A little over 23 years ago, my wife and I brought our daughter Nicole, a beautiful, happy, and energetic baby girl home. Since that blissful day, Niki has repeated the simple act of bringing things home, too. Cats, dogs, and people seemed to be the most common collections. For the most part, these were things that we expected and, if not welcomed, they were accepted as a part of life.
Last night she brought something home that was both welcomed and almost expected:
I say that it was almost expected only because her now official fiance and I had a short discussion a few days earlier. Al is an ASE Certified mechanic and works in the municipal garage of one of the many suburb communities outside of Columbus.
This past weekend, he and I were changing the alternator in my Civic, a difficult job for anyone with hands larger than peach pit. The job took a couple of hours and I got an insight into what this young man was about.
I already knew that Al was courteous and well mannered. But this weekend I realized he has a pretty good head on his shoulders and a fair amount of common sense, which is often not so common these days. He has dreams and goals and a plan and I think the determination to make them a reality. I found myself really liking him.
After completing the job and picking up his tools, Al paused and said he'd been meaning to talk to me about something. He then proceeded to ask permission to wed my daughter and I smiled and said, "That depends on how good a job you did on the alternator."
The details of our talk are something that will be left between just the two of us, but in the end, speaking very solemnly, I told him I would give my blessing to the union. Although I never showed the emotion I felt to Al, on the inside, my mind was screaming, "Yipeeeee!!!!!"
Now, having seen the evidence of his sincerity on Niki's hand, I started looking forward to the day when my home becomes my own again. My thoughts drifted towards ways to decorate her soon-to-be-empty bedroom and plotting methods to seize ownership of the space from my dear wife and... and... calculating the costs associated with a wedding. Reality check!
With the economy in the toilet, does it really make sense to spend a whole lot of money on a wedding? Probably not. I'd rather opt for a simple ceremony and a big party. But it's not my wedding or party.
So, prudence suggests that we forgo the California bike trip (Teresa wasn't all that excited about it anyway), and focus our efforts on an October wedding.
In the mean time, I think I'll submit my Fathers Day/birthday/Christmas wish list early: A 24 foot extension ladder, tall enough to reach Niki's bedroom window.
Or maybe something along these lines...