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How to apologize for being a control freak?

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mia1181

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Alright peeps: just need a little help saying what I want to say.

Backstory- I am throwing my sister''s bridal shower. I volunteered because noone else did first. My sister hasn''t named a MOH (I guess she doesn''t want to hurt anyone''s feelings) so there was never any organization of the BM''s. I also thought anyone could throw a shower for someone if they wanted to, but I now realize that this was an incorrect assumption. Actually, my bridal shower book actually states that sisters of the bride are not supposed to, and usually it is the BM''s who throw it together. I knew that sometimes BM''s throw it together, but didn''t realize it was mandatory.

Anyway, I asked my sis if I could throw it and she said yes, so I have been doing everything by myself. Partially, because I have a wonderful idea (Mad Hatter Theme Party) and partially because I didn''t want to tell people they had to help me and noone really volunteered. So first, BM#1 was emailing me repeatedly that I needed to tell her when it was going to be so she could save $ on her plane ticket. So I sent an email out to all the BM''s saying that I didn''t yet have a date (it was several months away at the time) but if anyone had any suggestions for dates that would/wouldn''t work for them to let me know, and I also reminded them to get their dresses soon (as a favor to my sister who was getting worried about it). The only reason I sent this email was because it would be great for them all to be there, not because they were throwing it, but maybe that''s what may have started the confusion.

When I finally nailed down a date, BM#1 inquired about whether I needed any help and asked a few questions like what favors we''d give and games we will play. I wasn''t sure if she wanted me to include her in the planning/throwing so I told her that I could use her help with deciding on a second favor and also that I had "no clue about shower games." In other words since she asked about those two things, I gave her the chance to take them over if she wanted. Her response was basically: "Favor#1 is enough, so you don''t need two favors" and then she told me the games they played at her shower but didn''t volunteer to do anything. That was fine with me she was being polite and I don''t mind doing all myself anyway.

Now BM#2 has been emailing me. At first she was asking about food, and if I ordered a cake and what I wanted to about the Bachlorette party. I told her I wanted to bring food to save $, I already ordered a cake, and I told her about the Bachlorette Party: "If you have something in mind, or if you want to plan it, that''s fine with me. I''ll try to be there and if I can''t, I can contribute to paying for it," because I am across the country. She didn''t offer to bring food (and I would obviously never ask her to) and I practically HANDED her the bachlorette party and she didn''t respond to that.

So today I get another email from her-
"Hey,
So what is the plan for the shower? Where id you order the cake from? What are we doing about food? I thought we were going to make it ourselves, but you haven''t said anything about it other than cake and lite snacks. Let me know what you have planned and need from me."


I think she is just being polite or maybe she really wants to help, but I feel like I need to clear the air that I have everything under control and if she would like to help that would be fine, but I was actually planning on throwing the shower myself and that is why I haven''t included her. Not that I don''t want any help, but just that I didn''t feel it was my place to delegate tasks to people. I hope that makes sense and isn''t coming off as horrible as the past five email-drafts I have tried to write to her!

What should I be saying? I''ll obviously answer her questions telling her the food and telling her if shewould like to bring something that would be great. I''ll tell her where I ordered the cake from and tell her the other plans. But I feel like I need to explain that I am not intentionally not including her. I don''t want her to think I have been expecting her help but not telling her what to do or that I am excluding her in anyway.

Any help? Or am I on my own for this one?
 

Porridge

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Oct 27, 2008
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3,269
Honestly I would call them if you can instead of replying by e-mail. Wires can easily get crosses when tone of voice is taken out of the picture.
 

neatfreak

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14,167
I think you just say something like:

"These are the plans so far...blah blah blah. I would LOVE some help if you''d like to! Did you have something in mind that you''d like to do/play/bring?"

Then it''s in her court. If she says she has no ideas but wants to help-delegate her something. If she gives you an idea just say "That would be great if you could take care of that!"
 

mrscushion

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Nov 15, 2008
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3,309
I agree with Porridge. I normally would always prefer writing an e-mail to calling, but I''ve learned that to clarify things it''s best to just pick up the phone and talk it through.
 

tlh

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It is possible they think you are all throwing the shower- you are just organizing it. A phone call can help clarify some things... as it does seem to be some confusion.
 

mia1181

Brilliant_Rock
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Oct 25, 2006
Messages
1,789
The reason I haven''t called these girls is that I don''t have their numbers. I can ask my sister though...

