There was news that brought good cheer to chez Strachan yesterday, when my son Jonny rang to advise that he and his girlfriend had become engaged.
His mother and I were delighted for them both, not to mention his choice of future wife. Jenny is an engaging, bright and beautiful girl who clearly makes our son very happy.
Jonny’s way of telling me was a tad unorthodox. When I answered the phone his opening gambit was “You’re going to need a new suit dad!”, to which I responded “Why?”
As there isn’t many conversations where we aren’t ‘winding each other up’, I must admit I was expecting him to respond “Because the one you wore recently at the races was bloody awful!”
However, his was not the retort of a sarcastic offspring to his pater. Moreover the joyful announcement that I’d need a new suit for his wedding as he’d become engaged to marry the previous evening.
I resisted playfully inquiring “Does Jenny know yet?!” and offered them both my heartfelt congratulations. I did ponder whether to sing him the song ‘Congratulations’ in my unique whistling style down the phone, but decided against it when I realised I didn’t know the words.
If truth be told I was blindsided by the news. I always thought/hoped they would get engaged when they felt the time was right, but there had been no hint from Jonny of an upcoming proposal.
I saw him on Sunday and he gave not one inkling of his forthcoming plans. Instead our conversation, in a York pub, revolved around his sonly pride at the news I can now belch and say the word university at the same time.
He said he was highly impressed with my new skill, but requested politely I don’t prove it in a packed pub. I respected my son’s wishes, instead belching and saying an easier word with less syllables.
The bond Jonny and I have formed over the twenty six years of his life means that our interactions are more at a brotherly level than that of father and son.
We’ve spent many hours verbal jousting and laughing over that quarter of a century. Be that in the home environment, watching and playing sport together, having a pint (in adult years) or just general ‘hanging out’….. This all enhanced by the fact I like playing the fool.
It was a fillip to see and hear the many good wishes for the newly affianced couple. I spoke to Jonny’s godfather (Alan) briefly last night, who was delighted for them and asked me to pass on his good wishes to Jonny and Jenny.
When I told Jonny of the congratulations from his spiritual guider, he asked me to tell him thanks, but could he stop putting horses heads in his bed!
After concluding our call we passed on the news to mine and Karen’s parents, who were absolutely delighted. Although, I suspect Karen’s mum and dad’s delight was more to do with the fact they found out they had a grandson!
After broadcasting Jonny and Jenny’s great news to his grandparents, Karen’s thoughts turned to the subject of an engagement present for the couple. “What can we get them?” my little missus pondered out loud.
I gave a suggestion which, to my annoyance, was dismissed outright by my forthright spouse…… Apparently teaching Jonny to belch and say the word university at the same time is not appropriate as an engagement present!
To close I just wanted to re-affirm my good wishes for the future for Jonny and his new fiancée!……. Well done son, you’ve chosen well!