So my darling oldest child is getting married (IN ONE SHORT MONTH!) She's been a grown-up since she was about two, so I shouldn't really be surprised. Is it a tiny bit hard not to be her favorite person anymore? Maybe a little. But could I be any happier for her? No, I don't think I could. I think she's found a wonderful guy who will take awesome care of her. (He even offers to blowdry her hair while she does her makeup to get ready for work. So. Cute.) I love her. I love him. I think they will make each other very happy.
I have had a million thoughts running through my head since they started talking about getting married. Lots of selfish ones about wedding planning and costs and feeling old. Lots of reassuring ones because I see them together and I think they are a great fit. Lots of excited ones because...well, it's exciting. And lots of worried ones. Because I am the mom and that's what I do. At only 19 years old, one of my biggest worries originally was the whole but-they're-so-young thing. I feel like I did so much growing in my 20s. I thought about all of the things they would both miss out on. And I felt a little bad for them.
And then I REALLY remembered being single and in my 20s. And thought about all the things they would miss out on. And realized how freaking lucky they both are.
Being single and carefree and dating lots of different people may sound like a lot of fun. But the reality of it? Ew. It's the worst. So to my young-and-in-love daughter, people may tell you you're missing out. But they're lying. And here's why.
I know that you've both gotten some grief over getting married young. I'm sorry that people can sometimes be judgemental and unsupportive. You know what else people think? That something must be horribly wrong with you if you are in your 20s and not married. To be unmarried in your 20s elsewhere in the world is perfectly normal. To be unmarried in your 20s in Utah? Well, that makes you an anamoly. A freak of nature. It's worse than not liking fry sauce or calling the convenience store the liquor store. I was 24 when I moved to Utah and I had no idea. No idea that people would actually feel sorry for me because I wasn't married. No idea that there was no dating scene for people over the age of 20. No idea that I would be the sad, sorry object of pity. Men, women, people older than me, people younger than me...didn't matter. It was like having an overbearing mother who wondered constantly what on earth was the matter with me. Except instead of just a mother, it was an entire state.
Do you know what people do when they feel sorry for your unfortunate single state? They set you up. I could write a book called Bad Blind Dates. Except it would be too depressing and no one would read it. I thought by moving to another state I would escape my mother getting together with mothers of single (weird, always weird) sons and deciding that her daughter just HAD to meet these guys. And I did escape that. But guess what? There is not a hole deep enough or a state far enough to escape being set up on dates when you're single.
Some blind date highlights?
*Faking food poisoning so I could go home early. Yeah, it was that bad.
*An entire dinner conversation about Depeche Mode with a guy wearing, you guessed it, a Depeche Mode t-shirt. And belt buckle.
*Being asked why I never wore braces to "fix my teeth."
*Bowling. I hate bowling.
*Suggesting a Jackie Chan movie to a guy only to have him ask, "Who's Jackie Chan?"
*Being told by a co-worker who set me up that she was really sorry her husband's (unattractive, dull, humorless) friend hadn't called me, but not to feel bad because "he only likes really attractive girls."
Which is not to say that I did any better picking my own dates. As evidenced by The One Who Wished He Was Still in High School, The Cheater, The Gambler, and The One Who Forgot to Mention He Had a Girlfriend.
I'm just glad that internet dating was not really a thing yet. Cannot. Imagine.
*Living With a Girl
Living with a hyper-clean female roommate for 3 years and then living with my amazing sister for another 3 years was fan-freaking-tastic. However, living with girls for 6 years and then getting married and living with a boy? Possibly the worst thing ever. It's like eating nothing but prime rib for years and then having someone hand you a chili dog. Because I love a good chili dog, but it's no prime rib. I guess I should've known something was awry when my husband-to-be wouldn't let me use his bathroom at his house and always ushered me across the hall to his OCD roommate's bathroom instead. But I was sadly oblivious. Not to mention, did you know that you actually have to tell boys what you're thinking? Multiple times? Apparently they can't tell just by looking at you. Who knew?!
All I am saying is that there is no formula for happy. No secret. No magical age.
The two of you will have the chance to live through your 20s together. To learn to rely and depend on one another. To know each other better than anyone else does. To go on lots of dates and trips and adventures...with someone you already know you have a great time with.
So find your own bliss. Have so much fun together. Love the heck out of each other. And don't ever let anyone tell you that you missed out on anything.
Or I'll have to tell you more bad date stories. And, unfortunately, there are many more.