Life With Father
I did something similar, although it wasn’t for a birthday. Mr. Sandwich and I dated long-distance for our entire dating relationship–he lived in L.A., and I lived in New Jersey. When we got married, we figured that people were going to have to travel no matter where we held the ceremony.
So we held it in San Antonio, where my dad lived. My dad was our wedding planner (much of his career was spent in project management, and he spent 30 years in the Army, so this meant that he had a budget, a schedule, a goal, and protocol–it was a natural fit). He and I have very similar taste, so it was easy for me to delegate, well, pretty much everything, particularly since I was halfway across the country.
But there’s always more to do, and I had to move across the country anyhow, so I gave notice at work for a date one month prior to the wedding and moved home.
The movers emptied my New Jersey apartment, and I spent a day cleaning. The next day, I went to the airport and picked up my dad. The two of us spent several days (3 or 4, maybe?) on a father-daughter road trip, driving back to San Antonio. While our overall goal was to cover miles, we also took one “detour” each day–such as when we passed through Maryland and swung by the house that he and my mom had bought after I was born.
Honestly, I don’t remember the route we took south of Richmond–did we take I-85 because it was more direct, or I-95 because we were less likely to encounter snow? (Although it did snow at one point in Virginia and/or North Carolina.) What I do remember is the moment when my father, a lifelong objector to any kind of “potty humor,” suddenly started singing “The Diarrhea Song.” It felt like a crazy, tacit acknowledgement of my adult status–he could now be silly and crass without having to worry about the example he might be setting. At other points we recounted family stories and debated political issues. (Clearly, we have range.)
Once back in San Antonio, we began the final days of wedding planning in earnest–fittings, printing the programs for the church and the table cards for the reception, ordering the custom dark chocolate wedding favors (the chocolatier was another retired Army officer, so let’s all agree to lay down our stereotypes and go home), and more. My dad pointed out that it would be very easy to get overwhelmed by planning, so every day we rented a movie that had nothing to do with weddings. It was a great month, and I’m so glad that I spent it that way. Even then, I said, “I’m never going to look back and say, ‘Wow, I really wish I’d worked a few more weeks.'”
So when Bio Girl says, “You never outgrow your parents,” I know exactly what she means. And I totally agree.