Author Topic: Offering an all expenses paid trip to almost everyone.  (Read 8676 times)

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cicero

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Re: Offering an all expenses paid trip to almost everyone.
« Reply #15 on: August 20, 2013, 09:13:46 AM »
I think that your thought is very very generous. good friends or not, free miles etc or not , this is something that is very thoughtful and generous.

As for what to do - I would talk to your friends first and foremost. maybe figure out what additional costs *you* can cover altogether (e.g., "we budgeted XX$ for meal plans for us, John, Samantha, Girl4 and Girl6"). and see what John and samantha come up with. maybe something like forgoing the meal plan and eating together in your room /getting only some of the meals out, would allow the extra wiggle room in the budget to bring along the cousins. (I've read a lot of pros and cons about the meal plan so that may be a thought).

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JeanFromBNA

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Re: Offering an all expenses paid trip to almost everyone.
« Reply #16 on: August 20, 2013, 09:48:15 AM »
I agree you're making a very generous offer, but I would try to scale it back to what you could afford for everyone--as others suggested, maybe providing accommodations and tickets for everyone, and letting them pay for their own airfare and meals, for example. If Casey ended up asking her parents for help paying for that part, fine, none of your business how the money got there. But I think it would be weird to go around Casey--you may feel you know her financial situation backwards and forwards, but I think there's the potential for offense when one presumes someone else can't pay for something, you know?

If it were me I would take what I think I know about Casey's financial situation (and anyone else's except my own) out of the equation, and just offer to pay for what I want to and what I know I can afford. I think it's a good impulse to say, "They can't afford stuff like this, so I will offer to treat them," but I think it can sometimes lead to stickiness down the line, so I would rather approach it as, "I can afford this, and it would make me happy to treat them."

Lynn, I didn't even think that Casey would think I was trying to go around her, but that's what I'm doing, isn't it?  I don't know her financial situation for sure, anyway. 

bopper

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Re: Offering an all expenses paid trip to almost everyone.
« Reply #17 on: August 20, 2013, 09:50:07 AM »
I would talk to John and Samantha...tell them "I know "Cousins" have not been to WDW and I am not sure if they would get a chance.  I would like to include them  A) If they would like to come B) If you wouldn't mind them coming C) If their mom wouldn't mind them coming D) If somehow we  could figure out a way to fund their airfare and food costs. We could cover accomodations and park tickets.   Now this might all be too much to work out so don't mention it to them, but if say grandparents were interested in funding some of this?"

Another question is that you are inviting John's mom...does she live with them? If not, another idea is to not pay for her but pay for more of the cousins?

JeanFromBNA

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Re: Offering an all expenses paid trip to almost everyone.
« Reply #18 on: August 20, 2013, 09:58:10 AM »
John's mother, Doris, is like a mother to me. She is a senior citizen on a fixed income, and I do know about her financial situation because she loves to talk money and getting deals with me! Doris would be happy to stay in a 1 star motel and eat sack lunches every day, but we're not going to do that.

JeanFromBNA

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Re: Offering an all expenses paid trip to almost everyone.
« Reply #19 on: August 20, 2013, 10:12:17 AM »
  IF I remember the dinning plan is pretty expensive. I recall really struggling to actually use it all we only did it once. Even eating every meal either at the parks or resorts and including the characters meals at least every other day I never spent as much as I did with the meal plan.  A 12 year old boy though may have an easier time  eating that much :) I think you can invite the group to WDW  paying for airfare , park passes , accommodations and maybe stock the (I assume you're staying in the condos) the basics for breakfast and midnight snacks ...milk, cereal, fruit  some pastries, (maybe eggs if you'd want to cook on vacation) cheese,  crackers ,bread, peanut butter , maybe a veggie tray?  That way you can feed them a bit while they are in the condo an they can feed themselves while out in the park or if they want room service? if you're up to running to the shops twice I think you could provide that for the cost of 1 or 2 meal plans? you may even be able to swing a character meal for everyone in you budget.  I don't think you have to provide the food but that seems to suit the style of hosting you're going for.
The dining plan that we're looking at costs $57/pp/day for adults, $18/pp for kids.  Disney considers anybody 10 and over an adult.  It includes one table service, one quick service, and one snack per day, and it usually works out pretty well.  I wonder if you are thinking of the deluxe plan, which is 3 table service meals per day.  That is too much food and takes too much time. We thought we'd stock the fridge and have breakfast and snacks in the room. 

