Twenty-three years ago I stood in front of my family and friends on an unseasonably warm day and married my husband. I had turned twenty-three two months (and a few days) previous, and I had never been more certain of a decision in my entire life. I had been out of high-school only about four years at that point… and I wasn’t even done with my college degree. But I knew what I wanted, and I knew that Brad was the one.
Most of my friends that are my age have kids that are much younger than my kiddos. Their oldest children are just starting high-school while my youngest is getting ready to head off to college. Many of them met their spouses while in college and married them after graduation… they waited to have kids, they waited to have money… they waited to be certain.
A lot of my friends from high-school jumped straight into marriage. Some by choice, and some to “do the right thing.” Quite a few have kids older than mine. Some of them are even grandparents! And a lot of them are no longer with that spouse. It’s not particularly surprising. So few people actually know themselves or what they want in their late teens and early twenties. Honestly, I think it’s our generation that came up with the idea of a “starter marriage.”
If she knew what she wants..
I took Brad out on our first date. It was a “thank you,” date for helping me move out of my dorm room in a hurry (it’s a LONG story) and into an apartment. Three people helped me that day, and I took the other two to dinner that night. I had to wait to take Brad out because he had a previous engagement scheduled.
Do you know that song by the Carpenters? The “why do birds suddenly appear?” song? I knew I was going to marry Brad that night. We were sitting at Palmers, making small talk about something, when I heard an audible click inside my head. Like a key moving the tumblers in a lock, there was a click, and I knew that he was going to be the one. My mind was pretty well made up. My dad likes to tell people that if I’ve made up my mind, there’s no sense in arguing–and it was clear that my mind was made up.
And 20+ years later, we’re still together. We’re not perfect, but we’re perfect for each other. We complement each other well, and we get each other’s humor. There are still little inside jokes that are only ours—that we refuse to explain to the kids—so we still have a private language we can share.
I mean, I like him. I guess I’ll keep him around a bit longer… see what happens.