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Stuck between a rock and a hard place-friends and timeshares

cerralee

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Hopefully this will not get too long-I tend to ramble.

I have a very newly divorced friend who has moved back into the area after living in the mid-west for two years with her parents and children after separating from her husband of 20+ years. We have always been good friends and our daughters practically grew up together. We always relied on each other a lot as we both moved into a small close knit town where getting into the local friend groups were hard as the locals literally have the same friends they had since kindergarden.

I invited my friend and her children ages 17 and 20 to come along to mexico with us in February. I booked two one bedroom units that each sleep four adults. They would sleep six but the children are supposed to be under 12 for the sleep six situation to happen. They do offer a per person fee for extra quests. The rooms are not all that big to begin with. The bedrooms are all set up different, some having one bed some two. There is a pull down Murphy bed in the living area. No guarantee of what kind of set up or even if the rooms will be in the same building.

The resorts has conditions that anyone under 21 must be in the room with an adult. I invited them to come along with us thinking that my friend and her 17 year old son would share our room and have the use of the Murphy bed and the couch in the living area.

Her daughter who is a Junior in College would have use of the other room along with my daughter (Senior in college) and her boyfriend of three years. Friends daughter was originally bringing her boyfriend but that fell through as he plays baseball at a local college and is now going to "camp" during their spring break. Our daughters hang out together with their "others" in all kinds of situations, at their age traveling in packs is the norm and not uncomfortable for them. One is always over at the others college apts. spending the weekends and free time. Needless to say my daughter and her boyfriend are looking forward to "sharing a room" and are even paying for the extra room so they can be away from the uncomfortableness of sleeping on the couch in Mom and Dads unit. They have been a couple for three years and live in different cities so are looking to have a nice vacation. I feel lucky that they even want to spend their free time with us. They want daughters friend in their room as she is the same age group etc.,, can go to the same places, do the same things.

Now here comes the sticky part. I thought everything is all worked out and my friend calls me on the phone and asks if her son can bring a friend so he won't be lonely. In the past she has waffled between the idea of bringing her son at all because his father (her new ex) keeps saying he wants to spend time with his son and the fact that last year her son went on a cruise with a bunch of his friends and she went nowhere.

I listened, said I would see what could work out, that for one thing the room only slept four adults and I just couldn't see my husband giving up the bedroom on his vacation and would look into it further. At this point I had not even discussed the additional teenager who we don't even know joining our trip with my husband. He knows my friend and her children very well and feels they are like family, so there was never any problem with them. I did say I would consider it and did say I would see what could be worked out, never did I give a resounding OK go with it. Before I know it she calls me back and says that Son has invited a friend and its OK with his parents. I was kind of blown away and taken aback. I could tell by my husbands sullen silence that he was not all on board with this newest development. So I try to talk to him and he literally won't say yes and won't say no. After being married to the man for 30 years I know this is his way of saying that he is not for this newest development and is leaving it up to me. So now I am in the middle of having my husband blaming me for whatever could go wrong on this trip and my friend who has made all these plans mad at me.

My hubby brought up some good points, minor in the country without a parent staying in our unit. 17year olds can and do have access to alcohol in Mexico, can go to the clubs, basically do the Spring Break thing. He does not want the added responsibility of an unknown teenager to stress out about. He is a teacher in a HS and has enough teen angst he deals with. What if something should happen and there is not a parent there? My friend says she will take responsibility but we have had things happen before and if the guests weren't mature they could have really been bad situations. (One of party had plane cancelled due to weather and almost got stuck in airport for several days). She was in her 20's and capable of handling herself, luckily I got her out on another plane but it could have been a bad situation.

Now my friend is saying she isn't going at all and I am being too uptight about the extra person who throws us over our occupancy limit or puts me in the situation of putting the boys in with my daughter and her boyfriend who will surely have cases of beer etc., in their room and just to put it bluntly shacking up together.

