A few years ago, when I first met my father-in-law, I was super intimidated by him. I knew that I wanted to marry his daughter at the point that we started dating. Vickie and I had known each other for a long time before dating ever came up and I didn’t want to spend that amount of time with someone if I didn’t see it going toward marriage and she felt the same. And when I met her dad, it was just a matter of time before I asked him for his blessing. But he was an intimidating guy. Retired Marine. Stern demeanor. Hardcore Republican. More patriotic than most I’ve ever met. Blunt. Great guy.
And then one of the first times I hung out with her family, we went to Books-A-Million in Jacksonville while the ladies went out shopping. Apparently, every Sunday he would go there and get his weekly magazines and maybe a coffee or something. And this particular weekend, he invited me to join him. Which I felt honored.
While in the store, we said nothing and just looked around. Then he said that he was going to go get coffee and suggested for me to grab a magazine or two. So I did what I do at bookstores and grabbed a few magazines (like 6 or so) because I have a short attention span and get bored with them. Then I went to find Charlie and he was in line so I stood up there and waited with him. And he purchased his coffee, my coffee, and all the magazines. Yes, all of them.
He did buy them and give me a look like “you’re gonna read all that. Ok, here we go.” It was pretty embarrassing to have him get 6 magazines that I just wanted to browse through but it makes for a great story. I simply misunderstood what we were doing. To him, we were just stopping in and I was ready to lounge around for a while.
I am not sure why this story popped to my mind but it is just another great example of Charlie and of accepting someone for who they are and supporting them. Even when they’re dumb and may take advantage of your kindness because they truly don’t understand social clues. It was a funny time in my life and I will truly cherish my time with him.