My parents separated when I was in Grade 2. My brother and I grew up with our mother although all throughout college, I would spend long weekends with my father and even weeks during summer breaks. Because we didn’t live in the same house, he was the last member of my family to meet Speedy. The first time they met was at the PICC during the lawyers’ oath-taking ceremony.
When Speedy and I decided to get married, we told his family first. No issue whatsoever. Then, my family. My brothered offered Speedy his condolences (what an asshole) and the first thing my mother asked was how much Speedy’s monthly salary was. :roll:
I was in the office when I called up my father to tell him the happy news. The first thing he asked was whether I was pregnant. I told him I wasn’t although in my mind what I wanted to say was !$@!$#^%*%*! As though I’d get married for the wrong reason. Anyway, the conversation… well, it wasn’t really a conversation because he did most of the talking in that exasperated tone that I hated so much. You know, like he was berating a silly child. He had nothing against Speedy personally, he said. He just thought that I was throwing away my career. Funny, because I never said anything about quitting at the time. It wasn’t even in my mind. So, anyway, since he reacted that way, we just went through with the plans and I just didn’t call him up again.
A few days before the wedding, my brother called me up from his office to ask if I wasn’t going to invite the ogre. I said no. He said that wasn’t nice. He would call him up and talk to him, he said. I told him to suit himself; I just didn’t need the aggravation.
One day, my brother came home snickering. He had a story and he was bursting to tell it. Apparently, he did call up the ogre and gave him the wedding date, time and name of the church. Our father’s response: “Sino ba papakasalan ng Ate mo — yung kamukha ni Andrew E. (Who’s your sister marrying — the one who looks like Andrew E.)?” I burst out laughing but when I told Speedy, he didn’t think it was funny. My parents-in-law-to-be thought it was funny too.
Our wedding day came. My brother met with the ogre somewhere and they would drive in a convoy to church. They were late. The ceremony had started when they walked into the church. When the usual picture-taking obliged my father to leave his seat and walk to the altar, his eyes were red. From crying, whispered my brother who found it very amusing.
You know how wedding photos are. There is the obligatory set of photos with the parents of the bride and the groom. So, my parents were supposed to stand next to each other beside me. But my father wouldn’t go near my mother. My gosh, Speedy’s parents were giggling. If you can just see the photo (I’d show you if I had a scanner), there was a yawning gap between where my mother and father stood. Beside Speedy, his parents were giggling. In the video, his mother almost tripped from giggling.
Then, it was the recessional. Just outside the church stood my father. When I reached him, I turned to him and said, “Si Andrew E.” looking towards Speedy. I think my father would have strangled my brother (for being a rat, of course) had he been within reach. He turned red as everyone laughed. More like halakhak but what’s the English word for that? The photos were really hilarious.
The wedding dinner. Well, he and my mother were supposed to sit next to each other, right? But, noooo… As I ushered my father to his seat, he said, “Wag ka na mag referee (Don’t bother playing the referee)”, and seated himself next to my brother.
Well, what can I say? I’m an only daughter. He was proven right when I did quit legal practice after Sam was born. He offered to raise Sam so I could go back to work but Speedy and I knew we couldn’t allow it. I knew he was disappointed. He would have wanted to sit back and watch me rise in the legal profession. But he was more forgiving after Sam was born.
My father passed away three months after Alex was born. I couldn’t fulfill his dream but I doubt he’d be too unhappy to see that I’ve succeeded with things that mean more to me than a legal career.