So even if I call I still don''t have polite way to word "BTW, you aren''t throwing the shower I am..." Honestly the only thing I am worried about is that they think I am either controlling things and not letting them do anything, or that I am expecting them to do something but they don''t know what that might be.

Maybe I just won''t explain anything... maybe I should just let it go and give them a couple of things to bring/do and let them think what they want.

Neat- That''s pretty much what I have been saying to them so far, but I haven''t tried the "I would LOVE your help" angle so I''ll try that next.
 

neatfreak

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
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14,167
Date: 4/5/2009 3:27:50 PM
Author: mia1181
So even if I call I still don't have polite way to word 'BTW, you aren't throwing the shower I am...' Honestly the only thing I am worried about is that they think I am either controlling things and not letting them do anything, or that I am expecting them to do something but they don't know what that might be.
Honestly I think you meed to be gracious and say you are all throwing the shower. You're an adult and it's a bit childish to say "It's mine not yours" you know? Everyone will know you did a lot of the work-but the BM's still need to be included especially since you stepped into their role without officially asking them if they minded.

I threw the shower for a friend last summer. I was the MOH but NONE of the other bridesmaids stepped up to help even though I emailed for help, asked what they wanted to do, etc. But I still wrote "hosted by her bridesmaids" on the invite and on the day of people all knew that it was me who did all the work. But I think it's the right thing to do to include the BM's in the shower.

Is there a reason you are so insistent on you doing it all by yourself?
 

mia1181

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Oct 25, 2006
Messages
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Date: 4/6/2009 5:50:07 AM
Author: neatfreak
Honestly I think you meed to be gracious and say you are all throwing the shower. You''re an adult and it''s a bit childish to say ''It''s mine not yours'' you know? Everyone will know you did a lot of the work-but the BM''s still need to be included especially since you stepped into their role without officially asking them if they minded.

I threw the shower for a friend last summer. I was the MOH but NONE of the other bridesmaids stepped up to help even though I emailed for help, asked what they wanted to do, etc. But I still wrote ''hosted by her bridesmaids'' on the invite and on the day of people all knew that it was me who did all the work. But I think it''s the right thing to do to include the BM''s in the shower.

Is there a reason you are so insistent on you doing it all by yourself?
See, that''s not it at all! I totally worded that wrong! I meant, whatever I say to apologize for not including them thus far, would sound like "It''s mine, not yours." What I am trying to say is that I thought one person could throw a shower and that anyone can do it. So that is why I did it. I was planning on doing everything myself because no one else said anything about throwing a shower and I didn''t think anyone was interested (and I didn''t realize typically it''s the BM''s that do it). But then they were all asking questions, like maybe they did want to help. But they weren''t actually offering help, instead they just kept asking questions about what I had planned. Atleast, until this last email which now makes me think she has been waiting for me to delegate something to her all along. Before, I didn''t feel right telling them to do something if they didn''t want to. I gave them all the chances just like you suggested above. If someone would have offered to help, of course I would have taken it! I don''t care at all if they show up and act like they did help. It''s not about credit.

What I am concerned is that they think I either am excluding them on purpose or that I am a expecting them to do something and will be mad that they aren''t helping. That isn''t the case at all. If they want to help, fine, if not, that''s fine too. My concern is what they think of me, but I can''t really explain that the reason I haven''t checked all of my planning decisions with them because I didn''t think they were throwing the shower. If I start delegating tasks now they will think that I waited until under 2 weeks before the shower to tell them what they had to do, and I would never do something like that. So it''s pretty much a lose-lose.

So my question is at this point how do I apologize for not including them? But I think at this point maybe I will just let it go and let them think whatever about me. I guess it''s not really that big of a deal. I just don''t want any hard feelings when all I was trying to do was throw a nice shower for my sister.

Gawsh I hope that makes more sense....
 

