Growing up in the ’90s my parents instilled in me that I could be whatever I wanted. They also constantly reiterated that my potential would be irreparably damaged if I got married too young.
Believing that marriage before 25 equalled failure, the subject hadn’t seriously crossed my mind until my 20-year-old cousin got married last summer. The whole thing seemed ridiculous to me; I couldn’t take it seriously enough to book time off at my shitty part-time gig at the local liquor store to attend the non-alcoholic reception. I felt kind of bad about that later.
Last year I met a young lady, let’s call her Cathy. Cathy was an atheist turned devoted Christian through friends. She loved Jesus and her sponsored child from Africa. She believed in going to church every Sunday and giving thanks before meals. She also believed that Hilary Clinton’s bid for the presidency was absurd because women shouldn’t be world leaders.
I liked Cathy; she was funny and smart. Her religious affiliations went unnoticed at first because I knew right off the bat that she had boatloads of sex with multiple people and occasionally liked to party. It was interesting to learn that she was just killing time at the U of S until attending Bible College in the fall. I wagered that she would be married within a year. Her wedding is in two months.
It felt as though it was all planned, like she went to Bible College in order to land a husband because apparently that is what goes on down there.
I am slightly perturbed. Too many people my age are getting married. I figured most people were brought up with the same idea of establishing an identity for themselves before getting hitched. I tried to make sense of it in the only way I know how: the Internet. I discovered a website of a religious nature encouraging young marriage for reasons such as growing up with the person you marry, having children earlier and saving time that most people “waste” dating.
I would prefer to grow up a little myself before I embark on something as adult as signing on with one person for the rest of my life. As for having children as soon as possible, that’s almost like adding insult to injury. Now not only are you married without a clue as to how to take care of yourself but you’re also expected to take care of someone else?
I would like to think that the years I waste dating are years I am learning to develop relationships and that those experiences will someday contribute to a successful marriage.
Is it just me or are these kids getting hitched just so they can do the nasty? I’m just saying a lot of these arrangements are of a religious persuasion and it seems like they want to “know” their partners before they even know themselves.
It seems all the religious young marriages are a patriarchal scheme to keep women down with babies and laundry for the rest of their lives, throwing away any potential they may have had as doctors, teachers or lawyers. But maybe they really do love each other and want to be together forever and just cannot wait.
Regardless, marrying before you’re at least 25 seems like selling yourself short. Please don’t do it.
photo Jonathan C