That brings up another dilemma, though.  Asking the guests to pay for their own meals could result in two different vacations if DH and I go to restaurants for meals, and the guests go back to the condo because they are on a limited meal budget.  I don't think that DH would be happy eating dinner at the condo, or taking too much time at the resort.  It would be a very different vacation style for us.

cicero

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Re: Offering an all expenses paid trip to almost everyone.
« Reply #20 on: August 20, 2013, 10:40:16 AM »
  IF I remember the dinning plan is pretty expensive. I recall really struggling to actually use it all we only did it once. Even eating every meal either at the parks or resorts and including the characters meals at least every other day I never spent as much as I did with the meal plan.  A 12 year old boy though may have an easier time  eating that much :) I think you can invite the group to WDW  paying for airfare , park passes , accommodations and maybe stock the (I assume you're staying in the condos) the basics for breakfast and midnight snacks ...milk, cereal, fruit  some pastries, (maybe eggs if you'd want to cook on vacation) cheese,  crackers ,bread, peanut butter , maybe a veggie tray?  That way you can feed them a bit while they are in the condo an they can feed themselves while out in the park or if they want room service? if you're up to running to the shops twice I think you could provide that for the cost of 1 or 2 meal plans? you may even be able to swing a character meal for everyone in you budget.  I don't think you have to provide the food but that seems to suit the style of hosting you're going for.
The dining plan that we're looking at costs $57/pp/day for adults, $18/pp for kids.  Disney considers anybody 10 and over an adult.  It includes one table service, one quick service, and one snack per day, and it usually works out pretty well.  I wonder if you are thinking of the deluxe plan, which is 3 table service meals per day.  That is too much food and takes too much time. We thought we'd stock the fridge and have breakfast and snacks in the room. 

That brings up another dilemma, though.  Asking the guests to pay for their own meals could result in two different vacations if DH and I go to restaurants for meals, and the guests go back to the condo because they are on a limited meal budget.  I don't think that DH would be happy eating dinner at the condo, or taking too much time at the resort.  It would be a very different vacation style for us.
I think that as long as you are upfront about *in advance* you will be fine. You are, after all, offering them a very generous deal. so you can be upfront - "just to let you know that we will cover X, Y and Z. We have decided that we want to splurge on ourselves for diiners so we will be going to FancyPlace A and B for dinner. You are of course more than welcome to join us, where each will pay his own, or do something on your own. PizzaA and ChineseB deliver to the resort and SupermarketC is right around the corner".

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Lynn2000

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Re: Offering an all expenses paid trip to almost everyone.
« Reply #21 on: August 20, 2013, 11:01:34 AM »
I think that the key to this will be direct, upfront communication about everything. And of course, if you and DH are vacationing with six other people, four of them children, it almost certainly will be a different vacation style than you're used to. Flexibility will also be important. You won't get to do everything you want to do with everyone present, because the others can't afford it, or the kids are tired, or they simply want to do something else that you aren't interested in. So you'll have to decide what you're going to do--always keep the group together, even if that means doing things you and DH don't want to do, or splitting the group up sometimes so people do what they want but separately.

I definitely don't want to put you down, because you seem like a very generous person; but I feel like you might have an image in your mind of how the whole vacation is going to go, and how everyone is going to act and feel, and that might not end up corresponding with reality. For example, you started with the assumption that Casey would be thrilled that someone wanted to take her kids to WDW without her, and that she would be touched and pleased that you went around her to her parents and other relatives to figure out how to pay for her kids to have this experience, so she wouldn't have to, because she can't afford it. And honestly, I don't know, maybe that's exactly how it would be.

