Friday, January 3, 2014

23 Things To Do If You Wound Up Married By 23

If you’ve been on facebook recently you’ve probably seen the blog floating around touting the “23 Things To Do Instead of Getting Engaged Before You’re 23.” It’s full of suggestions that read like commands- some like, “get a passport” (checked that off the list at 14, thanks) and “cut your hair” are obviously completely unrelated to marriage; and some like “date two people at once” and “make out with a stranger” reek of an immature person trying too hard to be “edgy.” It’s like the opposite of slut shaming, but just as gross in my eyes. I would link back to the original, but I’m hesitant to drive more traffic when such an intentionally inflammatory post was obviously written purely for that purpose. Google if you must.

Since I’m 23 now and have been married about 4 years, you might think I have a case of butthurtitis. It’s an easy conclusion to jump to, but really I’m just like

Because, really? Who are you again? Why does traveling the world on your Daddy’s dime and making out with strangers give you the right or even the desire to wax philosophical about all the things you think I’m missing out on? Methinks it doesn’t. So here’s my list of things to do if you’ve REALLYFUCKEDUP and found yourself engaged or married before your 23rd birthday.

1) Go on a Honeymoon
Kickstart your marriage with an adventure! Go somewhere YOU want to. What’s not to love about a honeymoon? The whole point of it is to travel with your honey and have lots of sex! Matter of fact, take a honeymoon every year on your anniversary if you can swing it.

2) Travel
Obviously this is similar to the honeymoon suggestion, but it bears repeating. Thankfully, we don’t live in a universe where ninjas repel down from the ceiling to confiscate your passport and sense of adventure the minute you say “I do.” Getting married doesn’t mean you have to stop traveling, it just means you have a companion. Traveling is better with a companion, just ask The Doctor.

3) Make a Will
Perhaps a bit morbid to include on a list like this, but it’s an important one. You’re not playing house anymore- buck up and be smart. Make a will, you’ll be glad you have one for #4.

4) Skydive
Because, why not? Do a tandem jump with your spouse and drink champagne when your feet are on the ground again.

5) Face Your Fears AND Flaws
The original list talks about “knowing yourself” before getting married. HA. Wait until you have your first married fight- you’ll learn more from that exchange than half the shit on the original list. Be brave. Be willing to look at yourself and find your part- placing blame won’t help YOU grow.

6) Follow Your Dreams
I always wanted to be a writer. This year I started writing and getting paid for it. So now I’m a “real” writer. BOOM. Shout out to my husband for encouraging me to chase that star and making sure I had the time to do it. See? It’s not all bad, this marriage gig. ;)

7) Learn Why Fat Shaming Makes You an Asshole
This one’s self-explanatory. Put on your BGPs and figure out why being young and thin and pretty doesn’t give you license to be a douchebag. Fat people are still people and joking about the fear of getting fat keeping you from marriage is fucking GROSS.

8) Eat Ice Cream in Bed
It can be foreplay if you want! You don’t even have to split a pint, get your own bowl so you don’t have to argue about which flavor to get. Lick it when you’re done if you want. Who cares? Spoon with your spouse afterward- the ice cream will make you chilly!

9) Be Selfless
The original post listed being selfish as a MUST DO. If you’ve made it to 23 without ever being selfish, my hat is off to you. If you’re a normal human being though, it probably takes a little more effort to be selfless. Go volunteer somewhere. Do something worthwhile. Contribute as a citizen of the world.

10) Do Something Nice and Don’t Tell Anyone About It
Not even your spouse. You don’t need any credit! Ride that glow, girl. It feels so gooood.

11) Make Sex Art
This one needs no explanation. Hang it in your living room and try not to giggle when your Mother In Law comes over.

12)  Learn What Feminism is Really About 
Pro-Tip: shaming other women who WANT to get married and have babies isn’t part of it

13) Grow up. Learn that some jokes aren’t funny.
For example, referring to women as getting “knocked up and fat” is pretty hurtful. Reach out to someone who has had a miscarriage or experienced infertility. Find out how your words make them feel.

14) Write a Blog
Because no matter how awesome of a match you’ve found, it’s unlikely ONE person wants to hear every one of your thoughts and ideas. Make an outlet, use it.

15) Protest Something
There is plenty of shit in the world to be angry about. Get angry! Make a sign, exercise your right to peaceably assemble and make some fucking NOISE.

      16)   Go Somewhere Fancy Just Because
and if you can’t afford it, just dress up like you’re going somewhere fancy and have a picnic. Or go to Waffle House. Whatever!

Have fun figuring out what you really enjoy. I thought photography would be a blast, but I hated it. I’m giving weaving a go. I do what I want!

18) Coordinate Your Halloween Costumes
Because how fun is that? Besides, being legally bound to someone forever means they kind of HAVE to let you dress them up in ridiculous costumes for Halloween… right? Right?

19) Make a Time Capsule
On your first anniversary make a time capsule and bury it somewhere meaningful to you both. Dig it up on your 10th and laugh at how much you’ve grown together.

20) Buy a House
Buy a house and decorate it however you want. Acknowledge that arguing over yardwork is just part of the deal. It’s the good stuff.

21) Walk the Walk
Don’t just tell facebook how awesome you are. Just go. Do it. BE AWESOME.

22) Ignore Lists Written by people who don’t know you
Including this one. You’re a grown up, you got this! But you’re almost done, so you might as well read the last one…

Because this is YOUR life and YOU get to choose what to do with it. Whether you want to make out with a stranger on the top of the Eiffel Tower or eat ice cream in a snuggie with your husband.  Whatever, y’all. DO YOU.


  1. I didn't get married until 27, but I moved in with my now husband at 23. Rock on!!!

    1. You too, Aria! We're grownups, we've got this! ;)

  2. I totally love this! (Married at 20... 14 years later, it still kicks ass!)

    1. 14 years! That's great! The original article would leave me to believe that was impossible. Rock on, Sarah!

  3. I was engaged at 23, married at 24.
    I certainly don't feel like I missed out on anything. In fact, I'm pretty damn happy, and consider myself incredibly lucky to get to get to spend my 20's with the person I plan to be with forever.

    1. I hate that these lists assume so much. I think most people who married young feel the same way you do!

  4. Married 5 days after I turned 21, and I have never for a second felt like I missed out on anything. I'm so tired of the, "when you get married, your life is over", and "people who get married young are clueless" stereotypes. You rock.

    1. You rock! Fuck the stereotypes, no one gets to live our lives but us.

  5. i married at 22. i wouldn't change a thing! great article, Amie!

    1. I appreciate it. Thanks for reading, Brad!

  6. engaged at 17 and married at 22. Had a more fun, exciting, travelled life than lots of single people i know. My husband rocks!

    1. That's great, Tansy! The reason the original list bothered me so much is because the assumptions made in it are just so far off. Getting married does not mean your life is over. It just means the beginning of your life together with the person you love. Thanks so much for reading and commenting!

  7. Awesome post! Normally, I agree with #22 but this post doesnt seem to push your own personal values too much. It seems like a practical list that young adults should potentially follow. (Except skydive....maybe thats not for everyone!) Check out my response to 23 things, it's meant to take a step back from personal preference of single or married life and to encourage young women to do what you think best fits you.