In past years, if my son who is also in the same college age bracket posed such a demand I just left him at home with his grandpa. I can't see making everybody else jump through hoops to accomodate. Am I being Anal or what? My friend is laying a guilt trip on me saying she finally got together the means for this vacation and was really looking forward to it and can't understand my reluctance in not wanting the extra unknown teenager along. Isn't this my trip, and isn't she the invited guest? Do other guests invite playmates for their children? The son has gone on trips with us before and has always been one of the gang, we all play volleyball, take trips, do the dumb pool activities and generally just enjoy ourselves as a group. He is only about four years in age difference from the rest of the young-uns and has always been included and seemed to have fun.

Am I missing something in choosing my husbands concerns and possible entire vacation spent in silent sullinity, over my friends wishes? Somebody is not going to be happy with me, I don't have a boatload of good fiends and I sure hate to loose one but I've got a good kind husband and don't want to cross him either. Sorry to ramble on here but this is causing me much anxiety, and it did give me a place to vent.

I apologize profusely for this long, long post.

Lee
 

readyalready

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This looks pretty clear. Your friend is the invited guest and is being an ungrateful brat. Can you see if another unit is available and offer her the choice to pay her own way? If your husband is that opposed to it then I would tell her sorry, you invited the extra person prematurely and we are not comfortable with that number of adults in the room, plus it is against resort policy. She is not only looking the gift horse in the mouth, she is kicking it...
 

Nancy

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No solution

Lee,

I feel for you. Sometimes when we try to do something nice for someone else it backfires. I think it is your friend that is being unreasonable, but don't know exactly how she took it when you said you would think about it. She is your friend, but your husband is the person you have probably will be spending the rest of your life with and it's his vacation also.

Sorry, but I have no good solution.

Nancy

ps. Let us know how this turns out.
 

rsnash

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I would tell her sorry, you invited the extra person prematurely and we are not comfortable with that number of adults in the room, plus it is against resort policy. She is not only looking the gift horse in the mouth, she is kicking it...

I would lay the blame on the resort and just say the part above I bolded. Even if you put the boys in your daughter's room, that would be 5 in that room, or if the extra boy stayed in your room, it would be 5 in your room. Both are against resort policy. The only way it would work is if the boys stayed in your daughter's room (which I'm sure she wouldn't really like) while the friend's daughter stayed with her mother (would they care?). Put it that way to her (your choice about the only configuration that would work) and tell her you can tell the boy's mother if she wants (then you just tell friend-boy's mother it's too much occupancy for the units and the invitee friend didn't realize that when she extended the invitation).
 
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nonutrix

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Very random thoughts:

Another example of the saying, "no good deed goes unpunished."

You are not being anal, just wise.

You and husband's gut reaction is speaking volumes, listen to it...he knows high school kids...go with your gut and do not take an unknown teenager to a foreign country, esp. Mexico, over Spring Break! You have only imagined some of the things that could go wrong, there are probably many others that none of us could imagine. Besides, do you really want to spend your vacation wondering what might happen?!

Your friend is taking advantage of you...guests don't invite other guests for a free place to stay in a foreign country. She probably made the commitment to the other kid without thinking it through. Might be regretting it now. Don't make her mistake yours!

Hold your head up; tell her politely that this additional guest will not work for many reasons. Then if she can't handle to news, hope that she decides to stay home so that your trip won't be ruined by her sullenness. She should be embarrassed by her audacity (I don't mean this last statement as something you should tell her:) )

Again, go with your gut!

Best of luck on one of life's sticky situations,

nonutrix
 

BevL

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I would lay the blame on the resort and just say the part above I bolded.

I wouldn't do this at all, personally. If she's laying the boots to you for this, she'll come up with some sort of solution - "I'll sleep in with my daughter and the boys can stay in your room." Then you're still stuck.

I would just go with, "I've talked it over with my husband. We're not comfortable with taking a minor that we don't know to a foreign country. I'm sorry it won't work out."

And just realize that some folks have a sense of entitlement that blinds them and it's not your job in life to educate them on why that's just plain wrong.

JMHO
 

ricoba

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I wouldn't do this at all, personally. If she's laying the boots to you for this, she'll come up with some sort of solution - "I'll sleep in with my daughter and the boys can stay in your room." Then you're still stuck.

I would just go with, "I've talked it over with my husband. We're not comfortable with taking a minor that we don't know to a foreign country. I'm sorry it won't work out."

