Author Topic: The generous gift we haven't received - update #33  (Read 9750 times)

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TootsNYC

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Re: The generous gift we haven't received.
« Reply #15 on: September 27, 2013, 07:19:46 PM »
You don't know what condition of the one being sent to you. (if it get sent) If I was in your shoes, I go ahead and buy one for ds.  And if she sends it, then you can decide which to use and which to keep as backup.  Instruments always needs tuning/repair etc so it's handy to have a backup.  It's what we did.


I would not email/PM her again.  It seems you already had several conversations about it and I would just leave it alone till she brings it up again.

You know, this is a good point, and I want to change my answer. May I?

You say you could afford to get him a new one--do so.

Then if this one ever arrives and it's playable, he'll have a spare.

Meanwhile, is she ever likely to know the details of his instrument borrowing/renting/purchasing strategy? I'm betting not. She knows he has an instrument now.

Coley

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Re: The generous gift we haven't received.
« Reply #16 on: September 28, 2013, 07:11:39 AM »
It could be that she intends to send it but is having difficulty with packaging and shipping. Depending on the size--French horn or tuba?--it could be a hassle and if it is that could be putting her off because of the hassle. Could you offer to pre-pay the shipping fee?

Yep, it would be bulky item to ship. I offered up front to pay shipping. She declined. She said she wants this to be her gift. It may well be that sending it is more involved than she thought.

I completely forgot to mention that we saw her (for the second time) at a family reunion this summer. We'd talked about the fact that we would all be there and how nice it would be to see each other. I didn't mention it, but I hoped she'd bring the instrument with her at that time, but she didn't. She brought up the instrument when we saw her and I told her again how appreciative we are. That was the extent of it though.

Coley

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Re: The generous gift we haven't received.
« Reply #17 on: September 28, 2013, 07:28:45 AM »
You don't know what condition of the one being sent to you. (if it get sent) If I was in your shoes, I go ahead and buy one for ds.  And if she sends it, then you can decide which to use and which to keep as backup.  Instruments always needs tuning/repair etc so it's handy to have a backup.  It's what we did.


I would not email/PM her again.  It seems you already had several conversations about it and I would just leave it alone till she brings it up again.

This is a very good point. In fact, if he had two, he could leave one at school to save the trouble of lugging it home. And TootsNYC makes another good point -- if we got him one on our own, she probably would never know.

Bethalize

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Re: The generous gift we haven't received.
« Reply #18 on: September 28, 2013, 07:33:38 AM »
I have a rule for when someone says they are going to do something and doesn't do it. If they are called on it and they say: "I'm terribly sorry for inconveniencing you, let me see to that right now" and do it, they mean what they say. If the subject comes up and they don't do it the second time then they won't ever do it. Or if they do it, it will be so late as to be useless to you.

I suspect the fact that she didn't bring the horn when she came to meet you meant that she likes the idea of giving it to you but isn't actually ready to do it. Think hoarder. I went through the same thing with my Aunt and my Uncle's piano. She wasn't ready to give it me, then she gave it to someone else. Hers to do with what she wants, but I was a little disappointed.

So my advice is to judge people's intentions by what they do and go and get your son his own horn. Then if this other one arrives it will either be better or not and you can sell one or have a spare.

lkdrymom

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Re: The generous gift we haven't received.
« Reply #19 on: September 28, 2013, 08:17:22 AM »
Sounds a bit like my ex. He makes alot of grand promises and enjoys the praise for making them...but has no real intention of following through.

You spoke to her on several occassions and still no instrument. Rent one for your son, if it shows up great, you can stop the rental. But I would be really surprised if you ever see it.

EllenS

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Re: The generous gift we haven't received.
« Reply #20 on: September 28, 2013, 09:16:05 AM »
I agree with the point about go ahead and get one, then if she ever does send it, you'll have two.  I'll change my vote to go there, too.

And I would be more likely to chalk it up to general flakiness/disorganization than any sort of mixed intentions.  I have been driving around with my grandmother's dishes in the trunk of my car for about two months, to ship them to my niece. I don't want them, have no intention of hanging on to them, but it just seems like every time I have a chance to go the the UPS, they are closed.

