It was December 2008. Jeremy and I had decided to get married. We had purchased a ring and just needed to get my father’s approval before we made it official.
Jeremy asking my Dad for permission to marry me wasn’t that important to me, to be honest. I love my Dad, but he gets on my nerves a lot and can be controlling. I know now that is just his way of showing love and that it was hard for him to let me move in with my Mom when I was a teenager, and even harder to see me move to the opposite side of the state for college.
Jeremy is very old-fashioned though. It never occurred to him not to ask my Dad, even though he had only met him one time.
So we drove up to my hometown for the Christmas holiday, prepared to ask my Dad the big questions.
My Mom knew about the engagement, I had told her when it happened. I remember arriving at her house (that’s where we stay when we are in town) and she excitedly asked to see my ring. I took off my ring for the rest of the visit and gave it back to Jeremy to keep hold of.
We decided to get it over with as soon as possible, the whole thing was stressing me out. I knew my Dad would not be happy, I was 19 years old and he barely knew Jeremy. My Dad also saw me as his “little girl” still, he didn’t like that I was so independent and didn’t seem to need him.
The next day I arranged to have lunch with my Dad. Jeremy and I were going to meet him at this work and then walk over to my favorite restaurant. His work was right by the local mall, so Jeremy dropped me off early to do some Christmas shopping and he drove over to my Dad’s work to have “the talk”. He wanted to do it alone.
I don’t know what he said, but I gave him about 20 minutes before I walked over to my Dad’s office to interrupt. I remember it being very awkward, I didn’t know if he has asked or not when I walked in, so I didn’t say anything. My Dad eventually said “Jeremy and I just had a talk, did you know about this?” and then I told him that I did know that Jeremy had asked for his permission to propose to me.
That lunch was probably the most awkward meal I have ever had, until breakfast a few days later with my Dad and Stepmom.
My Dad had a lot of questions. When were we getting married? Why so soon? Were we sure? Was I giving up school? Where we only doing it so we could live together?
Jeremy and I answered all his questions as best we could. We had our reasons for the choices we made, but it is still unsettling to have to defend your choices to your parents. To have to justify our decision to get married, a decision that was based in love and happiness.
The next day was Christmas, which was uneventful compared to the previous day!
We were leaving two days late and my Stepmom and my Dad wanted to have another conversation about what they viewed as our “not the best” idea to get married. We arranged to have breakfast the day we were planning on driving home (the aforementioned most awkward meal of my life).
So the day after Christmas we didn’t have any plans. Jeremy still had my ring and I had told him before that I still wanted a “real” proposal. Knowing me, I am sure I told him to do it ASAP ha.
So that night we decided to go star gazing (that was kind of our thing when we were dating. I was taking Astronomy in college and I would take Jeremy out with me at night to do my homework and look at the stars). We parked at the local Community College and went out to one of the many grassy fields. We laid there together, just enjoying the solitude of each others company.
I knew he was going to officially ask. I had been dropping hint and practically planned our this “romantic” moment for him (I am slightly controlling, it’s something I’m working on). After about an hour of staring at the sky I finally asked, “are you going to propose to me or not? Because I’m getting cold!” (we were in CA, but it was still December!). He laughed and pulled out the ring.
I don’t remember exactly what he said, most of it was him telling me why he loved me, and I do remember when he called me a nerd ha. Then he asked me. Those four little words. Will you marry me?
“Yes” (not that he had any doubt!)
And that was it. He slipped the ring on my finger. We kissed and then drove back to my Mom’s house.
It’s not the most exciting proposal. It certainly wasn’t a surprise. But it was very “us”. A mutual joint decision. And very “me”. Under my control and in my timeline (Like I said, I’m still working on that!).
The next day we met with my Dad and Stepmom for breakfast, to go another round of 5,000 questions.
I remember my Dad stopping in the middle of his question and grabbing my hand, he had finally saw the ring. He looked at it for a while, and eventually smiled.
I would like to say that my family approved of my choice to get married, but they did not. They supported me in their own way, but they did not hide their concern or disapproval.
Looking back, I get it. I was very young and very naive.
I love my husband, and I am happy in my marriage. I would go back and do it all again, because it has lead me to where I am now, looking back on 5 happy years with Jeremy and looking forward to many more.
But I certainly don’t think every 19 year old is ready to get married. Nor should every couple who has been dating for 6 months rush down the aisle.
Every couple is different. Every relationship is different.
And with a lot of luck, love and work, our marriage has been successful and filled with love.