Monday, March 25, 2013

"Honey, you just look so young to be getting married!"

On Saturday I went to get my hair cut. The girl who cut my hair for the last four years graduated and I was in desperate need of a trim, so I chanced it with an unknown hairdresser. (I hate doing this!) I explained to her in great detail that I was getting married in a month and a half and really, really just wanted a trim. I'm practically begged her to only take a half inch off, dramatically praying the whole time she was cutting that I wouldn't somehow walk out of there with a pixie cut.

Well, she was a sweet older southern lady, and did a great job giving me a simple trim. During the haircut, we started chatting about weddings. I've found this happens pretty much every time I meet anyone new. Need something to talk about? I'm getting married! Instant conversation starter. At the end of the quick cut, I thanked her, paid and tipped, and turned to walk out when she paused, looked at me and said these words:

"Honey, you just look so young to be getting married."

And then it happened. I lied. I told her I was older than I am. 

(Let's ignore the fact that a lot of people don't even think I look 22, so there's no way I could pull off any older than that.) 

Why? I'm not sure. I think I wanted her to accept me as a bride even though I am well younger than the national average of 27. I wanted that look of pity on her face that I was getting married before I really lived to be replaced with respect. I didn't want to feel inferior to be getting married right out of graduate school or like my marriage was doomed to failure because of it. (I'm not sure if she was married or not, or whether that has anything to do with it.)

I actually never saw myself getting married at 22. I thought I would finish my masters degree, maybe go on to get a doctorate, get a job in a new city, and eventually find an great guy and settle down with him at age 28 or so. But then all of a sudden I found that guy in undergrad. Not much else has changed—I'm still thinking about getting my doctorate, I'm looking for that great job, and I'm moving to a new city. But now I get to share all these memories with my life partner, and since that's the case, why would I give that up to "live" a little first?

I'm disappointed in myself for lying to her about my age. I should have sucked it up, looked her in the face, and said "I'm lucky enough to have found the love of my life and to be getting married at 22!" 

Because I am.

To other young brides: Have you experienced any comments about your age? How have you responded? What about the older brides: How do you see those who get married young versus waiting? 

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