My daughter has always been a planner, one of the things about her that I admire. Growing up, she was the one in her group of friends who made sure something was going on, like the summer she bought a season pass to Six Flags and convinced her friends to buy passes as well. Not only did she plan the trips to the park, but she made sure that there were days reserved for guests. I went with her as her guest several times that summer. She is also a roller coaster junkie, another thing I like about her.

Those planning skills will hopefully pay off in the months to come. Her February has been very eventful, what with a carefully orchestrated marriage proposal happening. I give the guy props, as he went all out, decorated a gazebo with flowers and rose petals, lit the path to the gazebo with luminaries. Prior to the proposal, he sent me a Facebook invite, then video chatted me using the FB app after I accepted the invite. He is a proper and polite young man, to the point of asking for my blessing before asking for her hand. I was kind to him, told him that he needs to ride some singletrack with me this summer. After all, I know the trails and there are plenty of places in the woods to bury a body (chuckle chuckle heh heh). They want to get married this summer, something that is really going to challenge her planning skills. The short time period is enough of a challenge to the preparations, a daunting task. What adds difficulty is that she is making the arrangements from another country. Both kids want to get married in the USA while they are on break from their teaching jobs in Turkey. As long as there are no complications, she will arrive her sometime around the second week of June. It looks like the date is July 26. That is not much time!

If you checked what day of the week July 26 falls on, you may be scratching your head as to why she has chosen a Monday. If money was no object for the wedding, then it would be on a Saturday. But having the wedding on a Monday saves a little over $2000 on the venue alone. There is a slim budget, as far as I know. Not only is my daughter a planner, but she also is a saver and has a decent amount of money in reserve for the wedding. However, I am a divorced man (need I say more) which means I have very little I can contribute financially to the wedding. It was a bit awkward when she messaged me and had to ask how much I thought I would be able to contribute. I know she hated asking, for one. If I had the money, I would give freely to her. As it is, I am going to put as much aside from my tax refund and give until it hurts. That was part of the awkwardness of the ask for money, at least for me. I really want to give to my children. Thankfully, she really just wanted to know how much she can budget, told me that any amount of money is fine. She knows my heart. After all, she is my daughter.

In the few weeks since the February 9th marriage proposal, she has already done a lot. The guest list is already assembled, a challenge for her due to COVID. The venue she chose limits the amount of guests to 100. Considering her mother has six sisters and I have two brothers, that pretty much means her cousins (she is close with them) and many friends will not be able to attend the ceremony and reception. I talked to her the other day, offered to rent the condominium association clubhouse for a party the Saturday before the wedding, so her friends can be a part of the wedding.

One of my assigned tasks is to taste test the possible caterers, something I am well qualified for, especially since they want BBQ for the reception. Let’s hope she doesn’t get sauce on her dress! Also, she has asked me to pick out the song for the daughter/dad dance. Her request is an Earth Wind and Fire song of my choice, since that band brings back the days of when she and I used to listen to their greatest hits album in my car on the way to/from her basketball games. She wants to choreograph a funky dance for us to do. She knows her dad is a ham, watched me act sketch comedy for years, so she wants to take advantage of that. My daughter is like me that way, so the dance should be a blast to perform.

I am trying not to think about one of the possible sour notes for the wedding — seeing my ex’s family. In the four years since the separation, I have not seen or talked to most of them. Her one sister who lives in this area has kept in touch, but I have only seen one other sister and brother-in-law in the last four years. Most may be glad to see me, but I can think of a few who could be looking for a reason to take out their angst. If it happens, I just need to be ready to walk away. This may seem unrealistic and stupid to say, but I am a little disappointed that at least some of my ex brother-in-laws haven’t talked to me since the separation. I was close with many of them. One lived with my family on two separate occasions for more than a year. I reached out to him before and after my wife and I separated. He never responded to me. He is married to the sister who is usually the most vocal and antagonistic, so that may be the reason.

That aside, there is plenty to be thankful for. I am looking forward to seeing what my daughter puts together. Judging from what I already know, it will be a fine affair.

2021 has already been eventful. I spent a few days at Disney as a guest of my girlfriend. My daughter is getting married. My son is graduating from college (yes, another expense). Who knows what else!