DEAR ABBY: When I first read the letter from "Wounded Bride" (Jan. 6), whose father left immediately after her wedding ceremony to watch a football game on television, I thought, "What an insensitive, inconsiderate boor!" However, when I saw the signature, "Wounded Bride in Nebraska," I laughed.
I was born and raised in Nebraska. The percentage of the population in Nebraska who are not obsessed with football is definitely in the minority. It has reached the point where weddings, birthday celebrations, anniversaries -- even women's C-sections -- are planned around the Cornhuskers' schedule.
This may seem ridiculous and juvenile, but it's the reality if you choose to live in Nebraska. What her father did was wrong, yet he probably was never taught anything different. I'd cut the guy some slack. -- REFORMED CORNHUSKER FAN, NOW IN MASSACHUSETTS
DEAR REFORMED: I told "Wounded Bride" (in essence) that her father might have been trying to send her a message about his feelings about her marriage, but she should try to forgive him and concentrate on building a successful life with her spouse. Of course, when I penned my answer, I had no idea how pervasive football fanaticism has become. Read on:
DEAR ABBY: Although I feel her pain, I had to chuckle. We just moved back to Colorado from Nebraska, and believe me when I say that "Husker" is the state religion.
Some close friends recently planned the marriage of their son around the Cornhuskers' football schedule, and another friend was late to his own wedding because he was watching "the game."
"Wounded Bride's" father is just a typical Husker fan. -- BRENDA IN AURORA, COLO.
DEAR ABBY: It was the bride's own fault for scheduling her wedding during a game-day Saturday. Having grown up in Nebraska, I can tell you there are Catholic priests and Protestant ministers who refuse to perform weddings on game day. Repairmen refuse to come until the game is over. My wife is a nurse, and when she worked in the hospitals there, she knew of doctors who put off patients until the game was over. Nothing in Nebraska is more important -- at least in their minds. It's actually one of the reasons we moved away. -- FORMER NEBRASKAN IN TEXAS
DEAR ABBY: My in-laws' anniversary was in the fall, and we had to plan their 60th on a weekend other than game day or many guests would not have come. Heck, my father-in-law might not have come! They played the Nebraska fight song at his funeral, and everyone cried. -- HUSKER FAN, ROCKLIN, CALIF.
DEAR READERS: In fairness, it isn't just Nebraska football fans. Read on:
DEAR ABBY: The only day we could have our wedding was the day of the Pitt-Penn State game -- a big deal here in western Pennsylvania. At our reception, those guests who weren't in the bar glued to the TV had headphones plugged into their ears, either cheering or groaning at inappropriate times. -- MARTHA IN CHICORA, PA.
DEAR ABBY: Brides-to-be in Oklahoma who schedule their weddings on an Oklahoma University Sooner game-day Saturday can expect low attendance. It may not be right, but it's true. -- SOONER FAN IN OKLAHOMA CITY
DEAR ABBY: In Texas, we schedule funerals so as not to interfere with our college football games. That bride knew her father's habits. She should have had the wedding on a different date. -- ANOTHER FATHER'S OPINION
DEAR ABBY: "Wounded Bride" should take comfort in the fact that what goes around comes around. Nebraska lost! -- AUBURN WAR EAGLE
To receive a collection of Abby's most memorable -- and most frequently requested -- poems and essays, send a business-sized, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $6 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby -- Keepers Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included in the price.)