This past Sunday was special for me because my dad got remarried. He's been dating this wonderful woman, Miranda, for about ten years, now, and so it was only a matter of time. If there was ever a situation where I could use the term "cute" for my dad, it would be whenever the two of them were together. It was an interesting thing to me to see my dad become very comfortable and tenderhearted (words that normally do not come up when describing my father) when he was with Miranda. It was quite a sight, and I really enjoyed seeing that side of him. I knew that he had it in him, it's just after so many years of being divorced, I thought perhaps he had lost it.
Since I started this blog with the intent to talk about things that interest, inspire, as well as influence me, my parents would be no exception to that. My mother and father are two brilliant people who quite possibly share absolutely nothing in common with each other (save for my sister and me). My mother is the more out-going of the two, with my dad being the quiet, introspective one. My mother was a stay-at-home mom, or, back in the day, more commonly referred to as a "housewife" -- with a penchant for art, history and literature. My dad was a computer programmer for AT&T. Right-brain, left-brain. People often have asked me where I got my artistic background from, and I say that both my parents contributed to my creativity. My mom, with her thirst for knowledge, had an affinity for the arts, and would often take my sister and I to the library and art museum when we were young. I remember going through my mother's art books when she started taking some college courses to get her associate degree in fine arts, back when I was about 10.
My dad's influence on me was different. Whereas my mother opened my eyes to the finer arts, my dad opened my eyes to the lighter side of the arts. That is, cartooning and caricatures. My dad used to bring home reams of computer paper, to go over the codes to find any bugs that needed to be fixed. As he worked, he would get bored sometimes and would draw these silly little faces and characters all over his work. I loved them. They were so quirky, so lovable. Oddball dudes with funky hair and large adam's apples, I loved to see what else he would conjure up each night. Looking back on it now, I remember that I loved that in the midst of multitudes of coded numbers and letters, there would be this one lonely dorky guy right in the middle of it all, drawn in glorious ball-point pen. The idea that a spark of creativity would somehow emerge out of the vastness of computer language intrigued me.
My dad is not your typical dad. And that's why he's been such a big influence on me. With his idiosyncrasies, quirky habits, strange sense of humor, dry wit, there's not many who actually "get" him, except for my sister and me. So, the thought of him actually getting back out there and dating (let alone remarrying)... well, I've always thought it would take something close to a miracle. (Sorry dad, I don't mean that in a bad way. It's all in love, of course.)
And then along came Miranda. What a breath of fresh air she was for my dad. I immediately noticed the change in him. See, my dad's a big runner. He got into it back in the heyday of the late-70's running craze, kept at it, and eventually would go on to do biathalons, triathalons, and the like. He ran practically every single day (still does, with golf taking up more of his time). I even ran with him from the late-70's into the early-80's and it was a great father-son bonding thing. Anyway, being an avid runner, he wore running gear everywhere he went, even if he had already ran for the day. There were countless times where I'd catch a whiff of his smelly shoes while we were watching a movie. But oh, after a while I got used to it. That was just my dad.
So, when he started going out on dates with Miranda, I noticed that he started to wear nice jeans with the nice button-down shirt. He actually cared about how he looked out in public now? Wow, that's a big deal for him! I figured that Miranda must really mean something to him, if he was changing his outlook about his appearance and lifestyle.
Even though he had changed, my dad was still his own unique self. And I knew in Miranda's actions that that's what she really loved about my dad. They share the same sense of humor, the same interests and the same handwriting (which freaks me out, to tell you the truth). They really are a cute couple. It's amazing for me to watch my dad be so comfortable and relaxed with someone other than a family member. When I see them together, they are like a team, working off of each other, finishing each other's sentences, sharing inside jokes, completely devoted -- a couple truly in love.
And it was an honor for me to be my dad's best man and to give a toast to the happy couple, to share my joy for them and to wish them a lifetime of happiness.
Congrats to you and Miranda, Dad! Andrea and I (and the kids) wish you two the best.