TODAY you hear the older folks talking about the young generation being ruthless and irresponsible, more so than in the 1930’s and 40’s. Perhaps they are right. It is also said that the new generation does not hold matrimony as a serious act.
The older generation believes that the young people today are only into sex and not love, and that morals have been forgotten. I would say they are partly right, but would like you to really see the situation 25 years ago.
It was very common 25 years ago for a girl to secretly leave her home and run away with her loved one. This is called “eloping” and it all started when a young man and young lady fell in love but the family of the young lady did not accept the young man.
Usually a young man would not be appreciated by his future in-laws because of a bad reputation of being a Cassanova or promiscuous person. Or he may be rejected because he did not own his own house, did not have a good job or he drank too much. However, if the young lady was still in love, they would plan to elope.
The young lady would secretly prepare a box with her most necessary clothing. On a given night the young man would pass by her house and she would throw the box over the fence and she would run away with him to his house.
Now, the young man’s mother would allow her to stay in the house provided they did not sleep together. (Not so sure if I want to believe that) When the father of the girl learned this very displeasing news, he would either make a curse and dishonored her, or he would go over to the young man’s home and talk to the parents and plan the wedding.
All this time they would not be sleeping together (so they say), so the girl could agree to go back home with the condition that her parents would agree to the relationship. Usually though, they would plan a small wedding and then the girl’s parents would accept the young man.
In other cases, some girls did not talk to their parents for a year or so, until they would forget the shame of the eloping. After some time, or after the first child was born, the in-laws would forgive and forget and make peace with the daughter, the son-in-law and all the extended family. Only on some real stubborn cases would the parents break total relationships with their daughter and rejected son-in-law for more than five years or forever.
Usually after one or two grandchildren, the girl’s parents would be anxious to hug and cuddle the baby. How common was this? I am told it was very common because a lot of the young men drank and also had the reputation of beating women.
Perhaps three of every ten girls used to elope. Marriage came soon afterwards, after a priest could be located. But the amazing questions are, “Did they remain virgins until marriage? Could the boy’s parents keep them in separate rooms for a month or so? That is the amazing question that only girls who eloped 25 years ago can tell us, so I will ask for you. Stay tuned?”
– by Angel Nuñez, Columnist