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On the prospect of becoming a father-in-law

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Having five girls in our house has always been something of a cross-cultural experience for my son and I. These days, talk of bridal showers, wedding dresses, and ceremonies (always a favorite topic in a family of five women), has become like some kind of specialized FM station: “All bridal talk,…
By Seth Barnes
092Having five girls in our house has always been something of a cross-cultural experience for my son and I. These days, talk of bridal showers, wedding dresses, and ceremonies (always a favorite topic in a family of five women), has become like some kind of specialized FM station: “All bridal talk, all the time.”
 
The mountains of north Georgia are beautiful and, though there is no “date” yet, I’m betting a venue near Dahlonega in May/June. I think Talia has already set up a web site.
 
I couldn’t be happier. Joe is a great guy and a perfect match for Talia. They’re complementary – she’s intense, he’s mellow. Rozy McCormick says, “She’s fire to his water and vice versa.”
 
The story of their meeting is romantic. Four years ago, he and I met on this blog. He wanted to rendezvous in person, but lived in Santa Barbara. He wrote me while we were launching a World Race team in the Yucatan, “Can I come visit you in Georgia?”
 
As it turned out, our family was going to vacation in Santa Barbara the following week – perfect!
 
Talia had already been on the World Race and Joe was considering it. As it turned out, he went last year, realizing somewhere along the way that he liked Talia. In October, he drove all the way across the country, sat me down on the porch, and talked to me about it. “I’d like to get to know her, what do you think?”
 
It’s gone quickly. In the coffee shop last week Joe asked for her hand. And the subsequent conversation was a sober one. 
 
Permission granted, Joe pulled the trigger this past weekend. Facebook soon made it official with the masses, and now the  women in our networks are mobilizing. It’s astonishing to see the array of skills and resources already being deployed. I had no idea.
 
My strategy with my own wedding 30 years ago worked well – living in Indonesia at the time, I showed up two weeks before the wedding. Upon arriving I made one mistake, venturing a suggestion about the music. The response showed me that I was way out of my depth – I retreated and maintained an appropriate distance from there on.
 
Since then, I know my place at these things. I’ve set a budget and have the checkbook ready, but mostly will be a happy, quiet sponsor of the festivities. That person smiling in the background while the women swirl around the wedding magazines will be me. I’m going to watch Father of the Bride this week to get my head in the game.
 
I’m still processing it all and welcome the advice of those who can orient me to what propriety may require in the next several months.

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