I’m 2X years old. All of my boys are within 1 to 2 years of me if not the same age. Ever since college, there have been jokes and polls on who would be the first to take the plunge into the wonderful world of scary marriage. A few of us have boos and are candidates for the unfathomable. Come to think of it, each of us who has a boo has been with that person for a while. What’s a while? Ehh, for the purpose of this post we’ll say 2 years minimum. One of us recently took the engagement plunge. It came as a shock to most of the crew. I think I ran into the bathroom and vomited for my boy. It got me all nervous and then the stream of thoughts went through my head. I thought about one of my friends from high school—a White friend from high school. Why is that worthy of distinction? Well, he made a decision early about who he wanted to be his wife and was married by the age of 22. Do I think there are racial/cultural reasons for this? Yes, but race isn’t my focus for today. Anyway, let me share a bit of his story.
The man met his girl in an AOL chat room (I mentioned this a while ago) while she was engaged to another dude. He stayed in contact with her over the span of years and the woman’s engagement eventually dissolved. He went out to visit her a few times thereafter, copped a ring, asked her father for permission to marry his daughter, then copped another plane ticket and made the proposal. Within a year, I found myself in the wedding (I was the only and thus hottest Black guy there). I can remember standing there and thinking “Damn. This happened quickly, but I guess he did it the right way.” Years later I’m looking back and wondering what exactly is the right way?
It seems that every time I log into a social media site, someone else is engaged or has recent marriage pictures up. I’m guessing that all of these people are thinkin’ that they’re doin’ it the right way. From the men I’ve spoken to, some have gotten engaged because they been livin’ with shorty for a minute and feel in their heart that there arse is ball-and-chained ain’t goin’ nowhere. Some are on that ultra spiritual tip with their special someone and want to continue as one. Others have gotten engaged because they fertilized the egg (shot gun wedding) or the booski/FwB recently delivered. I know it’s happened to some people very close to me. I even suspect that one of my closest family members married his wife because she carried his first born followed by a 2nd, 3rd, and 4th. Did he or the other men I spoke to ask the chick’s father for approval before poppin’ the question? Surprisingly or not so surprisingly, most didn’t. They just made up their mind, began the kiss at Kay, popped the question, made whatever other arrangements, then got married. It’s also important to note that in a good number of these situations, there really wasn’t a father figure around like that…but that’s another blog post in itself.
And on the other side of all this, I know women have dreams and/or requirements for how they want to be proposed to and what they want their wedding to be like. The process leading up to marriage is going to look completely different in their/your heads. Some say they gotta live with the guy first. Some say they gotta make sure he is good in bed on the try before they buy/get bought tip. Others have time lines and deadlines for when they need to be married and shooting out the first seed. And then of course there are those who just go with the flow. I guess that’s the right way too.
So I’m wondering what everyone thinks of the process leading up to marriage? Based on what you’ve been taught or believe in, what do you think is the right way to go about it? Does your man need to talk to daddy before he asks your hand? For the fellas, does your mom or whoever raised you need to co-sign before you pop the question? Let’s engage…in discussion.
Doin’ it the write way,