Disclaimer: This is not, in any way, in regards to my marriage to Jason. Which is wonderful and fabulous and has absolutely nothing wrong with it.
I met him at McDonalds.
It was 1992. I had just started my senior year of high school and I needed a job. Okay, really? What I needed was a car. I was a HOSA (Health Occupation Students of America) student and we did “rotations” in various places like nursing homes and, in my case, an emergency room. We didn’t get to do anything much (except at one nursing home? The CNA? Kept trying to get me to change a colostomy bag) but it was interesting. And we had to drive there in lieu of first and second period. And I didn’t have a car.
I had gotten around, thus far, because I had a boyfriend. I met him when I was 15 and he was 20. Or I guess I should say I met him again, because I had known him most of my life. I am going to assume that my parents trusted him since they knew his family. I will say that there is no way, ever, EVER that my fifteen year old daughter will ever date a twenty-year old man. No. Way.
Because, um, hello? What would a twenty-year old man want with a fifteen year old girl?
Don’t answer that.
Lest I get a bunch of emails from people telling me how they met their true love the day on the day that their mother popped them out of her vagina and the doctor caught them and incidentally they married the doctor when they were only sixteen and they have been married twenty years and they are just MADLY IN LOVE and I’m just a JEALOUS BITCH, I’m just saying. In general. Not a good idea. Maybe it worked for you. It did not work for me.
Along that line, the boyfriend? Abusive.
I agreed to marry him when I was seventeen. On my birthday.
A few months later, in the spring, when I was feeling desperate and lonely and horrified about the fact that I had agreed to marry this man, we broke up. I forget how. I forget why. All I remember is that we were screaming at each other outside his parent’s house (of course, he lived with his parents). I remember I had a black eye. I remember his dad coming outside and yelling at us and telling us we had to come inside. I came in, we sat, and I got up to leave. His mom said to me, very hatefully, “BYE!” Like she was just so glad to see me go. I’m sure she was. She never thought I was good enough for him, ever.
So we broke up. It was just over, just like that.
And I felt…well, a lot better.
I really wasn’t afraid. I really didn’t feel like I would never meet anyone again. I think some of my family members were worried about that, but not me.
I was, however, worried about the prom. I asked a boy I had gone out on one date with (a FRESHMAN, no less), if he would accompany me. He said yes. So that was taken care of.
But there was this guy I worked with. He was tall. He seemed nice. One of our assistant managers told him that I thought he was cute and nice. I forget who asked who out. Probably? I asked him. I was pretty bold back then.
I don’t know. I don’t remember.
I’m kind of sad that I can’t remember, even just the moment, that set my life on a totally different course.