My favorite story about my father is something you only find in fairy tales. Because truth be told, he really was my mom’s prince.
At 24, my mom thought my 30 year-old dad was too old to date her; but nevertheless, he persistently asked her out. She eventually relented, but he could never quite convince her that he was truly serious.
After a few dates, my mother casually mentioned that she would be going to Europe with her mother the following month and flirtatiously said that if he really was serious about her, he would meet her in Switzerland on a certain date.
There are a few reasons she thought this would never happen. One,who jets off to Europe on a dare? And secondly, she would be with her mother…this would not be a romantic European vacation.
But my father simply said, “I’ll meet you in Switzerland.”
In a time before texting or internet (i.e. no contact), my mother toured Europe with my grandmother and never thought my father would meet them in Switzerland on the last leg of their trip. But when they arrived at their hotel, there was my father, standing by the fireplace smoking a cigar. And as soon as my mother walked through the door, my father walked up to my grandmother and said, “You must be Mrs. Nichol.”
It is obvious why this is my favorite story about my dad. It completely defines who he was and how much he loved my mother.
I have told this story to be friends countless times because that is what I’m searching for. I want someone to go to Switzerland for me…even though we’ve been on a few dates. That is the epitome of great romance – the instant connection. And this is my legacy – literally where I come from and how I came to be.
But when I confess that this is what I’m looking for, the answer is always: there just aren’t guys like my dad anymore and that I need more realistic expectations.
But isn’t that a depressing way to think? My favorite quote is from Dream For An Insomniac, “Unless it is mad, passionate, extraordinary love, it is a waste of time. There are too many mediocre things in life. Love should not be one of them.”
I still have that hope. And sometimes I do feel like that girl from He’s Just Not That Into You, especially after a particularly embarrassing encounter with the opposite sex, because I identify so strongly when she screams, “I may dissect each little thing and put myself out there so much but at least that means that I still care. Oh! You’ve think you won because women are expendable to you. You may not get hurt or make an ass of yourself that way but you don’t fall in love that way either. You have not won. You’re alone. I may do a lot of stupid shit but I’m still a lot closer to love than you are.”
Because I am that girl. I put myself out there more than I should because that is what my dad did to get the love of his life. And it worked for him. My parents were married for 37 years when he passed away – and they were more in love than ever. The Rules may say I have it all backwards because I am the girl and I should play more games…but it can never be said that I didn’t try in a relationship.
They say that nice guys always finish last…but sometimes the nice girls do too.
Image: ©Joelle Pittman
Originally posted on my previous blog May 3, 2013