And just realize that some folks have a sense of entitlement that blinds them and it's not your job in life to educate them on why that's just plain wrong.

JMHO

I think this is excellent advice.
 

Kay H

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I would not take an unknown boy to Mexico for several reasons. You were generous to invite your friend and she took advantage. Put your foot down and tell her no way. If she refuses to go with you under those circumstances, that is her problem and not yours.

The consequences could be extreme and you would be held responsible. I am presuming the rooms are in your name.
 

mecllap

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If your "adult" friend isn't going now, I'd also think twice about taking her kids along, let alone a minor that you don't even know. It's always hard to say No to someone, but this sounds like a case where you need to buck up and refuse to get sucked into a very uncomfortable, unreasonable situation. Hopefully she was just being naive and you can work it out if you really want to retain her friendship (she may get her nose out of joint). Good luck -- hope it all works out okay.
 

djs

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It never ceases to amaze me at how people try to take advantage of things. You have a timeshare and have invited a friend along, who in turn chose to invite someone else. You are not staying in someone's apartment where you can have 10 people put sleeping bags on the floor and have a big slumber party. You are staying at a nice resort, that has occupancy limits in place (whether for safety, or a way for the resort to get more money doesn't matter).
 

flexible

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Now my friend is saying she isn't going at all and I am being too uptight about the extra person who throws us over our occupancy limit or puts me in the situation of putting the boys in with my daughter and her boyfriend who will surely have cases of beer etc., in their room and just to put it bluntly shacking up together.Lee

Respond to her comment that she isn't going at all with "I understand." then make it clear that your vacation plans this February no longer include her or her family. Don't elaborate.

If the friendship is over because of this, it is for the best.

I had a similar situation a few months ago when offered our fixed week timeshare to someone I thought was a friend. She asked to bring more people. We were elsewhere that week. I had previously tried to rent it.

She did not pay me one penny toward MF or cost. I agreed because she said her husband is unemployed. She wanting me to take my time to find out if she'd get a free ride from the airport. Then she signed up for a free ride from the airport with a OPC and ending up buying a timeshare at another resort we also own.

We have never lived in the same town but I know her from an online site. I met her family before. I gave her several thousand dollars of merchandise when I was moving out of a residence at a time she happened to be visiting my town. I hadn't realized how one sided the relationship was until she decided to purchase the timeshare mentioning her unemployed husband would have to pay for it. I previously visited her at her mom's many years ago. I offered to pay for all the family groceries while I visited. At the store, she kept trying to push the limits of my generous offer by asking if I would pay for better cuts of steak and lots of other expensive stuff they probably never buy when they pay their own bill.

I wonder if your friend has a history of pushing the limits like this or is just that unaware of occupancy limits at timeshares?
 
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northwoodsgal

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I agree with everyone else that your friend is out of line in asking another person along when it's your unit. A few thoughts on the subject:

1) Unlike you, your friend really doesn't understand the the difference between a timeshare unit and a traditional hotel. At least for me, I feel like I could "get away" with a bit more at a traditional hotel but wouldn't bend occupancy limits at a timeshare resort, partly because I think the resort does keep a closer eye on guests, especially when they're the same guests for a week.

2) What may be at the heart of it is that your friend really does need a vacation with a good friend and at the same time really wants to have her son there, especially since she missed the last vacation with him. Can her son still go? Sure. Will he want to if he's the only older boy and has to "babysit" the younger ones? Probably not. I can see the same thing happening with our kids and cousins. They may all get along but the older ones really don't want to spend oodles of time with the younger ones. Even a few years is a big difference for teenagers. I'm guessing your friend's son really doesn't want to go if doesn't have a playmate his own age.

3) Your husband has very valid points and if it isn't going to be a relaxing vacation for him, then helping your friend out isn't worth it.

It is a sticky situation but I think if you really explain yourself fully, your friend will understand (even if she doesn't like it).

Good luck.

Another thought: Even though your friend wants her son's friend to go along, you might be doing her a favor by refusing it. If her son doesn't have a friend, the son will likely spend at least one day or part day with just his mom. I think your friend could really use building that connection again. Also, she'll have another person to "bounce around" to rather than just spending time with you and your husband. All around it gives the adults more freedom.

