Today's Reading

'I understand congratulations are in order,' chirped Andreas.

Anna's tone turned serious. 'My mother spoke to you.'
 
'Of course she did. I'm her brother.'

'I don't want a lecture, Uncle.'

'From what I understand, no one's had the chance to give you one. Besides, what sort of lecture could I give you while not knowing anything more than you've met someone you plan on marrying?'

'I have, and that's all I have to say on the matter.'

'That's fine with me, Anna, but you have to admit that by refusing to tell your mother anything more than the boy's name, you're giving off big-time defensive vibes over your choice of husband. Most women would be proud to brag about their intended mate for life.'

'My mother won't like him.'

'Why?'

'Because he's much older than I am.'

'How much older?'

She hesitated. 'Nine years.'

'That's not so much older. What does he do for a living?'

'He's a software engineer.'

'Is that like a programmer?'

'No, a software engineer is like the architect on a construction project, and a programmer is like a contractor.'

'Sounds good to me.'

With a bit of excitement in her voice, Anna added, 'He has his own company.'

'That should please your mother.'
 
'But he's Jewish.'

'Is he willing to convert?'

'No.'

'Will you?'

'No.'

Andreas sighed. 'Frankly, Anna, from what you just told me, unless he has two heads, a bad reputation, or a horrible family, I see no reason to think your mother would seriously object to him. To my way of thinking, her only valid concern might be that by getting married at your age you increase the likelihood of not finishing your university studies.'

'That won't happen. He wants me to finish college.'

'Then I see no reason for you to worry about receiving your mother's blessing.' He paused. 'That is, unless there's some other reason you're in such a hurry to marry.'

'I'm not pregnant,' Anna snapped, 'if that's what you're getting at.'

'Good. Then why can't you and your boyfriend come to Athens? It's only natural that your mother wants to meet your future husband before the wedding.'

'We don't want a big wedding.'

'Who said anything about a big wedding? All I'm asking you to consider is whether you think it fair to deny your family the opportunity of meeting your boyfriend and his family before you get married?'

'He's been an orphan since he was eight. His only relative is the aunt who raised him, and she won't travel outside the United States.'
 
'Good, that reduces the size of the engagement present your Aunt Lila and I intend on giving you.'

'We don't want presents.'

'Maybe not, but tradition puts certain responsibilities on me as your godfather, and so I'm taking it upon myself to pay for your and your boyfriend's roundtrip airfare to Athens. Just let me know when you can fly over for a few days, and I'll book your tickets.'

'I don't think he'll want to come.'

'If you're going to be his wife, this is as good a time as any to practice convincing him to do what you want him to do.'

She laughed. 'I think Jack'll like you.'

'Jack?'

'It's short for Jacob.'
...

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