This past Saturday (03/13/10), my 23-year-old cousin Leah got married in her hometown of Garland, TX. Congrats Leah and Gumby!

It was a beautiful wedding and their vows to each other were inspiring. I couldn’t help but laugh at the inside jokes even though they were both choking back tears…especially everyone else in the church. It was like sob city!

I usually cry at weddings. Like huge, cranky baby crocodile tears. 

I bawled as my close friend Tiffany walked down the aisle in 2006. And I bawled at my friend Stacy’s wedding this past summer. I even choked up on tears at my friend Courtney’s wedding in 2007, and at Jennifer and Jerome’s wedding and at my other cousin Jamie’s wedding and the list goes on and on. sigh

In the movie 27 Dresses, Jane (played by Katherine Heigl) was right when she said the best thing about weddings was looking at the grooms face [just as his bride walked down the aisle]. 

It’s true. That was the best part of Leah and Gumby’s wedding. When she appeared at the back of the church in her beautiful, layered gown and started walking down the rose petal-covered floor, Gumby had to wipe away happy tears. His expression was priceless.

I didn’t cry this time though. I felt a couple of tears well up in my eyes, but no tears broke through.

I like weddings. I hope to have one of my own one day…only if my mom doesn’t overrule everything to the point that I might need to elope…but I like the color varieties, the flowers, the dresses, the way the groom looks when he sees “her” for the first time, the way families come together for a magical moment, the father/daughter dance, the cake. Omigod! The cake.

The reception was even more beautiful. The setting? Winfrey Point at White Rock Lake in Dallas—one of my favorite places to be, think, get inspired, view landscape and take pictures. The building itself is not much to look at on its hilly little premise, but the big tree behind it and the surrounding views are. On that warm, gorgeous Saturday, the sun was shining, there wasn’t a cloud in the sky, and although a tad bit windy, the whole experience was just beautiful all around.

I was never the typical girly girl growing up. While my mom loved dressing me up in hair bows and frilly frocks, I enjoyed hanging with my dad, shooting off rounds, playing in the creekbeds near my house and getting dirty. Not to mention that my regular wardrobe (post Mother) were jeans and my dad’s old button down shirts. I was never the type that imagined what her wedding would be like and I was never that girl who had every detail planned out. I didn’t even start thinking about marriage until I met my asshole ex. And don’t get me started on diamonds…I’m not a fan. Precious stones are where it’s at. Topaz in the house!

Like everyone else though, Leah is leaving me in the dust (making me practically the last one in my family [besides my cousin Sherrill]), and getting married—and at the friggin’ age of 23. If I don’t hurry up the process, my mom might arrange a marriage for me by the time I turn 29 this summer. She found my prom date; she might just find me a husband. She already wants to adopt me a baby when I turn 30 without my permission.

Under my laundry list of things to accomplish in my life, like: graduate college, get a job, be successful, make at least six figures; marriage was one of them. When I was months away from college graduation I wrote out a list of goals of everything I wanted to accomplish before I turned 30. I said I was going to be in a job I really loved by 25, buy a house at 26 and a BMW by age 27 and *laughing out loud right now* be married by 28. Ha! 

First of all…my job at the Federation was far from the “dream.” And after I was laid off in 2008, not only would I not be able to make the BMW goal, but I lost all inclination of what I wanted to do in life. Yes, I have a successful business, but as far as a career…I’m not sure what that is yet. I did however, accomplish buying a house at the tender age of 26—and it has been the best purchase I’ve ever made by far. Clearly though, the marriage goal hasn’t worked out. 

Not that I’m in a rush or anything.

I once dated a guy who was way too into me for comfort. It was when I first moved to Dallas right after college and we had only been dating for less than two months. He was older by a couple of years (not much though) and wanted to get married so badly and start a family. I, on the other hand, had just gotten over a during-college relationship and wasn’t looking to settle down anytime soon. One time when we were on a date, he jokingly told me that if and when we’d ever get married that he couldn’t wait to get me pregnant.

I think my eyes popped out of my head. And maybe my va-jay-jay popped out too. At that moment, my invisible chastity belt hung on for dear life. Really dude? We hadn’t even had sex yet…and here he was talking about wanting to get me pregnant. Uh. Negative. No way. No effin’ way

I’ve always been iffy about kids. I’ve never really wanted any. But as more and more of my friends keep getting pregnant and having the cutest kiddos, my views have changed. While I still don’t technically want to ‘have’ one, I’d definitely like to adopt. But thank god my biological clock isn’t ticking and thank god it wasn’t ticking when I went out with this guy.

