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March 11, 2013

CUMMINS: Don’t ever give away your daughter

Love and marriage don’t always go together like a horse and carriage. If you know anything about horses, some of them are flighty, others balky. When I discovered love, and then marriage, I had everything except a carriage. When I asked for her hand, my future father-in-law said, “Only if you put your nose to the grindstone.” We’ve worn out eight carriages since then. 

 Love leads to unknowns, including marriages. After marriage, sanctioned by the state and possibly God, misunderstandings may occur, which are usually about the degree of bliss that each lover should transfer. It can get tricky and sticky. Bathroom occupation should not affect bliss, but it does. 

As a family grows in numbers and intensity, love should seep out all over the place. Suffering should be limited to mothers enduring childbirth pain. Fathers witness this and wish they could share the pain. They will upon mother and child arriving home to the nursery where the mother-in-law has moved in with her suitcase. 

There’s all sorts of love relationships hanging from a family tree. You don’t know what bliss is until the cradle rocks. Some think a mother’s love for her children is a sacred one. This may be true, but a father’s love for his daughter(s) is like no other. It’s stashed away in heaven’s realm, too. Sons are a different proposition. A father knows how they are, chips off his thick block. Before it’s time for them to go, he kicks them out. When it’s time to give a daughter away, the trauma is unbearable.  

As a determined father grows his family tree, be it oak or hickory, at the birth of a daughter, a father prepares for war. He arms himself with two shotguns, one under his pillow and one hung in his truck for the boys to see. Come to take her out, and he’ll smile at you invitingly, but you’ll get the message from his dagger-pointed eyes, “Touch her and you’re dead.”    

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