This weekend has been upsetting to say the least. It was my little sister’s wedding, and as a mark of how much it seems I am appreciated in the family, I was the only immediate family member who had not been asked to be involved in any way. My older sister was the chief Bridesmaid, and the Groom’s sisters were asked to be flowergirls – they never held a flower, but they were asked so that they felt a part of the family and that they meant something to my sister. There were other roles for other people; friends and other family members. But I wasn’t asked to be any of them. It seems everyone else meant enough to her to be asked, except me.
I cannot begin to express just how cutting that insult, whether intended or not, was. I was left feeling like a third hand and a hinderance that was unwanted within the family. There’s a not really a lot to say about the empty feeling of seeing every member of my immediate family on the top table together, whilst I get relegated to a table at the back for the wedding breakfast. Some of the Groom’s extended family did not even realise there was another sister. I felt like a distant relative.
I refuse to believe that none of my family realised that this was going to make me feel unwelcome. It would be a snub in any family to leave just one sibling excluded from everything. People I have talked to have all said it seemed strange that my sister would leave just me out in this way. If it was a genuine oversight by her, then why did no-one mention “Won’t Jenny feel put out by being the only immediate family member left out of everything on the day?”. You know, even one of our cousins was asked to do a reading in the church. Am I really so distant a relative to my own family? No-one even thought to smooth things out beforehand by talking to me and perhaps giving a reasonable explanation as to why I was being left out. There might have been a reasonable explanation, but no-one bothered to tell me. I was left to feel like I was being shut out. The message being sent was received as “Jenny is the only immediate family member who doesn’t mean enough to her sister to be asked to be involved”. Anyone else in the same situation would have seen it as the same.
It did not help that the venue for the wedding breakfast and evening event was the worst hotel I have ever come across in all my time of travelling the country. Now, I don’t normally drop names. I think that’s tacky, and looks like I’m either hinting for freebies, bigging myself up or just trying to score cheap points on the internet. But in this case I’ll make an exception because I would not want anyone else to suffer a similar bad weekend. Steer clear of the Holiday Inn in Bolton, because being mugged offers a better experience and value for money than staying there.
There was supposed to be a member of staff directing traffic, because of problems with the car parks being overfull. He apparently could not be bothered to do his job, so around forty cars of guests were left milling around driving through overflowed carparks with nowhere to park. It took us over an hour to find somewhere, only to find that the carpark had to be vacated by 6:30pm. The hotel staff seriously were expecting guests who had paid for a room, and were supposed to be going to a meal with wine and champagne to not drink just so they could spend the evening intermittantly shuffling their cars around. After complaining, I got a space in the staff carpark, but it wasn’t much help to many other guests.
The vegetarian starters that were ordered didn’t appear, even when asked several times. The serving staff seemed more interested in fobbing the vegetarians off by quickly placing prawn cocktails on multiple occasions in front of them, as if they might get bored of being vegetarian. They served me mushrooms in my food, despite being notified before hand that I had a mushroom allergy.
The room we had was apparently ‘executive’ but I only dread to think how bad the standard rooms would have been. The interconnecting door into the next room was left unlocked when we arrived and was only locked when I complained. The air conditioning didn’t work, and the heating seemed to be stuck on at a sweltering level. Despite Bolton being a soft water area, the cold pipes were disgorging scum-laden and discoloured water. The room had a double bed, but was laid out as a single (one towel, one set of drinks, one biscuit, etc). The light in the bathroom was also suffering from electrical buzzing noises and flickering – one not to touch with a bare finger. Last but not least, the bed seemed to slop inwards from both sides, making it uncomfortable for two people to sleep in. I managed a grand total of three hours sleep, though a further four hours were spent trying to get cool and comfortable and failing.
The breakfast bar was poorly placed, ensuring that staff with hot plates of food and dirties were forced to push their way through the queue at all times. Several of the tables were also swamped by queuers – I would not have liked to have sat there. There were also, like the parking spaces, too few places for the people coming down to eat from the rooms. The hotel felt like it had the facilities for a hotel a quarter of its size. The one plus side was we complained so bitterly that we were promised by the hotel manager a full refund. It still was not worth the stay for free. I cannot reccomend the Bolton Holiday Inn under any circumstances. I will also be avoiding any Holiday Inn too, just in case they are all bad, such was the poor experience.
All in all a rubbish weekend. Made to feel superfluous by my family. Was I not deemed by my sister to mean enough to her to be asked to be involved? Everyone else it seems was deemed to mean enough to her to be asked.