Sitting in a Mexican Restaurant that I had never tried before, I was concerned. I’m always concerned about eating in restaurants for the first time. I’ve spent my life analyzing failures and the probability of bad things happening, thus I saw this as an opportunity for something bad to happen.


As I thought about the chile rellenos I had ordered, I noticed that the restaurant also had rather bad acoustics, or that it was very loud. Everyone seemed to be having a good time, so I just sat there eating my tortilla chips and salsa.


I was also thinking about the pickup trucks I had been test driving. I was a little way from home, looking for a good deal, when we decided to stop and try this restaurant that my office neighbor at work had recommended. Maybe I was even picturing myself driving on a desolate country road with the window down, listening to hard country music.


Then I noticed my phone was lighting up/ringing. Generally, I would never answer the phone while eating dinner at a restaurant or at home, for that matter. However, the area code looked familiar and it was not my own. It seems that these robocall folks now have gone to using numbers that you think would be local numbers. So, I don’t answer those.


But this area code was from Alabama. I answer calls from Alabama, because that is where I grew up and I thought it might just be important.


When I answered the call, I recognized the voice, but the restaurant noise was causing me to have to work hard to listen and speak loud to respond. It was my oldest daughter’s boyfriend of many years, who lives out of state. He told me would like to drive down and have lunch on Saturday. I said, “Absolutely.”


Of course, when my daughter’s mother, who was sitting across the table from me, realized who it was and what she thought was going on, she kind of lost it. That is what daughters’ mothers do. They should.


There are some things in this life that concern me. This was not one of them. I knew why he was coming and I was good with it. My wife knew why he was coming and she was good with it. When I say “good with it,” I mean very good and happy with it.


Now, I had to go back to worrying about the chile rellenos and the pickup trucks.


The chile rellenos were good, but not as good as the ones that are served by my favorite Mexican restaurant in the city where I live. I am partial to it, because the fellow who owns it is always so nice to me and I have learned I can “trust” his menu (from a next day perspective).


I’ve always wondered about how I would handle it when (and if) a boy asked to marry my daughter. I shouldn’t say boy, this fellow is a man, but with daddies, I think “boys and girls” is meant in a loving way.


Should I have some long talk with this fellow about the seriousness of marriage and commitment and the ups and downs that are involved?


I recently read somewhere that the tradition of asking a girl’s father for her hand in marriage is slowly fading away. They argue that it conveys sexism or chauvinism and treats women like property.


They are wrong. I think it is doggone respectful to ask me. I think it’s a rite of passage of sorts and bonding experience.


I’ve know this young man for a long time and I like him.


We sat and talked and he finally said, “I guess you know why I’m here.” I said, “I do and I’m good with it.” I added a few more things that I honestly can’t remember, but I basically tried to tell him I was there for him, too.


It made me happy.


I decided against the pickup truck for now. Maybe I will wait until I have grandkids and I can throw them in the back and ride down that desolate country road with the window down, listening to hard country music and kids screaming in the back.


Whatever they call me, it better have the word “Daddy” in it.


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