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The conversation quickly fizzled and I walked away knowing my pain was now his too and there was nothing I could do to fix it.

I left Aaron alone for a while both because I wasn’t sure what else to say and because if it were me, I would have wanted time and space.

They had met him before through some work functions and he had attended one of my dance performances earlier that year, but this was long ago, and now we were an item. I spoke to my mom the next day and she said my dad had pretty much gone off the deep end and I needed to let him cool down. I thought he would trust my judgment and know that since I’ve only dated a handful of people that this person was special to me and would make the effort. I had no appetite, no interest in going out, being with friends, and definitely neglected my boyfriend in pretty much every possible way. I cried and cried and cried ahead of time both by myself and with friends hoping to ensure that I wouldn’t have a complete meltdown in front of Aaron.

My dad wasn’t a fan, but I knew he wasn’t going to truly like anyone anyway as no one would ever be good enough for me in his mind. He was Italian, passionate, and handsome with dark features. I explained that my parents weren’t coming to California for Christmas because our family dog needed emergency eye surgery.The young man’s mother did a very good job teaching manners and etiquette to her son.He ate with us at Easter and even brought flowers and a dessert. That said, this is still my daughter we’re talking about and I’m not naïve. No father likes to see his daughter cuddled with a boy.We’ve raised them to seek their identity in the things that matter and not in the superficial, so they are somewhat intimidating to young men. But sooner or later a boy of equal substance was going to show up, and now he has. They both have busy schedules, but if they aren’t learning or working, they are in our home.They love to cook together in our kitchen and try out new recipes.