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AITA for Turning Down Free Super Bowl Tickets? (1 Viewer)

kenyanfeline

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Just had one of the craziest days of my life. This is a super long Dear Facebook post and it’s going to take a while to get to the point, but I don’t do Facebook so figured I’d make you assholes read it.

For some background information, as some of you know, I’m a veterinarian by day. I didn’t interview well and was too chicken to start my own practice after graduating, and in desperation, I applied for a position as a civilian medic for canine working dogs during Operation Enduring Freedom and they accepted me. It paid next to nothing and I had to sleep in a tent in the middle of Afghanistan for 2 years, but it was a pretty unique experience. I got to live the military lifestyle in combat zones without having to go to boot camp and my only job was to tend to the military dogs. Most of the time I was just providing routine care, but occasionally I’d have to operate on wounded dogs.

I lost a few and saved a few, but one dog completely changed the trajectory of my career and led me to turning down Super Bowl tickets today. It was a German Shepard named Bojo and he was grazed in the spine by a 50 cal bullet. I was not trained in that particular realm of care but I was young and naive and thought I could save him, but truthfully I just didn’t have the balls to look a soldier in the eyes and tell him there was nothing I can do. So I basically ended up in over my head doing a surgery that I wasn’t remotely qualified to perform with crude surgical tools not designed for the precision needed in a spinal surgery and somehow, I hit the jackpot. He should have been paralyzed at best but ended up surviving and living to be 13 years old with almost full mobility.

Fast forward a couple years, and a former 9/11 rescue dog has a spinal tumor that is basically a death sentence. Some try chemo which just prolongs their suffering a few months, but most just put the dog down. There is one surgical route but it’s extremely risky. Somehow, the soldier who handled the dog I saved in Afghanistan had bragged about me to someone who bragged about me to someone else and told the handler of the 9/11 rescue dog that I’m some dog spine surgery guru, which couldn’t have been further from the truth at that time. Literally never trained for it, had never done it, and was not even remotely qualified. They reached out to me, I turned them down and tried to refer them to some other specialists but they insisted and I reluctantly (stupidly) accepted. Probably an 80% chance she’d die on the table, but I got lucky again and she went on to live to the be 16 and earn the distinction of being the oldest living 9/11 rescuer dog.

Fast forward a few more years, and I ended up performing the same surgery 4 more times with a 75% success rate. And I’m not bragging or chalking that up to any special talent, it’s more like I was playing Russian Roulette with 5 rounds in the cylinder each time and kept getting lucky. Best I can tell, there’s been just under 100 documented attempts at this particular surgery and less than 20 dogs have made it off the operating table, and I had been lucky enough to claim 4 of those prior to today.

Anyways, I got a call from a California number a couple weeks ago requesting me to do this surgery again. I won’t tell you the name of the owner for privacy reasons, but I will tell you that there is a bronze bust of his head on display in the NFL Hall of Fame.

I accepted the job, gave all but two of my techs the day off today, and the guy flew in with his dog and family. I was nervous as hell because of all of my attempts, this one was the most severe and seemed to go the worst and there were several times I was certain she was either going to die on the table or be completely paralyzed. In the end, I brought her off sedation late this afternoon and everything tested out great; successful surgery.

The owner was super nice and grateful, and I charged him just my normal going rate. He insisted that I wasn’t charging him enough because I had to shut down the whole clinic and I told him I couldn’t charge him more, so he ends up offering me two free tickets to the Super Bowl this weekend. A once in a lifetime opportunity. I called my wife to “ask” and she reminded me of my daughter’s dance recital Sunday afternoon. She said she’d call grandma and have her take the kids and handle the dance recital so we could go but it just didn’t sit right with me. I started thinking about how my daughter practiced all year for this one recital and I just couldn’t do that to her, so I turned down the tickets and told him to just pay it forward to someone else. There will only be a few more dance recitals left in my daughter’s childhood and I don’t want to miss them. He finally gave up and said he’d reach out for next year’s Super Bowl so we’ll see.

As I was driving home I was feeling pretty content with my decision and I called one of my best friends to tell him about this experience. He told me I was an idiot for turning down the tickets and that even if I didn’t want to go to the Super Bowl, I could have accepted the tickets and given them to him. I thought he was joking at first but no, he was legit pissed at me for not gifting him the tickets and turning them down altogether.

Am I the asshole?
 

RedSeaRising

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Asshole isn't the right word. You'll always be able to tell the story about how you literally turned down every red blooded American man's wildest dream to go to her dance recital, which is a bad ass move as a dad. She'll tell that story at her wedding someday.

That said, I'd have taken the tix and watched the recording of the recital, but I have 3 soon to be 4 daughters so if I hit all of their recitals except for one where I was at the super bowl I could sleep just fine at night.

P.S. - who the fuck schedules a dance recital on Super Bowl Sunday?
 

kenyanfeline

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Asshole isn't the right word. You'll always be able to tell the story about how you literally turned down every red blooded American man's wildest dream to go to her dance recital, which is a bad ass move as a dad. She'll tell that story at her wedding someday.

That said, I'd have taken the tix and watched the recording of the recital, but I have 3 soon to be 4 daughters so if I hit all of their recitals except for one where I was at the super bowl I could sleep just fine at night.

P.S. - who the fuck schedules a dance recital on Super Bowl Sunday?
It’s my first born and only daughter so I’m protective of her and also protective of my time with her. 18 years goes by fast.

Totally agree if I had 4 daughters and this was #3 I’d probably look at it a lot differently.
 

Baron Winnebago

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It’s my first born and only daughter so I’m protective of her and also protective of my time with her. 18 years goes by fast.

Totally agree if I had 4 daughters and this was #3 I’d probably look at it a lot differently.
I mean you could have 4 daughters...
 

Huskerbuck85

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Asshole isn't the right word. You'll always be able to tell the story about how you literally turned down every red blooded American man's wildest dream to go to her dance recital, which is a bad ass move as a dad. She'll tell that story at her wedding someday.

That said, I'd have taken the tix and watched the recording of the recital, but I have 3 soon to be 4 daughters so if I hit all of their recitals except for one where I was at the super bowl I could sleep just fine at night.

P.S. - who the fuck schedules a dance recital on Super Bowl Sunday?
The same type of people that schedule youth select baseball on Mother’s Day when those mothers likely have other children and possibly a Mother of their own they’d like to spend time with. And Father’s who possibly have Mother’s they’d like to spend time with. Youth sports have their head up their rear if you ask me. I look at all the vehicles in the Elkhorn youth sports complex parking lots on a Sunday (guilty a few times) and just realize how many kids and families are being driven from church! I’m guilty of not going enough and that doesn’t make it any easier. Rant over
 

Goskers07

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You're a good man, Dr. Dog Spine Surgeon. You're right, there's only so many recitals and the most important part of it all for your daughter is that you're there, miserable and all. (I'm a first class sap for anything involving time with my kids, particularly my little girl.)

That being said, I hope he comes through next year for you. A Falcons/Jags Super Bowl in New Orleans could be fun.
 

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