Jenna, just married…

This article was published in our bimonthly satire issue: The Zircon.

Sheese Backaddit—Staff Writer

engagement.jpgA letter from Dordt administration showed up in our mailbox last week.

As I walked down the steps to our apartment, I couldn’t help but wonder what it was about. A warning about a huge tuition increase? Shocker. Did Conner get in trouble again? Of course not, he’s an angel. I slit open the envelope, addressed to Mrs. Jenna Stephens, pulled it out and read the fine print.

After skimming through a formal greeting and a paragraph or two about a new Wall Street Journal ranking, I finally came to the purpose of the letter — a statistic. It said that the number of engagements between students has dropped by 40 percent in three months. The drop occurred right in step with the Diamond’s publishing of my column chronicling our first year of marriage. The letter went on to say that the likelihood of finding a spouse at Dordt is one of the college’s biggest selling points when recruiting students. This drop could destroy their student numbers, and they couldn’t take that risk, so I was asked to discontinue my writing.

Wow, that letter hurt. I had been trying to write from the heart, showing the reality of relationships — the good and the bad. But apparently, Conner and I live really horrible, unhappy, dysfunctional lives, and people want none of it.

I handed Conner the letter during supper. He read it and then started pushing around the food on his plate without making eye contact.

“I don’t blame them,” he said. “If I read that column before getting married, I’d rethink it too.”

And then when I looked up at him, he quickly added, “But I love you, and have no regrets, of course.”

A smart man — see, he’s already got this husband thing figured out.

He probably wouldn’t have proposed if he knew that I put the toilet paper roll on “wrong,” and I probably wouldn’t have said “yes” if I knew he constantly taps his foot and bounces his knee. These are the kinds of things that break up marriages. But we’re in the thick of it now, and after making promises to each other, our families and ultimately God, we’ll just have to deal with it.

This column wasn’t supposed to be an ugly representation of marriage. But apparently we are a wreck and people can’t handle reality.

Why am I writing all of this? Because I want you to save my column. The only way to do that is to suck it up and get engaged. Guys, I ask that you reconsider getting out that ring — it isn’t doing any good just sitting in your sock drawer until “the right time.” The right time is now. Girls, quit saying “we need to talk,” and just say “yes” already. Do it for the sake of your relationship. And for the sake of engagement numbers so I can continue writing my column. I can’t disappoint my fans.

Thank you in advance, and I hope your marriages contain nothing but bliss and perfection. It’s rather unlikely, but one can wish.

disclaimer.april27,1995

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