In the fifties every young woman's ultimate goal was to marry and have a family. If a girl went to college, it was primarily to meet a husband who would eventually be a good provider for the girl and herfamily. If a girl did get a job, it was usually only until she married and began her family. A girl who had the primary goal of working and having a career was an exception, or more likely, a spinster. Any girl who remained unmarried after twenty-one or twenty-two years old was considered a spinster, and people would usually question what was wrong with that girl that prevented her from marrying.
So when Betsy, a girl in class with Darla and I, announced she was going to get married at age sixteen, we were not too shocked. Of course everyone whispered if the marriage may be because of an "expected event," but it ended up that Betsy really wanted a way out of her home.
Darla and I received the invitation to Betsy's wedding shower right after New Year's. We went shopping for a shower gift, and chipped in together to buy Betsy and her fiance a blanket. Betsy's bridal shower was a few days later, and she proudly showed off her engagement ring. Only weeks later Darla and I attended her wedding to a young man not much older than us.
I had known Betsy on and off since third grade. She had been in most of my classes whenever we were home. Darla and I were both happy to see her so happy about getting married. But the marriage was the end of my friendship with Betsy. I saw her once or twice after she married, but it was only by accident, running into her in a store. After that, I never saw Betsy again,and have no idea if this was her "happily ever after" or not. I now think "not".