Today has been about defending the decision Mark and I made almost two years ago to get married, and about the fact that we carried through with it. In a seminar the subject was teen marriage, and the concept was all wrong.
I admit that I’m not that open with the rest of the school about my life. For some reason, it feels like I am holding back in a way that I didn’t do back in college last year.
The main reason for this is that I don’t know people so well, and I haven’t had the chance to really talk deeply with anyone except for Abbie and Ben, and they don’t really spend all their time talking about me. That may, and probably will, change over the years. But we’re not there yet, and so I’m the quiet shy type for now.
So, today, we split into groups to discuss current issues, and I ended up in the group that worked on teen marriages. Particularly, about what mistakes they were, and why they were really evidence of deep social problems for the couple. Teens only got married if the woman in the relationship became pregnant, and so on.
The tutor wanted to impress upon us what a mistake it would be for us poor young ones to consider such a drastic step. He tried again and again to steer the conversation toward problems. Even when I protested that I was married, the questions he asked were more about which problems had caused us to marry.
Two years ago, well a year and a half, we lived in Auntie’s cellar under her house in another part of this town. The flat was something she rented out to young professionals that commuted to London, and when my parents decided to allow me to move to England to go to school, she rented the flat to me.
Just a few weeks after I moved there, I met Mark, and he practically moved in with me shortly after. We spent a lot of time together. While teenage courtship usually involves finding time and space around school work and parents to see each other, we saw each other all the time. From when we woke until we went to bed.
Despite all the immaturity, the problems, the conflicts, and the silly twee things, we stuck together. We fit together. We match each other. And we love each other. We didn’t grow tired, we didn’t start to look for a way out. We didn’t get bored with each other. Our thing just grew deeper and wider and farther and higher.
During those two years before we married, we went through every single argument against getting married. In the wee hours of the morning we had long discussions about worries, fears, hopes and dreams. Skin to skin we mapped out all the problems and possibilities for us making a mistake. We considered if we were too young, too inexperienced, and too infatuated to make the right decision. Sometimes it felt like we were looking for reasons to postpone, to delay, and to find reasons not to do it.
We never did find those reasons, because our decision was right, for us. This is not infatuation, or plain horniness. Such things would have worn off after a while, I think. I may be wrong, of course, and maybe the future will say differently, but there is love here. Real love. And I think I get that now, finally, and maybe that ‘I do’ in August was the final nail in the coffin for my doubts and insecurities.
When this tutor today wanted to problematise our decision I wanted to tell him to shut up because he didn’t know the depths of our decision, and the idea that we could not make a deep or thorough analysis of our own lives is insulting and demeaning.
I have a thing about being patronised, and I feel that today this tutor patronised us. He denied us the agency of our own free will, and condemned us to be mere tools and puppets of our biology and mythological nature. That sort of reasoning denies our inherent humanity, and it guts the concept of rights and responsibilities that we have in law and in our lives. It reduces us to mere sex slaves that can’t think straight.
I can’t accept that some stranger comes in, with a degree in psychology or sociology, or whatever he has, and by strength of some stupid social study somewhere, which has never been replicated or peer-reviewed properly, demean that silly inciting incident from two years ago. That time when Mark overcame his inhibitions, barely, and tossed a ring at me with a written proposal.
He didn’t dare believe in himself enough to ask me with his voice, so he threw the ring at me, and then fled because he feared that I would laugh at him and say no. We’ve made a life together since then. We’ve bonded tighter than I ever believed possible. Two years ago, I could never believe that another person could become such an extension of myself as Mark has become. I had no idea about the depths of feeling that one person could have for another. And that tutor dared say it was something about social problems or hormones or ‘lads being lads’.
Thinking about it now as I write this, I’m still annoyed by the seminar. Lucky I don’t have that tutor regularly.