My black 1993 Saturn SC1. Surely you've owned a car that you associate with your "rite of passage" years. A car that was in the background during good and bad memories alike.This was that car for me. I could type for hours about all the places that car took me how many laughs were had inside it. At a friend's request, I'm going to focus on one memorable conversation.
I remember it was cold outside. Normally I am not good at remembering dates or what time of year something happened. However, in this case the fact that the two of us were wearing winter coats plays into the dynamics of the conversation.
Kris and I come from conservative/traditional thinking backgrounds. We both knew that if we were to get married I had to preform the aged old act of asking her father for her hand (and all her other parts as well.). Kris' parents and I knew each other rather well. Both of our families ran in the same social circles. I had grown up with these people at arms reach so I knew a bit more about them than the boyfriend of the oldest daughter typically knows.
I drove to Carl's house in my Saturn. An audiophile's dream on wheels. Try to understand that this is not a terribly roomy car. Two adults would be about all that could fit in here comfortably, at least sitting up. Carl is not a small person. Picture John Goodman from the TV show Roseanne. Hardly the person ideally suited to more than a few minutes in any kind of close quarters. I pull up to Carl's house in time to realize he is on his way out to meet me at the car. He gets in. The automatic seat belt clicks into place barely making it past his large frame and larger winter coat. "Wonderful, he's uncomfortable", I think to myself. It also now dawns on me that I don't have a destination in mind. Where do you take a guy like this, for a discussion like this? Furthermore, any minute now he is going to realize that I haven't planned ahead. Poor planing skills. Great! What does that say about my ability to care for his eldest? I had a diner of sorts in mind. Somewhere we could sit down and discuss the finer points of my plan. Somewhere I could convince this educated father of four that I had it all figured out.
So much for that. We ended up at Dunkin' Donuts. NOT GOOD. Even as I was driving there I was frightfully aware that there was no seating at this particular location. How the hell were we going to talk in there? We didn't spend much time in there. We got a few things and then headed out to the car to talk. Good thing there was plenty of room in there for two grown men to eat a meal.....in their puffy winter coats.
I had somewhat of a script in mind for myself. It included my earnings potential and investment plans for the next 3-5 years. I would also dazzle him with my outlook for being retired by the age of 45.
At some point I came up for air and he stopped me cold.
He said "All that is fine, do you esteem her?"
Sh*t. Why did he ask me ....that?
Now I was contemplating the following......
Does he think me my intentions towards Kris are insincere?
Is he going to say NO, because by business plan is flawed?
Was he going to say no anyway and this is just a fun way to screw with me?
I also entertained the possibility that this was the question that was put to him years ago when he got married.
So from amidst all my calculating, I mustered my my response........" She's alright".
In hindsight, I think he wanted some reassurance that my feelings about Kris did not begin and end with love. I realize that may sound odd, but what does anyone know about love at age 23 anyway? My life experience has been that Kris and I didn't figure out the finer points of our relationship and love until we had been married for at least 3 years. Ten years later and we still learn everyday.
None of it has anything to do with freakin' earnings potential.