Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Manage Expectations

Manage expectations, not disappointment. This is something my former boss and good friend Marion always used to say. And it is true. I always try to do it. But this time, it didn't work.

The ad in the paper said “Come to Greece this weekend!” Festival starts Friday night at 5 and goes through Sunday. I checked the schedule. It looked there was a lot happening on Saturday—folk dancing, music, food, crafts, rides for the kids. I called my friend Louise, “You guys wanna come up this weekend? There is a Greek festival.” “Come on Saturday. We’ll go over for lunch.”

They drove for an hour and a half.

As we went into town, we excitedly talked about all of our favorite Greek food. I wanted a Gyro. I had missed out on them at the fair. We guessed what might be available: Souvalaki, or dolma, mousakka, spanikopita, probably baklava. My friends met years ago folk dancing, so there was also some hope that there might be audience participation in the folk dancing. WE were ready.

As I got near the festival location, there was no traffic. Huh. But there was a cop standing out by the street; I image for crowd control???? As I pulled into the lot, I saw it was almost empty. Uh-oh. What the…There were very few people there. There was tinny music coming from somewhere. The food wasn’t ready yet. There were 2 whole lambs turning on spits. The only thing coming out of the kitchen was a spinach pie and a cheese pie. There were 2 big tents with tables and lots and lots of chairs. No dancers, no live music, no crafts, not even a donkey.

We left and went to a diner for a Greek lunch. (The local diner has fantastic stuffed grape leaves.) We decided to return to the festival after lunch and hopefully they would have had time to get it together. When we went back at 3, there were now maybe 10 people there, a guy playing a lyre, and 1 table with T-shirts on it. We hung around for about 15 minutes feeling awkward. There was no reason to stay.

Remember that they drove for an hour and a half?

Gad. What to do? What to do? I needed an alternate plan and I need it quick.

I started to drive to the next town over the mountain. It is a quaint little hamlet with a lovely main street. We were all complaining about how dreadful the festival was. Then a brainstorm! (A little scary since the festival was my brainstorm too.) Up the road a ways was a winery and they had never been. So we ended up whiling away the afternoon sampling wine, then buying a bottle to share. We sat there with lots of other people (Greek festival refugees?) and listened to live music for several hours. Then we went out to dinner with more friends and ended up eating Starwberries Romanov on a candlelit deck laughing about the day's events.

So while I was managing disappointment about the festival, the weather was superb, friendships were still firm, and the winery a hit! Whew! They may even come back for a visit. There is an apple festival coming up in the fall. It's huge, I have been there before. Really.


Elaine said...

So, how was the wine? I see red and white in the photo.

Anonymous said...

I always feel a little sorry for the planners of a festival gone awry. I wonder if they too are disappointed in the festival turnout or if they never cared about it to begin with.

Bevson said...

I have lived in this community for 7 years. I have never seen anything about this festival before and as disorganized as it was, I sorta think it was new for them. I am sure they were disappointed. We do not have a large Greek comunnity here so maybe they were expecting people from other towns.

Bevson said...

Elaine, you are actually looking at the wine on the next table. We bought a bottle of what they call Harvest Moon. It was an icy cold semi-dry. Great for sipping, probably dreadful with food.