Yesterday I had to install a new mailbox. A power line had fallen on our old one and bent it permanently out of shape, servicable enough to hold letters, but not up to the Martin standard. I'd had a full day and was going to squeeze in installing the mailbox before rushing off to attend my high school's graduation ceremony.
I was just pulling out of the driveway on my way to the hardware store when Nancy flagged me down. Drew, my daughter's boyfriend, was on the phone and wanted to come over and "talk to us."
It's the moment every father... "Dreads" is the wrong word. It isn't something you dread. It's more like awaiting with apprehension, the day a young man asks for your daughter's hand. The unspecified "talk to us" also created a certain amount of suspense as we waited for Drew to arrive.
I won't keep you in suspense. Drew indeed had asked my daughter to marry him.
As a father you wonder what sort of man your daughter will choose and what sort will choose her. Not to put too fine a point on it, there are a lot of losers out there, and I can't help noticing that women sometimes seem mysteriously attracted to them. What if my daughter brings home some sullen dimwit with bad teeth and a backward-facing baseball cap? How will I sit there and force a smile as I contemplate her years yoked to some cruel-minded clown?
Thank you, Lord, I needed have no such fear. Drew is a splendid man. He is joyous, he is kind, he is intelligent, he is curious about the world and the things inside it. He is in love with my daughter.
There is no firm date for the wedding yet. Nancy and I will be shaking coins out of piggybanks and looking under couch cushions for change between now and then.
In the meantime, I am looking forward to having a son. I never had a son.
Oh, by the way, the mailbox turned out great.