(woman in wedding dress looking out window, waiting)
For as long as I can remember I have dreamed of my wedding day. I a beautiful dress, long sleeves, lace like both my mother’s and grandmother’s. I never could see who it was waiting at the end. First a priest was the one to marry us, and then my Pentecostal pastor who has no issue either being label as evangelical or fundamentalist. Today though I no longer dream of my wedding, nor am I a member of the church I spend many years in.
As a young child I thought my husband would come on a white horse from a fairy tale. Now a for a long while I understood the way to get to that day was through a courtship.
No I am not a old woman, nor or is my family from a third world country. I was born in the state of Florida. While my clothing was, and does tend be modest (now more out of habit than anything), I dressed like others my age, but maybe slightly more frumpy, and less skin showing.
Back to courtship if you don’t know about the world I grew up in courtship is a term used both in history mainly the Victorian era (think Edward from Twilight), and by fundamentalist Christian homeschoolers, and sometimes maybe a little more rarely just fundamentalist Christians. The fundamentalist doesn’t equal one branch of Christianity. I was a Pentecostal/church of God (I was not and they are not snake handlers) from Methodist to Baptist to many others, some were even Catholic though the latter is not really welcome by the others.
Courtship from what I was taught meant no dating, not kissing, hugging or even getting rather close to the man who I would court. It meant he would have to ask a friend’s father for my hand, since my father was dead. And once he said yes I could be asked. It meant I would not get to be alone once I was being courted with said courter, until we married. (Though I was never allow to be alone with boys to begin with). That my first kiss was to be after I said I do, and the first time I had sex after my wedding.
I would go on to be the best wife and mother I could be, surely home schooling said children like I and many of my friends were.
I go from the house of my mother, to the house of my husband. Maybe if I wasn’t courted too early going to my church’s bible college.
That was my future, and to me even when living it felt like I was staring down the barrel of a gun. I wanted a way out, a way to be something. I was lucky enough to be the kid who at least sometimes had to go to public school, being their were years where my mother was simply too poor too teach me of how she wanted to. This gave me access to others unlike my church, and “church family”. Though many will claimed this ruined me in more ways than one.
Though being from the state of Florida my mother had a option of online home schooling, which became her solution, though other more in line materials were also used. But I am getting ahead of myself, I am to tell why my courtship never happened.
Mainly the reason was a tall, skinny curly haired boy, who to me was the most handsome boy I had ever seen. He was from my past Catholic church, back from many years ago. Who I am still close friends with. I was drawn both to him, and how different he was from the boys I was suppose to consider as someone who might court me. He was bright, funny, and wanting to open doors for me that had long been shut. And the biggest he wanted to hear what I was thinking, and had to say.
Other little things his hatred of controlling gender roles, and his own understanding of my own gender dysphoria (female doesn’t fit right, male doesn’t fit totally, but better than female).
We didn’t kiss though he is no virgin, and we were spending time alone. Sneaking off to talk about music, the future, and of course horses sounds silly doesn’t it? But this was my first chance at freedom. First chance of actually feeling that feeling that was only suppose to be for my husband.
I shouldn’t have been shocked when it turned into kissing and that later having sex. A miscarriage was also a result. I don’t regret it, I wish I would have been careful, and wish that I would understood protection and what it actually meant.
I remember crying over the fact my sins must have caused her or his death (I understand now that is not the case). I remember realizing that I would not be like the bible story that talks about the girls waiting for their husbands, waiting with a enough lamp oil. I told a friend of mine, that instead of running out of lamp oil I had dumped my out for the wrong man. I know that story is nothing more than a bible parable, used by my church to keep woman, and more so girls in our place below men.
I was taught when you sleep a man you give a piece of your heart, so if you don’t sleep with anyone but your husband you can give him your whole heart. I don’t agree with this in the sense it was taught. I did give my friend a piece of my heart, and he also gave me a piece of his. When I am old and gray, and married to someone else, I will look on those times with the silly curly haired boy fondly. And understand that part of the reason I am who I am is because of him.
I if I do carry a piece of him I am proud to carry it, and this is the reason why I am a example of when courtship failed. I think I will be a better wife when I do get married because of it no matter what anyone else thinks. Because now I know both what I want, and do not want in a future partner what ever their gender may be.
I learned to say no, that even after a pair of wedding rings I have the right to. I am more than the children I may have. I am more than the meals I will make. I am more than the dishes I will wash. I am more than what I will teach my future children. I am more than a future wife I of someone. I am a person with hopes, dreams, wishes, and most of all I have a future I will be proud of.
(Two plain wedding bands).