Tuesday, May 31, 2011

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27 years

I ask my mother why she married my father, and she replies, "His fingernails. They were clean."

27th year
She was 28 years old, working as a dentist in a company-owned hospital. She was nearing the deadline for marriageability which, in those days, was pegged at 30. She wanted to settle down. As to who she would settle down with, she did not know. But she was gradually lowering her standards.

I can see the problem. My mother was not particularly emotional or even romantic. She tells me she hasn't had any relationships prior to meeting my father. "At the time, I found it rather unnecessary, if not downright corny," not her exact words, but I'm doing my best to paraphrase.

And then came the day when my father visited the hospital to court a young doctor working there. She must have had lots of patients then because my father didn't get to see her right away. While waiting in the lobby, he was introduced to a petite lady, the local dentist, completely enchanting him the moment he laid his eyes on her.

My mother's first instinct was to look at his fingernails. He passed with flying colors.

Months later they were married. A year thereafter, my older brother Ralph was born. My mother has long since realized that there is more to my father than his fingernails. He is a kind, loving, God-fearing man.

And that pretty much ends the story of how he met my mother, a story that turned 27-years old yesterday. Happy anniversary!

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