The FOB | California | Living in Mexico


I'm making this trip to Santa Barbara because I am the FOB—the Father of the Bride. I have enormous responsibilities here. All eyes will be upon me as I walk the bride down the aisle. I will have to say something both humorous and profound at the reception. I have to write checks.

Somehow, I got it into my head that I also would be a central figure in planning and preparation for the wedding. The other day, at breakfast, I was thoroughly disabused of that notion.


I was the sole male at a table with, from left to right, my lovely wife Jean (the SMOB—Step Mother of the Bride), my lovely sister Suzie (the SOFOB—Sister of the Father of the Bride), and my lovely daughter Samantha (the DOFOB—Daughter of the Father of the Bride).

Now, I am not, as Ollie North's attorney complained at the Iran-Contra Hearings, a potted plant. I am accustomed to conversations revolving around me. Or at least to making key contributions, insightful observations, penetrating analyses.

But not this time.

Because they were talking about brassieres.

And try as I might, I couldn't think of a single thing to say. So I just shut up, ate my breakfast, and paid the bill.

I'm realizing that fathers have essentially nothing to contribute to planning weddings. We aren't equipped for it. We really don't understand them. Weddings, that is. Or, come to think about it, women either. Best to stay out of the way, wallet at the ready, and do pretty much whatever the women ask.