But it seems like you're now starting to realize that maybe Casey could reasonably have a different feeling about it--maybe she would feel patronized or like she wasn't in control of what was happening to her kids or like people think she's not a good enough parent. Maybe she wants to experience WDW with them the first time, or she doesn't think they'd like it/she doesn't like it, or she's been saving up for some other gift to give them that's big in their world but would seem paltry in comparison to a trip to WDW. Maybe she can well afford more than people seem to think, but she has different priorities.

I think when you want to and are able to give a huge gift like this, it can be very exciting and it feels really good, but there's a risk of overwhelming the people you're gifting, especially if you present it to them as a complete package that they have no input in, with all kinds of emotional expectations inadvertently attached. They may not react in the way you're hoping they will, and that could just lead to hard feelings all around. I think it's important to be aware of that--you don't want expectations and logistics to ruin the generosity of your gift, which is to experience one of your favorite places with some of your favorite people. :)
~Lynn2000

lowspark

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Re: Offering an all expenses paid trip to almost everyone.
« Reply #22 on: August 20, 2013, 11:58:25 AM »
  IF I remember the dinning plan is pretty expensive. I recall really struggling to actually use it all we only did it once. Even eating every meal either at the parks or resorts and including the characters meals at least every other day I never spent as much as I did with the meal plan.  A 12 year old boy though may have an easier time  eating that much :) I think you can invite the group to WDW  paying for airfare , park passes , accommodations and maybe stock the (I assume you're staying in the condos) the basics for breakfast and midnight snacks ...milk, cereal, fruit  some pastries, (maybe eggs if you'd want to cook on vacation) cheese,  crackers ,bread, peanut butter , maybe a veggie tray?  That way you can feed them a bit while they are in the condo an they can feed themselves while out in the park or if they want room service? if you're up to running to the shops twice I think you could provide that for the cost of 1 or 2 meal plans? you may even be able to swing a character meal for everyone in you budget.  I don't think you have to provide the food but that seems to suit the style of hosting you're going for.
The dining plan that we're looking at costs $57/pp/day for adults, $18/pp for kids.  Disney considers anybody 10 and over an adult.  It includes one table service, one quick service, and one snack per day, and it usually works out pretty well.  I wonder if you are thinking of the deluxe plan, which is 3 table service meals per day.  That is too much food and takes too much time. We thought we'd stock the fridge and have breakfast and snacks in the room. 

That brings up another dilemma, though.  Asking the guests to pay for their own meals could result in two different vacations if DH and I go to restaurants for meals, and the guests go back to the condo because they are on a limited meal budget.  I don't think that DH would be happy eating dinner at the condo, or taking too much time at the resort.  It would be a very different vacation style for us.

I don't think you give them the option of eating at the condo or choosing to do their meals differently from you. You say, we'll pay for air fare and accommodations. Food Plan will cost $xx. And each person will need additional discretionary money to spend on extra food/drinks & souvenirs.

In other words, the cost of the trip for your guests is a minimum set amount (meal plan cost + whatever else you want them to pay for) + their "spending money" for fun stuff.

JeanFromBNA

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Re: Offering an all expenses paid trip to almost everyone.
« Reply #23 on: August 20, 2013, 01:38:17 PM »
I think that the key to this will be direct, upfront communication about everything. And of course, if you and DH are vacationing with six other people, four of them children, it almost certainly will be a different vacation style than you're used to. Flexibility will also be important. You won't get to do everything you want to do with everyone present, because the others can't afford it, or the kids are tired, or they simply want to do something else that you aren't interested in. So you'll have to decide what you're going to do--always keep the group together, even if that means doing things you and DH don't want to do, or splitting the group up sometimes so people do what they want but separately.

I definitely don't want to put you down, because you seem like a very generous person; but I feel like you might have an image in your mind of how the whole vacation is going to go, and how everyone is going to act and feel, and that might not end up corresponding with reality. For example, you started with the assumption that Casey would be thrilled that someone wanted to take her kids to WDW without her, and that she would be touched and pleased that you went around her to her parents and other relatives to figure out how to pay for her kids to have this experience, so she wouldn't have to, because she can't afford it. And honestly, I don't know, maybe that's exactly how it would be.