With your friend going through divorce, I would give her a break on a lot of the situation. She's probably just trying to survive right now and has a bit of tunnel vision. But, likely, her friends and family have become SO much more important so now isn't the time to sever the relationship. Tell her you want to spend time with her but you have to set a limit.
 
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cerralee

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I wonder if your friend has a history of pushing the limits like this or is just that unaware of occupancy limits at timeshares?

I don't think she realizes all the things that can go wrong, She let her son go on a cruise with one of his friends last spring so doesn't understand why its not ok for him to invite someone now. I personally would not have let my son go out of the country even on a contained vessel. In the country yes, out of the country, no. I've been through the experience of resorts enforcing rules and throwing out offenders after my son tried to use a Timeshare week we own in Ocean City during Senior week. They lasted about three hours before they were evicted. At least they were only a couple of hours from home. Lesson learned-and they all had the mandantory parent lecture before they left and were all "good" (hah) kids.

I own at the resort but on the RCI website it states that the resort strictly enforces occupancy limits regardless of age. It also states that anyone under 21 must be in the unit with an adult so even though my daughter and BF are 21 I don't want to push that envelope either by trying to put 17 year olds in that room. I was hoping that they would consider my daughter as an adult so I wouldn't have any problems with her 20 year old friend staying there-by adult I wasn't counting on it having to be a parent. Boy friend is 25, so no prob. there. My 21 year old daughter is an owner of the timeshare she would be staying at and the 21 year limit is one reason we saved up our weeks till she was "legal" to use it.

Its just not right on so many levels I am going to try to just let it all slide, if she wants to go it needs to be done properly and if it doesn't work out then it doesn't work out. Thanks to all on the board for responding, I don't feel like such a horrible unyielding person after reading your comments. Tuggers you said what I needed to hear, Thanks-

Lee :shrug:
 
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cerralee

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I agree with everyone else that your friend is out of line in asking another person along when it's your unit. A few thoughts on the subject:



2) What may be at the heart of it is that your friend really does need a vacation with a good friend and at the same time really wants to have her son there, especially since she missed the last vacation with him. Can her son still go? Sure. Will he want to if he's the only older boy and has to "babysit" the younger ones? Probably not. I can see the same thing happening with our kids and cousins. They may all get along but the older ones really don't want to spend oodles of time with the younger ones. Even a few years is a big difference for teenagers. I'm guessing your friend's son really doesn't want to go if doesn't have a playmate his own age.


It is a sticky situation but I think if you really explain yourself fully, your friend will understand (even if she doesn't like it).



Another thought: Even though your friend wants her son's friend to go along, you might be doing her a favor by refusing it. If her son doesn't have a friend, the son will likely spend at least one day or part day with just his mom. I think your friend could really use building that connection again. Also, she'll have another person to "bounce around" to rather than just spending time with you and your husband. All around it gives the adults more freedom.

With your friend going through divorce, I would give her a break on a lot of the situation. She's probably just trying to survive right now and has a bit of tunnel vision. But, likely, her friends and family have become SO much more important so now isn't the time to sever the relationship. Tell her you want to spend time with her but you have to set a limit.



Just more and more good advice-I think she would like some quality time with her son and that is a point to build on.
He (her son) will be the youngest there with the girls being 21 and the BF around 25. Thanks for the suggestion-

Lee
 
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geekette

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Are we sure this "new kid" even has a passport? Could be that could kill the deal, tho we know there is plenty of time to get one.

Stick to your guns - she was out of line to go inviting this other person and she can damn well go uninvite him. If this blows the deal for her, tough cookies - she did it to herself. I would probably be that direct, too. if she's a friend, she can take it. This was YOUR trip before it was HERS.

But as a recent poster said, I would try to cut her some slack due to her circumstances. "I'm sorry you feel that you can no longer go on the trip, as I thought you could really use a nice vacation and we were looking forward to spending time together. Please reconsider, as we do have room for you and your children."

if she's cold to that, well, she made her choice, and a bad one at that. A friend of junior's is a silly thing to dump a friendship over.

go, have fun, don't look back
 

lprstn

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You are so on point with this...

