Q: I have to start with this question first because it is so unusual: How old are you?
A: I am 34 years old.
Q: That is pretty old to be just getting married. Do you want to explain to us why?
A: I had other men interested in me from time to time, but I never was interested because I knew I needed to respect and honor my man. Until Kent, I never met a man I truly wanted.
Actually, the correct answer to that question is a blank stare or "You are very rude."
I know Debi finds math hard, but according to the CDC from 2006-2010 the percentage of women who have been married at least once by age is:
By 20 years - 13%
By 25 years - 44%
By 30 years - 68%
By 35 years - 78%
By 40 years - 84%
This means that roughly 32% of women will marry after age 30.
Q: So how did you meet your man?
A: When he moved into our community, he started coming to our church. He joined the church music group and I was a part of that small group.
Yet again, the only place to meet a partner is at church. I wonder how Debi thinks atheists meet their spouses.....
Q: Did you immediately set your sights on the new man in town?
A: No, I liked him, but never gave him a thought as a possible husband because he is seven years younger than I am, and I always said I would never marry a man younger than myself.
May none of us ever live somewhere where the marriage prospects are so slim that new people are mobbed by the unmarried....
Q: So, what changed your mind? How did you become a couple?
A: First, we became good friends. For months, after music practice, he would walk me out to my truck and we would talk. I saw that he was really growing in the Lord. I learned to respect him. I thought, he is such a cool guy, but he is too young.
What does "growing in the Lord" mean? I'd like to know a little more about what Yetta saw in Kent that made her respect him.
Q: He seems a little shy to me. He is a true priest-like Steady Man. How did he first try to get your attention?
A: He picked (teased) on me, that's how! In our community, usually once a month, someone in our area will plan an evening (for adult singles) for playing board games. They always invite people from other churches and groups to come, It is a way to step out of our little world and invite others in. We play games like, What Would it be like if _____ were President? Kent would always stick my name is. Like, "Would Yetta rather be president or in prison? I kept saying, "Why do you always put my name in these crazy things?".
OMG! Honest-to-God flirting! Kent flirted with Yetta and they still got married!
Q: That was pretty bold, yet you still didn't notice he was singling you out?
A: My family (I have several sisters) started telling me that they thought he was showing me a lot of attention, but I still wasn't so sure.
In Debi's world, walking a girl out to her truck and some of the mildest flirting is "bold". How did her sons ever get married?
Q: When did you start to feel that he might be trying to get your womanly attention?
A: Well, I was involved in a car accident. It wasn't a terrible crash; I just had a busted lip and was sore all over, but he came over as soon as he heard. I could see that he was truly concerned. It was then that I began to suspect that he cared for me more than just a friend. But still I wondered, because I was friends with his sister for a long time before I met him, and I had told her plenty of times that I would never marry a man younger than myself.
Kent's concern reflects well on him. I'm also glad that he wasn't so worried about how others would perceive him visiting Yetta to go into hiding like some of the other men in this book would have.Q:Why were you so sure you would not consider a younger man?
A: A couple years before I met Kent, I had this other fellow if he could get to know me. He was 30 and I was 32. After only a few months of correspondence and two dates I knew he was too young for me, so I cut off the relationship. He seemed to lack maturity, which I figured was due to him being two years younger. It was a good experience for me, because when I got to know Kent, I saw that he was mature, wise and sober-minded. I was able to reflect back and see that age didn't have anything to do with that level of maturity. Sometimes the only way you can know what you want is to find out what you don't want.
Dating requires emotional intimacy with another person and can lead to some pain when the relationship ends. I guess that the courtship model offers the mirage of protecting the heart by avoiding a break up - but it's a mirage.
Breakups teach lessons - how to treat partners and how you want to be treated; what qualities are nice in a partner and which are essential; that life moves on even when pain happens.
AntiPearl: In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: it goes on.