But it seems like you're now starting to realize that maybe Casey could reasonably have a different feeling about it--maybe she would feel patronized or like she wasn't in control of what was happening to her kids or like people think she's not a good enough parent. Maybe she wants to experience WDW with them the first time, or she doesn't think they'd like it/she doesn't like it, or she's been saving up for some other gift to give them that's big in their world but would seem paltry in comparison to a trip to WDW. Maybe she can well afford more than people seem to think, but she has different priorities.

I think when you want to and are able to give a huge gift like this, it can be very exciting and it feels really good, but there's a risk of overwhelming the people you're gifting, especially if you present it to them as a complete package that they have no input in, with all kinds of emotional expectations inadvertently attached. They may not react in the way you're hoping they will, and that could just lead to hard feelings all around. I think it's important to be aware of that--you don't want expectations and logistics to ruin the generosity of your gift, which is to experience one of your favorite places with some of your favorite people. :)
We've vacationed at WDW with others before.  Sometimes it went fine, sometimes our vacation styles were too different and it didn't work out (sleeping until 11 AM - not our style).   Because we're DVC owners, we're not under the impression that we have to do it all.  We're more worried that our friends will think that they have to do it all and wear themselves out. 

We realize that it's Casey's decision to allow her children to accompany us, and she may not want to for a variety of reasons.  I didn't think that she would be offended if we invited them, but I guess that's a possibility.  Taking her isn't in the budget at all.   Our primary relationship is with John and Sam, so we wouldn't ordinarily invite the cousins anywhere else we went together. 

Now I'm worried that I could offend Casey.  I don't want to do that.

JeanFromBNA

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Re: Offering an all expenses paid trip to almost everyone.
« Reply #24 on: August 20, 2013, 01:42:26 PM »
The dining plan that we're looking at costs $57/pp/day for adults, $18/pp for kids.  Disney considers anybody 10 and over an adult.  It includes one table service, one quick service, and one snack per day, and it usually works out pretty well.  I wonder if you are thinking of the deluxe plan, which is 3 table service meals per day.  That is too much food and takes too much time. We thought we'd stock the fridge and have breakfast and snacks in the room. 

That brings up another dilemma, though.  Asking the guests to pay for their own meals could result in two different vacations if DH and I go to restaurants for meals, and the guests go back to the condo because they are on a limited meal budget.  I don't think that DH would be happy eating dinner at the condo, or taking too much time at the resort.  It would be a very different vacation style for us.

I don't think you give them the option of eating at the condo or choosing to do their meals differently from you. You say, we'll pay for air fare and accommodations. Food Plan will cost $xx. And each person will need additional discretionary money to spend on extra food/drinks & souvenirs.

In other words, the cost of the trip for your guests is a minimum set amount (meal plan cost + whatever else you want them to pay for) + their "spending money" for fun stuff.

I thought about that but worried that it wasn't polite to tell them how much to pay for food.

Lynn2000

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Re: Offering an all expenses paid trip to almost everyone.
« Reply #25 on: August 20, 2013, 02:15:18 PM »
We've vacationed at WDW with others before.  Sometimes it went fine, sometimes our vacation styles were too different and it didn't work out (sleeping until 11 AM - not our style).   Because we're DVC owners, we're not under the impression that we have to do it all.  We're more worried that our friends will think that they have to do it all and wear themselves out. 

We realize that it's Casey's decision to allow her children to accompany us, and she may not want to for a variety of reasons.  I didn't think that she would be offended if we invited them, but I guess that's a possibility.  Taking her isn't in the budget at all.   Our primary relationship is with John and Sam, so we wouldn't ordinarily invite the cousins anywhere else we went together. 

Now I'm worried that I could offend Casey.  I don't want to do that.

