Note: I realize these images have nothing to do with my dad but I couldn’t help but post this experience as opposed to talking about what I’m wearing. FYI: Dads really are some of the cutest people on this planet.
My dad has never been on my case about getting married the way my mom has. Yes, there’s the occasional “Get married!” or if he wants to be a bit more specific: “What are you doing with your life? Nothing. Get married!” But never has he expressed any interest in being involved. (Well, there was one time where he collected my e-mail address, gave it out incorrectly and then my mother blamed me for giving him the wrong one (?) when the guy never e-mailed me).
However, the other week, he took a slightly different approach. This, I will try and reenact here. Hopefully, it unfolds just the way it actually happened.
I’ve just sat down to catch up on Downton Abbey and am scarfing down a slice of pizza.
Dad (while digging around in the fridge for something sweet to eat): Soooooooooooo Joooooo…
Dad: I was wondering if we could talk?
Me: About what?
Dad: About the word.
Me: What word?
Dad: Well, you know…THE word.
Me: What the hell are you talking about?
Dad: You know…the big “M” word.
Dad: You know, I just want to talk.
Me: I don’t talk. (I’m very good at making conversation).
Dad: I just feel like as your dad, we should talk about things.
Me: I pass.
Dad: You’re my daughter. I care about you. This is what dads and daughters do. They talk.
Me (with a huge piece of pizza in my mouth): No, I’m uncomfortable.
Dad: Fine, I’ll come back when you are more comfortable.
Dad leaves the room with a bowl of ice cream and returns 10 minutes later with a big smile.
Dad: Hi Jyoti!
Me: Go away.
Dad: I don’t want to go away, I want to talk.
Me: And I want to watch my show.
Dad: Do you date?
In my head: Whoa! What is happening?!? Naturally, I said…
Me: What? Ew. Why are you asking me these things?
Dad: Like, do you need any help? Do you want MY help?
Me: This is making me feel awkward.
Dad (looks down at the floor, shuffling his feet): You know…I’m turning 64 in 3 weeks. I just want to make sure…
Me: Dad, this is a weird conversation and we’re not having it.
Dad: Marriage is not weird.
Me: I did not say that. I said THIS CONVERSATION is weird.
Dad: Why? Your mom got married at a young age.
He is obviously not listening to anything that I’m saying.
Dad: She said OK and did it.
Dad: Do you think she made the right choice?
I am just staring at him, I have no words.
Dad (looks down again in a shameful way): I think she made a pretty good choice.
I think I might have just died a little inside.
Dad: I mean, she’s happy. Things turned out good. Don’t you think so?
I am still just staring at him. I still have not responded.
Dad (looks up at me): You know what? You’re tired today. We’ll save this conversation for tomorrow. Same time. Same place.
He leaves and I’m sitting there with a droopy pizza hanging from my mouth.
Was this just a real conversation? Did he really just say all these things? Obviously, it was his attempt at trying to get through to me. While my mother’s approach tends to be more pressure-filled and dramatic – “You’re SOOOOO old! No one is ever going to like you now.” Or his mom (aka my grandmother/ba) who often says, “Can you get married? Go on the internet. Do this before I leave this world.” His was so sweet and subtle.
Did he break me? No. However, every time I recap this “conversation” in my head, I can’t help but smile and want to give him a great big hug. Engineers…sneaky, smart ones, they are…trying to tug at your heart strings. Bravo Udey! I give you an “A” for effort.