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The poignant question of the day came from the most unexpected source: the barista in the Starbucks drive-thru. I stopped to get a coffee on my way to a secret wedding in the park. A couple of my friends from church were eloping and asked me to be one of two witnesses and one of five people total who actually knew they were tying the knot that morning. I figured a nice mocha would help me as I tried to balance the giddiness I felt from being let in on a big secret while also feeling a little weird about the whole situation because at this point in my life — let's face it — I'm a little anti-marriage.

So the barista leans out the window and asks me, "Where are you going?" They train these folks to chatter, I think, and I don't mind because I'm a bit of a chatterbox myself most days.

"I'm going to a secret wedding!" I exclaimed, to which she clapped and leaned over to give me my coffee.

She looked at my ring finger.  "How long have you been married?" she asked, to which I replied "Almost ten years."  She asked me how old I am now, and after doing the math figured out that I married my husband when I was 25. Here comes the poignant question: "Are you glad you got married young?"

I was a little taken aback by the question. Of course, when I was 25 I didn't think I was getting married young. After all, a woman's fertility begins to decline at 27 and besides that every other woman in my family was married at 17 or 18, so I was practically an old maid.

I glanced up at my rearview mirror and saw that there was no car behind me waiting. I could very well have broken down crying and hooked her up with the ideas running through my head. I would have pulled myself up out of the car and grasped at her collar in a melodramatic fashion, and through gritted teeth and a melodramatic stage whisper, I would have told her, "25 is too young. 35 is too young. No man will ever love you enough and you will always be disappointed with how things work out."

Of course I didn't say these things. I gave a little chuckle and said, "Oh, I guess I should have waited," to which she chuckled in reply and bid me farewell. On the way to the wedding — which was lovely, by the way — I prayed for my friends that their marriage would be special and dazzling and fantastic and nothing like how my marriage has turned out.

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1 comment

  • Comment Link Guest Tuesday, 02 June 2009 19:08 posted by Guest

    Sad: I just found this website though am not contemplating divorce. Your post makes me so sad. I just read your profile. You seem to have it pretty good: great kids, activities you enjoy, a job you like and your husband doesn't want to separate. What is wrong with your marriage? Are you pulling your weight? Being a great wife? Do you give your husband the kind of respect and support he needs? Have you tried marriage counseling.

    Getting married at 25 is not the problem. Plenty of people get married young and have long, fulfilling marriages. I have no idea what you're going through. It sounds painful and I don't want to bash you but I hope you choose to make your marriage work. Think of your kids. You and your husband were once in love and inseparable. Get back to that. There are too many broken families these days. Don't be another one.

    And to others out there: a man cannot fulfill your every need. Men are not perfect. Marriages are not perfect. People commit to each other and stick out the hard times. Hard times used to be War, Depression, Famine, poor medical treatment, children who didn't live past 2. This still happens but more often in western countries it's: he doesn't make me happy anymore, I'm bored, I like someone else. Sad, sad, sad. And the generational cycle continues.