He totally thought I was the ‘one’ even though I broke it off with him immediately after that little stunt. But he didn’t get the picture. It got so bad with all of the phone calls and text messages, I was glad that was the year my purse and phone were stolen and thankfully I had to get a new number. It was too bad he still had my email address though. Message after annoying message, asking if we could start over, I finally told him that I had moved away. That I had moved out of Dallas and moved out of Texas. Clearly I am still in Dallas.

Some of my closest friends in this day and age are in their early- and mid-30s and are just now getting married or finding the love of their lives and frankly, I think they have a better chance at a lasting relationship. At that age, you’re smarter; you’ve HAD the crappy relationships. You know what you want. You know what you deserve. You’re more mature. My parents didn’t get married until they were 32, and they’ve been successfully married 34 years now. They also met, started a relationship, moved in with each other, became engaged and got married all in six months.

Don’t get me wrong…getting married at an early age is not wrong and I think that couples CAN last [marrying at a young age]. And this blog is not me saying that I think my cousin’s marriage will not last, this is just a topic I have been wondering about and really want other’s perspectives on. There are plenty of people I know who have gotten married at a young age and are still going strong—for instance, my cousin Randy and his wife Kellie or my aunt Popsy and her husband (hell, practically all of my aunts and uncles)—they all got married at a young age and are still celebrating anniversaries and will continue to celebrate many more.

In fact, at Leah’s wedding, when she could have thrown her bouquet over her shoulders to the single-crazed-i-want-to-get-married-NOW gals, she instead gave her bouquet to her grandmother (my aunt) in honor of her 50th anniversary. 

I totally bawled. And after I wiped tears away, I then jokingly told my parents that I’d get married during their 50th anniversary. LMAO!

I can just imagine though, how people change over the years and I can see why so many couples who married in their early teens/20s get a divorce by the time they’re in their 30s. Obviously people change over time. And clearly this all comes down to the fun “c” word…compatibility. Maybe though, if you stay in the relationship for two plus years or more before getting married…you have a better chance at it lasting???

Clearly, I don’t know. I am not the marriage police or the relationship expert. I personally don’t believe you should have to stay in a relationship for two plus years or more (just because). I believe that if you know, then you know. And if you know within three, six, 12, 18 [etc] months of dating…then heck…get married! My friend Scott seems to think that there is some statistic out there that shows couples who get married within just a few months of knowing each other; that their relationships last longer than the person that draws out the relationship/engagement. He has yet to find this statistic for me…so for now, let’s take it with a grain of salt.

So this blog begs to ask the following questions:

  • When do you think is the perfect age to get married?
  • And how long should you wait/how long should you date…before marrying said person?
  • And what do you think helps to make a relationship/marriage work?

Back in February, I went to a fun, frilly relationship/sex/love party/book club meet dealio and we discussed a variety of topics including a book called love. The book is about a woman by the name of Karen Porter Sorensen who sat out in the busy streets of New York and compiled “love research.” The book is inspiring and cute and funny and it makes you think. Plus she gives you homework and while at this party, we discussed several of the homework topics. One of my favorites was the “Who are your love heroes? Who taught you love?” The head honcho host of this book club asked us to write in our books what we thought and then we’d discuss what our answers were. Mine?

My answer read: “My love heroes are the married couples out there that know that to love: you must sacrifice, you must compromise, you must “work” at the relationship, you must communicate, and you must choose to be there.”

So…scroll back up, leave me a comment and answer my questions!

Answer me. Answer me. Answer me.

Thanks. 🙂


Disclaimer: To all of you reader extremist nut jobs. This is just a blog. There is nothing going on in my life to suggest that I am on the verge of marriage or thinking about getting married. I don’t even have a boyfriend yet. The last time I took defensive driving (for the 5,826th time); the instructor always ended his sentences with a very sarcastic “Yay!” So guess what readers? This entry is just a regular ol’ blog…“Yay!”

7 thoughts on “I do…

  1. I think a couple should be together at least a year. I strongly agree with people living together prior for at least 6 months and ABSOLUTELY disagree with sharing finances until you are officially married!!!! I do understand that as you get older you do know what you want from a partner, but there are so many hidden little things that come out in the long run. if you are madly in love and plan on spending your entire life, then what’s a year compared to forever? Marriage is not all roses! It’s the everyday 24/7 chores, lounging, downtime, mealtime that test couples most. Anyone can hide mannerisms for shortterm, but marriage is the long haul baby and there’s no turning back!

  2. The perfect age: This is based on a very quick perusal of data given by the Pew Research Center so I’m open to revision. Age at marriage evidently correlates to education level. In states with a large college-educated population, people marry later in life. It makes sense to complete one before the other….

    Does a prolonged education also prolong dependence? I think independence is more important than age.

    How long should you wait?

    If the credit check comes back ok….

