The cafe was unusually crowded. Sharing tables was a must and there was little room to read a paper. Never mind, a nice plate of sausages and eggs makes up for most discomforts and a sip of coffee soon put my mind right with the difficulties of dealing with the lack of space. My fellow diners or breakfasters were all in the same situation and they seemed to be coping so why should’nt I. I looked at the headline to find that some government minister had been sounding off about a waste of resources in the welfare system. I was’nt that interested and paused to reflect on the situation by having another sip of coffee .
Suddenly a voice cut across my day-dreaming. It was the man sitting opposite me. He seemes uncomfortably smart for such a place but if that made him happy I was easy with it. . “Are you local” he asked. “Pretty much” I said. “Not born here but lived in the area for a while if you know what I mean”. “My daughter’s getting married today” he said largely ignoring my observation, and there was a shy and silent pride in the way he said it that made me smile. “My goodness, that’s lovely” I replied “What are you doing here then”. “Well my wife and the girls are all over the place getting ready so I thought I’d come out for a bit and get some peace and quiet” . He may have wanted peace and quiet but the exitement was bubbling out of him and I fully understood his need to share it. He had the average face of an average man but the nerves and pride within him made him shine: we both smiled at each other. “Daughter getting married” I replied. “I can’t imagine a bigger day”, I’ve got three girls myself so I can sympathise, though none are married yet so I’ve got all this to come”. “Yes” she’s called Sandra: ; lovely girl. works as a nurse.” “Thats a good job I said” and then we both fell silent for a bit. I worked on my sausage to egg ratio, never an easy matter if you really want to enjoy the mouthful, and thought about my girls .
There is an air of bewildered contentment in a man who is overun with daughters. They are girls so as men we will never fully understand them, but more than that, they are “Our girls”. You can go anywhere you like in the world and sit at any table eating any food but, in almost every case, when a father starts talking about his daughters a special sense of pride will make him glow and in a way it is impossible to describe leaving us feeling happier with our circumstances. So here I was, sitting at this table with such a man and his daughter was getting married. The cafe was crowded and stuffy and not entirely comfortable though friendly and pleasant, but in that moment I felt as if I was dining in a party atmosphere. “Got your speach ready”. I said “Not really”, he replied, “but with Sandra there’s always plenty to talk about and the guy she’s marrying is a lovely boy so it should’nt be a problem”. I understood him and smiling we both fell silent again.
When I had finished my food I looked across at the man and said “Well, I’m off. I hope the day goes well for you and congratulations to your daughter.” “Thankyou”, he said. I shook his hand and a we shared a another smile before I left. I suddenly felt like the richest man alive.