AmberGretchen

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jan 6, 2005
Messages
7,770
Date: 4/6/2009 2:11:45 PM
Author: mia1181

What I am concerned is that they think I either am excluding them on purpose or that I am a expecting them to do something and will be mad that they aren''t helping. That isn''t the case at all. If they want to help, fine, if not, that''s fine too. My concern is what they think of me, but I can''t really explain that the reason I haven''t checked all of my planning decisions with them because I didn''t think they were throwing the shower. If I start delegating tasks now they will think that I waited until under 2 weeks before the shower to tell them what they had to do, and I would never do something like that. So it''s pretty much a lose-lose.


So my question is at this point how do I apologize for not including them? But I think at this point maybe I will just let it go and let them think whatever about me. I guess it''s not really that big of a deal. I just don''t want any hard feelings when all I was trying to do was throw a nice shower for my sister.
I totally think there is a polite way to say this. You just need to emphasize that you were trying to be thoughtful of their time and commitments, etc...

You could say something like "since I know you are very busy I didn''t want to make assumptions about what you might or might not have time to help out with. I''d love help with X, Y, and Z if you have time, but if not, that''s completely fine too as I am happy to do these things myself. I apologize if you felt in any way excluded from the planning - my intention was to be considerate of your time and not to expect anyone to do anything they might not have time to do or be comfortable with. Thank you so much for your lovely offer of help - I know we all want this to be the best possible shower for and I know she''ll be touched by all the effort being put in to make it special."

Or something to that effect. Basically emphasizing the most positive part of this and your thoughtful motives, and leaving the rest unsaid because, frankly, saying it doesn''t really help anyone in this situation.
 

Haven

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Feb 15, 2007
Messages
13,166
I think it''s time for some very clear communication, as it sounds like you''ve been doing a little tap-dancing around with plans for this shower. (And I totally understand that you didn''t want to sound like you were telling anyone what to do, or expecting them to do something that they may not have wanted to do, yadda yadda. However, that is why you''re facing this conundrum now, so time to be clear!)

This is what I would write or say:

Ladies,

Thank you so much for your interest in Sister''s bridal shower. I apologize if I seemed like I wasn''t fully communicating with you about all of the plans, but I didn''t want to sound pushy or as if I expected you to participate in throwing the shower in case you weren''t interested.

There is still some work to be done, so please let me know if you''re interested in throwing this shower with me. We still need x, y, and z taken care of, and I''d love some help. I''ve already set up the plans for a, b, and c, and thus far I anticipate the total cost of the shower being somehwere around $XXX.

Thank you for being great friends to my sister, she is so lucky to have ladies like you in her life.

Thanks again,
mia
 

meresal

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 13, 2007
Messages
5,720
Date: 4/6/2009 4:22:42 PM
Author: Haven
I think it''s time for some very clear communication, as it sounds like you''ve been doing a little tap-dancing around with plans for this shower. (And I totally understand that you didn''t want to sound like you were telling anyone what to do, or expecting them to do something that they may not have wanted to do, yadda yadda. However, that is why you''re facing this conundrum now, so time to be clear!)

This is what I would write or say:

Ladies,

Thank you so much for your interest in Sister''s bridal shower. I apologize if I seemed like I wasn''t fully communicating with you about all of the plans, but I didn''t want to sound pushy or as if I expected you to participate in throwing the shower in case you weren''t interested.

There is still some work to be done, so please let me know if you''re interested in throwing this shower with me. We still need x, y, and z taken care of, and I''d love some help. I''ve already set up the plans for a, b, and c, and thus far I anticipate the total cost of the shower being somehwere around $XXX.

Thank you for being great friends to my sister, she is so lucky to have ladies like you in her life.

Thanks again,
mia
I think this is the best idea. Blunt and honest will get all of this cleared up.
 

mia1181

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Oct 25, 2006
Messages
1,789
Date: 4/6/2009 2:26:34 PM
Author: AmberGretchen
I totally think there is a polite way to say this. You just need to emphasize that you were trying to be thoughtful of their time and commitments, etc...

