Thursday, October 23, 2014

Georgia Bulldog Follows A Tradition That Family Does Not Understand

Dear Tazi:

I am a huge sports fan. I love my teams - professional and college (Go Georgia Bulldogs!!!) - and attend several games a year; including the Deep South's Oldest Rivalry, for which I travel back to Georgia every year. The dates of my travel games are known well in advance, and I make my plans well in advance, too. I have been making the trip back to Georgia for the past fifteen years (since I graduated from the University of Georgia), so my habits are nothing new. My entire family knows how important these games are to me, and MOST have been understanding enough not to plan any major events that would conflict.

My problem is my sister. She got engaged this past Christmas, and decided to set her wedding date for the same day as the UGA-Auburn game (that's the game I am referring to when I mention "the Deep South's Oldest Rivalry"); the most important game of the year! People come "home" from all over the world to attend this game; buying tickets as soon as they go on sale - in fact, I had just bought my tickets when she announced her wedding date: 11-15-14. Her reason for picking this date? Because her Astrologer told her that this date would result in a "fruitful marriage. (My sister is 42 and is done having kids, so it is not like her biological clock is ticking. This will be her third marriage, too, so I think she is hoping that the word "fruitful" is not being used in the Biblical sense). I explained to her that I would not be able to attend her wedding that weekend and asked her to reschedule, but she just flew into a Bridezilla rage and called me every name in the book.

My family is from up North, so they don't understand the full meaning of the game tradition; which is why they feel I should be the one to cancel my plans in order to attend my sister's wedding. I offered to compromise if she would - I would fly home early and be there for the week of planned, pre-wedding celebrations; but she has her heart set on the date she chose and refused to budge, calling me a "bad brother". I am afraid I lost my temper and told her that she should get married on 12-13-14 if all she cared about was the superstitions of astrology and numerology, and now she is not speaking to me. My mother has suggested that I cancel my trip "in order to make peace", but as I see it that would just be letting my sister have her way.

Tazi, do you have any idea on how I can get myself out of this mess - without pulling a no-show to the greatest game of the season?

A Bulldog In The Doghouse

Dear Bulldog:

If there is only one thing I know about the South it is that tradition comes before everything. I have met women in their 40's who return "home" for their sorority installation ceremonies and men of the same age who will plan their family vacation around the type of football rivalry games you have described. Some may find this way of life disturbing; I find it refreshing that respect for tradition is not lost in the hustle and bustle of every day commitments.

Being a Northerner, the closest thing to a rivalry game I have ever attended is the University of RI - Providence College basketball game, which is something fewer and fewer people seem to care about every year and especially this one as neither team has done well in the past few years. What can I say? Many Northern teams have fair-weather fans, and this appears to be the point of view from which your family is viewing your situation. You need to educate them on the historical importance of this game - share with them the rich history of the game; how it goes back over a century; and why the rivalry still exists today. Tell them of the camaraderie that occurs between fans, turning strangers into friends and friends into extended family.

The fact that you have been making this trip for 15 years speaks to the importance of this event and while I realize that your sister's wedding is also important, her reasoning for choosing the date she chose; her Bridzilla meltdown; and her complete refusal to compromise shows a complete lack of maturity and sensitivity on her part. She is, however, a blood relation; and as the expression goes, blood is thicker than water - even if you do bleed black as well as red. The game time has yet to be announced, but these games generally take place in the afternoon or the evening. Would your sister be adverse to having a morning wedding; at a time that would allow you to at least attend the ceremony (although not the reception) before hopping a plane to attend your game? Since neither of you wishes to budge, this appears to be the only compromise possible.


Ask Tazi! is ghostwritten by a human with a Bachelors of Arts in Communications. Tazi-Kat is not really a talking feline.

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