Copyright 2016 Mario V. Farina
Shakespir Edition, License Notes
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“Mom, Dad, I’d like to ask you about something involving marriage,” she said.
Rita Ryan was sitting with her parents in the living room of their comfortable middle-class home in Mount Ridgedale, New York. Robert and Wanda Ryan were seated in a couch absorbed in the evening news. For a moment or two neither her mother nor father responded. Finally, Wanda did.
“Certainly dear, what would you like to ask?”
“Mom, I’m at an age where thoughts of marriage would be very normal for a person like me, wouldn’t you agree?”
Mr. Ryan, giving sudden attention to what his daughter had said, hit the Off Button on the remote, and turned his attention to what his wife and daughter were saying to each other.
“Of course, Rita,” her mother responded. “
“I’m twenty now, and I was thinking that if I found a nice boy, I might consider becoming engaged.”
“That’s an admiral idea,” her father interjected. “I’m glad you’re bringing the subject up. Your mother and I certainly have many ideas and suggestions we could share with you.”
Rita, at five-ten was tall for a girl, but her build was suited to her height. She had short blonde hair that was tied at the back in a ponytail. Her parents were middle-aged. They were of average height. Robert was balding, but this was not noticeable if he combed his hair just right. He was a little on the stocky side. Wanda had a matronly look. She was heavier than her husband, and most of her extra weight was at the front of her body. Her hair was slightly gray and she kept it that way at the beauty shop.
“I’m glad you’re beginning to think about serious dating,” her father said. He obviously had not noticed that Rita had been dating this way for well over a year. “It’s a coincidence, that my supervisor, Henry Ashley, has a son that has just come back from the Service. I’ve never seen him, but his father says that he is very good-looking. If I could arrange an introduction for you, you might find that you and he are well-suited to each other. And of course, it would be a good thing for me at work. Henry and I get along fairly well, but we’re not chummy. Having you in his family would be a boon for my career. And this would be a good time for that. I am beginning to think about saving for retirement.”
“Robert, dear, didn’t you say you know someone who knows the mayor,” Wanda asked excitedly. “I read in the paper just a few days ago that his son has been seen around town frequently. He might be thinking of marriage. I think that would be good for you if Rita and he met and fell in love. This would give me an opportunity to get into the social whirl, and I would certainly enjoy that a great deal. Not only that, but the mayor might spring for the wedding. That could save us, oh, I don’t know how many dollars!”
“Marvelous idea, Wanda.” Robert turned his attention to Rita and said, “your mother has a great idea. We need to wait a while before I try to get you introduced to my supervisor’s son. The mayor’s son might be a better catch.”
“Let’s not be too hasty,” his wife responded, “there are so many others we should consider. There is Will Gilman who is the owner of the hardware store. Maybe there could be a partnership in it for you, if his son took an interest in Rita. I hear he’s a bachelor, and maybe a little too old for Rita, but think what a wonderful thing it would be if you were a part owner of the store!”
“I don’t think he’s much older than thirty,” said Robert. Besides, I think a difference of ten years is not too many if the marriage is based on love and not convenience. You and I would of course insist that if Rita married him, it would definitely be for love.” He turned his head to look at his daughter and said, “don’t you agree, daughter.”
“Oh, definitely,” she responded. “Definitely, the marriage should be based on love. I wouldn’t have any trouble at all with a man, regardless of age, if the marriage was based on love and not convenience! I think most marriages, if not all, should be based on love, and not convenience.”
“Smart girl!” Exclaimed her father. “That leaves the field wide open. Your mother and I can begin looking for a nice boy right away. Don’t be concerned, we can make it work!”
“If the family were wealthy,” this might be the gala wedding of the year,” observed Wanda. What a field day the newspapers would have with this wedding!”
“Rita, my dear,” said Robert, “why didn’t you bring up this idea of getting married sooner?” The possibilities are huge. We might even begin thinking of getting a better car and moving to a nicer area of the city!”
“I really should have thought about this much earlier,” agreed his daughter. “I have been derelict in not thinking before now how I could improve your living conditions. I’m so happy, that I brought up the subject tonight.”
“That’s our daughter!” remarked Wanda. “Rita, you’re a gem!”
“Yes indeed,” her father added, “at least two carats!”
“Would you mind if I excuse myself now?” Rita asked. “I’d like to go to my room and phone a friend.”
“Not at all, daughter dear. Anything you want. You have made your father and me very happy tonight!”
Upon entering her room, Rita picked up the phone and punched a number. “Dan, honey, it’s still light. Would you like to go for a walk?”
There were a few words on the other end, then Rita said, “See you in a little while.”
She put on a back pack and left her room. Her parents were deeply engrossed in a conversation with each other, as she bypassed the living room and exited the front door. In a few moments she met a young man at the end of the block. He was a little taller than she and was wearing jeans. Despite the sunglasses he was wearing, he had studious-appearing countenance.
Hand in hand they began walking toward the outskirts of the city. “I have a poem in my backpack that I wrote today and would like to read to you when we get to the park,” she said.
“I’ll be very interested in it,” he responded.
“And there’s a very serious question that I need to ask you!” She continued.
“I hope I’ll be able to answer it, hon.”
“Remember yesterday when we were talking about different kinds of weddings that we could have?”
“Yes I do.”
“Would you repeat an idea that you mentioned yesterday?”
“What did you say about eloping?”