Why Buy the Cow?
"Love one another and you will be happy. It's as simple and as difficult as that."
I have a confession. I am easily influenced. And being easily influenced, I tend to feel pressured. And when I feel pressured, I tend to pressure others.
I was once told by someone young, and very successful, that the term “boyfriend/girlfriend” seemed quite juvenile when working with adults. After hearing this, I suddenly felt like a child bragging to my classmates that (insert random skater boy’s name here) and I have just celebrated our one week anniversary. It does sound juvenile a bit, I thought.
Comedian John Mulaney put it ever so eloquently in his bit about the term girlfriend VS wife, saying, “I’m married now, so I get to say ‘my wife’, which is exciting. It’s fun to say ‘my wife’. I’m looking forward to saying it a lot. ‘Get away from my wife!’ ‘No one talk to my wife!’ ‘I didn’t kill my wife!’” You have to admit, it's got a ring to it.
In his 2015 special, the hilarious comedian touched upon the outdated, sexist saying, Why by the cow when you can get the milk for free?, by joking:
“Why buy the cow? Maybe because everyday the cow asks you when you're going to buy it. And you live in a really small apartment with the cow and you can't avoid that question at all. Also, the cow is way better at arguing than you are.”
All jokes aside, I am starting to come to terms with the fact that constantly bringing up a wedding isn't the greatest idea. The whole aspect of a proposal alone is quite stressful for the person doing all the asking. Think about it: if they're old school, the asker has to muster up the courage to ask your father for permission, pay for the ring, triple check it's the right ring, plan up the perfect proposal, get down on one knee, and not fuck up the cheesy spiel they've been practicing. All you have to do is show them the ring you've had bookmarked on your web browser since 2008. And even if your relationship is on it's way to taking the big step, sometimes life just gets in the way.
Finances, jobs, family, timing.. as we complain about our significant other pumping the breaks, we should shift our focus on the fact that they are actually considering all of the important aspects before jumping in. Sure, there are many out there who actually take the cow/milk idiom a little too seriously, but most of our partners are simply waiting for the right moment. Sometimes it's just best to keep your Pinterest Wedding board on secret until you actually have a ring on your finger.
I know that I am incredibly guilty of putting a large amount of pressure on my boyfriend, but I feel, like in most cases, that I don't do it purposefully. Sometimes just the excitement of the next step can turn you into the wedding troll that took over all of your older cousins back when you promised you'd never act that way. But I want to be conscious of this. It always bothers us when there is pressure to do anything - what we're going to be when we grow up, if we're going to have children, etc. So why is it that we're so accustomed to pressuring our partners into proposing?
I am just trying to figure it out myself.
When you feel yourself turning into a manipulative monster, remind yourself of the true reason you want to get married. Not to feel worthy, not to show off to your friends, and not to justify your relationship. A wedding should not be something that you want because of anything else but love. Love your partner, respect them, and allow them to make their own choices. They are probably planning on asking soon, any way.
“Why buy the cow?” Mulaney asks. “Because you love her. You really do.”