Wednesday, June 01, 2011

The bride wore orange

Photograph copyright: DAVID McMAHON. Image ID: 139-6680
 

She was only three when the Steve Martin version of the film 'Father of the Bride' was released. But after the movie was over, she asked her father if he - like the Steve Martin character in the script - would play basketball with her the night before he walked her down the aisle.

Instantly, the father said yes. He never forgot his promise.

A few months later, the little girl - four years old by this time - refused to let her father throw out a pair of her orange socks. They were her all-time favourite socks, she declared. The father pointed to the fact that the socks had a couple of holes in them. "That doesn't matter," said the little girl, "they're so comfortable."

Several times, the father threatened to throw out those orange socks. They sprouted (as socks do, especially favourite socks) more holes, to the point where the father, mathematical by nature, actually pointed out to the little girl that there was a greater percentage of holes than there was orange fabric. But his daughter would not let him throw out the socks.

They were her "all-time favourite" socks, remember?

Before they knew it, the little girl was 22 years old. She was about to be married. Relatives and friends flew in from far and wide. The house was even more full of laughter and joy than it was normally, because so many loved ones had travelled nigh-biblical distances to be present at her wedding.

The evening before the wedding, they didn't have the time to play basketball. They had to be at the beautiful Gothic church with the sweeping bluestone steeple for the rehearsal. Afterwards, when evening had given way to a humid night, torrential rain lashed the city. It meant they were unable to play the game of basketball they had promised each other, just a few short years earlier.

The next day, the bride's makeup was complete. The hairdresser had finished. The flower girls were ready. The bridesmaids, her closest friends in the world, were waiting for the official photographer. The house radiated happiness.

The bride was about to step into her jewellery and her wedding dress.

The proud father, his heart bursting with joy and pride and oh so much love, put something into his beloved daughter's hands. It was a brand-new pair of orange socks. "Just perfect for a basketball game," he suggested with a big grin on his face.

The bride paused. She donned her Adidas shoes. And they played the game of basketball each had promised the other.

And the bride's mother? She dropped everything to videotape the special moment on the little girl's most special day.

67 comments:

Maggie May said...

Was this YOUR daughter?
It was a lovely story.
Great to see you back and I do love reading these kind of posts!
Maggie X

Nuts in May

david mcmahon said...

It was, Maggie! I'm delighted that you enjoyed this post. Am trying to update whenever I have time - sporadic, but I'll do the best I can.

Mimi said...

i was about to ask the same question as Maggie!
It's a beautiful story; I can feel the closeness of your relationship, the happiness in the occasion, and the nostalgia.
Good to see you back, David!

Stephanie said...

Congratulations, David. Beautiful post and sentiment. :-)

Brian Miller said...

big smiles. love that movie and love your story...what a special father daughter moment david...

Merisi said...

Congratulations, David, on the happy event!
Such a heart-warming story, I feel blessed that you share it with us.
Cheers,
Merisi xxx

Shrinky said...

Gosh, what a touching tale - it brings a lump to my throat. There is a multitude of love woven through these lines, you painted it so vividly, I felt as if I were standing right there, watching as you both played. Beautiful!

Akelamalu said...

What a lovely story, made all the more special because it's true!

Nice to see you back David. x

Hilary said...

Congratulations to the father of the bride. A beautifully-told story of such a perfect day. A story your grandchldren will hear about, I'm sure.

Charles Gramlich said...

Lovely story. I like this very much

Moannie said...

So warm and full of love. I just knew it was about you and your daughter.

Willow said...

I was sure from the intimate tone of the story that this was about your daughter and you! Lovely! And I'll never look at a pair of orange socks the same way again. Did she wear them under her wedding dress during the ceremony?

Leslie: said...

Oh David! I do hope that this was your daughter! I can just imagine you doing that. What a memory you will both have for the rest of your lives! shedding a little tear

Oh my goodness - your word verification is blest

marcia@joyismygoal said...

oh David what a treat for you to share that cute, poignant and so precious experience w/ us i have a feeling orange socks will be a thing in your family for a LONG time :) Best wishes to your daughter in her new life

Leesa said...

I loved the story!

david mcmahon said...

Thank you, Mimi - it was a very special day and a wonderful celebration made all the more precious by family members who flew in from far and wide.

david mcmahon said...

Thank you, Stephanie. It was a very special moment, especially since the promise was made 19 years earlier!

david mcmahon said...

