“I was too young for marriage,” she said. “It was so hard and embarrassing because everyone knew. I’d posed for the front cover of [“Modern Bride”] in my wedding dress and it was on sale! But sometimes you fall down and you learn from it.”
This isn’t the first time Kellz has spoken about her broken engagement. In 2006, she told Vibe Vixen, “I didn't even want to go out of the house and I really didn't want to put my family in the position of having to answer questions about the wedding."
Her former fiancé, Roy Williams, also spoke to the same magazine, sharing that he realized the pair were moving too fast when he attempted to fill out a pre-marriage questionnaire and discovered he didn’t know all of the basics about his soon-to-be wife. Williams told Vibe Vixen, "I sat her down on the bed and said, 'Kelly, we don't know each other well enough to get married.’ At the time, she was cool with it, but I ended up catching a lot of heat for doing the grown-up thing."
Neither Williams nor Rowland nor anyone else who calls off an engagement should be embarrassed. What Kellz calls “embarrassing,” is what I call responsible decision-making, at least on the back end. Surely, we’ve all been caught up in loving feelings that make us think and do and take risks we usually wouldn’t. But it takes a mature person to recognize that slipping on a slope isn’t an excuse to tumble down the whole dang mountain.
I know there’s pressure to “land a huzzzzzband” (say it like Jackee’). I felt it every Thanksgiving when an ancient aunt looked from my bare ring finger, to my date, and said, “No ring just yet, huh?” Like everyone, I’m somewhat image conscious (sometimes) and I hated being seen as a failure by anyone, even if I knew I was just fine as is. Other women might feel it every time they see a news story advising single Black women (who didn’t ask for any assistance) how to do this or do that to get a guy to put a ring on it. But still… anyone who takes vows they’re not all that sure they mean, and enters into a marriage they’re unsure of? What’s embarrassing is knowing better and not doing better.
Though it may sometimes be treated as such, marriage is more than a check on a Things To Do List, a sparkling ring, or a ceremonious two-step victory dance down an aisle. It’s actually all the stuff that happens the next day, and the day after, and Lord willing and the creek don’t rise, all the rest of the days of your life. It’s a commitment to be taken seriously and entered into with the right person AND at the right time.
Demetria L. Lucas is the author of "A Belle in Brooklyn: The Go-to Girl for Advice on Living Your Best Single Life” (Atria) in stores now. Follow her on Twitter at @abelleinbk