Its just as easy to marry a rich man, as it is to marry a poor man.
Sophia: So, umm this is something my mom like just always says to me. I think its ridiculous.
Sophia: My mom is just so consumed with marrying me off and of course she wants me to be like wealthy or what you. You know.
Isabel: When does she use this proverb? In what context?
Sophia: Umm I dont know. I guess whenever I talk about boys or like my future or where I want to live. That sort of thing. It basically like always ends in this lesson and like, ummm like need for me to have money.
Isabel: How does this make you feel?
Sophia: I dont know. I mean I dont really listen to her anymore, its not something I think I will care that much about. I get annoyed actually. Like I dont only think about money, I think its gross. I dont think my mom wants me to be like, like a golddigger. But it annoys me that she even says this kind of thing.
Isabel: Have you heard this proverb said anywhere else?
Sophia: Ive just heard it from my mom. But my mom says that her mom always used to say it. Its kind of funny because like my mom says that my grandma would always say it and she acts like that was annoying for her but then she pushes it on me. You know? I dont know, its just funny.
Isabel: Does she tell it to your brothers? (Sophia has two brothers)
Sophia: No! (LAUGH) Such a double standard! I feel like Im painting my mom in a bad light. Like, she isnt ignorant or that conservative really. But then she says stuff like this just to me. I think she likes to be accepting but ultimately wants me to be well off or whatever.
Examination of this proverb reveals a lot about Sophias relationship with her mom, the values within that relationship, as well as Sophias own perspective on her future at this liminal point in her life. It is interesting to note the depth of this small piece of folklore. This one saying Sophia has grown up hearing provides great insight into her family dynamic. To begin, we learn that money is clearly an important proponent in Sophias future, according to her mother. Additionally, her mom, albeit passively, attempts to influence Sophias choices (here, her choice for a mate) by engraining these easy notions within her daughters mindset. Sophias relationship with her mother is also introduced through this explanation of her familial proverb. Sophia was very candid throughout the interview, and although she did not respect her mothers purpose and believe the message of the proverb, she nevertheless was hesitant to paint her mom in a bad light. In this instance, Sophia displays very stereotypical adolescent behavior. She is torn between developing her own set of principles and opinions and loyalty to her mother. She is not quite confident in her own convictions yet adamantly does not take the message of this proverb to heart. Finally, the discussion of the context and audience to which this folklore is performed reveals the gender conditions within Sophias family. Due to the fact that her mother does not perform this proverb for Sophias brothers, combined with Sophias disdain for the double standard within her family, it is clear that Sophias familial experience is different than that of her brothers. The dichotomy is dictated by their genders. Thus, analysis of this one particular proverb provides a deeper understanding of this family dynamic as well as relationships and purpose within a family in general.