No win­ner when it’s foot­ball vs. wed­ding

Austin American-Statesman - - TVTONIGHT - cAroLYN hAX Tell Me About It is writ­ten by Carolyn Hax of The Washington Post. Her col­umn ap­pears on Tues­day, Thurs­day and Satur­day. E-mail her at tellme@wash­post.com.

Dear Carolyn: I got en­gaged in Fe­bru­ary. My fi­ance’s fam­ily is won­der­ful and seemed so fam­ily-ori­ented. His younger (and only) brother plays col­lege foot­ball, which made it dif­fi­cult to have a wed­ding in the fall. How­ever, we wanted a fall wed­ding, so his par­ents pulled out his brother’s foot­ball sched­ule. Our church was avail­able for only one of the two free week­ends, so we chose that week­end.

Turns out his team sched­uled a game on our wed­ding date. I had no idea the drama this would cause. His fam­ily, mainly his par­ents, ex­pected us to change the date.

How­ever, we were three months into plan­ning, and this was not some­thing we could do. So we stuck with our date, ex­pect­ing his fam­ily would un­der­stand. They have since been sup­port­ive, but it is as­sumed that his brother will miss our wed­ding. He is the best man.

Now, I un­der­stand that with some peo­ple sports are liter- ally life and col­lege foot­ball is the great­est thing, but I can­not be­lieve his en­tire fam­ily thinks this is ac­cept­able. Not only is it just a game, but the game is also non-con­fer­ence, and so is in­signif­i­cant. His brother’s coach said, “You are go­ing to miss a lot in life for foot­ball, and I missed my brother’s wed­ding for a game.”

I wanted to see what you thought; I feel as though I need to be val­i­dated, or, if I am in the wrong here, maybe I need some ra­tio­nal ad­vice.

— T.

Dear T.: It might be just a game, but fall is just a sea­son, and your in­sis­tence on a fall wed­ding de­spite the brother’s known foot­ball com­mit­ment is no less ar­bi­trary and self­serv­ing than his prom­ise to his team. If any­thing, with team­mates count­ing on him, his is the stronger case to be made.

You could also have cho­sen a Sun­day.

So if you want to get this mar­riage off to a har­mo­nious start with the in-laws, I sug­gest you not po­si­tion your­self as the last word on what’s “fam­ily-ori­ented.”

Now, let’s say the coach, the par­ents and I are the only ones on earth who see an ar­gu­ment for mov­ing the wed­ding — in other words, let’s say You’re Right. There’s still noth­ing in it for you. The brother’s still choos­ing the game.

Ac­cord­ingly, I sug­gest you set aside your wounded feel­ings, dis­ap­point­ment and mys­ti­fi­ca­tion, and in­stead deal strictly with facts.

Fact 1: You can’t keep the date and have the brother there.

Fact 2: You and your fi­ancé need to de­cide, to­gether, which is more im­por­tant — the on­ward march of lo­gis­tics, or the brother’s pres­ence. (If you resched­ule, I hope the fi­ancé’s par­ents pitch in for lost de­posits; if you pro­ceed with­out the brother, I hope you fly him in for a cel­e­bra­tory lunch the fol­low­ing day.)

Fact 3: Ei­ther way, you have a choice of your own to make. Do you stay an­gry for­ever about the wed­ding, or do you ac­cept this as part of mar­riage, that dif­fer­ent needs, mores and meth­ods — and bad luck — will con­spire against you some­times (usu­ally when you’re most set on hav­ing your way)?

Or, the shorter ver­sion: Is this an ou­trage, or a bum­mer? It’s up to you. Think care­fully be­fore you set­tle into your choice.

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