
If I were young, able to work remotely, and stuck in a restrictive state, I’d 100% relocate to a less restrictive city or state and work from home while getting to explore a new place in the evenings and on the weekends. It’s basically an extended vacation.
Hell, I’m not just giving this advice, I did it myself and I’ve got three kids and a wife. We moved down to Florida for most of the month of May and lived at the beach.
How many other times will you have an opportunity to go somewhere new for multiple months? This seems like a no brainer to me. Especially where, as is the case with you now, you’re living with your parents in the middle of a viral outbreak otherwise.
You and your buddy should live a little and pick a fun place to live for the summer.
If you’re looking for a positive, by the way, from the coronavirus disruptions, I think it could be this: the coronavirus is blowing up the idea that everyone needs to spend all day in an office. Many companies, and many employees, are finding out that their employees are just as efficient, if not more so, while working from home than they are in the office.
I’ve long believed that if you told employees if they finished their work in three days they could have four day weekends, that the vast majority would get their work done in three days. But most people don’t do this because they feel obligated to put in face time.
Well, when you work from home, there’s much less need for pretending to be busy.
And you can have a better work-life balance.
So if you’re stuck in a restrictive state and working remotely, why not hop in the car and find a new place to work and live for the summer? All you need is good wifi.
Good luck and have fun.
As always, thanks for reading and send your anonymous mailbag questions to claytravis@gmail.com
Now I’m off on a family canoe trip.

Written by Clay Travis

Clay Travis is an author, radio show host, lawyer, TV analyst, and the founder of OutKick (formerly known as Outkick the Coverage).
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The Daily Outkick: Tuesday, May 26, 2020

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