I am nineteen years old. I should not think about marriage as much as I do.
I can't even help it! Ever since my roommate got engaged I feel like I've had it on the brain. Although, if I'm going to be honest with myself it's been longer. Probably since not long after I came to BYU and realized that half of my undergraduate classmates are engaged/married. (And, just to make long distance relationships harder, all the people who aren't engaged/married are dating somebody. Fact.) Even outside of BYU, I am now in an age bracket where it is acceptable to think about marriage. Like, probably not at my age it isn't. But people on the upper end of my age bracket? Oh yeah, go for it.
Also some circumstances in my friend's life are making me think about marriage. Her brother and his girlfriend are accidentally pregnant and are hurrying to get married. I worry about that. They used to be engaged but he called it off. But now they are so quick to get married. I mean, part of me thinks that's the right thing to do. But part of me is really worried that it won't work because they're hurrying into it.
My ideas about marriage have changed a lot over the years. When I was younger, the only kind of wedding I even considered was very tradition. You know, married in the temple (I wanted San Diego because it looks like a palace, but I probably would have wound up in Louisville or Nauvoo. Or it seems like a lot of the students at BYU get married at Salt Lake), big floofy white dress, everybody I've ever met ever at the reception.
The only weddings I've ever been to or interacted with have been LDS. I've never seen an actual marriage ceremony, just the receptions (because they were all in the temple). All my older cousins have had ginormous wedding receptions. Every time I picture a wedding, I imagine my cousin's. They were both returned missionaries and she was so beautiful. And everybody was so proud. And there were approximately three million people there.
My family has this tradition where you have to pay to dance with the bride. You know, give her like a five or something. Just so that the young couple can have a little cash on hand because money is tight when you're first married.
I remember the first time I saw pictures from a wedding that wasn't Mormon. It was so sweet. This girl I had gone to high school with had a super small wedding. From the pictures it looks like it was at her house and the only people there were some very, very close friends and her and her husband's parents. And I liked it. It was different. Different from any kind of wedding I've ever seen.
I think about marriage in the abstract, but I think about it specifically too. I think about me. I mean, I think that's reasonable. I've been in a committed relationship for a little over a year now. At BYU I could very easily have legitimate children after having dated this long. Doricha has a really different perspective on marriage than I do. It's been interesting to talk about it, to let my paradigms shift a little bit. Shift away from the floofy dress and everybody I know ever being invited.
I let myself imagine I'll marry her.
The "ceremony" doesn't have to be anything official, signed and sealed and whatever. The only part that's important to me in all that is the promise. When you get married, that's it. It's a promise that says there's no turning back. It says, "After today, I will never leave you. No matter how hard it is and no matter what happens. There's no take backsies anymore. This is for real. This is forever." I picture it being very very intimate. Either with just family and very close friends...or maybe even just the two of us. Promising. Making big promises, the kind of promises you never break. And they'd be sealed with something more than a kiss, which we share all the time. A "blood oath" is pretty archaic, but the right idea.
The ring would seal it. "With this ring I thee wed" is really overplayed, but I guess that's kind of the idea. You accept the ring, you accept the promise. You make the promise. The exchange of promises is symbolized in the physical exchanging of rings.
You know I was raised Mormon because abstract things have to have symbols.
And then after this intimate promise, there has to be a killer party. Invite all our friends, who have been so supportive through everything. Wear pretty dresses. Dance all night long.
And get presents because getting married is like graduating only way cooler.