Tuesday, July 16, 2013

On being 21 and married

At 16, I was gloriously awkward, entirely clueless and suddenly allowed to date. 

Though I’d bravely anticipated that day for much of my pre-angsty life, the moment it came, I wanted to run away, cling to my dog-nibbled/loved Scooby Doo doll and hope no one knew it was my birthday. I hated being 16. I HATED IT. Suddenly, boys scared me – friendliness could lead to first dates, the inability to say no could lead to second dates and pure stupidity could lead to third dates. 

So, if you’d told me then that I’d be married by the barely-legal age of 21, I would have laughed in your face a dozen times over. 

Heck, if you told me just two years ago that I’d be married by 21, I would have laughed in your face a thousand times over. “I don’t even date,” I would have said, while, as aforementioned, laughing. “I’VE NEVER EVEN KISSED A GUY.” (True story. Though, if you know me well at all, you likely already knew that.) 

The fact that I’d never kissed a guy had, unfortunately, served as the centerpiece to too many a conversation, often with boys I wish wouldn’t have known it. (It once got brought up by a friend on a double date. That guy never talked to me again, even though we've on several occasions found ourselves in the same room or on the same soccer field..) More often than I’d like to admit, like word vomit on a mission, I would be the one to let everyone in a conversation know that I, Betsy Blanchard, had never kissed a boy and was absolutely okay with it. In fact, I’d turned down several very direct attempts at being kissed and often used those stories as side dishes. Sorry fellas, I’m a compulsive over-sharer. 

So when I told my family and friends that I was engaged, everyone was shocked. Betsy, always the virgin lips in our eyes, was getting MARRIED? Huh!? 

For them, it was craziness. For me, it was a breakthrough. 

Finding my eternal companion brought me an unprecedented amount of confidence, peace and happiness. Finally, I was comfortable in my own skin, happy to be raw and exposed. Look at me, everybody, I’m bare, I’m real, I’m free of so many of the inhibitions I’d been tattooed with. I’m 21, married and happier than I’ve ever been. 

And, just as a reminder of how truly blessed I am, I came home yesterday from a tiring day at work to discover that Max had secretly been home for almost two hours by the time I arrived home. (I usually beat him home.) In honor of our year and a half dating anniversary (a landmark I'd completely forgotten about), he'd set up a delicious dinner and bought me the airbrush starter kick I'd googly-eyed at Hobby Lobby six months ago. Where did I find this guy?!


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