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Friday, February 18, 2005

"I Want a Girl JUST Like"?

Mother and Daddy were married October 19, 1941. Soon after that, Mother heard Daddy singing a song of their childhood, "I Want a Girl." While I've often heard Daddy sing the chorus, I don't recall his singing the verses, but through the magic of in the Internet, they are:

I Want a Girl (Just Like the Girl That Married Dear Old Dad)
Words by William Dillon and music by Harry von Tilzer (1911)

When I was a boy my Mother often said to me,
Get married boy and see, how happy you will be,
I have looked all over, but no girlie can I find,
Who seems to be just like the little girl I have in mind.
I will have to look around until the right one I have found.


I want a girl just like the girl that married dear old Dad,
She was a pearl and the only girl that Daddy ever had.
A good old fashioned girl with heart so true,
One who loves nobody else but you
I want a girl just like the girl that married dear old Dad.

Verse 2

By the old mill stream there sits a couple old and gray,
Though years have rolled away, their hearts are young and gay,
Mother dear looks up at Dad with love-light in her eye,
He steals a kiss, a fond embrace, while ev'ning breezes sigh;

(Copied from Don Ferguson's Tin Pan Alley)

I've always been amused by the story. While Grandmom was a dear woman and Mother is wonderful, I do understand how different they were and how offended Mother might have been. Yes, I've always been amused. Today, though, when I recalled the tale a new emotion came to the fore. I'm scared.

Scared? Yes! One month from today, I will become Samantha's mother-in-law! Then July 23, I'll become Desirée's as well! Some of the best women I know fall short of the mark in their relations with their children's spouses! How do I do this??

My husband's mother solved the problem by refusing to use the MIL word. She considers herself my other mother, which has made for some strange introductions through the years. I won't use that answer. But what answer do I use?

I suppose I'll resort to song. A favorite one from my past comes from
How to Handle a Woman
by Jay Lerner

How to handle a woman,
There’s a way said a wise old man,
A way know by every woman,
Since the whole rigmarole began!
Do I flatter her, I begged him answer,
Do I threaten or cajole or plea,
Do I brood or play the gay romancer?
Said he, smiling, "No, indeed!"
"How to handle a woman,
Mark me well, I will tell you sir!
The way to handle a woman,
Is to love her, simply love her,
Merely love her, love her, Love her!"

Samantha and Desirée, I do love you. And please, please, please, just tell me when I'm being a Mother-in-law and I'll work on being your friend instead. Having a mother-in-law you don't want to become isn't the end of the world. Mother and Daddy are still at it, 63 years later.

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