Playing Against Type

October 2, 2010 at 6:14 pm Leave a comment

Mr Pretzel and I made a lot of choices during our courtship and our engagement that people had difficulty wrapping their heads around.  It’s not that our choices were off the wall or nontraditional in fact, it was how TRADITIONAL our choices were that made them uncommon.

Early in our relationship we had a somewhat awkward (although reassuring) conversation when we discussed sex before marriage.  I remember the feeling of terror when I told Mr P that I didn’t want to have sex before marriage.  I didn’t know if Mr P was the man I would marry but I knew if I did, I wanted to wait.  I was completely unsure of how he would react. It’s not like I had much practice with this type of conversation.  I wasn’t a virgin saving myself for marriage, but I had come to realize (in my late 20’s) that in fact, waiting is what I wanted.  What a relief it was when he said he was not only OK with that but that he was fully supportive of that decision.   As we dated we wrestled with this decision and grew through it.  I don’t frequently bust out and tell folks that Mr P and I were waiting, but our friends could piece it together.  In some cases I think it made them think differently of us, as if this choice somehow made us prudish.

Engagement Photo by Amore Studios

More noticeable was people’s inability to understand why we would purchase a house together before the wedding but not live together.  I can’t tell you how many times we heard ” Let me get this straight you (Mrs Pretzel) own the house with Mr Pretzel. He lives there and you pay rent to live somewhere else?”   I am sure people felt that this was flushing money down the drain but if they couldn’t understand our first choice neither of us really expected them to understand this choice.

“But lots of people make these choices!” I found myself wanting to scream.  Why does it seem so novel (the word “quaint” was used a time or two) for us to make these choices?  Mr Pretzel finally shed some light on the subject for me.  “We’re weird,” he said. “We don’t fit the archetype that most people have in their brains for the type of people who wait until marriage to have sex and cohabitate. We are playing against type.”

So true.  On the outside people see a young, goofy, cosmopolitan couple. We’re a couple of eco-conscious nerds who love beer and music.  People assume that since we are like them in these ways that means we share political, religious, and moral beliefs.  What you don’t see on the outside is that we are practicing Catholics who believe in and try our best follow the teachings of the Church.  We tend to be conservative but are unsettled about what conservative politics in America means. We don’t fit the archetype of a conservative but nor do we fit into any other box.

I also was bothered that other people saw our choices as a judgment on them. We are grounded in our beliefs  but that doesn’t mean that we expect others to make the same choices, nor that we judge the choices of others. When a friend who hadn’t seen us in a while asked what we had been up to after the wedding, I told him “Moving me into our house.”  After a head cock to the side and a puzzled look I elaborated and explained that Matt and I didn’t live together before the wedding.  For me it was just a statement of fact .  Later his girlfriend was visibly uncomfortable telling us that he and she lived together.  Mr P told me later that when I state our choice, others might feel that means I am judging others.  I felt horrible and a wee bit misunderstood.

Why am I telling you this?  I think in blogging (and sometimes in real life) I have purposefully allow people to get to know me first before I give them a larger glimpse into who I am to avoid being typecast.  As I start to move closer to recaps I felt it was important to discuss the concept “Playing against type”.  The choices Mr Pretzel and I made in our courtship played a large role in the type of wedding that we had.  For example it was important to us that we craft an informal full nuptial Mass that was fully of joy and energy but still reverent.  And finally, I know there are a number of Bees out there who are making similar choices, I just wanted to wave my hand and say “Your not alone.”

In what way do you think you and your FI are “playing against type”?  Has this affected your wedding planning?

Entry filed under: Background, Faith.

Here We Go Again: Flowers A Pretzel Unwrapped

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