I have had this happen to me whenever I HAD invited others with us at reduced price or no price at all to visit our resort. Most people are usually inconsiderate, and in the end they blame you the person that tried to help them out in the first place.

Your lesson from this?

- Focus on YOUR family, and plan your vacations which is supposed to be you all's time for bonding...only for those in your family.

- If you friends want to join you...tell them what you can sell them, get the money and a contract agreement signed and book them their own room and leave it at that.

Now...what you could have done differently....

- You could have just booked the room in her name, and let her do what she wanted to do because you have your own room and she has hers.
 

pjrose

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Wow, this is complicated.

I don't know if I'd go with the "against resort policy" or "sorry you can't come" or "I'm not comfortable with someone else's minor child in a foreign country" routine, or all three.

I do think I'd say that "if you want to bring Johnny to be company for Steve, we'll need an additional room; I'll see if I can find you one at a discount." Not only does that provide additional sleeping space, by putting Johnny is in your friend's unit not yours, it may make it more clear that Johnny is HER responsibility.
 

bobcat

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Wow, this is complicated.

I don't know if I'd go with the "against resort policy" or "sorry you can't come" or "I'm not comfortable with someone else's minor child in a foreign country" routine, or all three.

I do think I'd say that "if you want to bring Johnny to be company for Steve, we'll need an additional room; I'll see if I can find you one at a discount." Not only does that provide additional sleeping space, by putting Johnny is in your friend's unit not yours, it may make it more clear that Johnny is HER responsibility.

When ever you try to do something nice,some times it comes back to bite you. You must lay the ground rules upfront. The unit sleep say total 6 people. That is it. You should be in control. However, your friend is. You need to take control. As per her saying it does not matter. If the resort finds out you have too many people in the room ,they can tell you to leave. Talk to you friend and tell her no. If you lose the friendship, what kind of friend was she anyway. Nothing lost. If the vacation is a bust, your husband will not be happy and you will be the bad guy. I know you say it is a small town. It also sounds like you do not want to be the town bad guy. You can not please everybody. Please you and your husband.
 

Liz Wolf-Spada

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What an uncomfortable situation for you. Maybe the idea of telling her she would have to rent another additional unit to include herself and her son and his friend would make the most sense, (if you can even rent anything this late). I would not want to take someone else's child to Mexico, which has been in the news lately for kidnappings and murders. I did let my son go to Baja with a friend and his parents and his sister for a graduation present from college, but he was over 21 and I talked with the parents, sent money for him and bought him a travel insurance policy.
Liz
 

applegirl

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Your friend doesn't sound like much of a friend.

Good luck with this. Your loyalty lies with your husband, not this so-called friend who isn't acting much like a friend.

Janna
 

Keitht

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I would suggest that the simplest thing would be to say that the extra person would be over the occupancy limit. Make the suggestion that another room might be available, but also make it clear that your friend would have to pay for it.
 

RDB

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Please your spouse first

Personally, I would NOT have invited her.

Please your spouse first. Make sure to keep it a family vacation.
To me, just having her along pulls you away from being with hubby.

Take into account the reason your friend is divorcing.

If she isn't happy with your decision(s), make sure that small town hears why you didn't get walked on before your 'friend' belittles you.

My meanness wasn’t acquired overnight.
 

grest

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How unfair...she can say anything she wants to you, but in the end this is your family vacation first and foremost. I agree with the others: state the fact that occupancy is something you intend to honor...Would she like to thing of another solution? This should not be your problem, but hers.
Good luck, this is a sticky wicket!
Connie
 

normab

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some pertinent info for you

Just some information that may be of use to you--in order for a child (under 18) to enter Mexico without both parents present there must be a notarized letter of permission.

A few years ago I was traveling with my son and DH to Cancun on Continental. My son's last name differs from mine, so it's obvious his dad (my ex) was not present. They would not let us board. Apparently there are enough kidnappings into Mexico that this is a strict policy. We ended up leaving a day late due to this requirement--and we were lucky that my ex could get the letter notarized so quickly.

Good luck with your friend and the vacation.
 
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