Opinions, Perceptions, & the Damage of Them All

My daughter has received a lot of flack for choosing to marry so young.  She’s been told she should ‘live a little’ before making such a life changing decision.  She’s been told that she can’t possibly know what she wants for the rest of her life.  I’m glad no one told me that at her age.  You see, I made the same decision at her age.  I survived just fine thank you.  I’ve had a marvelous life and I think she’s much more prepared for it than I was.


However, once people get past that decision, they then pounce on her lack of engagement ring.  UGH.  Tell me why one must have a rock the size of Gibralter… or ANY ring in order to prove that your man is capable of providing for you?  The scenario usually goes something like this.


Noseybody:  “Congratulations!  Where is your engagement ring?”

Challice: “I actually have TWO!  One for each ear!”

Noseybody:  “Why no engagement ring?”

Challice:  “Well he really couldn’t afford to spend the money on something so frivolous.”  (They’re thinking of the number of women who only wear a band once babies start coming due to ring size changes)

Noseybody:  “Well how can he afford to feed you if he can’t even afford a ring?”


And it goes on ad nauseum.  Now I’ll admit, she allows them to engage.  Most people as inexperienced in life as she is do.  I know I did.  Some people never learn to deflect.  IT’s not purely a youth issue.


Why is it that if someone says they can’t afford something, it is automatically assumed that the funds are not there at ALL.  The account is empty.  The purse is bare.  The wallet is nekkid.  Why can’t someone look at the wisdom of spending money on something and decide that they can’t afford the use of their funds for that purpose without people assuming that they cannot afford the necessities of life either?


Opinions.  They sure can be obnoxious things.  People feel like they have the right to spout them at any and all times, without invitation, and without regard for the consequences of speaking them.  My mom had a saying about opinions that I can never forget.  “Opinions are like backsides.  Everyone has one and they all stink.”  Now her speach was a bit more colorful but the point is the same.


Perceptions.  They’ve caused so many problems in my lifetime.  Whether because I had an incorrect perception or because someone had an incorrect one of me.  We tend not to take people at their word and read into their motives.  This can be a bad thing and a good thing.  We aren’t to be naive and believe it when a shyster tells us he’s got a solid gold watch for 1.00 or can turn any metal into gold.  But when someone says that they’ve done something for a certain reason… assuming they’re hiding the truth is not a very respectful way to respond to them.  We’re all guilty of it and it is usually a miserable failure.


Perhaps it’s time for mothers, friends, wives, sisters, and children to let their ‘yes be yes and their no no’  (IN other words, say what we mean and mean what we say) and get to know people well enough to know if they are someone we can take at their word… and then do it. 


Meanwhile, I’m going to shout to the rooftops that my daughter is going to have a husband who is more committed to providing for her future than for a frivolous token of the present.


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