How To Tell If You've Married a Teenager

Because I know that it's really, really hard to figure out.

By , Columnist

16-year-old Courtney Stodden impersonating a Real Housewife

Alright, American men. You got me. You completely had me believing that this week had secretly been dubbed: "Let's Pretend it's 1695 and Marry Underage Girls Like It's Socially Acceptable" Week. Kind of like Shark Week, but with creepier predators and more boobalicious prey. But come on. The jig is up! Because this can't honestly be real, right?

Wrong! Oh, how naïve I've been. Because it is for real that a 51-year-old actor married a 16-year-old girl this week. And to add insult to injury, I've discovered another marriage that I wish was a hoax. In perusing the New York Times "Vows" section, I stumbled upon this particular gem in which a 31-year-old man met his one true love in high school. Not as in, he and his wife were high school sweethearts and married upon reaching adulthood. As in, a 31-year-old man met a 17-year-old girl when he was visiting her high school during a political campaign and began a relationship with her.

Listen, I get it. It must be really hard for you guys. These girls come at you with their crispy blonde hair and their Real Housewives of Beverly Hills orange glow and collagen-injected lips, and they're just so smart and so elegant and not at all trashy and how could you, poor lonely older man, have known that they were underage. I feel for you. So much so, in fact, that I want to help you out. Below, find a handy quiz rife with questions to apply to your new bride to discern if she's a teenager.

1) How old are you?

This, my friends, is the first step in deciphering this complicated riddle. She may utter falsehoods, vixen that she is, but continue on for surefire questions to smoke her out.

2) What is a rotary phone?

Children of 2011 often are mystified by ancient technologies used by their grandparents and parents, one of which you are surely the same age as, so stump her with these mysterious devices.

3) What is this language you speak?

Teenagers are aware of a sophisticated lingo complete with a syntax composed of abbreviations. If you find yourself confused by phrases such as, "OMG i wuz ROTFL, LOL u r soooo funni!!!" you have likely just experienced this unique form of communication.

4) What were our favorite childhood T.V. shows?

If you find yourself receiving blank stares when reminiscing fondly about Murphy Brown, The Golden Girls, All in the Family,  M.A.S.H. or, God forbid, The Andy Griffith Show, do not panic. Simply ask your new love what her favorite childhood television shows were. If she responds with The O.C., The Suite Life of Zach and Cody, and That's So Raven, vacate the premises immediately.

**TRICKY LEVEL: Perhaps your new lady love has passed with flying colors up until this point. Never fear. Expecting such deception, I've thrown a wrench in her plans.

5) What is a 401(k) and/or a Roth IRA?

Expect tell-tale answers such as, "Where is 401(k)? Is that an address?" and "Who is Roth Ira? Is he famous?!"

6) Do you enjoy shopping at Abercrombie & Fitch and/or Hollister Co.?

Look for jean skirts that reveal a hint of butt, and shirts with moose emblems. Also particularly helpful are the letters "ABERCROMBIE" emblazoned across her perky chest. If you are able to describe her personal style as "surfer slutty," run away.

7) Are you sexually attracted to Justin Beiber?

In response, you may receive confounding renditions of tunes you're unfamiliar with like, "Baby, Baby, Baby," or "Never Say Never." Excited hand-clapping, bodily jumping, tears of joy and nasty utterances of "I HATE Selena Gomez" are likely.

And finally, the ultimate question that no teen you've just married will be able to escape from:

8) Team Edward or Team Jacob?

Go forth men with this quiz grasped firmly in hand. Carry it like a talisman to ward off sly teen Jezebels. If you discover that you have, against your better judgment and knowledge, married a teenager, memorize your state's age of consent law and seek a talented divorce attorney. If all else fails, plead insanity.

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Rachel East is a freelance writer specializing in relationships and relationship advice. In addition to her regular column on TMR, Rachel contributes relationship content to the Levo League, formerly known as Pretty Young Professional, a website for young, professional and ambitious women. Her writing…

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