When I was a little ReloVertigo, Daddy ReloVertigo called me Princess. In Spanish, princesa. And when he was feeling especially loving toward me, I was Pretty Precious Princess. If he was in an exceedingly happy mood, I became his Pretty Precious Pineapple Princess! I have to say, Friendly Reader, you are in the company of great royalty. You may curtsy or bow when the compulsion strikes.

Of course, I am a daddy’s girl. Poor Mr ReloVertigo, the suffering he endured when first he came a-courtin’. He sat in Daddy’s garage with him, watching baseball, talking away, as my father refused to acknowledge the presence that refused to give up. I told The future Mr not to give up. Hang in there, Daddy would soften eventually. Maybe. Daddy was an imposing figure. Six feet of Mexican-American, Marine Corps, mustache and goateed, death-staring, over-my-dead-body-but-probably-yours-because-I’m-a-trained-killer intimidation. He had met his match.

The future Mr was the first guy I’d ever dated that wasn’t afraid of him. And he was also the smallest guy I’d ever brought home. Five feet 10 (and a half, can’t forget the half, for Heaven’s sake) inches tall, and he couldn’t have weighed more than one hundred thirty-five pounds (61 kilos, or 9.6 stone)! My usual dating profile was at least six feet, and usually extremely muscular and large. When my younger brothers met The future Mr, once he was out of earshot, one of them whispered, “He’s nice. But kinda scrawny!” So, you can imagine my amusement as he continued to talk at Daddy, because there was no talking with a man who wouldn’t recognize your existence.

Eventually, Daddy broke down. I think he realized The future Mr was never going to leave him alone. Daddy likes a man who doesn’t quit. It was a big day for The future Mr, I can tell you, when he was graced with actual conversation. Daddy would never discuss him with me. Ok by me, I’d just as soon never talk romance with my father, anyway. Eew. But I could tell he was purposely avoiding any mention of my relationship. I did think that was especially odd.

Fast forward. We had moved in together. Our families had come for a Thanksgiving meal at our tiny home. And before we ate, we announced our engagement. We? Ha! The affianced Mr was too panicked to make an announcement. I announced it. His family jumped in the air and screamed for joy. My family was strangely calm. Daddy was silent.

There was no doubt that by that time Daddy did like my mate, in spite of himself. But I was shocked at his reaction. I thought they’d be pleased. He looked like I’d just announced I was dying. I felt my heart drop. What a strange sensation. He rose from the couch, approached me. He took both my hands as he’d done hundreds of times before. He brought them to his mouth and kissed them. I could see he had tears in his eyes.

In a voice barely above a whisper, only for us to hear, he told me, “I always knew, from the first day I met him, that he was the one who was going to take you away from me. That is why I couldn’t talk to him for so long. But I couldn’t keep that up forever. He’s so nice.” We laughed through tears, and he continued, “Now I know that I won’t have to worry about you anymore. I know that he will take care of you, and keep you safe.”

My heart nearly ripped from my chest. I had always loved my Daddy more than any man. He had always been my hero. And here I was, in choosing another man to share my life, making him both happy and deeply saddened.

In time, I realized that all of the best qualities that The Mr has, the reasons I chose him for my life and my love, are the same qualities I admire in my Daddy. The two men are very close now, and my father considers my husband to be his son. I think a lot of people say that, but Daddy means it. And I know that The Mr feels the same love for him in return. After twenty-two-plus years of marriage, I can’t imagine not having The Mr. And I don’t know what I will do when Daddy is gone.

Really, I think they both are my Precious.

This post was inspired by The Daily Prompt

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