Lynn2000

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Re: The generous gift we haven't received.
« Reply #21 on: September 28, 2013, 05:06:32 PM »
Yeah, I wouldn't necessarily read anything negative into the fact that she hasn't sent you the instrument yet--more like she just hadn't thought it all through. I know lots of people like this (my relatives). "Oh yeah, I'll get that to you one of these days." Only it's a multi-step process--first have to get Thing out. Then let it rest for a while. Oh, looks like Thing needs to be repaired. Let it rest for a while. Take Thing to repair shop. Find out it will be there for weeks. Get Thing back. Let it rest. Slowly realize that shipping Thing is a hassle, thus prolonging the time Thing rests. Etc.. Meanwhile, the need Thing was going to fulfill has come and gone, the child has grown out of it, I went and bought myself one so I could keep going, whatever. It's not malicious, it's just sort of... on their own time frame, without really thinking about the other person's viewpoint.

I would get another Thing for DS and just not worry about it anymore. That way if this one ever arrives, you can be pleased and find a use for it as a backup or whatever, instead of getting stressed and bugging her. Bugging doesn't seem to work with people like this, at least not the ones I know. Bugging just attaches more guilt to the Thing, so they're less likely to go near it in the future. Acting like it's a great idea, but you don't really care if you ever get it, seems to speed things along for some reason. (Or it just makes it seem faster, because you're really not worried about it.) It's... weird.  :P
~Lynn2000

perpetua

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Re: The generous gift we haven't received.
« Reply #22 on: September 28, 2013, 05:21:13 PM »
When I was in the school band, we rented my instrument, and they weren't expected to be the bestest evar. You've left it a bit vague, but if his current one still functions, why is it so important that he have a new one? Based on the current information, I think you should stick it out with waiting for the relative's instrument.

A duff instrument can really, really hamper a student's ability to learn and play it properly. Depending on what instrument it is, 'slightly non functioning' can be the difference between getting notes out of it or not, but definitely the difference between the student progressing or not or even enjoying his musical experience. It's like trying to cut things with blunt scissors. Eventually you're going to get frustrated and give up.

OP, go ahead and buy the instrument if you can afford it; it'll help your DS's musical progression. As for the aunt, I'd just be honest.

scansons

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Re: The generous gift we haven't received.
« Reply #23 on: September 28, 2013, 06:16:49 PM »
I'd say, buy your son a new instrument.  Get what he needs and likes and can use.  Because there is really no way to know if the promised instrument is going to be a good one for him.  Then just don't mention that you bought one.  If the promised one shows up.  Then he's got a back up. 

But speaking as a violinist. Instruments vary a great deal.  There really is no telling if the one she's promised is one that he's going to like the sound of.    At least not until he plays it. 

TootsNYC

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Re: The generous gift we haven't received.
« Reply #24 on: September 28, 2013, 06:45:29 PM »
When I was in the school band, we rented my instrument, and they weren't expected to be the bestest evar. You've left it a bit vague, but if his current one still functions, why is it so important that he have a new one? Based on the current information, I think you should stick it out with waiting for the relative's instrument.

A duff instrument can really, really hamper a student's ability to learn and play it properly. Depending on what instrument it is, 'slightly non functioning' can be the difference between getting notes out of it or not, but definitely the difference between the student progressing or not or even enjoying his musical experience. It's like trying to cut things with blunt scissors. Eventually you're going to get frustrated and give up.


Yep!
There's a kid at my church who played trumpet in the school band. I could get him to play for church pretty easily--he seemed to like it.

The moment he graduated, he had to turn his instrument back in, and that was the end of it. He had a trumpet, but it was frustrating to play, and so he just didn't.

Dindrane

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Re: The generous gift we haven't received.
« Reply #25 on: September 28, 2013, 06:46:23 PM »
One other thing I will note is that most instruments, properly taken care of, retain their value. It would be entirely possible to buy an instrument and then resell it if the one promised to you ever comes through (and is better than the one you bought). You might not get what you paid for it, but you'd probably still get enough to make it worth selling.

I also think the rent-to-own idea is a good one. My parents bought the piano they still own that way, to make sure my brother and I were really interested enough in lessons to make it worthwhile, although I think they paid it off early once they were satisfied that we were. They bought me my first cello and my brother his first violin that way for the same reason. I'm pretty sure they sold both of those instruments back to the shop they purchased them from when we outgrew them, too.

It's also not a terrible thing to have two instruments, if you can afford it. I had a school-owned cello that I played at school, so I didn't have to carry mine back and forth. It was always a pain when I had a reason to need my own cello, since it was heavy and bulky and not the kind of thing I could store in my locker. :)


Queen of Clubs

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Re: The generous gift we haven't received.
« Reply #26 on: September 28, 2013, 07:49:29 PM »
I'd say, buy your son a new instrument.  Get what he needs and likes and can use.  Because there is really no way to know if the promised instrument is going to be a good one for him.  Then just don't mention that you bought one.  If the promised one shows up.  Then he's got a back up. 