    And what do you think helps to make a relationship/marriage work?

    I’m just going to quote Nietzsche, because I’m lazy. “Marriage as a long conversation.– When entering a marriage, one should ask the question: do you think you will be able to have good conversations with this woman right into old age? Everything else in marriage is transitory, but most of the time in interaction is spent in conversation. “

  3. Ok girl…you want answers I’ve experience-back answers:
    •When do you think is the perfect age to get married?

    The perfect age varies according to a person’s emotional maturity but I’d say 32.

    •And how long should you wait/how long should you date…before marrying said person?

    How long? I stick by the 2-year rule. In my experience the two-year point is a clear indicator as to whether or not two people could actually make it in a long-term relationship. It’s happend for me time and time again – jump in, decide early and get a clue at year 2….then GET OUT! If I had waited, cultivated, experienced two years – it would have been a no-brainer.

    •And what do you think helps to make a relationship/marriage work?

    COMMUNICATION, COMMUNICATION, COMMUNICATION!!! 🙂

  4. I don’t think there’s a right age or a right amount of time to date first. I do think it is imporant to have several relationships before you get married because it helps you figure out what you want (and more importantly, DON’T want) and who you are. I also recommend living together first, because it is so much different than just spending the night most nights.
    I think the way to make a marriage work is to marry someone with the same values (especially financial ones), to be completely honest and open with each other, and to just accept annoying little habits instead of nagging, and your main goal always has to be actually fixing things instead of “winning” the argument.
    FYI, I got married at almost 23 after living with him for about 4 years, and we have been married 5 years. I was really lucky to find a smart, funny, responsible, good person so young, but I know it can take a lot longer.
    We have good times and bad times, but I’m really glad I did it. You get out of it what you put into it.

  5. Personally, I don’t think there’s a perfect age for marriage. It differs with everyone. I just think you should marry when it feels right and both individuals are ready to make a life committment to one another. Generally speaking, I feel it’s important to REALLY know the person you are committing your life and love to and I think that only happens with time. People can usually hold up a facade of themselves for about 6 months and then the REAL personality usually creeps out (actually, it’s usually after about 3 months or so). I think it’s important that couples take time to get to know each other’s personalities, backgrounds, families, habits, personal and religious beliefs and etc. before settling down.

    In terms of making a marriage work, I think love, committment, mutual respect, similar belief systems and financial habits, as well as a great enthusiasm for being in each other’s company, have to all be in play. Also, communication is KEY! If you all can’t talk to one another or don’t feel free to be open about most everything, the relationship will flounder. That’s just my ten cent…

  6. The perfect age to get married? I have a couple of female (German) relatives that always fussed over my love life at holidays. They always said, “Dahling, don’t get married until you turn 25!” I always thought 25 sounded so far away but here I am, 28 and married…as of three weeks ago! I look back on this and I have to say I agree…Everyone matures at a different rate of speed and everyone has a different life.

    As a makeup artist who has met and/or encountered SEVERAL women getting married young and older I have to say that 28 is a decent age. I’ve seen young girls who I think are either settling, playing house or simply scared to death of change. When I was 25 my needs were different, my goals were different, still basking in all of their turbulent glory…I changed my mind like I changed pants.

    I think nowadays people get married for the wrong reasons. So many guys think getting married is the right idea because they have no social life and they need help with housework, cooking and the like. I also think some guys just want to keep dating someone and they’re not entirely sure, but all of their friends are getting married so it seems like the next step to take.

    As a female at 25, I had been in a long term relationship for five years too long and I wanted the total “package.” However you can’t force the “package” because although you might think it’s what you NEED, you might not be right for THEM because YOU may not be the total package to YOUR package! This can hurt…Does this make sense?? (Grass is always greener kinda thing). That was my next BIG lesson.

    I think love does happen when you least expect it…and the most profound, meaningful love is the KIND of love you never expect. It took a lot of hard learned lessons before I could actually APPRECIATE the kind of love I have. I just flew by the seat of my pants, enjoying the ride. I felt relief, joy, happiness and sheer GLEE because I felt loved…no…ADORED. Not in the smothering way at all. This is my life every day now. It’s natural and blissful, I don’t have to ask for anything because most of my needs are simply understood!

    I got married because everything was right but not forced, it just was…it is…it is truly wonderful and gratifying…Yes, there are battles but it’s so easy to overcome them together because we FIT.

    People try to pick apart relationships, why they work, why they fail. I think people are just expecting too much, people are full of themselves, people are too concerned with their wants/needs lists (like anyone cares) and not as concerned with LIVING THEIR LIVES as THEY want to live.

    If single, make up your own rules and see what happens. You’ll meet the right one along that path because someone who is compatible with you will be following the same route.

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