Our one-year wedding anniversary is coming up in a month. Crazy how fast time goes by. To celebrate, I wanted to share some little-known stories from our wedding. Stories that most of the guests don’t even know. Stories that, to me, are just as memorable as the I dos.
It’s not surprising to anyone that I was a huge reader growing up. My happy place was at the library. And while I was a regular, cheery, well-adjusted child, I loved sad books. Seriously. I remembering reading A Summer to Die in our kitchen, and silently crying through each page. I loved books that made me feel, even if that feeling was sorrow.
Being Jewish, I obviously had to go through my Holocaust stage. I wanted to know more about my culture’s past, and see how much we suffered (as I was constantly reminded). Holocaust books were fascinating to me. Depressing, terrifying, I couldn’t believe they were true. So, of course, I had to share them with someone.
Every time I read a new book, I’d tell my dad all about it. It became a game, really. I’d start talking, and he’d audibly sigh not because he hated hearing me share, but because he hated sad books. He hated being depressed. He hated when I told him if the girl/boy survived, and what became of their families. Unlike me, he didn’t want books that made him feel. He wanted books that were a distraction from everyday horrors, and I understood that, too.
The thing is, my dad is a very emotional man. You wouldn’t know that if you didn’t really know him. I mean, he’s very Italian, and born and raised in Brooklyn. He can fix a roof in an afternoon, and lift hundred-pound boxes up fights of stairs. He watches football and drinks beer, he golfs. But he was also the first to get teary eyed when I moved away to college. He was the first to sob when my mom was okay after her operation. Incidentally, he gets it from his dad.
As the Big Day drew nearer, we placed bets on how long it would be before he cried. While walking out? During the I dos? In all honesty, I don’t know if it happened during the ceremony. To this day he swears he didn’t cry, and I have no proof to justify otherwise.
But then the father/daughter dance came. And we all knew he’d lose it during that. All waited for it. He looked a little misty when we walked out, but as we turned, he murmured…
“Remember those books you used to read? About the girl who was running from the Nazis…”
To which I replied, “Dad. Are you talking about the Holocaust at my wedding?”
And then we cracked up. Because of course he brought that up. He didn’t want to cry, so he brought up books I read. Depressing books, but still a distraction from the tears that might have come. He knew it would be funny. He knew I’d have a laugh.
And I did.
Some girls might have hated that their dad brought up such a horrible situation during such a memorable moment. But me? I wouldn’t have had it any other way.