I Pushed Dad Overboard

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Tradition vs. Obligation

Why do we do the things we do? (Hum along if you know the song for a bit.)

I was talking with some co-workers the other day about things that families like to do together. There are the ones you commonly think of: turkey on Thanksgiving, opening presents on Christmas Day, fireworks on the 4th of July. But what about the other things that we do with (or maybe for) our families?

What separates a tradition from an obligation? Is it purely based on what you want or enjoy doing? For instance, I don't like talking to my 3rd cousin and his wife, but I still go to the family reunion because I feel obligated. It's so ingrained in my head that the first Sunday in June is my dad's dad's extended family reunion that I feel guilty when I haven't gone in the past. Is it because I love personal history so much that I miss the tradition or is because I feel so obligated that I feel the need to attend.


  • I (your loving husband) would be more than happy to designate which ones we are 'obligated' to go to. :)

    By Blogger Jeff, at 2:56 PM  

  • Gee, thanks, honey!!

    By Blogger M, at 11:24 AM  

  • Hello "M" - I came to your blog from Jeff's blog which I discovered on Notes from the Trenches this morning. To answer your question about why we do things . . . as far as your grandfather's extended family reunion it's got to be your respect for your dad that you'd feel guilty by not attending???

    I feel we have something in common . . . actually you have something in common with my daughter. She, too, is the 'bread winner' in the family as her husband is the stay-at-home-dad living in the midwest. She's at keepingupwiththesmiths.blogspot.com. . . . seems to be about your age.

    Welcome to blogging - it's lots of fun.

    By Blogger CaliforniaGrammy, at 5:55 PM  

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