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Author Topic: This could only happen to gui!  (Read 4248 times)

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This could only happen to gui!
« on: March 23, 2013, 12:15:27 AM »
Hi, all:

I posted once before that I have a close friend in the U.K. who was talking about my visiting Northern Ireland (I believe my question was about visiting the murals and the Peace Wall, knowing my friend grew up during, and was involved with, The Troubles).  My friend lives and works in London but is a Belfast native.

Friend sent me a message earlier this week or late last week saying "Hey, Gui, I know it's last minute, but wanna come to N.I. the week before Easter? (i.e. next week)."  Then she made the unbelievably generous offer of paying for the flights  :o.  I'd anticipated staying in a hotel, as I'm not really comfortable staying with a family I don't know well and have never met.  One day that might change.  Still, the flights were the biggest chunk of cash for this.

Unfortunately, there was a catch, and it just got catch-ier as the week went on.  Friend will only have at best four days in Belfast herself.  She wrote and told me that she wouldn't have a lot of time to actually do touristy things with me, as she wants to see her aging parents and a friend who is going through a personal crisis.  There were some other obligations there, too, but she made clear that even if we didn't see one another, she would still pay for the flights.  She did say that she would more than likely go back to NI in June, and would have time for touristy things then.  The dates were uncertain for later, and she worried that I don't do uncertainty or last-minute.  While I like planned, I'm realizing life is by definition, uncertain.  I could take a risk and wait.

I thought about this.  I could do it, but it wouldn't be the best time to go.  To make a long story short, my marriage is imploding and I've consulted an attorney :(.  I must get busy looking for a teaching job.  My husband just had a procedure done to break up kidney stones. 

I wrote Friend back and thanked her profusely for the generous offer, and I totally understood about seeing her family and her friend.  I joked about getting pegged, that uncertainty isn't my strong suit but that I need to relax and let it happen sometimes.  I explained, I hope in a way that made sense, that going back to my ancestral homeland the first time was a big deal and one I'd hoped to share with my close friend.  After that, I could go without necessarily coordinating it with her.  I told her that I was willing to wait until a better time came up where we could share this trip.  The truth is, seeing my friend was a large part of going in the first place-I'm sure I could do the "logistics" on my own.   I also thought privately that perhaps going after the dust has settled on my so-far amicable breakup and after I'd landed a fall job would be a great time, a time to reflect.  If I was there by myself, I think I'd worry myself out of enjoying the trip.

I offered another alternative, that of my popping over to London for a long weekend, even if she had to work one of the days I was there.  It's not NI, but it's something.

This is probably a difficult question, but was I rude in my answer?  If you were my friend, would that answer permanently label me as a flake?  Did it make sense?


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Re: This could only happen to gui!
« Reply #1 on: March 23, 2013, 02:18:10 AM »
I found your post a bit confusing.   Are you saying that your friend wants you to fly to N.I. with her, free of charge, and then not spend any time with you because she will be visiting her relatives?   Why would she want you to come?   You said she may be planning another trip there later in the year, so why not just go then?

Miss Unleaded

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Re: This could only happen to gui!
« Reply #2 on: March 23, 2013, 02:27:25 AM »
Has she paid for the tickets yet?


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Re: This could only happen to gui!
« Reply #3 on: March 23, 2013, 03:48:04 AM »
I wouldn't label you as a flake or anything.  It sounds like you are trying to make sensible plans for when the two of you could get together and spend some time. 
I've never knitted anything I could recognize when it was finished.  Actually, I've never finished anything, much to my family's relief.

Free Range Hippy Chick

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Re: This could only happen to gui!
« Reply #4 on: March 23, 2013, 08:53:36 AM »
You may find that all bets are off at the moment anyway because the weather has gone horrible and one of the airports has been shut, and the forecasts over the next few days aren't good. (The Elder Chick is supposed to be coming the other way tonight, so I'm keeping an eye on this!)

It doesn't sound to me as if you were rude. Short notice plans don't suit everybody, and if you're one of the people they don't, well, you are. Sounds to me as if you explained that, and if you also said that your own life at the moment is complicated, I think you're off the hook. Your friend made a generous offer but not one that worked for you, and I suspect that if she's visiting elderly parents and a friend in crisis, she may end up with even less time than she originally foresaw. It doesn't sound to me like something that would work, either, so since you thanked her for thinking of you, and explained why another time would be better, you're off the hook.

I'll admit that I want to hear about it when you do go, for no reason other than probably-not-EH-approved curiosity!


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Re: This could only happen to gui!
« Reply #5 on: March 23, 2013, 02:07:21 PM »
I don't think your response was rude at all.

It's not like you said "Thank you for your generous offer, but I can't go at this time. Will your generous offer still stand in the future?" then planned your trip at your time expecting her to still pay for airfare.

It seems odd that she would pay for your flight even though there's a chance that she won't be able to spend any time with you.

If I remember correctly, this is a fairly new acquaintance? You met her in person at an event, and then have been communicating via e-mails? Is that true?

There's something going on with my "Hinky Meter" that just doesn't sit right for me. I may be waaaay off, but if I were you, I would plan my dream trip to Belfast by myself at my convenience. Then let Friend know that these are the dates and ask if there is any chance that she could meet up with me?

I also think that I would refuse any sort of high-priced gift (airfare) as tempting as it may be. Being indebted to someone can possibly turn out to be a loooong row to hoe.

If this were a life-long friend, my answer would be different.

P.S. ((((Gui)))) for all of the troubles that you're going through. I think that you're absolutely correct in thinking to postpone the trip until your mind is in a better place than it is right now. I think that you would enjoy your trip so much more when you're at peace with yourself. I'm hoping you get to that place sooner rather than later.

gramma dishes

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Re: This could only happen to gui!
« Reply #6 on: March 23, 2013, 03:06:41 PM »
Gui, under the pressures of what's going on in your life right now, I think you were wise to answer her exactly as you did. 

Now is NOT a good time for you to go and one of the major reasons you wanted to go in the first place was to spend time with your friend, and your friend isn't going to be around much.  Maybe not at all!

I'd wait until it's a calmer time for you to go and if you are able to see your friend then, great.  If not, you'll still be able to enjoy the trip knowing it's your own trip on your own schedule.