Well, I think the thing is to just be aware. If someone bounces into the room and says, "Guess what, Molly? I bought you a pony! It will be so great, we can ride together, every girl should have a pony!" they may have the absolute best intentions, but it could go over like a ton of bricks with Molly's mom and maybe even Molly herself, because Pony-Giver is making a whole lot of assumptions about how Molly, her mom, and other affected people are going to feel.

But if someone goes to Molly's mom and says, "You know, growing up, I really loved having a pony, and it was good for me in a lot of ways. I wonder, have you ever thought about getting one for Molly? If you think she would like it, I would really enjoy being able to help with the purchase in XYZ way"--that to me is a better approach, which allows for Molly's mom to make her own judgment and to say no if she doesn't think it's right for her family, without causing bad feelings.

So if Samantha and John are cool with the other kids going, maybe you could approach Casey directly. "I would love to include the kids in our trip to WDW with Samantha's family. DH and I would really enjoy having them along. For everyone who goes on the trip we're offering to pay X and Y, leaving Z and N for each guest to pay themselves. Let me know what you think." I would emphasize that you're paying for X and Y because it makes you happy to share what you have with your friends, and not mention anything about people who can't afford things. I don't see how that would be offensive to a reasonable person, and Casey may very well be thrilled at the opportunity for her kids. I just think approaching it with the assumption that of course she'll be thrilled and agree, could make things awkward.
~Lynn2000

Aquamarine

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Re: Offering an all expenses paid trip to almost everyone.
« Reply #26 on: August 20, 2013, 02:19:57 PM »
If you can't afford to pay for those you choose invite then I would not extend the invitation.  If your budget is already stretched thin, it will most likely end up even more stretched, there are always unforeseen things and expenses that happen when you travel.  Extending invitations to others is a choice that you make, do not make choices that you can't back up with the monetary support to make them happen.  Live within your means.

I think it's very rude to ask others to subsidize your trip no matter how closely they are related, it puts people on the spot in ways that some people cannot say no to.  Your choice to travel, you pay for it.

I really dislike the way some (general) seem to think Grandparents should automatically fund things for other people's children, even if they are grandchildren.  With retirement becoming something out of reach for many, a trip to WDW may be a very unwise expense when they should be saving their money to literally live on in the future.  It could make them feel like the grinch to say no, plus it really puts them on the spot in a horrible way.
« Last Edit: August 20, 2013, 02:24:15 PM by Rosewater »
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oogyda

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Re: Offering an all expenses paid trip to almost everyone.
« Reply #27 on: August 20, 2013, 04:20:02 PM »
Just a thought . . . if you invite the cousins, won't their mother feel like she's being excluded?  Everyone is invited except her.

And also, i think that a parent would probably like to experience their child's first WDW experience with them.

While I agree with your statement, I would never deprive my children of an opportunity (perhaps their only one) like this for that reason. 
It's not what we gather along the way that matters.  It's what we scatter.

shhh its me

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Re: Offering an all expenses paid trip to almost everyone.
« Reply #28 on: August 20, 2013, 05:30:12 PM »
  IF I remember the dinning plan is pretty expensive. I recall really struggling to actually use it all we only did it once. Even eating every meal either at the parks or resorts and including the characters meals at least every other day I never spent as much as I did with the meal plan.  A 12 year old boy though may have an easier time  eating that much :) I think you can invite the group to WDW  paying for airfare , park passes , accommodations and maybe stock the (I assume you're staying in the condos) the basics for breakfast and midnight snacks ...milk, cereal, fruit  some pastries, (maybe eggs if you'd want to cook on vacation) cheese,  crackers ,bread, peanut butter , maybe a veggie tray?  That way you can feed them a bit while they are in the condo an they can feed themselves while out in the park or if they want room service? if you're up to running to the shops twice I think you could provide that for the cost of 1 or 2 meal plans? you may even be able to swing a character meal for everyone in you budget.  I don't think you have to provide the food but that seems to suit the style of hosting you're going for.
The dining plan that we're looking at costs $57/pp/day for adults, $18/pp for kids.  Disney considers anybody 10 and over an adult.  It includes one table service, one quick service, and one snack per day, and it usually works out pretty well.  I wonder if you are thinking of the deluxe plan, which is 3 table service meals per day.  That is too much food and takes too much time. We thought we'd stock the fridge and have breakfast and snacks in the room. 

