I’ve moved five times since then and they’ve never come back.
For years I have mourned those pearls – the wasteful expense, the irresponsible loss. I imagined someone from Goodwill tripping over the leather pouch while rummaging through my bags of unwanted clothes, enjoying the little treasure. I hope they found a good home, maybe even on the neck of a happy bride.
Of course, after I turned 22, I made other missteps. For most of my single years, I had sex with men I didn’t want to have sex with because it felt easier than saying no – and I often did so while I was drunk, because of the physical pain I’d been experiencing since the miscarriage. — until I discovered pelvic floor therapy, which radically changed my sex life and romantic relationships.
I worked in a series of jobs I didn’t care about, berating myself for losing sight of my so-called ‘path’ before, in writing and journalism, I found work I was passionate about. And I spent enough time in therapy to forgive my 18-year-old self for struggling her way into pregnancy and marriage, being tired, and willing to give up the reins of her life for a while. I try not to grip those reins too hard now, but let them rest in my hands.
Today I live in a mountain town in Montana that doesn’t have a Macy’s. I’m 32 and plan to get married again next year, although I’m not technically busy; my partner and i talked about our intentions and imagined what we want our life to be like. When we first started dating, we were disillusioned with marriage, so we were surprised to learn, four years later, that we had become excited about the idea.
After going through family crises and a pandemic, we want to celebrate the joy we have found together with a small, festive ceremony. We’re pretty sure we won’t have children, and we consider reviewing our prenup every five years and making a conscious decision to renew it. Maybe that’s at odds with the whole concept, but we like the idea of making the institution our own.