20 and married? What the heck were you thinking? Why I married young.
February 1, 2013

Making my long story, super short: I got a late start since I was more into climbing trees and playing outside then I was into getting all dolled up. I always had boobs, but guys didn't pay attention since I looked like one of them, lol. I wore extremely baggy jeans, oversized shirts and always wore my hair in a tight bun with a gelled down bang. I didn't realize how boyish I looked until one day when my mother asked me if I was a lesbian. Hmm, I never really thought about it. That's when I realized I needed to "find myself".

I was jealous of the girls in my school who got attention. I wanted to dress more feminine, but I didn't want to do the drastic change all at once. At that time the Jenny Jones show was popular, and I didn't want anyone joking that "Ronda had a Jenny Jones makeover!". By 10th grade I started to wear clothes that were my size and by 11th grade I was a young lady. I was allowed to have a boyfriend at 16, so of course I had boyfriends. The problem was, since I wasn't "giving up the cookie", I tend to get cheated on A LOT. What the heck? Was I to expect that a guy wouldn't be all mine just because I wouldn't sleep with him? I was 16 damn it.

My mother always used to tell me never to allow a boy to use my body for target practice. She would speak openly about sex, so I figured I knew pretty much what I would be getting into. Instead of thinking about how much "pleasure" I might feel for a little while, she warned me about accidents. Aside from diseases, what if I ended up pregnant? NONE of the boys I called a boyfriend at one time or another would make a good father in my opinion. We were all young, we shouldn't have to worry about that.

At 17 I had my first real relationship. I found out he was cheating on me while I was at the movies with my sister, cousin and friends. We saw him leaving with another woman...that was the end of that relationship! After that ended, my father said I should be single for a while. I listened. A year went by without a love interest. On July 27, 2001 I told my mother I give up on guys and will be a lesbian and her actual words were "yeah right". On July 28, 2001, two weeks after my 19th birthday my cousin had his birthday party and left his own party to go to another one. I was with my sister and cousins and I called my friends over so we could find something else to do for the evening. Eight of us packed into my friend's tiny Honda Civic (we were skinny back then) and drove to a pay phone. When we stopped at the pay phone, the guys in the car next to stopped to talk to us. I really didn't feel like being bothered, but the driver came out of his car and walked to the back seat where I was (sitting in the middle) and politely asked me to come out and speak with him. What? A guy who says, "excuse me Miss", instead of making a cat call? I got out the car swiftly.

He swept me off my feet. He actually took me places, wooed me. I wasn't used to someone doing that for me, especially because I wasn't giving "it" up. It wasn't long before he told me he loved me and I said it back. When he said it, I believed him...because he showed it. It was my first time ever saying that to a guy. I literally saw him every single day. I lived in Queens, he lived in Brooklyn and I went to college in Manhattan. He would drive to my house in the morning and take public transportation, just so I could have his car to drive to school instead of getting on a train. Who does that? He was only 22, but he had a career. My parents loved him, my sister loved him. He had the family's approval. My exes never even bought me a slice of pizza... I was not used to this kind of treatment so I knew I would not be stupid and let another woman have him. He felt the same way about me!

Since he was always at the house, my mother tested him by saying since he acts like a husband he should be paying my college tuition instead of her. What she didn't expect was that he would actually do it. I couldn't believe it either. After playing house, he thought we may as well be married and I agreed. I never thought I would get married because before him, I got sick of people quick. I couldn't imagine seeing the same face all the time, but we were inseparable. My mother said we were too young for marraige and since I did not graduate yet, we should wait. We didn't want to wait, so we eloped September 2002. Both of us had parents who were upset when they found out, but everyone got over it quickly. What were they going to do? They knew they couldn't force us to end it! I had a lot of friends who congratulated me although they thought it was a bit crazy. It was freakin crazy!

Thinking about our story reminds me of how much I love him and am still in love with him. He may get on my damn nerves some days and sometimes when he annoys me, I imagine throwing a shoe at him, but I love him. There are some things he has stopped doing (like buying me gifts for anniversaries), but there are more important things to worry about. He just needs a little tweaking! Hahahaha! There are some of life's moments I may have missed or some of the growing pains most young women experience, but luckily I can experience it vicariously through friends. Being a wife and mother is the life I chose, and there has never been a day that I regret marrying him.

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