Help! Looking at that little four-letter word in print it seems so inane. So utterly vacuous. Completely void of gravitas.
Adding the exclamation mark here doesn’t help, either. I must admit, the ! is my feeble little attempt at trying to convince you of the severity of my situation.
But let’s just take a few steps back.
At the time I uttered the dreaded word, it was the proverbial cry. To say I uttered it is the understatement of the decade. Truth be told, I escaped to one of my safe places and “uttered” the word using every muscle in my body to relieve my lungs of their overexpanded content through my vocal cords.
You get the picture.
Now, ask me why …
Well, my little Tegan is getting married. Yes, although barely 23 years of age, my little screamer and Jean-Michael Smith have decided to exchange vows.
Now there’s a sentence which deserves a few – or more – exclamation marks. Not that I want to scream at him. On the contrary. 23! you say. (Note the !) Too young! (Repeat.) Yes, my thoughts exactly. Goodness, at that age one should be living la dolce vita.
Or is that just the knee-jerk reaction from every father of the bride-to-be?
If this was a play, it would be intermission now …
Act two: enter grandmother. Not that this is a play, it’s a column. But she enters the fray as matriarch. Tegan’s grandmother – for the record, my mother.
“Well”, she said, “Jam” – yes, with initials JM, I suppose it was inevitable that the lad got a nickname – “and Tegan remind me so much of your father and I.
“You know very well that we got married young. But both of us knew what we wanted way back then. And look how that turned out. We got married 53 years ago and we are still together.”
How can I argue with that?
So, my desperate cry for help became a cry of joy. And as we start planning this wondrous journey to its grand finale with a swapping of rings to take place at year-end, I’m quite envious.
My little Tegan will be afforded the opportunity to spend so much time with her Jam. And isn’t time with the love of one’s life just the ultimate luxury?