There is a fairly new pop song that the radio stations play endlessly right now. It’s called Rude, and it’s about a young man who goes to ask his girlfriend’s father for her hand in marriage.
It starts like this:
Saturday morning jumped out of bed
And put on my best suit
Got in my car and raced like a jet
All the way to you
Knocked on your door with heart in my hand
To ask you a question
‘Cause I know that you’re an old-fashioned man, yeah
Can I have your daughter for the rest of my life?
Say yes, say yes ’cause I need to know
In the music video, the father shakes his head and apparently says, “Nah, you ain’t marrying my daughter.”
You say I’ll never get your blessing ’til the day I die
Tough luck, my friend, but the answer is ‘No’
The young man then asks the dad, Why you got to be so rude?
Every time I hear that song, it takes me back to a similar conversation with Lisa’s father. I’m not sure if it’s still an expectation in other parts of the country to ask a girl’s father for her hand in marriage, but in the south, it is. At least in my circles.
So, I, being raised in a respectable family, knew what I had to do when I made the decision to take the plunge. I called my father-in-law to be ,who I didn’t know very well, and asked him to go to lunch. I admit I was a bit frightened. It was a really awkward situation. I was sitting there with a dude I didn’t really know, basically asking if I could defrock his daughter, spend Christmas with him, and go on his family vacations for the rest of his life. All over a burger and fries.
I didn’t even know what to call this person. He hadn’t told me I could marry his daughter yet so “dad” would have been presumptuous. And, it seemed a bit formal to call my likely father-in-law Mr. Katsopolis – I’d likely see him in his underwear before the year was over. But David or Dave was out of the question. He was my elder, more than two decades my senior.
I don’t think I addressed him by name that day. In fact, I don’t think I addressed him by name until there were grandchildren, at which time he became Pops, a comfortable name for all.
After small talk, he isn’t much of a small talker, and some awkward silence, I finally popped the question letting him know that I was planning to pop the question.
“Ahh, I think I’m gonna ask Lisa to marry me. You OK with that?” There was no going back now…
I was pretty sure he liked me but she was young, 23, and I was five years her senior. I knew there was a possibility that he would beg me off for a while. Surprisingly his response was rapid:
“Son, you don’t know what a burden you’re taking off of me.”
I gulped. Were there things about my future wife that I didn’t yet know? Did she have multiple personalities? Financial baggage? Perhaps an anger disorder? Why was he so relieved?
As my mind raced working to figure out what I’d missed, Mr. Katsopolis gazed into nowhere, and as if his brain and mouth were one, his thoughts became audible: “Her sister is going to be harder to place.”
If believe he picked up the check and bounced out of the restaurant as if he had just sold me a car without an engine.
I’m not sure how I’ll respond when some serious suitor comes to call for one of my girls, and I’ll have to admit I’ve wondered which of my daughters will be the most “difficult to place.”
Will I play hard to get with the fellas, or jump at the first offer? DJ recently taped me singing my own version of Rude.
I hope it doesn’t come to this!