Whats the Difference?

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Once again I have been slapped in the face with a headline that I can’t seem to wrap my brain around. To better understand my confusion you have to understand that I love weddings.  ALL weddings… okay almost all weddings.

We live in a world where an engagement with a 60 year difference between the two parties  is front page news, everyone clamoring to get the scoop on why the bride backed out just days before the wedding. I would like to go on record as saying that it is probably because he is 60 years older than her. Maybe she didn’t want to marry a man who could be her grandfather, no matter how rich and powerful and exciting he may be. Interestingly enough I seem to be the only one who sees this. No offense, Hef – we get it: you like young blond women but, maybe not all young blond women like rich old men.

In the same world, teen pregnancy is both villified and celebrated on reality TV. Its okay to preach abstinence and not practice it. It’s okay to have a baby with no visible means of support as long as you can get on a reality TV show and make a name for yourself. Forget High School, just write a book, get a reality show and make some money. No one cares if you are educated enough to actually write the book  yourself, just have someone else do the work so you can cash the check and move on.

In another part of that same world, a headline appears announcing the marriage of a 16 year old child to a 51 year old man. Have you heard? The guy who played the creepy warden in ‘The Green Mile’ and some other show I never saw, tied the knot this week in Vegas to a 16 year old girl. I watched and loved this movie and by the end of it  I wound up hating this character and thinking to myself , “Wow – he must be a great actor to be able to carry off this part.” Turns out he really is creepy, no acting involved… just memorizing lines.

This is obviously the headline of which I speak. The fact they got married is less creepy than the fact that he has been dating a girl probably since she was 15. There is a name for guys like that – whats the word I am thinking of? It’s on the tip of my tongue…. Maybe I’m wrong but, what parent allows their young teenage child to date a late middle-aged man? It  is not the 35 year age difference that bothers me as much as the fact that she is 16 years old! If he was 61 and she was 26, I could care less. To get a little perspective; understand that my husband is nine years younger than me. We married when I was 39 and he was 30. At our current ages it seems like nothing but when he was 13 and I was 24, I wouldn’t have given him a second look. If I did, I would expect someone to call 911.   In most states it isn’t even  legal for a 15 or 16 year old to have an intimate sexual relationship with  a person over the age of 18…. but, with their parent’s consent they can get married. How is this possible? I am still confused, and still grossed out.

Oddly enough in that same world, The United States of America, only a handful of our beloved 50 states recognize marriage between two parties of the same sex , no matter their age. Two legal adults in a consensual relationship cannot share property or any  of the other rights afforded married couples because they are of the same sex. So while our legislators are busy defining marriage as between a man and a woman (even minors):  the economy is dumping it’s toxic waste on our standard of living, climate change  heats up and our jobs are shipped overseas. AND instead of issuing an arrest warrant for someone who apparently broke the law in ALL 50 states, we are forced to look at photos of creepy guy and child bride smiling and declaring that love is ageless. Love may be ageless but, in this case it can also be downright creepy.

Dear Media of all forms,

Please don’t show another picture of this couple together, one is enough.

Thank You

-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago