A few weeks ago, my friend Sandra got engaged to Greg, a guy she had been dating since Summer of last year. Given her history of dating so many men who didn't deserve her, who verbally, emotionally abused her, I was so happy she finally found a guy who treats her like the queen she is, or at least it seems that way. Sandra now lives across the country. Her friends here and I never met Greg, but she seems very happy in this relationship. So although I was a little concerned about how quickly they got engaged, I was able to honestly say, "Congratulations," when she made the announcement.
Four days ago, Sandra and Greg eloped. Sandra basically said they couldn't afford the wedding, couldn't figure out logistics, and didn't see the point in waiting any longer when they really wanted to be married. I couldn't get the nerve to type "Congratulations," when I received her email. Is that wrong?
I was concerned about the quick engagement. I'm worried about the eloping. Scared, even. She made a wedding site anyway with their favorite songs, their story, photos, etcetera, as a way to still have the rest of us be part of their wedding. I'm still not satisfied. Well, all I knew about their story was that they met on okcupid. Sandra was one of the people who urged me to try it again, in fact. I didn't know much else about their story, so at least I finally got to read that.
But it just doesn't feel right! I worry. I'm worried that this girl, who is so book-smart, might have let her heart run away with her. It sounds like they've had a lot of deep conversations in a pretty short amount of time. Maybe they do know each other well enough to marry. Maybe they have thought longterm. Their plan for now is to save for a car and condo, for Sandra to get her doctorate, and they don't want kids. Well, Sandra doesn't want kids and it sounds like she's talked Greg out of it. But saying no to kids is a big deal. Well really, it's a bigger deal for the family than it is for the couple. Do Sandra's parents know she's not giving them grandkids? Do Greg's parents know? Have they even met each other's parents? Not that you should only do things your parents approve of, but how did mom and pop take the news that Greg has married a young woman he met online after dating for about 6 months, who, by the way, won't give them grandchildren? Do Sandra and Greg really know the implications of their actions? Lord, I hope they thought this through!
Both Greg and Sandra are from around here, actually. So they're both living far from their homes. It's so easy to forget you are part of a community when it's just the two of you living 1000 miles away from your old friends and family. It's so easy to think you're the only ones in the world and that your choices and life do not affect others. Well, Sandra made the wedding site so perhaps that consideration did cross her mind.
I told her I hope the first few days of marriage have been going well so far and that next time she and Greg come home, we can still celebrate their marriage some other way, even if it's not a big wedding. That was the most sincere thing I could say about this. Honestly, I feel terrible that I can't be more excited and shower her with "Congrats! Congrats! I'm so happy for you," like everyone else. Of course I wish her well. Of course I don't want her to divorce (unlike her parents, who had a shotgun wedding because mom was pregnant and later divorced). But I worry anyway. I hope they really do have a strong foundation, and are really ready to face marriage, and face the world, together.