I bet this goes over well.
Background to this email: Jeff's and my 10th anniversary is in late July. We found out last week that instead of the fall, as we'd been told, my mother's wedding would actually be on Saturday, August 2 in central Arkansas. We had made trip plans months ago, which required changing in order to make it to the wedding. (It's about a 7.5-hour drive each way from Huntsville to my hometown.)
The last part won't go over well. I have little doubt of that.
I apologize for needing so long to get back with you on travel arrangements, but we were caught off guard by your wedding date. You'd said it was going to be in the fall, so we had no reason to think that your wedding date would conflict with the trip we'd already planned for our 10th anniversary in late July.
We needed the week to get in touch with our Seattle host (Adam) and get our travel plans changed so that we could attend.
As we already had plans in place and reservations booked, we can't shift them very much. This is the best we can do:
Jeff is leaving Seattle a couple of days before me, so he will drive to Arkansas from Huntsville after work on Friday, August 1.
I'm staying a couple of days after Jeff in the Pacific Northwest, so Adam (our host) will drop me off at the Seattle airport on the morning of Friday, August 1. I have a layover in Memphis and will touch down in Little Rock on Northwest #935, arriving at 8:16 p.m.
Both of us:
We were both already scheduled to be back at work on the following Monday, so we'll be driving out on Sunday morning or early afternoon to get back to Huntsville.
On Friday night, whichever one of us arrives first in Little Rock will check into our hotel room. (I don't have that booked yet.) I expect I'll be the first one in; I don't think Jeff will get to central Arkansas before 11 p.m.
Now for the sticky part --
> Reception at the community center. I will need
> you to help [your sister] clean up.
I don't think there is a way to say this that will make everyone happy, so I'll say it as gently as possible. I think you need to plan on having other people help. While I am willing to pitch in, I will have just come off a cross-country flight the night before, as well as several days of hiking.
At the very least, I will be jet-lagged and physically tired from the hike, and will also have a 7-hour drive the day after the wedding. I will be happy to help out some, but if you'd asked me before placing me on cleanup crew, I would have told you that I was coming straight from a hiking trip and that I wasn't a good person to ask. I'll do what I can, but I think you are better off finding some people who are local to Tull to help out.
I still don't know if this was the right tactic to take. On the one hand, I felt guilty for not being willing to dive in and help out. It's my mother's wedding, after all, and I am happy about it. My mother and Paul also have the right to pick any wedding date they want. (Repeat refrain: it's their wedding, not anyone else's.) I think the part that frustrated me was being told my duties without even being asked if I could make it on the date in question -- because in truth, the timing is terrible for Jeff and me.
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