Something happens when I tell women that my mother died. They immediately want to take me in and mother me. Some of them also instantly want to give me unsolicited husband-picking advice. Certainly I’m not in the market to put anything down today, however I am doing some comparison shopping in order to figure out the complexities of romantic partnerships in hopes of signing on that dotted line one day.
My newest mother is a friend Angela, who emigrated to the U.S. from Greece as a teenager in the 70s. She has the works: a husband, three sons, and a daughter, who is about to give birth to her first grandbambino. She knows things.
Today she started telling me how she was so in love with a man named Charlie when she left Greece at her parents’ behest. Alas they were forced to break up before her departure. With the drama that only a teen in love is capable of she told her paramour she hoped she would marry a man with his name so she could say it for the rest of her life. Angela strung me along a while before letting me down easy. She and Charlie never made their way back together.
A year after coming to the U.S. she met her husband. She said he thought she was pretty because she used to be “womanly like me.” At first she was not interested in him because he wasn’t her type looks-wise. Her mind was changed at a dinner party when she saw how well he treated others. A few months later she married Charlie part deux.
Angela and Charlie have been married for over thirty years. When she talks about the reasons she loves him it has nothing to do with rings or romance. She even said one time her husband upgraded her engagement ring but she went back for the original. Instead she focuses on his character and his long hours spent working so she could enjoy watching her children grow up. I was overwhelmed by the respect and gratitude she had for her husband as well as her pureness of heart.
Her final words for me today: Pick out a good man who respects you and respects others. If he is a jerk, he will be a jerk forever. And last but certainly my favorite, Angela said in her thick Greek accent, “A good looking guy only has a brain for fun.”
Mother Gratitude Shout Out
I love all my surrogate mothers. They enrich my life and remind of how awesome moms are. Thank you, Leonne, Jackie, Sandra, Clare, Angela, Josephine, Aunt Jan, Aunt Linda, Aunt Rosie, Nicole, Bev, Claire, Ellie, Annie, Tricia… and all those I’ve forgotten and the ones I will meet in the future.