Friday, December 14, 2012

Curmudgeon violating one of his own rules?

For many of you, this is the Christmas Season. It's Christmas for me, too. But, this year, as in several recent years, this is also Ring Season.

Some years back, our children began reaching the age where they would and should, in the ordinary course of things, begin pairing off.

As the reality of this life stage sank in, I formulated a simple rule -- don't become too attached to anyone that any child brings home, not, at least until a ring is proffered. After all, I'm already married -- who the kid marries should be his or her own business, unpolluted by my making unfavorable comparisons between the current candidate and the one who was hanging around the house a couple of Christmases past.

I resolutely did not warm overmuch to Hank, Older Daughter's Boyfriend of many years (and several blog posts) until they decided to wed a few years ago. In fact, he was underfoot for so many years, I admit I was beginning to chafe a bit about whether he'd ever make up his mind to say the hard word.

I didn't have much opportunity to warm to Abby, whom Oldest Son married in 2010. Oldest Son didn't really bring her around a lot. But, then, he was never a homebody. He made this life decision on his own, with neither prompting nor interference from us. Abby is as independent as Oldest Son, but she has been a calming influence on him, and we like them together.

I'll admit to having become fond of Olaf when he was courting Younger Daughter. Last year at this time Long Suffering Spouse and I were speculating that these two might exchange promises during the coming holiday season. Instead -- well, you know what happened if you've been following along this year. Being already fond of the young man made that a whole lot easier for me, at least.

The object of speculation this Ring Season is Middle Son's girlfriend, Margaret. I probably shouldn't have given her a name. When you give animals names, they start to become pets; why should it be that much different here?

Long Suffering Spouse asked Middle Son last night whether Margaret might be joining us for any of the upcoming Christmas festivities. No, he said, she'd be going to her family home in Michigan. He'd be coming to our family functions by himself.

Long Suffering Spouse related this news to me this morning with a grim countenance.

"He'll lose her if he doesn't act soon," she said.

I am inclined to agree; there is a window of opportunity on these things.

I hope Middle Son understands this. I'm trying hard not to develop a rooting interest here -- but, while it may be argued (theoretically) that Middle Son could do better, it is surely true that he could do much, much worse. I like Margaret. They seem good together. Long Suffering Spouse likes Margaret. Older Daughter likes Margaret. Younger Daughter likes Margaret. I'd be thrilled for Margaret and Middle Son both if Middle Son gets off the snide.

But I'm dangerously close to abandoning one of my sounder rules.

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