Ranking Relatives

Dear Lora,

I have a college graduation for my niece on the same day of my sister’s birthday.  I committed to going to the graduation and spending the day with my sister (not the mom of my niece) because I thought they were on different days.  So who should I be loyal to, the sister on her birthday or the niece who has worked hard to get her Masters degree?  I missed my niece’s first college graduation, however my sister feels I should keep my commitment to her. 


Dear Double-booked,

I say go to your niece’s graduation, especially since you missed the first one.  Those don’t happen on a regular basis, but as we all know, your sister will have more birthdays.  This isn’t a matter of choosing your niece over your sister, it’s about acknowledging a very special accomplishment.

I suggest telling your sister she’s having a “birthday week” and extending the celebration.  Who could turn down an offer to keep the party going?  My best friend (who’s like a sister) and I actually celebrate “birthday months”.  Our lives are so busy with “stuff” it’s nearly impossible to celebrate on the actual birth-date every year, so we’ve made our own rules.  It removes the time constraint, but keeps us connected.  Honestly, if my real birthday isn’t all that I’d hoped for, it’s nice knowing I’ve got another shot at it later in the month.



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