Dave, Part 1
If you’ve been following along up to this point, you may have noticed that there has been a considerable delay between my last entry and this one. It’s been harder to write about this than I thought it would be. There are so many things I want to discuss, but how does one condense 10 years of relationship into a few memories? I want to convey how absolutely madly in love we were in the beginning. I’m sure most teenage girls in love think that their story should be a movie, but I really believed that ours could be a blockbuster. Then after 10 years together, it ended horribly and in a way that even to this day still affects me.
Dave was just the kind of guy that everyone loved and respected. He was loved at work – he worked at Target. His siblings all looked up to him. Other musicians in our community respected him.
Our relationship moved quickly. He shared an apartment with a friend, but that didn’t last long. Then he moved into a small, apartment, by himself, and we spent a lot of time alone together. I had told him that I wanted to wait until marriage, and he said he understood, but it wasn’t long before he was pushing the boundaries just like Michael had. The difference was that I loved Dave. Because I loved him, I didn’t want to disappoint him.
About 4 months before I turned 18, we made love for the first time. I wasn’t forced, but I did feel pressured. Still, I participated enthusiastically. When it was over, Dave said he wanted to pray, which was bizarre, because he’d never had any desire to go to church with me. I felt awash with shame. I started to cry, and he asked me what was wrong. I told him that I didn’t want to do that again. He became angry and mocked me for the things I had said during our love-making.
I justified what we’d done by telling myself we were going to get married anyway. I was a senior in high school, and we’d begun to discuss what I’d do after high school. He told me he wanted me to move in with him. I told him I couldn’t live with him if we weren’t married. I didn’t want to lose him, but I felt like things were moving way too quickly. I had a recurring dream, that I was in a car speeding down a mountain and my brakes weren’t working.
I’d stopped going to church out of guilt. I spent so much time with Dave that I would skip school to spend time with my mother. My grades crashed. My life was sliding out of my control.
Then a day came when Dave proposed. He took me to Ellis Lake in the middle of Marysville, walked me out to a bridge, and got down on one knee. We got married one month to the day after I graduated from high school. I knew it was too soon, but I didn’t know how to stop the momentum. It was a formal wedding. I wore a white gown and he wore a white tuxedo. We had a reception in the dining hall next door. It was as much wedding as we could have hoped for; he was 21 and I was 18. Neither of us had parents of any means. He worked at Target and I worked at KFC.
We went back to our apartment and had our first married love-making. My heart was heavy with the slow realization that none of this is what I’d always dreamed of. I laid in bed and sobbed into my pillow. Dave held me and tried to understand, but I don’t think he did. Hell, I didn’t understand why I felt like this, how could he?
The next day we went to what was then Marriott’s Great America, and that was our Honeymoon.
I have come to the conclusion that anyone under the age of 24 who thinks they have found true love may have indeed found true love… but lack the mindset and wisdom for a healthy relationship!
I hope you write more! I look forward to it!
@hrhkingofice My cutoff age is 28. And we have a 25-year-old who is engaged but in no hurry to actually marry; and a 21-year-old who thinks her girlfriend will be proposing any time now. The 21-year-old is not my child, though, so I just share my experience and hope she hears something.
It sounds like things were rushed. Things like that happen, when your parents aren’t properly watching over you at 18.
Do you think you would have married Dave, at 18, if someone had tried to talk you out of it?
@justamillennial, I’ve asked myself that question and the answer is that I don’t know. If my mom had begged me not to, I don’t think I could have married him, as disappointing her was tantamount to death.
But I also know that despite the rush, I loved Dave and thought I knew what was best for me.