It was one of our first disagreements. Not really an argument, but something that took us more than five minutes to settle. We came around and solved it. Technically, I suppose that I “won” in that my point of view was the path we chose to take. Hindsight is supposed to be 20/20, but I don’t know that it is.
“If we do this, I don’t want to tell anyone, I want to keep it a secret for a while.” His voice echoes in the recesses of my memory. I was hurt, why would he want to hide, what is he ashamed of, why doesn’t he want to show this off.
I didn’t see any other reasons. I didn’t see any other purpose. I went straight to the point of having my feelings hurt. I thought for sure it was a judgement a reflection on me. Not that it was instead designed to help us both.
“I won’t lie to my parents. Or to yours if it comes down to it. I don’t want to start our lives together under false pretenses.” My voice said what I didn’t. That I was proud of us. Proud of our decision. That I wanted to shout from the rooftops who we were.
He came around.
But everyone knew.
It’s taken two years for me to realize, that if we had never told them, we could have done things differently. So much about what we did was rushed. Rushed by the intensity of the emotions we were feeling. Rushed by the time crunch that our looming move to Germany wedged us into.
Don’t mistake me.
I do not regret eloping. That was and still is the best choice of my life.
I regret telling our families. If we hadn’t told them, we’d have been allowed to come home and have a wedding ceremony. We wouldn’t have been asked in a non-asking manner to put our celebration to the side for our siblings. I wouldn’t now feel that our celebration is lesser in all of their eyes.
We wanted to do a ceremony on our one year anniversary. Have a party. See family and friends. But when my sister got engaged, there was no question that our ceremony would give way to theirs. The same with our second anniversary and B’s brother.
Enter regret stage right.
If I hadn’t been so stubborn about telling everyone, no one would have denied us our ceremony. And today, that is my regret. Who knows though, perhaps if we had started with a lie, I’d be sitting here now, regretting that too. And maybe, what I really regret is the lingering feeling that we aren’t worth as much in others’ eyes because of our elopement.
Whichever it is, it is haunting me today.