young, stupid, and making it {1}

{Due to the monstrous size of this post, I halved it.}

With the internet abuzz (slightly abuzz – it’s not North Korea) with the topic of early marriage, I’ve ducked my head and, as I devotedly do when hard things swirl about my end of the blogosphere, pretended not to notice.

Controversial topic pertinent to my daily existence? If I close my eyes will you go away?

In debates I find it useless to speak my mind because I tend to be moderate in most things. Sometimes I hate my middleness and chalk it angrily up to my relaxed personality or lack of information (light gives heat), but for now, this is me, and it’s what I have to offer.

This trait is highly inconvenient because it means either (a) that what I say actually is, just as I suspected, useless or (b) everyone disagrees with me. We can make this more palatable by saying that thinking differently and acknowledging gray areas are part of being human – or, the road more taken – ask me to please stop picking fights with the whole world.

I had planned stay shutting up. Then some articles lacked sensitivity toward singles and made me want to yell at all the people wrong on the internet: STOP PICKING ON MY FRIENDS.

I’ve opted for more calmly stating: There are lots of good reasons to wait. But I married young, and I’m glad I did.

Travis Tice Photography

Travis Tice Photography

My husband and I married when we were twenty-two.

Asked, “How’s married life?” I like to say, “It’s a lot like life.” It is good and hard and hilarious and puzzling. You know, life.

It’s also true that we’ve encountered joys and problems unique to our being married fledgling adults. Marriage is a big deal.

Josh proposed over my Christmas break, because who has time for that during the semester? I wanted a degree first, so we got married the summer after I graduated.

Our wedding budget was pretty small. Other weddings could have eaten ours for breakfast. It was a headache and a learning curve, and it led to my feeling guilty for accepting all the help offered. But in the end it was humbling and delightful.

It proved tough to track costs because of the DIY nature of the beast, lots of pieces passed through lots of hands, and last-minute costs (read: gallons of emergency citronella due to a recent flood and influx of mosquitoes for our outdoor wedding). We’ll never know how much it actually cost.

We also coped with long-distance planning, our long-distance relationship, finding jobs, juggling jobs, and full-time school – AKA being babies.

The week before our wedding, mosquitoes were everywhere, the reception site was under water, it looked like rain for our outdoor mountain wedding, members of the bridal party were lost or late to the rehearsal, there was a dead deer in a distant pasture making the whole reception area stink, our live music tent blew over and broke (no musicians were harmed in the destruction of this tent), some critical members in making the wedding work didn’t show up at all to the rehearsal, the tables didn’t fit right in the reception tent, we didn’t have enough lights, and I was sick, keeping a constant supply of tissue nearby not wholly from the sweet sentiment of the moment but because I was coming down with something.  Then, in ultimate DIY fashion, people tracked me down during my wedding reception to ask, what was their job again? and would you find this person and pass this message on? (Ummm I’m a little busy right now. Maybe in three hours.)

That – fielding logistics issues during your own wedding reception – explains why people, older couples with bigger budgets, hire wedding planners. But we were

Babies.

After my breakdown (friends said, “I’ve never seen you like that”) while the rehearsal was supposed to be happening, on our wedding day I said to heck with it all. I didn’t care anymore and it was wonderful.

Travis Tice Photography

Travis Tice Photography

Did I mention that we were both unemployed? Victims of budget cuts. Josh found himself jobless a month before the wedding, on my birthday. Four days before the wedding I joined him in the land of unemployment.

That was horrible and depressing and scary. Financial security? We had had that in the bag.

In a month’s time, we traded our three-year student loan pay-off plan and path to financial security forever and ever, amen for living off wedding gifts –

And eight months of juggling half a dozen part-time jobs, sharing one breaking-down car, working opposite shifts, anxiety attacks, nightmares about offspring, and life below poverty level.

IMG_1584 (600x800)

We got a dog to keep me safe on my (sweet, sanity-preserving) runs, but also to keep me getting out of bed in the morning. I was, as my friend put it once, “a better person with something to feed.”

We made it through, but if ever I lay eyes on another Ramen noodle, so help me . . . things are gonna get crazy up in here.

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One thought on “young, stupid, and making it {1}

  1. Pingback: RS: is it because i’m a woman? | la corbeille

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