I used to think a wedding was a simple affair. A boy and girl meet, they fall in love, he buys a ring, she buys a dress, they say "I do." I was wrong. That's getting married. A wedding is an entirely different proposition. I know. I've just been through one. Not my own. My daughter's. Annie Banks-MacKenzie. That's her married name. MacKenzie. I'll be honest with you. When I bought this house seventeen years ago, it cost me less than this blessed event in which Annie Banks became Annie Banks-MacKenzie. I'm told that one day I'll look back on all this with great affection and nostalgia. I hope so. You fathers will understand. You have a little girl. An adorable little girl who looks up to you and adores you in a way you could never imagine. I remember how her little hand used to fit inside mine. How she used to sit in my lap and lean her head against my chest. She said that I was her hero. Then the day comes when she wants to get her ears pierced and she wants you to drop her off a block before the movie theater. Next thing you know she's wearing eye shadow and high heels. From that moment on, you're in a constant state of panic. You worry about her going out with the wrong kind of guys, the kind of guys who only want one thing--and you know exactly what that one thing is because it's the same thing you wanted when you were their age. Then she gets a little older and you quit worrying about her meeting the wrong guy and you worry about her meeting the right guy. And that's the biggest fear of all because then you lose her. And before you know it, you're sitting all alone in a big, empty house, wearing rice on your tux, wondering what happened to your life. It was just six months ago that it happened here. Just six months ago that the storm broke.
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