A few months ago, my mother asked me if I was pregnant.
This is precisely why I do not wear ANYTHING empire waisted. That particular dress, I normally wear belted. But good to know it can double as maternity wear when the time comes, huh?
I can’t remember a more awkward moment in this vein since, back in high school, she persuaded my cousin to email me a long diatribe about boys, girls, and getting the milk for free. Or however that goes. (I know Mum was behind this. Trust me.)
Seriously. I was probably 15 at the time. Guess she hoped to get me early.
That whole thing about cows and milk? Words can’t express how much I despise this trope. It essentially implies that men only want women for sex. Like there’s no other reason a guy would ever want to marry a woman. (While no doubt this is true for some, it would be a huge mistake to tar all mankind with the same brush. Those are definitely not the kind of dudes you want to be marrying.)
While the intent is all well and good – protecting the honour of your sisters and daughters – this is incredibly demeaning to women. And actually, it’s rather harsh on men, too. Let’s give them some credit. Not all of them think with their junk 24/7.
It’s also obviously patently untrue. How many couples do you know that have lived together then gone on to tie the knot?
Oh, and I was at a comedy show just the other night where another audience in a couple turned out to be newlyweds (2 years) but had been living together for 16 years before that. (I haven’t exactly been lighting a firecracker under our wedding plans, but we won’t be getting to that kind of ballpark, at least.)
Course, cohabiting is not always all it’s cracked up to be. I wouldn’t swap it for anything, but it’s definitely not a painless thing for us. Our story is much more like this than it is this.
There’ve been a couple of good pieces in the NY Times recently on this exact topic: this one points out that more and more professional types are maintaining separate dwellings and this one the fact that often we drift into cohabiting rather than making a clear-cut, conscious decision to. And as a result, “couples who cohabit before marriage (and especially before an engagement or an otherwise clear commitment) tend to be less satisfied with their marriages — and more likely to divorce — than couples who do not”.
While we kind of slid into moving in together for practical reasons (in fact, before I was really ready), thankfully, it’s worked out (after all, disentangling your relationship is infinitely more difficult when you physically live together and have mingled other aspects of your lives). Given how different we are, I think moving in together for the first time as newlyweds would have been disastrous.
There’s the argument that cohabiting makes getting married less special. I can understand that. As it relates to us, I don’t buy it, but marriage means different things to different people (to me, it’s a new level of emotional reaffirmation/commitment).
Was I going somewhere with this?
Basically: live together or don’t – whatever. It’s not a one size fits all kind of thing. But the sooner that ‘buying the cow’ phrase disappears, the better.
Do you hate that saying? Or think it stands true? (I have friends who don’t support gay marriage; I can deal with differences of opinion. Outwardly, at least.)