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Issue 09 – Lent 2022


Balloon Arches

On marriage.


I decided to marry my fiancé the first time I spoke to him on the phone, about a month before we met in person. This call came after an exchange on—yes—Twitter led to a week of frenzied letter-writing, during which time we exchanged some twenty thousand words. As I paced around Princeton’s campus variously discoursing and giggling with this near-stranger in Madison, Wisconsin, I said: “You know, it’s probably a good thing we don’t live any closer—if we did, I think we’d meet up and get married tomorrow.” He concurred.

That was last year, in April. We met in person in May, and a week later, he sat on the back porch of my childhood home and asked my father for his blessing. My family was understandably shocked. They raised many questions and objections, all of which were fair, earnest, and compassionate. “You barely know each other!” (We knew all the important things, I said, and had faith in the rest.) “Are you pregnant?” (I was not.) “Well even if you aren’t, everyone will think that you are!” (They can do the math later on to satisfy their salacious curiosity.) “What is the rush? Why do you have to get married right now? Why not wait to make sure?”

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About the author

Meredith McDonough

Meredith McDonough is a Ph.D. candidate in history at Princeton.