This summer, I’ll attend the wedding of a child bride in the Deep South — the same place where my 32-year-old friend is a grandmother

ring

One day this summer, in the sweltering heat of exurban Atlanta’s Deep South Side, south of Jonesboro but north of Macon where the white flight went, a 16-year-old girl will be kissed for the first time by her beau.

It won’t be in a parked car after seeing some new superhero blockbuster at the multiplex; no, she’ll be kissed as a bride, afterwards to begin her life as a housewife living in a guest house behind her parents’ home with her new husband. Her parents are not only totally OK with this, but they’re happily planning the reception and will be signing for her to get her marriage license along with a local judge. She’s already dropped out of school, I heard.

This is happening in my family. In 2019. In America.

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