It truly was a special moment, one that I'll always treasure, Brian. It's a movie our family has watched often, over the years!

david mcmahon said...

Many thanks, Merisi, for your kind words. The first time the phone rang that morning I picked it up with the (totally unrehearsed) words "Hello, father of the bride speaking" and got such a buzz out of it that I raced to answer all subsequent calls!

david mcmahon said...

Shrinky, you would have enjoyed the day. It started VERY early and ended VERY late and there were lots of memorable moments all the way.

The party started earlier that week, after everyone started flying in from all points of the compass. And it kept going for a couple of days after the wedding, too!

david mcmahon said...

Very kind of you, Akelamalu - and thank you for the warm welcome. It really was a very special day. There was so very much to give thanks for, then and now.

david mcmahon said...

It really was a perfect day, Hilary. Yes, I guess you could say I'll tell that story with pride and love, all my life.

I'm glad you enjoyed the post. As you know, I don't regularly post about family stories - but his one was truly special.

And always will be, too.

imac said...

Wonderful story of you and your Daughter David,
Nice to see you at your blog once more.

Indrani said...

I knew from line 1 it was your daughter (clue: rb mail ;))
:)
Enjoyed reading each line.

i beati said...

such warmth loved it sandy

Thumbelina said...

I just read Maggie's comment and your reply David - I am so happy for you both! I just knew when I was reading that this HAD to be YOUR daughter!
The detail, the love - it speaks volumes from the page. I am still looking for a place to by MM and I will get it. I do miss your writing. :)

Congratulations to your daughter - and to the proud parents.

Thumbelina said...

*a place to buy MM...

Btw - of course if those socks are tangerine then a certain young man in the Thumbelina household would be very happy... :)

katney said...

All those of us who have known you over the years on authorblog knew from the start that it was your own story!! So glad to see you back, Father of the Bride.

Ayak said...

Such a beautiful story. I guessed straight away that it must have been your daughter because the love just shone through in your words.

Great to see you back David x

Athena In Trainers said...

Now just one minute young man, when did you get back?!! You stopped blogging completely and here you are again. This is Alison by the way - once was GoneBackSouth - now blogging about running and the London olympics and stuff. Sorry to be so out of date, it's really lovely to see you back :-)

OJ Gonzalez-Cazares said...

This is a fantastic story! I am super glad my first reading back to your blog was about true love and kept promises. You must be a wonderful father to have such a big hearted daughter! Congratulations!!

Barry said...

Brilliant! At your best bro! Was sitting with my almost 18 year old daughter telling her about the good times we had and the lasting friendships that blossomed. googled u...glad I did for two reasons: one, that i once worked with a great writer to wrote from the heart, and two that I needed to put away three sets of orange socks...and look forward to being the Father of Three Brides!

slommler said...

Love this story!!! Congrats on the marriage of your daughter and for the POTW!!!
Hugs
SueAnn

Kathleen said...

Excuse me, but it isn't possible for you to be old enough to have a married daughter. I believe you are testing out a scene from your next novel.

Just kidding, but not about the age part. Congrats, David. What a very lucky daughter you have. Very lucky indeed!

(Aussies play basketball?)

Snappy Di said...

Awww, I want to see the video! Bet it's awesome. AND congrats on your POTW!

Di

Elizabeth Grimes said...

Beautiful story, and all the more special that it's personal. Congrats on your POTW. (PS, I LOVE Father of the Bride...cry every time!).

texwisgirl said...

oh what a sweet story. congrats to the father of the bride on his POTW!

Daryl said...

I am sure she was an exquisite bride and that she beat you in the one on one game ... having had the honor of meeting this young woman I know this for sure .. please send my warmest Mazel Tov to Mrs Authorblog and to you, dear Den Mom I send a huge hug .. you still have another little girl ro marry off but that wont be for a while so enjoy her! xo

Bossy Betty said...

What a lovely post!!!

Congrats on your well-deserved POTW.

Dianne said...

this is an absolutely joyous story
full of so much love
lucky bride
lucky dad

congrats on POTW

Out on the prairie said...

What a warm tale to share.I was surprised to not see new orange sock before this.

Tabor said...

Golden moments such as these! So glad I followed POTW link!

Baino said...

Aww I'd have given her the holey socks as 'something old'. Sweet story. My son's getting married in July so I hope I share your pride and have something sweet to offer on the day. Congratulations to your daughter.

Cricket said...

