"Who, being loved, is poor?" -Oscar Wilde
Okay, cards on the table: I got married when I was 19-years old. Yup, I was a baby, and I looked like a baby, too. See?
It's crazy to think how young I was, and when I tell people, even those of the Mormon faith who tend to marry young anyway, I usually say my surprising young age with a quiet and ashamed voice. Not because I think I made a poor choice, but it seems to me that the world thinks I missed out on a lively single-life experience or that because of my marrying age divorce is inevitable or something along those lines.
Well, amid the sea of statistics and opinions that say Nick's and my marriage (he was only 23) is destined to be ridden with regrets and separation, a friend found and shared an article with me that helps me lift my head with pride about my decision to marry young!
"The fairytale wedding is [seen as a] gateway into adult life. But in my experience, this idea about marriage as the end of the road is pretty misguided and means couples are missing out on a lot of the fun."
The article goes onto say a lot of other things, but the jist of it is that since we all have to get financially established and secure our place in the world anyway, why not do it married to your favorite person and enjoy that establishing period all the more??
The first example to the contrary I can think of is Scrooge in The Muppet's Christmas Carol who had someone he really cared about and lost her because they didn't have enough money for a descent home.
You maybe snickering to yourself because that maybe a juvenile example, but it's one that is not far from how some people choose to go about their single life -- alone AND poor. How sad! Why not be poor WITH someone who makes poverty a lot more pleasant??
A close friend asked us yesterday if we've been in school our entire married life, and we confirmed their suspicions. You could absolutely say that for the past 7+ years of marriage Nick and I have been getting "established." We don't have tons of excess resources. Neither of us ever spent a summer backpacking through Europe. Our birthday and Christmas gifts have usually been very small and inexpensive items. More than once we've bailed each other out of tough/expensive fixes using creative methods. We have had to say to each other many times four of the most loving words one mate can say to another: "We can't afford it."
However, like the article said: we have also had so much fun!! There's not a thing about my financially poor life with Nick that I would change because it has not felt like it was lacking in anything that truly matters! Oh how I love cuddling up with him at night and reminiscing about the life we've established together -- side-by-side, hand-in-hand, as we smile and laugh because we haven't had waffles in months since there are no extra resources to replace our broken waffle iron.
As I look ahead to our 10th, 15th, 20th, 50th, etc. anniversaries, I think how precious these "good ole' days" are going to be to us! How grateful I am to have found my eternal mate so early in my life and to have had the extraordinary opportunity to get established along side him!