- 2 months ago
Hey bees. Recently, I received a pretty large bonus at work, a little over $2,000. It was very unexpected. We get bonuses every now and again, but mine is usually somewhere around $200-$250, never this high. Anyway, after discussing it with DH, we decided that I can do what I want with this bonus money since I earned it with a lot of hard work (I’ve been doing a lot of extra work for this company during downtime and while not on the clock, and they wanted to show me how much they appreciated it). Anyway, the ILs came for a visit and I was off of work today. DH and I talked about how the 4 of us should do something since I was off and I agreed it would be nice. He was having a hard time coming up with something, and I told him that I had an idea, but I wanted it to be a surprise for the ILs as well as him if that was ok. He said it was fine. We had this conversation a few weeks ago, and a few days after we talked about it, I called and booked us all a hot air balloon ride. DH and I have been talking about how we always wanted to go on one, and I thought this was the perfect opportunity. The balloon company was owned privately, and I needed to put a non-refundable deposit down for each person wanting to ride in order to hold the date and time. The date was changeable, but the deposit was non-refundable. Then, a week before the ride, I had to pay a total of 75% of the final bill, and the rest of the 25% would be due the day of the ride. It was about $200 per person, so I already had about $600 paid towards this.
Well, today was the big day. I was suuuuper excited! The balloon place was about an hour from our house, so I told DH I would drive everyone and I did let them know yesterday that it would take us an hour to get to the surprise. Everyone was fine with that. Well, we get there to this big open field. None of the balloons are inflated yet since we were going to be the first (maybe the only?) ride of the day. So we get out of the car and walk over, and everyone keeps going “what is the surprise?? We don’t see anything but open field!” And then the ILs spot the deflated hot air balloon on the ground. They had it out and ready to fill. Welllll, let’s just say they were less than enthused. They were like “I hope this isn’t the surprise…” and I laughed at first, thinking they were joking… NOPE! They were dead serious, saying “oh well we’re afraid of heights” and asking how much it would cost. I told them I already paid for them and they were like “oh! I just wish you would have asked us first. We really don’t like to be up that high!” And blah blah blah. Every excuse in the book. I was obviously extremely disappointed. My DH seemed torn, he was excited because it was something we’ve been talking about doing, but he didn’t want to force his parents to do it, and he didn’t want to disappoint me.
After standing there in an awkward silence for what seemed like forever, I finally just asked the guy working there what I’d be able to do since 2 of the people I brought don’t want to ride. He pulled up my name in the computer to see what I’ve already paid and he said that since I paid 75% of 4 riders, that was non-refundable, but the dates were transferable, so I could ride with my DH today, and then the 2 of us could come back for another ride a different day, or I could take all 4 rides by myself, or I could find other riders that wanted to go, but it was totally up to me. So I looked at DH and said “ok, well why don’t we just ride today and then I can decide what to do with the other 2 rides.” He asked the guy how long the ride typically lasts and he said it was anywhere between 3 and 4 hours by the time we get our instructions, they inflate the ballon, we get up in the air, and then back down and walk back to the building. DH was like “well what are my parents going to do for 4 hours?” I said they could watch and double checked with the worker to make sure they had a viewing area. He said that they did and they were more than welcome to sit on the benches and watch. I thought it would be cool for them to even take some pictures of us in the air. But nooooo, they didn’t want to sit around for 4 hours. To be fair, I did tell everyone this would last about half the day and to make sure they ate before we left. Lunch was included on the air balloon itself, but since they weren’t going up, if they wanted to eat, they would have had to purchase it in the main building. I said “if you’re worried about food, they have some right here.” And they didn’t say anything, but my DH repeated that he doesn’t think they’d want to sit there that long and wait. He could tell I really wanted to go, and he said “well, why don’t you just go up and I’ll take them home and come back and pick you up when you’re done? We can get pictures of you going up and then I’ll leave and by the time I get back you should be almost done.” I said the point of this was so we could do it together, if not all together, then at least me and him. And I finally just threw my hands up and said “forget it, we’ll just go…” I apologized profusely to the guy working there and he said it was fine. I told him I would call him and let him know what I was going to do with my mostly paid 4 flights.
The car ride home was silent. No one even talked! The ILs didn’t bother to apologize or even offer to pay me back for what I spent on them. I honestly wouldn’t have taken it since I was still getting 4 rides out of it, but to not even offer? If someone surprised me with something and I knew they spent a good amount of money on it but I was too chicken to do it, I would at the very least offer to reimburse them. The other thing is, I would also stay and watch them do their thing, no matter how long it took! When we got home, DH and I went upstairs and he saw that I was ready to cry. I was so, so deflated (pun intended lol) and he was like “I’m sorry about today, but we can go any other time you want.” And I told him that we still should have gone up today and it wouldn’t be a big deal for his parents to wait and watch and take some pictures. I told him I had this all planned out, was looking forward to it, spent my money on everyone and I felt like his parents were being ungrateful. They didn’t even bother to thank me for the thought, even if they weren’t interested. Well, then he got mad at me and said I can’t force them to do it and they’d be terrified and he thinks they feel bad. I said if they feel so bad, why didn’t they apologize to me or thank me or offer to pay me back?? I probably shouldn’t have gone there, but I also told him I was feeling like he was choosing them over me since he was more concerned about them sitting there for 4 hours instead of concerned about going up in the balloon with me and making sure I was having a good time and felt appreciated for my surprise.
Oh and the kicker? We got home around 12 noon. It’s now 4:30 and guess what his parents have been doing since then? Sitting around doing NOTHING! Just like DH was so worried about them doing at the balloon place. I mentioned this to him a little while ago and he got pissed and left the room and went downstairs with them. I’m currently sitting up in our bedroom crying off and on and wishing I would have brought some alcohol up here because I don’t want to go downstairs and pass by them to get any because I’m too upset. What a way to ruin a day. It’s not like I was asking them to jump out of a plane! It was a freaking hot air balloon ride! It’s slow, there’s someone with you, and if they don’t like heights, just don’t look down!!!
I’m not really sure what the point of this post is. I guess just to vent and get it off my chest.
Can anyone else commiserate with me? Did anyone ruin a big surprise you were excited about? Please tell me I’m not the only one.