Monday, January 7, 2008

I got bored

"How much would you pay for a dating/matchmaking service?"

I think most online sites are $40 a month. Not that I've been looking through these or anything, but I always think about whenever someone tries to lessen the burden of the lifelong debt they (and sometimes their parents) took on to go to college by saying, "But at least I met my spouse there." I've noticed a lot of women doing this, especially. Please stop. You would never spend close to $15,000 for 4 months of match.com, etc. (At least I hope you wouldn't. Please don't.) Seriously, college is an institution of higher education. That's it. Yes, you make friends. Yes, you experience some degree of independence. Yes, you sometimes learn things. No one guaranteed marriagehood in the catalog. Go back and check if you don't believe me. It's nowhere in there. I don't know why I'm thinking about this right now, but I am. I was thinking about the few people I knew who got engaged while they were in college. In my little circle of friends at the time, the list included:
  • Erin
  • Elizabeth
  • Richard/Alma
  • Cody, also referred to as 'my husband.'
Of those four, Cody was the only one to meet his future wife in college. By the time he proposed, I had graduated. Erin met some guy online who turned out to be someone she'd known for years, and then married him almost immediately. (I'm kidding, Erin! But only a little. She did not waste time.) Elizabeth met some lovely guy either just before, or during her freshman year. She didn't get married until after graduation, though. Richard and Alma had dated since before college. I knew a few other people who got engaged while they were in college, but this was usually to someone who either lived Back Home, or went to school Somewhere Else. Now granted, University of the Ozarks has never really had a reputation as a marriage factory. For starters, they had too few prospects to match up. And yes, I do wonder what would've happened if I'd gone to school at Somewhere Else and hadn't met Cody. Would I have met him eventually? (Doubtful.) Would I have married someone else instead? (Possibly.) Would I have been as happy? (I have no idea, truly, but I always imagine that I wouldn't be. Cody's pretty great and I've gotten really attached.) But I remember being in high school and hearing people talking about how you may (should) meet your future husband in college, which was why it was so important to choose a good, Christian college and I just found it so..... creepy. It would be like appraising every new person you meet to see if he or she had the right attributes you were looking for in a spouse. That would be a heavy responsibility to carry around every day--wondering if you're making the most of every future-spouse-meeting opportunity. That doesn't seem fun. Studying and writing papers would feel like a fun break by comparison. Would you feel let down if you graduated with 'just' a degree? I still have no idea where I'm going with this.

My sister married a lovely guy she met in college. My parents met and married in college (although I'm loathe to use them as an example. Mom was 19 when they got married, which is something she always discouraged us from doing. She never acted like she thought it was a bad idea on her part, just that "things were very different back then." Levi just turned 19. I'm pretty sure he'll make it through the year unattached. Great job, Mom!). I know tons of people who met and married in college....just not my college. Oh wait, I just remembered one of my RAs. Sharon was my freshman year RA, and she was also the one to give me (and my entire family!) my first tour of Ozarks. Rattling off facts a mile a minute about the school's dozen name changes, convo credits, and the fact that she was only wearing pajamas because it was Pajama Day of homecoming week, the sophomore mentioned that she was engaged. She hadn't planned to get engaged when she went to school there, but she seemed happy that it had happened. Back in the car, although my parents noted her happiness, they told me I couldn't get engaged as a sophomore. Those strict homeschooling parents and their strict rules--what can you do?

For starters, I didn't get engaged as a sophomore. Or a junior. Or a senior. That showed them! I did meet Cody as a junior, though. I wasn't thinking about getting married. I was thinking about papers. And sleep. And passing my hardest class of the semester--bowling. God put the man I would marry literally right in front of me, from 1 to 2 every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday through the whole fall semester. And sometimes, we ate lunch or dinner together. I just didn't get it. (I may have been prevented from falling in love with him right then and there simply because Cody was sitting in front of me. I mean, directly in front of me. If he's ever sat in front of you, then I'm sure you know what I mean.) We were friends by the time we went home for Christmas break, but that was it (at least for me. I found out quite a while later that Cody liked me even then. Oh. How awkward.). We've been 'together' for nearly 4 years now. Maybe that's why I've been thinking about this. I had just turned 21 and Cody was 19. 19!!! Wow. Okay, he was just a few months away from his twentieth birthday. Poor little guy. Okay, he was bigger than he is now. He's so much more handsome now. Such a strange guy. So funny, so smart, so bizarrely confident, so full and ridiculous and useless trivia. I will be paying off my student loans for the next 10 years. My parents made some big sacrifices for me to go to Ozarks. I worked hard to keep my scholarships. My time there was not always pleasant. I wouldn't say that meeting Cody made it all worth it, but I would be sorely tempted to do so.

Dang it. Let's pretend like not saying it out loud makes me a reasonable person, though.

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