That brings up another dilemma, though.  Asking the guests to pay for their own meals could result in two different vacations if DH and I go to restaurants for meals, and the guests go back to the condo because they are on a limited meal budget.  I don't think that DH would be happy eating dinner at the condo, or taking too much time at the resort.  It would be a very different vacation style for us.
 

You know their vacation style , I think you can say "we'll go dutch for meals"  but then the have to have more input about the meals. IF are reasonable sure they would want to forgoer dinner at Epcot every-night for cooking while you want to do dinner out most nights, then I think your right it would be different vacations.    When we got the dinner plan they only offered one to my recollection I don't recall the exact amount but it covered anything  meals, snack carts, room service up to what ever the total dollar amount was.

I personally wound not feel comfortable paying for everyone dinner except 2 children but maybe you could offer. We have enough air miles to cover 5 people flights and ave room for 2 more children. Of course we would be taking them to dinner and to the park but we don't haven enough miles to cover their air fair.   I don't think you could treat everyone but them to dinner and the park entrance.

dawbs

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Re: Offering an all expenses paid trip to almost everyone.
« Reply #29 on: August 20, 2013, 06:09:00 PM »
  IF I remember the dinning plan is pretty expensive. I recall really struggling to actually use it all we only did it once. Even eating every meal either at the parks or resorts and including the characters meals at least every other day I never spent as much as I did with the meal plan.  A 12 year old boy though may have an easier time  eating that much :) I think you can invite the group to WDW  paying for airfare , park passes , accommodations and maybe stock the (I assume you're staying in the condos) the basics for breakfast and midnight snacks ...milk, cereal, fruit  some pastries, (maybe eggs if you'd want to cook on vacation) cheese,  crackers ,bread, peanut butter , maybe a veggie tray?  That way you can feed them a bit while they are in the condo an they can feed themselves while out in the park or if they want room service? if you're up to running to the shops twice I think you could provide that for the cost of 1 or 2 meal plans? you may even be able to swing a character meal for everyone in you budget.  I don't think you have to provide the food but that seems to suit the style of hosting you're going for.
The dining plan that we're looking at costs $57/pp/day for adults, $18/pp for kids.  Disney considers anybody 10 and over an adult.  It includes one table service, one quick service, and one snack per day, and it usually works out pretty well.  I wonder if you are thinking of the deluxe plan, which is 3 table service meals per day.  That is too much food and takes too much time. We thought we'd stock the fridge and have breakfast and snacks in the room. 

That brings up another dilemma, though.  Asking the guests to pay for their own meals could result in two different vacations if DH and I go to restaurants for meals, and the guests go back to the condo because they are on a limited meal budget.  I don't think that DH would be happy eating dinner at the condo, or taking too much time at the resort.  It would be a very different vacation style for us.

FWIW, we did this when I was a kid @ disney and it wasn't a bad thing.
My family (3 kids, 2 adults) vacationed there with our 'almost relatives'--close family friends (1 kid, 2 adults) and we had rather different budget needs.
We met up @ the entrance every morning, after breakfast.  We met up at designated points after lunch (we went and ate sandwiches from our cooler in our RV), we split for dinner (with a few exceptions--there was 1 lunch and 1 dinner we ate together--not on the same day).

It wasn't separate vacations--just separate meals.  Tt gave the introverts in the group a chance to get something that was closer to 'alone time' than they got in the hubub that was all of us and let the youngest kid in our group get a nap on the days when she needed it (while her older sisters paced impatiently, but, that's normal  :P).  It let diverse budgets meet in the middle.  All around, it worked.
So, you know your budget and vacation styles and their 'mesh-ability', but I'd not toss that suggestion out, out of hand