It’s 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.

Isabel: Why?

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 don’t 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 don’t know. I mean I don’t really listen to her anymore, its not something I think I will care that much about. I get annoyed actually. Like I don’t only think about money, I think its gross. I don’t 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: I’ve just heard it from my mom. But my mom says that her mom always used to say it. It’s 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 don’t know, it’s just funny.

Isabel: Does she tell it to your brothers? (Sophia has two brothers)

Sophia: No! (LAUGH) Such a double standard! I feel like I’m painting my mom in a bad light. Like, she isn’t 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 Sophia’s relationship with her mom, the values within that relationship, as well as Sophia’s 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 Sophia’s future, according to her mother. Additionally, her mom, albeit passively, attempts to influence Sophia’s choices (here, her choice for a mate) by engraining these “easy” notions within her daughter’s mindset. Sophia’s 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 mother’s 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 Sophia’s family. Due to the fact that her mother does not perform this proverb for Sophia’s brothers, combined with Sophia’s disdain for the “double standard” within her family, it is clear that Sophia’s 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.