That was a wonderful story. It is so important that we keep our promises to our children, isn't it? And here is a little proof of that.

Congratulations on both your potw and your father-of-the-bride-hood. With the obvious love with which this was written, there was never any question in my mind that it could only be your daughter, even before I read the comments.

Well done, sir.

Jayne said...

Aw- I just love this story--got all teared up! I was so hoping you'd get to the part where the bride stops everything for a quick hoop game with her dad. :-)
Congrats to the father of the bride, and also from your POTW from Hilary. (Much deserved.)

Jayne said...

Aw- Love this story--got all teared up. I was so hoping that you'd get to the part where the bride stops everything for a quick hoop game with her dad. :-)
Congrats to the father of the bride, and on the POTW from Hilary. (Much deserved.)

Unknown Mami said...

So beautiful I was tearing up. Reading the comments and finding out that it was your daughter made the tears flow. I grew up without a father figure in my life. I now have two beautiful daughters that have a loving father, best gift I've ever given them.

Janie said...

That's a wonderful father-daughter story, and one your daughter will probably love to tell to her children.
Congrats to the bride and to her loving, basketball-playing father.

Shrinky said...

Hey David, congratulations on (finally - teehee) receiving Post of the Week - it is VERY well deserved!

Stacey Dawn said...

What a beautiful moment - a beautiful story - a beautiful memory. Congrats on your POTW.

david mcmahon said...

Hi Charles, I'm delighted to know that you read this and liked it. Thank you very much - and do say hello to Lana for me.

david mcmahon said...

My dear Moannie,

I had a feeling you would approve of this post. It was a great day, and yes, I must admit I had to bite my lip when I walked my eldest Authorbloglet down the aisle - and it was a VERY long aisle, in the beautiful Gothic church.

And she was such a beautiful bride ....

david mcmahon said...

Dear Willow,

I have a big grin on my face to think that you'll never be able to look at orange socks again without this post jogging your memory.

We thought about the pros and cons of wearing the orange socks and bouncing a basketball down the aisle - and then decided against it!

david mcmahon said...

Thank you, Leslie,

I figured you would know exactly who I was talking about!

Nice new picture - is that a post-Alaska cruise shot? I chuckled at the thought of you buying up big on the artwork during the cruise.

Thank you for your kind words, as always.

david mcmahon said...

Thank you, Marcia - yes, it truly was a magical day and my daughter was such a happy, stunningly beautiful bride.

It made my heart sing!

david mcmahon said...

Thanks so much, Leesa

It was a great day, with so many members of both families travelling huge distances to share the joy with us.

david mcmahon said...

Great to see your smiling face, iMac

So good to know you enjoyed this post.

Thank you for dropping by to say G'day.

david mcmahon said...

Thanks so much, Indrani,

One day, when we meet in your beautiful southern city, I will show you all the photographs of the day.

david mcmahon said...

Thank you, Sandy. I'm delighted that you enjoyed this post. Wonderful to see your face here among the comments.

david mcmahon said...

Thumbelina, I'm so grateful that you liked this post. I have asked for some spare copies of MM - if you'd care to email me your address, I'll mail one out to you.

david mcmahon said...

Aye, tangerine would seem to strike a chord, Thumbelina! Off to check your link right away.

david mcmahon said...

Funny you should mention that, Katney. I kind of suspected that my old friends who are familiar with this blog would realise very quickly that the post was actually about my own daughter!

Thank you for your good wishes and support. It was VERY special being the father of the bride.

david mcmahon said...

Dear Ayak, thank you for coming back to visit this prodigal blogger. I'm so glad the clue was the deep and abiding love that shone through the post to suggest that the bride was actually our own daughter.

david mcmahon said...

Alison, great to see you here. I didn't know you were a runner, let alone a marathon runner.

Hope we see you on the podium during the 2012 Olympics. How good would it be to blog about that!!!

david mcmahon said...

Thank you for your very kind words, OJ. I am very blessed as a father - my children have shone like a constant beacon through my life. This post - and others like it - are simply my way of acknowledging the deep love they give me.

david mcmahon said...

BARRY! Wonderful to see this comment from someone I've known almost all my life.

I've never forgotten your coverage of the Tenzing funeral - yes, it was great to be colleagues on a magazine that was a couple of decades ahead of its time.

You'd better put away three pairs of orange socks - will do my best to be there when you walk your girls down the aisle.

spacedlaw said...

How wonderful!