“That’s fine, she still can be”, I said.
I had just told my mother the banns had been read at our local church in Wodonga and that we were to be married in two weeks time.
We had been going out together for four years since school and engaged for nine months. Mother had planned a ‘big-ish’ wedding in the family town of Benalla.
“Has Godfrey been pressuring you?” was the next question.
“Heavens, no” was my reply. “It is more that I can’t stand it any longer and we are not waiting another day, let alone six months till September.”
Nowadays this all seems silly, with most couples sleeping together before or just after the first date. Couples live together long before there is any suggestion of a wedding. There is little doubt that ‘The Pill’ has enabled this freedom.
Nowadays no one has to go through the years of frustration and the light and heavy petting we did in the late fifties and early sixties. Yes, the pill was developed then, but it was not openly discussed. The only articles described the problems that may happen, especially for women, as though women who used the pill were wicked.
What kept us on the straight and narrow was the ever present disgrace of pregnancy. We knew enough about sex and its results, even if our parents never spoke of that driving force.
The other consideration was we were were regular church goers and it just wasn’t done for us.
We need not have worried on that score as everyone thought we were expecting, which came as a shock to me! Even my wonderful old grandfather wrote to my mother (his daughter), telling her it was all her fault as she had allowed me to bath with my brothers when we were little. Such were the times.
The fortnight went by with mum making the flower girl’s dress. I wore a white (yes, it definitely had to be white) dress I had used as a bridesmaid’s dress and borrowed a veil. Godfrey wore his one and only suit and the thin tie of the time with some artificial orange blossom in his lapel.
The organist was late – held up by the train crossing which was in the main street – so I had to stand around outside the church wondering if Godfrey was inside. We had a half a dozen guests and some of the children and their parents from the class of fifty I was teaching at Wodonga Primary School.
‘For Better or Worse’, we headed off to Wagga, then up the centre of NSW to Lismore, sometimes camping and sleeping in the car, our only possession, making sure we got back to Albury for footy training on Thursday!
Fifty three years and many changes in social attitudes later we are the survivors of those strange times.