By: Erin Kisley
I’m better than I used to be, but I’m still really bad about making appointments to get my hair cut. Don’t get me wrong, like many women, I will admit to being overly concerned with my personal appearance. But with work, relationships and traffic, it tends to fall to the bottom of my list. That said, my visit to the salon is infrequent, at best.
So, imagine my surprise when my hair dresser, whose hair is green and is way trendier than I could ever dream to be, actually remembers who I am. Not just my name, but me. Now, you’re probably thinking it has something to do with my split ends, and how they are the kind of thing people in beauty school tell horror stories about. While that may or may not be true, I would’ve fallen out of my chair (if it weren’t for her firm hold on my head) when she began our conversation last week:
Me: “So, I got engaged!”
Her: “I remember you saying you thought it might happen soon – Congratulations! When is it?”
Me: “June 27th in Alexandria”
Her: “Oh that’s great!”
[a lengthy silence]
Her: “You’re not living together, before you get married though, right?”
Me: “That’s right!”
Now, I’ll admit that I totally missed the Evangelization moment here. But, frankly, I was in shock. Was our decision to remain chaste and living separate before marriage that memorable?
Rewind back to my previous appointment in November. (Yes, I waited way too long in between hair appointments, I know.) We were talking about Thanksgiving plans and I mentioned that we would be visiting Joe’s parents in Ohio for Thanksgiving. This wouldn’t have been my next question, but she asked whether they were cool with us staying in the same room or whether they forced us to sleep separately.
I let her know (with a smile) that we would be sleeping separately, but that that was nothing new because we’ve never shared a bed and didn’t plan to until our wedding night.
She responded like I had just told her that I had terminal cancer. “Oh wow,” she said in slow motion. (Good thing she didn’t have the scissors in her hand because I could already see the bad ending to that movie.) I went on to explain a little more about being Catholic, and what the Church teaches, but diverted the conversation as to not overwhelm her…
Here’s how I wish I would’ve responded last week: We’ve chosen to live separately before marriage for our marriage. Are there nights where I send him home reluctantly? Of course. But we want marriage to be a radical transformation of our lives. Not a gradual slide. We want our wedding night to be sacred, not cheapened by our selfish desires. At the end of the day, this is how we can lay the foundation for sacrifice in our marriage.
Ladies, if you’re living with a man who’s not your husband, I want to invite you into consider making alternate arrangements. I’m not just saying this because the Church condemns it. Truly, your marriage will be healthier and happier for it.
This is the sixth installment of Erin’s weekly Wednesday series on marriage preparation and its inherent struggles. An engaged woman at the humble age of 26, Erin hopes her experience will encourage and teach. Her final posts will culminate in the event that marks the purpose of it all—taking her wedding vows and tying the knot on June 27, 2014.