Marriage in the Modern World
Last time, in Dear Bethany: Zach and John went ten rounds on engagement negotiations via email before John came up with the marvel of modern parenting, the Conditional Blessing.
In the private discussions between John and me concerning Zach and Bethany becoming engaged, we came to realize that the kids were now adults, and they really could do whatever they wanted, with or without our blessing. We didn’t think either one of them wanted to proceed without our blessing, though, so John threw one final lob over the net and offered a Conditional Blessing.
Webster’s doesn’t define it, you cannot find it on Wikipedia, and it doesn’t exist at Urbandictionary.com. Desperate times call for desperate measures, so my husband created it. The Conditional Blessing John outlined in his last response to Zach was this: “You and Bethany may get engaged, but you must do so with the understanding that you cannot get married until she graduates from college; you cannot believe that because you are engaged, it would be okay to go ahead and behave like you are married (although, I think John may have used the words “do it” in his email!); and you cannot run off and get married before she graduates, even if you think she can finish her degree at a university near you.”
Zach’s agreement to abide by our conditions is in writing, but I know that I won’t ever have to print it out for him to read again. Zach answered John’s final negotiation email with such wisdom and maturity, I am keeping it only so that I can be reminded of what a wonderful young man he is.
So, you think it sounds a little harsh to deal with young love in such terms? Putting conditions on lifetime commitments? This was our daughter, our little girl, and honestly, John is not one to be vague. He is straight and to the point, without regard of whether you share his opinion or not, although he did his best to keep it light once he offered the Conditional Blessing. He wrapped up his response with a winky face ;>) when he told Zach that he heard that the latest trend was to spend three years’ salary on an engagement ring. Not missing a beat, Zach responded that he did have a plan, that he already had purchased a ring, and in fact, he was “not foolish nor cheap on either side concerning the quality and price of the ring.” I think I’m in love, too!
Dear Bethany is happening in real time and online – look for updates every other Tuesday.
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