But speaking as a violinist. Instruments vary a great deal.  There really is no telling if the one she's promised is one that he's going to like the sound of.    At least not until he plays it.

I agree with all of this.  Even if the instrument arrives, your son might not like the feel of it.  And how long are you going to wait?  You have no idea when (or even if) you'll receive the instrument.  If you can afford it, end the situation by buying your son a new/new to him instrument.

Coley

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Re: The generous gift we haven't received.
« Reply #27 on: September 29, 2013, 11:09:04 AM »
Thanks, everyone, for the input. My initial question was whether I should prompt this relative of mine about the horn she offered. From the responses, it sounds like the consensus on that is "no." It would be better to purchase a horn on our own.

I've been researching instruments off and on for a while now. This is a French horn, which is a big investment even for an intermediate-level instrument. We got very lucky with DS's current horn as a beginner instrument. We wanted to see how it went the first year with DS's interest level. He's feeling committed at this point, and given the condition of his horn, it's time for another option that will serve him in the long term. My relative's offer came at the right time, but I can't hold off on buying a horn for DS to wait for hers. Perhaps she will eventually follow through.

FWIW, I was a kid who played a school instrument -- the bassoon. Bassoons are very expensive, so there was no expectation that parents would buy or even rent them when I was in school. My high school had a few loaner bassoons -- two were good quality and the rest were older and not in as good repair. I got one of the good bassoons, and it had a big influence on my desire to keep playing. I loved it and played all the way through high school. After high school, I stopped playing for one simple reason: I didn't own a bassoon. I had a classmate who was assigned one of the lower-quality bassoons from the high school. She had a terrible experience and struggled with learning to play it. I don't want to put DS through that.

Kaymyth

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Re: The generous gift we haven't received.
« Reply #28 on: September 29, 2013, 02:49:31 PM »
Thanks, everyone, for the input. My initial question was whether I should prompt this relative of mine about the horn she offered. From the responses, it sounds like the consensus on that is "no." It would be better to purchase a horn on our own.

I've been researching instruments off and on for a while now. This is a French horn, which is a big investment even for an intermediate-level instrument. We got very lucky with DS's current horn as a beginner instrument. We wanted to see how it went the first year with DS's interest level. He's feeling committed at this point, and given the condition of his horn, it's time for another option that will serve him in the long term. My relative's offer came at the right time, but I can't hold off on buying a horn for DS to wait for hers. Perhaps she will eventually follow through.

FWIW, I was a kid who played a school instrument -- the bassoon. Bassoons are very expensive, so there was no expectation that parents would buy or even rent them when I was in school. My high school had a few loaner bassoons -- two were good quality and the rest were older and not in as good repair. I got one of the good bassoons, and it had a big influence on my desire to keep playing. I loved it and played all the way through high school. After high school, I stopped playing for one simple reason: I didn't own a bassoon. I had a classmate who was assigned one of the lower-quality bassoons from the high school. She had a terrible experience and struggled with learning to play it. I don't want to put DS through that.

It's an F horn - no wonder he's having trouble with the current one.  They are extremely finicky and sensitive instruments, and one little dent can change the entire character of the instrument.  He's going to leap forward in skill as soon as he gets a properly working one.

You know, as bulky as horns are, I'd go ahead and get him one, and then if Relative does send hers?  Bonus!  If the school has a secured instrument storage closet (and most do) he can keep one at school for rehearsals and one at home for practicing, and then he wouldn't have to lug it back and forth.  It'll also teach him flexibility as learns the quirks and foibles of each individual instrument.

I'm an oboist myself; double reeds are about as twitchily sensitive as an instrument can get.  I remember my playing ability jumping when I got my braces off, and again when I went from the cheap plastic school Artley to my very own wooden Loree.  And my mom played bassoon; those puppies are *expensive*.



perpetua

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Re: The generous gift we haven't received.
« Reply #29 on: September 29, 2013, 02:55:45 PM »
Oh, if it's a horn, then it's a no brainer: go ahead and get him the decent one if it's in your budget, then if Aunt does come good with the offer, use it as a spare (or vice-versa if Aunt's horn turns out to be a gem!)

The horn player in our orchestra joined as as a ten year old. She pootled along at a very basic standard for ages, and then she got a new horn. Within the space of two years, she has blossomed into an *amazing* horn player; it's an absolute joy to listen to her. She's 14 now and I can see her going ahead to have a career in it, she's that good. The turning point was the decent instrument.