Saturday, February 14, 2009

Fathers, Stop Giving Your Daughters Away

When we got married overseas, we had a Catholic Mass in a Lutheran church with a Swedish-English bilingual service performed by a German priest.

Say that three times fast.

In hammering out the details of sit, stand, speak, I told the priest I was absolutely adamant that my father was not going to give me away.

My reasoning? I viewed marriage as a joining of two families. A strengthening of bonds and a way of bringing people together. No way in hell was my family giving me away to anyone. My father is my father whether I am married or not.

The priest? Was horrified. He had no idea that American fathers "gave their daughters away." He thought it archaic and awful. Which made me love him even more.

I further explained that I wanted my father to walk me down the aisle, but that our request was for the priest to ask Who supports this woman?

The priest loved it. Hubbie-to-be wholeheartedly agreed. My dad could have cared less. He was so nervous that when asked Who supports this woman? he answered Her mother and I do, helped me with my veil and booked it back to his seat leaving me with my arms outstretched for the traditional hug and kiss. Whoops.

On this Valentine's Day, I know many of you are fathers with very young daughters. Now, depending on their temperament you may be looking forward to the day when you chuck them at another family. Until then, keep this lesson in mind. Some of us want to be a daughter and a wife.


A Free Man said...

Well that is well said. I was all prepared to disagree with you, even though I don't have a daughter yet. But you've made a persuasive case.

buddha_girl said...

That was beautiful!

Not Afraid to Use It said...

@AFM: I'm tricky like that. ;)

@Buddha_Girl: Thank you!

Vulgar Wizard said...

I rather like that last sentence.

formerly fun said...

I didn't want to be given away in part because my dad didn't do a good enough job at his job as a parent to earn that. I didn't want to call him out either and embarrass him at a social occassion. His failures as a fether didn't need to be front and center so I had both parents walk me down and centered the readings and talks around family and coming together. Now maybe if my parents had come up with a sizable dowry, I would have let them "give me away".

RiverPoet said...

I love it! Wonderful forward thinking!

For the record, Pete and I were married in my mother's living room by a Justice of the Peace (a family friend). My father had passed away, and no one "gave me away" as part of the ceremony. It was perfect for us.

Peace - D

Joe said...

hmmm... my wedding was all a blur... I may have to visit the video and see if my wife was "given" to me or not.

Gypsy said...

I like that: "supports."

K-Mom said...

Are you kidding?! My father practically drop kicked me down the aisle!

He couldn't wait to give me away which in his mind meant giving away his responsibility for paying my car insurance and student loan payments. LOL!