Til Death do us Part
Having trouble focusing at work this week? Yeah, you're not alone.
You may have noticed many years ago that Ohio State and Texas put each other the schedule in 2005 and 2006. If you're like me, you noticed this addition to the schedule the day it was announced by the university, and you immediately wet yourself with anticipation, despite the game being a couple thousand days away. I know I wasn't the only one.
Well, it's finally here. I am having trouble focusing at work, but it has nothing to do with the game itself. It has everything to do with coping with the fact that I will not only be unable to attend the game, but I will not be able to watch it live. The fact that you are reading this column on a niche site like Bucknuts is a good indicator that you are not exactly a passive college football fan, and if that is the case, you may have felt a pit in your stomach upon imagining the idea of missing out on this massively hyped and unique matchup. Oh, if it were only that simple…
I am missing the Ohio State/Texas game because of a wedding.
Yes, we've all felt the scathing pain of the dreaded Gameday Wedding. It is a sad phenomenon for us that the majority of this country does not seem to understand, kind of like the tax code or Paris Hilton's fame. It is a soul-crushing experience that comes with the added bonus of being criticized by unsympathetic friends and thoughtless family for placing "a stupid football game ahead of something far more lasting and important." The result is – as anyone who has experienced this gut-wrenching kick in the crackers can tell you – you get the pleasure of wrestling with your own fixation on what you are missing, along with having to feign indifference to the fact you are mentally checked out of church and solidly parked in a land of self-loathing.
While I love the two people who are getting married this weekend…precisely at kickoff …(throws up in mouth)…it is about time we collectively put an end to the additional, unneeded suffering that we as football fans have been dealing with from insensitive outsiders to our world. I have never appreciated being lectured in the past when this kind of thing has happened, and I'm not going to take it anymore.
It's not as if I just walk up to people and launch into a tirade about what I'm doing this weekend – people who know me know what I always do on Saturdays between August and January. Those same people also see the Ohio State/Texas game being promoted almost as much as Nexium, but without the mention of diarrhea, abdominal pain and headache – which makes it far more appealing. So it is inevitable that I get asked repeatedly, slowly at the beginning of this year, and more frequently in the past weeks – "How about that game with Texas coming up, huh?"
It's impossible for me to say that I will be at a wedding instead, without sounding irritated or like a selfish yank. I struggle with being phony when it comes to my emotions – here are just some of the gem responses I have been subjected to recently:
"I'm sure some people made sacrifices to attend your wedding.
- If I invited you to my wedding, and you had something scheduled for late July 2002, it was probably another wedding. Sorry about that.
"Then don't go!"
- While I am shallow enough to complain incessantly about missing a football game, I'm not shallow enough to ruin a friendship over one.
"How do you think you're going to make them feel?"
- Scary as it may seem, I do not have the audacity to vent my frustration to the happy couple. That is what other people are for.
"Thousands of people are dead and dying in the South, and your life is so tough because you're missing a stupid football game."
- Ah, yes, the guilt. An indescribable horror has happened in my own time zone, and one would have to be heartless to not be affected by what has happened recently. The world is full of anguish, death, disease and despair – every day of the year, and not just in our country, though you would have a hard time convincing some people. At the same time, it is definitely possible to have perspective and passion, and they can be mutually exclusive. I will never be made to feel guilty about being excited about a football game, despite the circumstances. Ever.
And really, this is the essence of the situation – the guilt. In a world with Tivo and wireless devices, I am not only going to have real-time scoring updates while celebrating the happy couple, but I'm going to have the choice of watching the entire game, commercial-free, in my choice of playback speeds – sometime next week. However, something that autumn nuptials just don't seem to understand is that you can never truly relive that tension before the kickoff, the unfolding of a game plan, the shifting of momentum, or the moment of victory once it has already happened. That would be kind of like watching a wedding you did not go to…on videotape.
And anyone who has ever done that can tell you that it is not the same.
Overly familiar with the Crate & Barrel gift registry at firstname.lastname@example.org
PS: My tickets have already been sold. Leave me alone.