Disappointing children. I wonder how many fathers took notice there. This article is in sympathy with you. When a man discovers that he is going to be the father of the bride, let’s be honest, there’s only one part of the planning he is really excited about: what car am I going to get to ride in?]
The Lexus Dream
I did consider stepping inside the head of the father of the bride here but at this point, all that’s going on in there is an out of control voice bouncing off the walls of the skull shouting, ‘Car! Car! Car!’ In this moment, fatherly duties have gone out the window and the mind is focused on one track – the race track. Forget what the bride wants, as a father, this is your moment. Therefore, when an advert was spotted depicting Japanese Cars for Sale, the Lexus dream was born.
A deal was struck. The Lexus could be had at an absolute steal on the proviso that all the parts needed to get it running were bought from that particular garage. Please take a moment here to note that the bride still hasn’t been consulted.
The Work Begins
It didn’t take long for it to become blatantly apparent that the heart had ruled the head in this sale. One look under the bonnet revealed a mass of broken wires, disconnected plumbing and oil leaks galore. It was all very well agreeing to buy the required parts from the one garage but looking at the state of the car, he would be single-handedly keeping the owner in business for the next couple of years. Not only that but the wedding was fast approaching with only five months to go and not all of the parts were readily available. Many had to be shipped from Japan as they could only be purchased from the Japanese domestic market and were not held in stock as a matter of routine. It was at this point that a niggling voice broke in to the skull and panic quieted the voice still shouting ‘Car!’ It was time to speak to the bride.
My Daughter Can’t Be Mine
This is where disappointment strikes. The conversation that had been planned did not happen. All the attempts at, ‘I was helping out with costs’, ‘I was trying to take one stress away’ and ‘I was hoping to be involved in the planning,’ were met with the worst possible response. No response. In some cases, a picture really does paint one thousand words and just one look said everything. A third voice joined the party: ‘Seriously dad, do you not know me at all? We are planning and paying for this wedding ourselves and I’ve already sorted out transport.’ The bride had still not uttered a word but she knew she didn’t have to. That one look said everything. What she was about to say, however, would shake the foundations of the relationship to its very core. She actually had the audacity to say, ‘Dad, I’d like us to take a tandem to the church.’ All the voices were silenced. The colour drained from his face and disappointment filled his eyes and leaked into the very depths of his soul.
The Guilt Trip
It doesn’t matter how old you are, parents have an uncanny ability to send you on the most horrific journey you could possibly imagine whilst remaining stationary: that of the guilt trip. It began with the look of disappointment and ended with the phrase, ‘I was so excited about doing something special for you.’ It was the use of the word, ‘was’ that did it: past tense. Dreams had been broken and the fault lay with one person only. It was too much to bear and the Lexus Dream was re-kindled. Crisis averted and work commenced once more.
The Final Stretch
The box of delivered JDM parts was taken out to the garden, laid out on the patio and admired before the bonnet was lifted and the life of the Lexus was slowly restored. Nothing could dampen the spirits of this elated father of the bride, not even the new found knowledge that a lot more parts would need replacing to ensure a reliable runner was re-born.
On further diagnostic investigations, the culprit declared himself. The oil filter was only doing half a job and this slack approach had allowed impurities to slip through the net and into the dark underbelly of the car’s internal workings. The whole system would need to be cleaned out and a new filter worthy of the name was required. With costs rapidly spiraling out of control, a Nissan oil filter was sourced. This hadn’t been a part of the original restoration plan but cutting a corner had paid off on this occasion: it fitted!
With only one week to go until the big day, this was an enormous relief! The church was at the top of a cruel hill and even the mere thought of taking a tandem up there was exhausting. He was not proud of himself for manipulating his daughter but the joy at his success outweighed any guilt so it was worth it.
It was time to take the Lexus for a test drive. Well, eventually. At least ten minutes had to be spent simply sitting in the car and stroking the seats, the dashboard, and the leather interiors. The steering wheel was caressed, the seat adjusted into optimal cruising position, the mirrors perfectly aligned for subtle movement of the head and finally, the key was turned with the same gentle satisfaction found in removing the little plastic sheet from a new screen.
The engine purred into life and the Lexus pulled majestically away. The practice journey to the little English church was finally underway and that was when he saw it. His daughter, the bride to be, was cycling down the road on a tandem with one empty he knew was reserved for him.