You guys know how much I love Jason right? Like, I love him so much that the sheer force of my love could potentially knock a starving dog off a meat wagon? Like his happiness makes me happy? Like his sadness makes me want to go kick people in the crotch? Like I want to make him chicken fried rice and put extra chicken in it just so he'll say, "YAY! You put extra chicken in it!"?
Still. Marriage is hard.
Recently someone I know got married, and I've been really sad and conflicted about it.
Sad because, well, she's 18 and hasn't yet graduated high school. Conflicted because, well, what the hell do I know? And maybe they'll have as much of a chance to make it as those of us who were twenty-freaking-seven when we tied the knot.
Girl and Boy Child will turn 18 on March 21st, 2016. Presumably, they will graduate high school at the end of May, 2016. I don't want them to get married before they graduate high school.
Okay, to be honest? I want Girl Child to become President of the Universe and Boy Child to fulfill his life-long dream of being a Chef/Animal Hunter/Really Awesome Dentist before he settles down. I was thinking the other day that it would be perfectly fine with me if they only went out with groups of friends and didn't have any serious boyfriends or girlfriends until they were in college.
I know that's not realistic, really. I know that they will have minds of their own and hormones and all manner of things that I have absolutely no control over. And really? Honestly? I have no desire to control them. I'm interested in who they will become, because who they are is awesome.
Maybe this girl I know, who has only been 18 for a few days, will graduate high school. Maybe she will go on to graduate college. Maybe she will have a really awesome career. Maybe she'll stay home and be a really great mom to really great kids. Maybe she'll be happy and fulfilled and satisfied, and pleased with her life.
Marriage is important to me. I love my husband and I love our marriage and our family. My worst day with these three people is better than my best day without them.
But it makes me sad that I went from my parents house into a house with my first husband. And I didn't make enough money to pay the bills on my own, so when our marriage became absolutely horrid, I knew I had no way out. I couldn't go home anymore, and I couldn't stay there anymore. I had to rely on him to pay the bills, and he? Was not reliable.
And I put myself in that situation.
What also makes me sad is that I didn't take the time to date a lot of people and find someone who was more like me. My first husband? I have no idea why I married him. None. I am still so puzzled at how I felt like I could have been happy with this person, who is sullen and mean and not interested in spending time talking or listening. Who would rather sleep than explore, who would rather be sharp and mean than kind.
In my heart I know, it didn't matter if I was happy or not. I was fulfilling my fate. I was doing what I was supposed to do. The morning of the wedding I was getting dressed and someone said to me said, "FINALLY! You are FINALLY getting married, old maid!" I was twenty years old. Twenty.
What makes me most sad is that no one, ESPECIALLY not me, looked at twenty year old me and said, "You should go to college. You belong in Graduate school. You have talents and gifts and while it's perfectly okay if you want to be someone's wife, being someone's wife isn't the ONLY thing you can be."
Instead? I got to start all over two years later, when I was twenty-two years old and had two babies. I had to find a way to support myself and two other people. I had to find the courage to go to college. I had to buy my own house, my own car. I had to figure out all these things that I should have figured out before, but not only was I figuring them out for me, I had to figure them out for me plus two tiny people who relied on me.
None of this is anyone's fault, I understand. It was only me. It was my choices. It's my fault and I have no one to blame but myself. It was completely and totally and 100 percent my bad choices.
I do wish someone had said to me, "You don't have to do this. You can be more than this. It's okay for a girl to be self-sufficient. I believe in you."
And I wish that someone had said to that girl I know, "I believe in you."
Would it have made a difference? For either one of us? I don't know.
But it would have been nice to have a chance.