For some time both my parents and I all worked at the same nursing home. My mom was the social service director, my dad worked in maintenance and I worked at the front desk and in the activity department. It was a small charming independently owned place that had been a part of my life since I was young. Everyone knew everyone else and the three of us were well loved by the residents and staff alike. We randomly ran into each other often throughout our day and enjoyed many dinners discussing some of the craziness that tends to occur when working in such a place. Most of the residents were either suffering from Alzheimer’s or dementia and weren’t always able to make the connection that I was Chuck and Sue’s daughter. One particularly adorable old man was completely enamored by me and was always asking me to run away with him. I laughed it off and politely told him that I wasn’t that kind of girl. One day he declared that,
“I’ve been thinking it over and while I’m still pretty young and have lots of oats to sew and all. I think you’re well worth it. I’m going to make an honest woman out of you. Marry me, if you won’t run off with me.”
So I have this 5 foot tall octogenarian asking for my 20 something hand in marriage and he’s very serious about it.
I thought fast and said, “I am an old fashioned girl so you’ll have to get my dad’s permission before I could even consider such a thing.”
I was sure that this would be the end of it because he certainly was one of those residents that weren’t able to recall who my father was. About two weeks later and he still hadn’t mentioned a word to me about running away or getting married instead, he just kept saying that he was “working things out” and that I was “the most amazing person he’d ever known.” I just smiled and thanked him for the compliments but quickly changed the subject as we walked to whatever activity I had charmed him into attending. Next thing I know this man who never walked any faster than a snail’s paced shuffle with his walker was quickly picking up speed down the hall. I noticed my dad was coming the other direction but thought nothing of it.
Well, my little admirer walked straight up to my dad and said, “Sir, I’d like to formally request your daughter’s hand in marriage. I have a lot to offer a precious gem like her. I will always be faithful and kind to her.”
My dad stood for a moment in silence as a smile slowly crept across his face I knew I was in trouble. “Well, George, you know that would make you my son-in-law, right?”
“Yes, sir and I’d be honored, you’re a fine man.”
I looked at my dad begging him not to say what I knew he was about to say, “Then you have my blessing son.”
My dad confirmed patting him on the shoulder working very hard to suppress a laugh. George, turned back to me beaming as my dad took off like a flash leaving me there to fend for myself on this one. George walked back to me slipping his arm around mine and starting discussing our wedding. As I tried to collect my thoughts I noticed that people were popping their heads out from behind the kitchen door snickering. At least I knew which direction my traitor had gone. For about a week afterward I was still having rice and bridal magazines put in my box at work and I still don’t know how many of those were from my dad.