>Today is our 6th wedding anniversary. Husband and I had already been together for 5 1/2 years, of which three of those years we lived together in a 200 square foot apartment with no stove or oven, before we got hitched. We were sure it was the right thing (I don’t recommend testing a relationship by living together in a 200 square foot apartment with a toaster oven and two burner hot plate for three years, but if you can withstand that, there is no doubt that you are meant to be together), but we still very young for marriage by urban standards. I was 24 (although I sometimes looked younger) and Husband was 23 (although he turned 24 two weeks later).

At any rate, we wanted to move into a larger apartment with real appliances before the wedding. Generally, we went to check out apartments together, but one afternoon Husband was unable to get out of work, so I met the real estate broker on my own. If you have ever tried to rent an apartment in Manhattan, you will sympathize with this story. If not, you are a lucky bastard.

I had been very, very clear with the broker when I made the appointment. We were looking for a one bedroom apartment that was under $2000 per month. So you can imagine how infuriated I was when I learned that all of the places she made appointments to show me were alcove studios renting for at least $2100 per month. I was even more irate when I realized that many of the buildings we went to had onsite rental offices that I could have gone to myself and rented an apartment, should I have wanted an alcove studio for $2100 per month, and not paid any broker fees.

At any rate, we arrived at one such building and the onsite agent met us. When I explained that my fiancé was not able to come with me, she did a double take and exclaimed, “What are you, some kind of child bride?” Now, there are several ways to react to her statement. The first is to be pleased that this woman thought I was about 16 or 17. The second is to wonder how on earth she thought that a 16 or 17 year old could afford a $2100 per month apartment. The third is to speculate why, even if a 16 or 17 year old could afford such an apartment, why she did not ask me upfront where my parents were. Finally, why would any luxury building want to rent an apartment to a teenager living on her own? The whole situation was absurd.

Needless to say, this “child bride” did not rent any apartments that I saw that day. We eventually found a place that actually met our criteria, and moved in a few weeks before the wedding. Then we were off to Chicago to tie the not, and lived happily ever after (or at least thus far).

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