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Worshrag’s Getting Married

This is a column I was afraid I’d never get to write.

Worshrag’s getting married!!! Yowzers! Huzzah! Boffo! Whoopee!

Our joy is not just over the fact he’s getting married; it’s the wonderful “who” he’s getting married to.

Honey and I have only known Busy Bee for a year, but she’s already like a third daughter to us. (One daughter by birth, one by marriage to our eldest.) We could not be more delighted over the young woman our son has chosen – or more honestly, who chose him.

And we owe it all to the pandemic.

OK, OK, you need some back story.

OUR YOUNGEST was outgoing and popular in high school, but never dated around. He had one steady girlfriend in high school, and one other serious relationship around the end of college, but that was it, at least so far as we know. (And I think Honey would have found out, don’t you?)

Away on his career as a college strength coach, he lived alone for years. It was a spartan existence, residing in apartments of stoic simplicity (if not downright squalor) and spending all his time working in the gym or attending college athletic events. He had friends, but no romantic relationships. He said he was fine, but when we visited, we agreed that he didn’t seem happy. Honey despaired of Worsh ever finding a woman who would put up with a husband who was married to the gym. As far as we knew he wasn’t even looking.

His mother worried that his chances for finding a life’s mate and companion, and the opportunity for happiness and contentment that can bring, was ebbing away, and he would end up a lonely old bachelor.

Then Worsh left the job that would have been a stepping stone to his ultimate career goals. In January 2020 he came home, took up residence in our garage apartment and found a contract job at a topflight private gym in Pittsburgh.

“Our son is back in the bosom of his family,” is what I said to myself whenever I thought of the situation. It wasn’t what he had planned, but it felt right for now.

Back in the hustle-bustle of life with the Miller clan, buoyed by the adoration of his five nephews, involved with activities of siblings and friends, and busy as before working in a gym, he began to seem more like the old Worshrag.

And that’s where things stood in April 2020 when the pandemic brought Busy Bee to him and us.

THE COVID LOCKDOWN, as you will recall, closed gyms along with just about everything else. Among Worshrag’s accomplishments is his status as an elite level powerlifter, and if you know anything about powerlifters, you know that they have to lift frequently. With gyms closed, that was a problem.

Over the years Worshrag had accumulated castoff pieces of weightlifting equipment from college programs, including a lifting platform from WVU that was gathering dust in our barn. (He is a true Miller. We can’t refuse free stuff.)

He had some weights and bars. He dusted off the platform, bought a bench, borrowed more weights, cleaned out a corner of the barn and in short order had made a lifting gym for himself.

He invited his fellow staff members from the Pittsburgh gym to come down on a Saturday to try it out. Only one did: Busy Bee.

She came the next Saturday, and the next, and then Wednesdays and Saturdays, and then they were taking long walks together at Tomlinson Run State Park after lifting, and then lifting seemed not to be the main reason she was driving down from Pittsburgh with such frequency.

Being in appearance a big wad of muscle with a lumberjack beard, Worshrag is not your typical picture of a romantic, but he is. He’s all squishy inside.

Asked what first attracted her to our son, Busy Bee later told us this story:

She was sad, having a down day in the gym. Worshrag noticed. He called up a few favorite poems on his cell phone and read poetry to her until she cheered up. She fell for him then and there.

Still encased in his bachelor cocoon, however, it took him much longer to get used to the idea of having a girlfriend.

That will be a story for another day.

Fred Miller’s book of 100 stories, “Falling Under Honey’s Spell,” is $10, available locally at Connie’s Kitchen, Davis Bros. Pharmacies, Frank’s Pastry, Giant Eagle Calcutta, Museum of Ceramics, and Pottery City Antique Mall.

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