by Mel cross posted from her blog When Cows And Kids Collide
Debi spends quite a bit of time asking Yetta questions about her wedding. Since I find going over the details of a wedding of a person I don’t know dull, I’m just gonna pick out pertinent questions.
Q: Your flowers were great, too. I liked the fall colors. They must have cost a lot?
A: I have a story about the flowers. When Kent and I first began to see each other we both started saving money for our wedding and our honeymoon. Together we decided how much we would spend for each part of the wedding.
I like that Yetta and Kent decided the budget together. Planning finances together as a pair is a crucial skill for spouses – and a skill that Debi is far to willing to skip by declaring that the man is the only voice that matters.
We had decided to do very basic flowers; then God blessed us with the unexpected. For several years I had been going to the nursing home to pick up and do the laundry for an old lady who had had a stroke. When I knew I was going to be married, I called the old lady’s son to let him know my sister would be doing the laundry from now on. The man said to me, “Yetta, I am a florist. I have my own shop, and I would like to do the flowers for your wedding as a gift for what you have done for my mother.” All those beautiful flowers were a gift. He arranged everything. The color and style was his choice. After all, that’s what he does professionally, so I figured he would know best.
This story – as always – makes me feel conflicted.
Offering to provide flowers for Yetta’s wedding as a thank you was a generous and handsome gesture for the old woman’s son.
My conflict comes from the fact that the majority of good works don’t result in huge dividends. No one who reads this book should expect a relative of someone they helped to offer to cover wedding expenses.
I also find Yetta’s willingness to let the florist choose the color and style….odd.
I liked picking out the flowers for our wedding. I hope either that she didn’t care about the flowers or explained the basics of her preferences – fall colors; country style, or Asian inspired or whatever – and let him pick out the rest.
Since I am telling my story, I would like to tell all the girls reading this: if I were young and just getting started in a job, I would start right away to setting back ten percent of all I made for my future marriage. I am glad I was able to save for a few months, but just think if I had saved for years!
I would hope that stay-at-home daughters who are working outside the home could sock away at least 10%. I suspect, though, that minimum wage jobs or family businesses + huge families still at home means that many of these women are subsidizing their younger siblings food and clothing.
I really think young women need to know that it is not someone’s job to supply all their needs and pay for everything for their wedding. If they come into the marriage like that, and they expect to be provided for as a daughter, they will come into marriage with that mentality. They will have little to give, and will just be a taker. Anyway, that ‘s my opinion.
There’s a strange lack of nuance in that paragraph. I agree that no one is guaranteed or entitled to their parents – or their parents by way of TLC – will pay for their wedding.
On the flip side, many parents view paying for a daughter’s wedding as a honor. My parents would have been hurt if my husband and I refused to let them pay for any part of the wedding.
Of course, I was raised to expect to support myself with a career. Since Debi et al expect adult , unmarried women to remain servile to their parents’ wishes wants and desires, I think it is reasonable for the daughters to expect financial support for their weddings.
But then, I also think parents who require courtship have a duty to actively seek out partners for their daughters and should receive societal disapproval for failure to do so. *cough* Duggars *cough*Botkin*cough* You want the control; take the responsibilities that come with it.
Q: Are you sad you had to wait so long before the magic day?
A: It’s funny because I was happy being single. Even as the years passed and everyone around me married, I still felt my life was blessed and full. I stayed busy. I made myself useful to a lot of people. I didn’t stay at home moping. Sure, I had days I was a little sad thinking I might not ever find My One True Love and have children. I think those down times are from the devil. I am so glad I spent my life working, reaching out to others, and loving life. I’ll pour that same fullness into my man.
People kept saying something like that to my husband since he made it 31 *gasp!* before he married. Yetta was much more polite than I was. I’d look at people and say “Well, he hadn’t met me yet….” and then stare at them until they went away. If they didn’t change the subject, I’d add “So which of his previous girlfriends do you think he should have married?”
Ask an embarrassing question; get one in return. 😛
Q: Now for the moment of truth. What has been the one practical that has been difficult on you as a new wife?
A: I wouldn’t say that it has been difficult on me, but it has been somewhat of a challenge having a meal on the table three times a day, or at least breakfast, then packing him a lunch and then a good meal in the evening. A man likes his food, and I surely want to please my man. It is easy to forget to plan a meal that includes laying out the basic foods (like meat to thaw) and then walk in the house at the last minute and wonder what to cook. I have to make myself buy and plan ahead.
Debi, she’s been married for two weeks. For most of us, that’s EASY. My answer would have been “um….writing thank you notes that don’t sound canned? Is that a thing? Learning how to load a dishwasher is kinda tricky, I guess, but so much easier than hand washing them. Uh….yeah. ”
You had a taste of your future as Michael’s wife: sexual assault, emotional neglect and being treated as dumb servant in your first two weeks.
That’s NOT NORMAL. You should have run away.
AntiPearl: The picture on the left is my husband, me, Oma and Opa (Nico’s grandparents). We got married in late June because it worked for my teaching schedule. Opa, when he heard about the date, teased me that the proper time of the year to get married was between November and January to avoid messing with the farming schedule. He’d then look extremely sad and mention that he’d have to miss a day of chopping hay. My “revenge”: His boutonniere is made of corn leaves, alfalfa flowers, and some ripe wheat so he’d have some farm crops with him all day. What I didn’t realize is that having the bride pin the flowers on is a super-huge honor in the Netherlands; he was so proud and it’s one of my favorite memories.
Preparing To Be A Help Meet Review
Mel is a science teacher who works with at-risk teens and lives on a dairy farm with her husband. She’s a wise fount of knowledge about things involving living with a farmer and farming. She blogs at When Cows and Kids Collide