Author Topic: The Proposed Gathering.  (Read 4990 times)

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Thipu1

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The Proposed Gathering.
« on: January 30, 2013, 10:48:28 AM »
I've posted before about the Family gathering MIL is planning for the summer. 

Something has happened that makes me feel sorry for her.

She had her heart set on a particular resort because she thought she had a special relationship with the owners.  She wanted to show off her whole family to them. 

  She hasn't been there in almost 30 years and the resort is no longer operated by the same family.  It's now a corporate property.  She was expecting immediate and warm response to her questions about booking.  She hasn't heard from the place in two weeks and she's disappointed. 

This is high season for the resort so the lag in communication is understandable but MIL feels she has been jilted.

Good suggestions for other hotels that are equally nice and less expensive have been offered by family members but MIL is at best luke-warm.

We feel bad for her because, at her age, she's losing lots of real friends.  Losing imagined friends just makes things worse for her.

Everyone in the family wants this gathering to come off well.  Is there anything we can do or say to help her feel better about this?  Any and all suggestions are welcome. 

peach2play

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Re: The Proposed Gathering.
« Reply #1 on: January 30, 2013, 10:55:08 AM »
Well, you can't make her feel anything, but maybe if you contacted the corporation that owns the property and get a response or ask them to respond to her.  She was hoping to show her family how important she is and that she can get this nice place and she was hoping to show the owners of a resort how beautiful her family is and now she's lost face.  That's hard to recover from because it's tied to ego.  She needs to feel very important so is there something you can ask for her help on that will make her feel so?

cicero

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Re: The Proposed Gathering.
« Reply #2 on: January 30, 2013, 11:17:51 AM »
Well, you can't make her feel anything, but maybe if you contacted the corporation that owns the property and get a response or ask them to respond to her.  She was hoping to show her family how important she is and that she can get this nice place and she was hoping to show the owners of a resort how beautiful her family is and now she's lost face.  That's hard to recover from because it's tied to ego.  She needs to feel very important so is there something you can ask for her help on that will make her feel so?
I agree - i would contact their PR or customer retention people

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secretrebel

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Re: The Proposed Gathering.
« Reply #3 on: January 30, 2013, 12:18:12 PM »
The resort people are strangers. I wouldn't waste time on trying to form a relationship with the new owners or contact their customer service.

How about sending MIL a nice card/letter and writing that you understand and sympathise with her disappointment about the nice people having left Location A but you're really excited about the reunion and have been doing some research and both Location B and C look nice. Then add "but wherever we go the important thing to me is that we spend some time together" and suggest some enjoyable activities or family centred ones likes looking through old photos or making a group project like a quilt.

It's her family she needs love from - not the customer service team of the resort.

Lynn2000

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Re: The Proposed Gathering.
« Reply #4 on: January 30, 2013, 12:18:56 PM »
I think general noises of sympathy and empathy are the only thing required.

Whichever person is in charge of organizing the gathering can certainly contact the company again, maybe try the "human interest" angle of MIL's attachment to the place if they think that will work. Otherwise the organizer's obligation is just to find a location that's logistically suitable (price, location, etc.). Maybe the organizer could ask MIL what other things she liked about the place--I think I remember from another thread she was keen on their big garden? So perhaps the organizer could focus on places known for their garden spaces. At some point, though, lukewarm or not, the organizer will have to settle on a place so all the other people in the family can make their plans.

Also I think if too many people get involved in trying to "fix" the situation, without coordinating with each other, it could lead to a mess and hurt feelings.
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DistantStar

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Re: The Proposed Gathering.
« Reply #5 on: January 30, 2013, 12:46:48 PM »
I admit I'm a little confused - if she hasn't been there in 30 years, what sort of a relationship could she possibly have with the owners even if they were the same people?  I'm sorry she's upset but I can't say I'm surprised.  But I'm also confused by a two-week lack of response to a request; that's not acceptable, high season or no, and they should be responsive even if it's to tell her they're so sorry, there's nothing available.

Definitely contact the resort.  I would be in serious trouble if I didn't get back to a contact like that, and I do reservations for a resort.

sammycat

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Re: The Proposed Gathering.
« Reply #6 on: January 31, 2013, 01:10:51 AM »
I admit I'm a little confused - if she hasn't been there in 30 years, what sort of a relationship could she possibly have with the owners even if they were the same people?  I'm sorry she's upset but I can't say I'm surprised.

That confused me too.

Thipu1

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Re: The Proposed Gathering.
« Reply #7 on: January 31, 2013, 06:58:35 PM »
Mr. Thipu will be contacting the resort this week to find what is happening. That will get things moving.

According to her children, this is not something that has come with advancing age.   MIL has always been a bit delusional about 'friends'. If she attends a book signing and shakes hands with the author, they are friends.  If someone is written up in the local paper for doing something nice and MIL has said 'Hello" to that person in the post office, they are friends.

Back in the 1980s MIL and FIL bought a time-share at the resort in question.  They met several members of the notable family.  In MIL's mind, that means they are friends of that family.  She remembers them fondly.  Therefore, they must remember her fondly.  Unfortunately, that's not always the way things work. 

