One of my friends called me today and told me her brother, Joe, just asked his girlfriend to marry him. I was beyond shocked. I instantly started to tear up. And not in happiness, like I should have been.
I've known Joe for about nine years now. He's the same age as me, just a few months older. We've been fairly close friends. I liked him for a really long time right off the bat. We had a really short fling, and even at the start I knew it was a bad idea and broke it off fast. No matter how much I liked him, I had to face the facts. Joe is a jackass, and I had already committed several cardinal sins in the eyes of his family (being a feminist, going to college, playing a man's sport, moving into the dorms, studying psychology and communication, the list goes on and on).
He's been with Jenn for about two years now. I've only met her one time, but I was drunk and probably acted inappropriately. She's in good standing with his family, but I don't think she knows what she's getting herself into. Unless she's accepted the fact that she'll be having twelve kids in the next twenty years. But I digress.
Some couples get married really young. We all know at least one or two young couples that get married super-quick. With Joe, I sort of understand. He's 22 and living under his father with his twelve brothers and sisters, and that house is a madhouse, let me tell you. He has no college degree because his father sort of frowns upon that. His every move is dictated by his family. The way I see it, there are only three ways to honorably leave that house: marriage, seminary/convent (his sister tried that one), and death. Sounds pretty drastic, but it's true. So I can see where he's coming from.
What makes me feel the worst is that I know he's a jackass but I'm sad anyway. I'm sad I'm losing him, and the truth is that I lost him a long time ago. We haven't talked in months. He would never call me or make an effort to keep in contact. He moved out of his house and didn't tell me, and then when I went to visit him, he didn't tell me he had moved back home again. I guess I didn't want to see that we had lost our friendship, and this was the wake-up call that I needed. People get married. My friends are all getting married. Soon.
I think the other reason I'm not quite all right with this is my own sitch. When people mention marriage, I flinch. I know that I personally won't be getting married for at least a few years, though I think part of me wants to get married before I've finished all my schooling. The illusion of security is tempting.
Despite my almost overcoming desire to run home and mope with a pint of Ben & Jerry's all night, I think I'll go out as planned. Then go to Scott's with the pint. Or two pints. One of ice cream. The other of Red Hook. Mmm. That sounds best.