Friday, October 19, 2012

Age 18: How Things Were

Dr. Margaret Aranda

I woke up on the day I turned 18 and thought, "This is a big day."

I was getting married.  I had been living together with my boyfriend for a year and a half, and that was a long time for me.  Since I was raised to think I was getting married and having babies, that is what I wanted to do.  

Thinking back now, I realize that he was not ready to get married.  He drove me to a store to pick out my own wedding ring.  I used blue chip stamps for part of the payment.  

We didn't need a blood test, since we were already living together.  He had me find someone who did marriages for $20.00.  We had an appointment at 11:00 am.  We drove in silence, me staring at a flowered skirt I picked out.  I didn't get a Wedding Dress, flowers, a Maid of Honor, Bridesmaids, and I was soon to discover that I did not get a real Wedding Dinner.  But I didn't know that until the evening.

So we drove in silence.  I was happy, elated, actually.  I let my happiness crowd his unhappiness and he just kept on driving.  We arrived to a small, run-down shack.  We looked at one another and we should have driven away. We didn't.  We went in.  The man wore a tattered black suit with a tie that was crooked.  He smiled with bad teeth and showed us the paperwork.  We signed it as fast as we could.  I don't remember a wedding kiss. At all.  But I do remember running out of there.  It was over, the deed was done, we were legally married and that's all I cared about.  He started arguing with me on the way home.

We arrived home and he wanted me to play tennis.  It was 102F and I complained, but I did it anyway. On the court, I almost passed out.  I complained again.  He said he regretted marrying me, and I should have left him and had it annulled.  I didn't.

We were to have dinner with my family at 7:00 pm.  He told me he would meet me there.  My whole family was there, my Father at the head of the table, my cousins from Oregon, and my aunt from Michigan.  He never showed up.  The waitress said sarcastically, "Well, that's a great way to start a marriage." I was never so embarrassed in my life.  The empty chair spoke but I should have listened.

When I got home, he was drinking beer with a buddy that was single.  He was drunk.  He said he didn't know that he was supposed to show up at the dinner. We didn't have sex that night.  

The next morning, he wanted me to play tennis again.  It was 104F.  I complained. I did it anyway.  I felt like passing out again on the court, and I wanted to stop.  He yelled at me and said he wished he never married me.  I should have left him and had the marriage annulled.  I didn't.  

I was in love with him, and I was in love with the idea of being married. I failed to care about him. I failed to see things as they were, instead of how I wanted them to be.

I didn't see it, but that's the way things were.


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Dr. Margaret Aranda's Books:

No More Tears en Espanol
Face Book Page: Stepping from the Edge
Little Missy Two-Shoes Likes to go to School
From Menarche to Menopause: A Journey through Time

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For Additional Memoirs by Dr. Margaret Aranda, Please Click Here:

Age 31: The Color Blue

Additional Articles by Dr. Margaret Aranda

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Full Disclosure: Margaret A. Ferrante, M.D.  is an Institute Physician with Cenegenics Medical Institute.  She receives no monetary compensation for hosting this website you are on, which is independent and not affiliated with Cenegenics. The information presented is for education and awareness.  Dr. Ferrante currently sees patients out of the Cenegenics office in Beverly Hills, CA. 
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  1. "We looked at one another and we should have driven away. We didn't. We went in." Oh, this resonated with me. It didn't happen exactly this way, of course, but I know that feeling. I may write about it later. Thanks for the reminder. I loved this post and the one that comes next, about the birth of the child. It's amazing, isn't it, what we knew and what we *didn't* know? Nicely told, Dr. Margaret!

    1. Why thank you so much, Gerry! Sometimes it is these moments in life just stand still.


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