2017-04-07 / Commentary

Staying mad for a really long time

It’s not a criticism; It’s an observation
Mike Cox

I made an innocent mistake that was blown wildly out of proportion. At the urging of a former girlfriend of mine, the Love of my Life traveled from the church sponsored all-night bowling event to the dance floor of the local Elks Club. Broke up with me in mid-frug.

Beaver and the girls had just dropped by for an evening’s fun. All Mike and I had done preemptively was connect Beaver with Uncle Ronnie, our standard supplier for beverages from the local State Store. All Uncle Ronnie required was a small bottle of his own.

I had dropped by the Elks Club to lobby for future Friday night performance dates with Mr. Parker, the evil manager of such things. He was much more responsive to longhaired teenagers when they weren’t responsible for that night’s noise level.

Our business completed, I headed for the dance floor. Beaver couldn’t dance with both of them. I can’t remember who was who; even though one was blonde and the other dark brunette, the two were inseparable, and indistinguishable. That was my story then and I’m still sticking to it.

After a couple of weeks, I talked her into a reconciliation. There would be conditions. After two weekends of dating other people, I realized I liked that better than our previous arrangement. When she pressured me to go back to the way things were supposed to be, I balked. My dad came home about the time she ran out the front door in tears.

We moved on with our lives, but she stayed mad for a long time. Our sons became friends in high school, and she still wouldn’t acknowledge my existence. After 25 years, a chance meeting in a Cracker Barrel resulted in a smile and hug. Twenty-five years. Some people just can’t get past stupid teenage occurances.

I thought about her recently as my middle child told of a friend whose son is getting married. The bride’s father just got jailed after his third DUI conviction. He won’t be able to walk his baby girl down the aisle. And I thought Gloria was mad a long time. I told Chad the man will never get past this event.

Marriage on our planet has evolved over the centuries. Originally, families planned marriages. Then Bill Shakespeare invented True Love and everything changed. This rocked on quite nicely until Lady Diana got hitched on world TV, and every girl decided her wedding must be just as wonderful.

Wedding planners were born. Flower arrangers and cake bakers became as wealthy as American doctors. A wedding day became more important than any other personal event. Even with a 50 percent success rate.

There are television shows based entirely on over-the-top brides. Even the proposal has become a required moment so romantic it must be recorded for historic value and posted immediately on Facebook. Imagine wedding photos, videos, and scrapbooks, social media event pages, and yet to be invented ways to broadcast this special day.

Now imagine the number of times that question will be asked. Where’s your dad? She will never overcome this. He will never live it down.

Twenty-five years will seem like a long weekend.

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