Post # 1
This is kinda silly, although after spending the weekend working on invitations, flowers, setting the DJ, and dealing with legal paperwork for my wedding I need somewhere to vent after the email I just got…
….So, my sister is a wonderful, kind, and smart person. We are very, very, different people. For example: my wedding will very much be a French, classy garden-themed wedding in Normandy; her wedding was at a waterpark, and for the reception she went down the water slide in her dress, and afterwards everyone got in their swimsuits and got in the pool. It was fun, just…we are different. She recently took up roller derby as a hobby, which…is really, really not my thing and as she is the most accident prone person I know, it’s hard for me to support her doing a sport where you get on rollerblades and intentionally push people down. So I wasn’t too happy when I got this:
“I would really love to guest at a roller derby practice in France (I was told this is often allowed) and/or possibly see a game. I might need your help with some translation stuff if you have the time. Of course, I understand if you’re too busy, but since this is a passion of mine, I thought it also might be fun to share it with you when I’m out. Let me know your thoughts.”
My wedding is really the only time I’ll ever be able to invite all my friends and family from the states to visit me and for me to really share the culture I’ve been living in with them. I’ll have several guests visiting me, and I’d rather show them something a little more cultural to Paris than roller derby. Plus I’m in the middle of planning my wedding and don’t really want to help her with this. I also recently got a job, and it looks like there is a huge conference a few days after my wedding. Hopefully I’ll be able to get the Friday before my wedding off work…but any quality time I can be with my guests is important to me. I guess I feel like this roller derby thing is being imposed on me, and really would not be quality time…it’s not my thing.
I’m not sure how to react, it’s not a typical problem you come across. And I’ve just come back from a weekend of planning overload. Any advice on how to respond?
Post # 3
Well it’s your sister, and it’s something she loves. So while it seems ridiculous to you, it’s important to her. I don’t see how one roller derby show/competition/whaterver it’s called, would affect you all that much, as it is probably only a couple hours tops. Why not make the effort to supprt her ? You don’t need to bring along everyone, you just need to tell them you are busy for a couple of hours, I am sure they can handle it.
If you really don’t want to go or supprt her, or help her out with the trnslation let her know you are too busy, and you’re sorry.
Post # 4
I think that sounds like a really cool opportunity for your sister. Even though you want to show your guests the classier side of life, why prevent them from enjoying their passions too? That’s the thing you have to deal with if your wedding is a destination for most of your guests- they might not want to do everything you want to, because who knows when they’ll have the opportunity to be there again?
I would encourage her to pursue it, but gently let her know that you’ll be too busy around the time of the wedding to participate and/or help her. I’m sure if she just did some Google searches she could find some local groups- if she emails a bunch in English, I bet one is bound to respond. If she gets the ok to participate, maybe ask if she can do it after the wedding (if she’s in it) so you don’t have a bruised up sister in your wedding photos!
Post # 5
I’m confused…is she coming into town for the wedding, and thats when she’s suggesting the derby or is she visiting you sooner for another reason and she wants you to come along? Is the translation stuff just helping her out in a foreign country or does she expect you to be her translator and go with her?
Its not really an atypical situation, taking your differences and dislike of the hobby out of it. If this is occuring in the week or two leading up to your wedding, I would politely tell her that you would be thrilled to go with her on a roller derby adventure the next time she comes to visit you, but with all the wedding activities going you, you don’t think you’ll have the time or energy. If she asks you specific questions about translations or vocabulary, I would answer them but not sit down for a two hour long tutor session or be her personal translator.
Have you gone to roller derby with her before? Outside of your wedding, I would go with her at least once to be a supportive sister. Yes, roller derby can injure you. Just like rock climbing, horeseback riding, soccer, tennis, etc. But she’s an adult and should be able to choose hobbies she loves without you judging her choices. But if she asks you all the time to go, I would just explain that its not your thing.
Post # 6
You’re both adults, you both have the right to do your own thing and the right to not do what you don’t want to do. Which means: If she wants to go to a practice or bout, let her. If you don’t have the time or inclination to help her organize that, let her know that you wish her well but you won’t be able to join her or help her. As an adult, she can then decide how she wishes to proceed.
Sounds to me like she’s really just trying to reach out a bit, not impose something on you that you’ll resent. “No thanks” is always a perfectly polite, acceptable answer.
Post # 7
(Is that group still doing the midnight roller-blading in Montmartre? If so, that might be a fun thing to suggest for her, too.)
Post # 9
Well if she want to do the roller derby thing, let her. If you are too busy and don’t have time to mess with it, then don’t.
Post # 10
If she needs help with translation, how will she go to the roller derby practice and participate? Or does she just want to watch?
Post # 11
@Cash000: It’s true it’s a good opportunity for her…but I have other friends and family who will be paying a lot to see me and my Fiance, and I maybe see them once every year or so. Personally, I would rather do something that is inclusive which everyone will enjoy. I know my Mom is also against it as well, so it’s just an awkward situation.
Post # 12
@Roe: She is coming to France for my wedding for a week. For the translation…I’m not sure, I might have to be there with her?
Post # 13
I don’t think she should expect you or anyone else to go with her. If she wants to do it and it won’t get in the way of wedding activities then let her. Are you concerned that you won’t get to spend enough time with her or that she expects everyone else to go to the Derby? I think it’s fine for her to go on her own and do her own thing for a few hours but it’s not ok to expect other guests to attend her activity if they have no interest.
Post # 14
I don’t really understand what she wants you to do?? I think if it’s just help her draft up an email, or make a couple phone calls – not a big deal. If she wants you to actually come with her in the days after the wedding, I’d also say no if it’s more than a couple hour time commitment.
Post # 15
Let her go on her own. This would be fun for her and a great opportunity, but gently remind her that you will be too busy around the week of your wedding to travel with her or translate.
Luckily, most children in France learn English in school, she should be okay.
Post # 16
@Ms. Martian: I totally don’t expect people to spend every second with me while they are here, and want them to explore what the city has to offer! Although how it’s looking now, I may only have evenings free during the week and want to spent the time doing things everyone would enjoy in the group. She is free to do what she wants of course (yes we are all adults and will not tell her what see can or can’t do), but I don’t really want to be a part of seeing her get slammed around.
Besides the weekend of the wedding, there aren’t really a lot of activities. I have no expectations for a shower, batchorette party, or even gifts. My Bridesmaid or Best Man can literally wear whatever they want and I’m just making loose suggestions rather than requirements. I’m just so thrilled people are coming and will be able to spend time with them. I just don’t feel like it’s an inclusive event, not just because I don’t like it but other guests would rather not be there as well.