“Why buy the cow if you can get the milk for free?”
Growing up in a Dominican household can be tough. The men leaned towards a male chauvinistic, old school mentality. Women were assumed better off barefoot and pregnant. Thankfully, those days are long gone. At home, we had sporadic moments when roles were reversed, for example, seeing mom attend night school. Although her adventure was short-lived, it provided a vision of what was possible before guilt tricked her into dropping classes at the nearby college. A mother’s desire to care for her tribe has unforeseen strength. The 70s had not quite caught up to a different type of woman.
Despite the glimpse of modern living, my mother carried some of her own old-world thoughts which she eventually shared. During my early dating years, mom’s initial advice reflected some of these archaic views. Once, I got old enough to think about love and long term relationships are when things got challenging. Defining the woman I wanted to be versus who I was supposed to boggled my mind. Last week in conversation, a particular piece of wisdom mom offered at youth came to mind. I was reminded of the topic during the particular chat.
Our daily verbal exchanges with co-workers, friends or people we see on a regular basis provide a wide spectrum of views. The probability of disagreeing with one or more of those people is almost certain, no matter where you are in the world. There are opinions, a dime a dozen but the most important is yours.
Nothing about my tale is uncommon, surely you have a few stories of your own. Ever have a moment where something in your brain just clicks? In friendly conversation, while sharing anecdotes, a man in my presence uttered an old adage. It’s an idiom that has consistently irritated me through the years due to its antiquated message, ”Why buy the cow if you can get the milk for free?”
It’s likely you have heard the phrase at some point in your life. It refers to the idea that a man doesn’t need to wed if he’s already receiving the benefits of a husband without actually marrying. Ever felt yourself getting comfortable in a relationship while performing the duties of a pseudo wife? Do you think doing the job eliminates or diminishes your chances of him proposing? The vote may be split, however, on a personal level, I refuse to believe that mom’s reservations about pre-marital relations and living together have merit in current day society. Women have come too far to be brainwashed into thinking they are less worthy if choose to take part in an adult emotional and physical relationship.
Men and women don’t always know what they’re looking for in a partner but usually, there is a sense of whether or not they want to enter a legally binding commitment with that person. There are people with a natural desire to find a partner to share life and build something together. A man who believes in marriage and has a strong conviction of his love will be indifferent to the “milk” he is getting from you while dating or residing under the same roof. As an empowered and powerful woman, never be afraid of being yourself. If he does not marry you it isn’t necessarily because you are doing something wrong. Men tell you what they want, we sometimes block out what we don’t want to hear. Chances are he has expressed a lack of desire for marriage at some point in the relationship.
We should own who we are and live out a life that is true to the things we hold dear, such as love, respect and trust not only for someone else but ourselves, too. My mother’s ways of thinking have evolved but not everyone will have the same growth. Long as you do not place your value in anyone else’s hands and make the best choices for yourself, the cow will never be free!
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