No winner when it’s football vs. wedding
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.
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.