I’M TIRED OF
GETTING DUMPED
(Posted may 3, 2016)

     Our 29 year old daughter was over for dinner the other night and she had that excited glow about her. That could only mean one thing. 
    "How's the love life?" I asked, knowing she would have some positive news. Otherwise, I wouldn't dare bring it up. 
    "Good," she replied, beaming just a bit. "I actually met a guy I like. In fact, I was thinking of bringing him to the family party we're having next week." 
    I stabbed my fork into a vegetable and stuffed it into my mouth. "I don't think so," I mumbled. 
    She was a bit surprised. "You don't want to meet him?" 
    I took a sip of wine. "No.
    " She turned to my wife, who was watching the scene with amusement. "You want to meet him, don't you Mom?" 
    My wife looked away. "Not really."
    "What's the matter with you guys?" asked our daughter. "Parents are supposed to want to get to know their kids' boyfriends or girlfriends.
     I motioned to my wife, and she accepted the role of spokesperson. "Your father is tired of getting hurt," she said gently. 
    Our daughter was no longer beaming. She didn't understand, so I nodded to my wife to continue. 
    "He feels like he makes a big effort to not only like your boyfriends but also get them to like him, and then just when everything is going great and they've bonded…..well, then you dump the boyfriend and your father is left with nothing but memories." 
    Our daughter was not taking the news well. "You're kidding, right?" 
    I decided to chime in. "Don't worry, we're not signaling you out. I'm done trying to charm your sister's boyfriends or your two brother's girlfriends as well. I've decided to wait for formal engagements. Otherwise, it's a waste of time." 
    "So I have to be engaged before you're going to be nice to any of my boyfriends?"
     "Remember Jimbo," I replied as I chewed some steak. "I loved Jimbo. We went to family parties, family weddings, dinners with just the four of us. I even watched the 49er games at your house with him. And then one day, you casually mention you dumped Jimbo after two years of all of us being together. Well, what about me?"
    "Sorry." 
    "You're sorry? Well, I was sorry, too. And then along came Fabio. I tried to forget about Jimbo and move on. So I fell head over heels for Fabio. And when I found out he was a five handicap golfer, I figured he was the one. We bonded over his 300 yard drive. Next thing you know, you dump him and he's out of my life. I can't handle it anymore."
    "You can still see Jimbo and Fabio," she weakly muttered. 
    "It's not the same," I said. "The thrill is gone." 
    Our daughter turned to my wife. "Mom, you can't agree with all this. Surely you think Dad is emotionally unstable." 
    My wife thought about it for a moment. "Sweetie, it is a lot of work to be nice to these young men you bring home. I'd rather we have some assurances before we go to all the trouble of getting to know them and making them like us." 
    "So you want me to be engaged before I bring someone home?"
     My wife and I looked at each other and, remarkably, said the same thing in unison: "That would be nice."
     In the end, after more discussion, we reluctantly agreed to be nice to her new boyfriend if and when we finally meet him. 
    But I know the drill. I'll try and keep my distance, but something or other will click between the two of us. Maybe it will be sports, maybe it will be business, maybe it will be politics. Next thing you know, I'll be in love. 
    And then, just when I envision a beautiful life together, full of family parties, holidays and grandchildren, our daughter will dump him, leaving me emotionally drained and wishing with all my heart that he was back in my life. 
    It's just not fair.
 

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