You could say something like ''since I know you are very busy I didn''t want to make assumptions about what you might or might not have time to help out with. I''d love help with X, Y, and Z if you have time, but if not, that''s completely fine too as I am happy to do these things myself. I apologize if you felt in any way excluded from the planning - my intention was to be considerate of your time and not to expect anyone to do anything they might not have time to do or be comfortable with. Thank you so much for your lovely offer of help - I know we all want this to be the best possible shower for and I know she''ll be touched by all the effort being put in to make it special.''

Or something to that effect. Basically emphasizing the most positive part of this and your thoughtful motives, and leaving the rest unsaid because, frankly, saying it doesn''t really help anyone in this situation.
Yes you are right. I guess I just was focusing on it because it was the truth. I thought I was planning the shower by myself. But that doesn''t really matter in the grand scheme of things.
 

mia1181

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Oct 25, 2006
Messages
1,789
Date: 4/6/2009 4:22:42 PM
Author: Haven
I think it''s time for some very clear communication, as it sounds like you''ve been doing a little tap-dancing around with plans for this shower. (And I totally understand that you didn''t want to sound like you were telling anyone what to do, or expecting them to do something that they may not have wanted to do, yadda yadda. However, that is why you''re facing this conundrum now, so time to be clear!)

This is what I would write or say:

Ladies,

Thank you so much for your interest in Sister''s bridal shower. I apologize if I seemed like I wasn''t fully communicating with you about all of the plans, but I didn''t want to sound pushy or as if I expected you to participate in throwing the shower in case you weren''t interested.

There is still some work to be done, so please let me know if you''re interested in throwing this shower with me. We still need x, y, and z taken care of, and I''d love some help. I''ve already set up the plans for a, b, and c, and thus far I anticipate the total cost of the shower being somehwere around $XXX.

Thank you for being great friends to my sister, she is so lucky to have ladies like you in her life.

Thanks again,
mia
Haven- I adore you! That is the most perfect way to handle this situation! Unfortunately I already sent a response basically just telling her the food I had planned and that if she wanted to bring one of them (or something different) that would be fine. But if it comes up again I will know exactly how to handle it. Thanks again for giving me your feedback, you have a definite talent at tact!
 

Haven

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Feb 15, 2007
Messages
13,166
I''m happy to help, mia!

Besides, I am utterly compelled to read all of your posts, anyway, because I can''t get enough of that handsome man in your avatar! That face! Those little bowed legs!
 

mia1181

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Oct 25, 2006
Messages
1,789
Ha! I seriously just spit out my 7-up reading that!


Who says those legs are bowed? I remember when he was puppy and someone approached us about studding him out. I was so flattered and convinced he was the perfect specimen of pug! Then I read that bowed legs were not the breed standard and POOF! his showdog career was over before it began! Oh well!
 

luvthemstrawberries

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jun 19, 2008
Messages
2,107
Date: 4/6/2009 11:59:04 PM
Author: Haven
I''m happy to help, mia!

Besides, I am utterly compelled to read all of your posts, anyway, because I can''t get enough of that handsome man in your avatar! That face! Those little bowed legs!
Hehehe I''m a fan of your little man too!! I don''t have enough time to keep up with all the forums, but did his wheelchair ever work out?

And re: the original topic, I think Haven''s and AmberGretchen''s ideas are great. Very tactful and clear. I hope everything works out well with the BMs and the shower is beautiful (and glitch free
).
 

luvthemstrawberries

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Joined
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Messages
2,107
OK scratch that - I just searched and found the thread I missed about his new wheels! That's so awesome!!
Hehe I watched the video, I was sitting here lurching in my seat with him, trying to help him get up on the curb, hehe...
Such a cutie, especially when he was looking into the camera and cocking his head at you.


So I guess by now he's probably very used to it?

(And PS I still love your elopement photos Mia - so gorgeous, and so much fun!!)
 

mia1181

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Oct 25, 2006
Messages
1,789
Luvthem- Yep he is pretty used to the wheelchair. The other day he actually got so excited when he saw me pulling it out (think because he associates it with the food I used to encourage him to walk in it). We actually don''t get to use it a whole lot because it''s very hard for him to walk on his own after he''s been in it. It almost trains him to not use his back legs at all. So it has to be limited. But every now and then, it is so nice to see him run!

Thanks for the compliment on my elopement photos, it was such an amazing experience. I still look at them often.
 
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