We're working on this and will post when there are any new developments.  In the meantime, we thank those who have taken the time to read and offer suggestions. 


WillyNilly

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Re: The Proposed Gathering.
« Reply #8 on: February 01, 2013, 10:20:20 AM »
In the meantime, can the family try and remember other great places she's been to?  Perhaps one of her first trips in the US was the Niagara Falls - no, not beautiful gardens, but certainly an amazing backdrop.  Or maybe her first child was born in the Bronx - those Botanical Gardens are world famous.  Or did she ever have dreams to see Mt Rushmore (or did she ever sculpt) - that's a plane ride away but very affordable and gorgeous. Maybe the awesomeness of voting has always been meaningful to her - Bedford Falls NY is the 'birthplace' of the women's suffrage movement and has some very picturesque wineries. I picked mostly NY since I know you are in the city, but the whole country has plenty of examples.

Its not the same as the resort, or her 'personal' friends, but surely at her age more then one place holds meaning for her and is pretty and can accommodate a family reunion.

Thipu1

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Re: The Proposed Gathering.
« Reply #9 on: February 01, 2013, 10:57:56 AM »
Thanks WillyNilly.  You have some good ideas but they won't work in this case because MIL refuses to fly or to travel more than an hour or two away from home.  We also have to deal with four generations find things that will appeal to children from 15 to 5 as well as their parents and grandparents. 

We'll see how things work out with MIL's chosen location.  Mr. Thipu has had professional experience with negotiation.  If anyone can straighten things out, he's the one. 

However, if that doesn't pan out, there are plenty of places in Vermont and new Hampshire from which to choose and plenty of things to do.   There's been a lot of talk about this in the family and everyone's determined to make this a success. 

scansons

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Re: The Proposed Gathering.
« Reply #10 on: February 01, 2013, 02:55:27 PM »
In the meantime, can the family try and remember other great places she's been to?  Perhaps one of her first trips in the US was the Niagara Falls - no, not beautiful gardens, but certainly an amazing backdrop.  Or maybe her first child was born in the Bronx - those Botanical Gardens are world famous.  Or did she ever have dreams to see Mt Rushmore (or did she ever sculpt) - that's a plane ride away but very affordable and gorgeous. Maybe the awesomeness of voting has always been meaningful to her - Bedford Falls NY is the 'birthplace' of the women's suffrage movement and has some very picturesque wineries. I picked mostly NY since I know you are in the city, but the whole country has plenty of examples.

Its not the same as the resort, or her 'personal' friends, but surely at her age more then one place holds meaning for her and is pretty and can accommodate a family reunion.

I love all these suggestions.  To bad Grossinger's is long since defunct.  I remember a really wacky, and yet oddly nice family reunion there when I was a young child.  Maybe something else in the Catskills.   

Thipu1

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Re: The Proposed Gathering.
« Reply #11 on: February 01, 2013, 03:14:29 PM »
Dear scansions, thank you for reminding us about the Borscht Belt. There's a funny story from Mr. Thipu that I'll be posting in the 'Things You Should Not Laugh At...' thread.

scansons

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Re: The Proposed Gathering.
« Reply #12 on: February 01, 2013, 03:27:11 PM »
^My pleasure.   :)

LadyL

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Re: The Proposed Gathering.
« Reply #13 on: February 01, 2013, 03:44:24 PM »
According to her children, this is not something that has come with advancing age.   MIL has always been a bit delusional about 'friends'. If she attends a book signing and shakes hands with the author, they are friends.  If someone is written up in the local paper for doing something nice and MIL has said 'Hello" to that person in the post office, they are friends.

Given this update I would make polite, brief, sympathetic noises but that would be it. It strikes me as manipulative when people constantly fib about having "friends in high places." It implies that I will like them better if they have high status friends. Similar to how people try to get better service by claiming to know the owner - it's wanting better or special treatment than the "average" person because you're just so charming and special. I realize it also speaks to the person's lack of self esteem, but I feel like they're making their insecurity my issue by forcing me to engage in this song and dance about their "friends."  In this case it also puts MIL in the position of wanting to be the center of attention and everyone to feel indebted to her because she brokered the 4 star treatment for everyone, because she is so great and everyone loves her who works at this place.

kitchcat

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Re: The Proposed Gathering.
« Reply #14 on: February 01, 2013, 06:30:17 PM »
According to her children, this is not something that has come with advancing age.   MIL has always been a bit delusional about 'friends'. If she attends a book signing and shakes hands with the author, they are friends.  If someone is written up in the local paper for doing something nice and MIL has said 'Hello" to that person in the post office, they are friends.

Back in the 1980s MIL and FIL bought a time-share at the resort in question.  They met several members of the notable family.  In MIL's mind, that means they are friends of that family.  She remembers them fondly.  Therefore, they must remember her fondly.  Unfortunately, that's not always the way things work. 

I know someone like this. I'm guessing she likes sense of importance she feels by being "friends" with well-know/important people. I would NOT call the hotel, because all that would do is enable her delusions. If she continues to be a Debbie Downer about the situation, you could tell her gently (but firmly), "MIL, the hotel is no longer run by the people you met. Why are you expecting a friendly reunion with strangers?"
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