I got married at eighteen. Cue the look of surprise and all the assumptions. I hate telling people I’m married, not because I’m ashamed but because I get these looks that imply, “But you’re so young, what do you know about marriage? Can you even wipe your own ass? Were you pregnant?” Yes, I know what marriage implies, I can wipe my own ass and it’s probably the cleanest ass ever since I use a bidet, and no, I was not pregnant!
I usually get these inquisitive looks from older people. They find it unbelievable that such a young girl is married, you’ve got your whole life ahead of you! Yes I know, and I chose to share it with someone I love a little earlier than what you may consider usual.
Granted, I’m no longer eighteen but even at twenty-two I get the odd looks. At the time (when I was eighteen) I felt like I was being scolded for my decision, almost as if I weren’t entitled to it. Why would you assume I don’t know what marriage entails…especially in a place like the US where you can get a permit to drive at sixteen, drive all on your own at eighteen and go to war (although I really disagree on the drinking age, that just isn’t right!) I think I can handle the responsibilities that are associated with marriage.
In fact, I’ve gained so much from my marriage that I probably wouldn’t have had I not gotten married. I learned a whole new language…and with that, a culture. I traveled and lived in Europe for over two years and visit at least once every year or two. Thanks to my great ability to pick up a beautiful language like Italian, I got a job that required I use that language, talk about actually applying your skills. I learned to cook a whole lot more foods than the boring salads I was making myself before that (this also implies I gained a few pounds, not sure if I’m happy about that one).
Of course, marriage wasn’t only about the things I gained (which are great experiences) but about the things I lost, which I am mature enough to acknowledge and deal with. I always get told “But, you haven’t experienced life! You haven’t dated enough! You need to have a taste of independence! Your social life!” And you know what, they’re all right. In some way, I haven’t experienced life; when my husband talks about having lived in Milan with roommates and all the idiotic things they did, all the memories, I am a little jealous but I am sharing my life with someone and luckily, I have great friends that have roommates and sometimes it’s not all it’s worked up to be. Dating…I was never the dating type to be frank. I was usually all in or not. Dating sounds exhausting, I can just imagine having to venture out and impress some guy for a day or night or whatever it may be (you know you all do it in some way). I feel like I dodged a bullet. I have single friends that complain about the men in their lives and how they’re all assholes…no thanks! I am independent, for the both of us. I go to school (college) and go out with friends; I have my own social life, so yeah.
I admit, getting married the second I could get married hasn’t been easy (everyone’s experience is different). I had to grow into myself, gain confidence in my own skin and be able to admit my wrongs and fix things. I didn’t have that comfy pillow called mom and dad to fall back on when I messed up (not saying they weren’t around, but it’s different, ya know). I know I’m not the only one that has married young and I’m almost sure you (if you’re married) have been nodding at some parts thinking back to aunts, uncles, parents friends, or really anyone who offered their indirect or very direct criticisms. It’s just really unfair. So this is to all those people that raise their eyebrow at a young married person. Be happy for us, don’t make us feel weird about it, and please stop assuming we aren’t mature enough to be in a lifetime commitment!