Monday, April 16, 2012
An anonymous commenter in a previous post got me thinking about language -- specifically about possessive pronouns and adjectives.
I think (correct me if I'm wrong) the commenter was referring to when I used the phrase "stuff the vase with MY money". He/she said "I cringe every time you refer to MY money, as if Sung Hyun makes no money at all, or you're roommates instead of husband and wife."
He/she makes a good point!
It's funny how one word can give the wrong vibe. In no sense did I mean to say that the money belongs to ME and Sung Hyun hasn't contributed to our finances. The my, in "stuff the vase with my money", was more in relationship to you (the reader) and me (the writer). As in, YOU decide what to do with MY money (after all I'm the one writing the blog, not Sung Hyun). I was actually contemplating putting OUR in the title but then I thought it sounded like the money belonged to you, the reader.
Anyways, I remember when Sung Hyun first introduced me to his friends as 'our' girlfriend. Korean culture is much less individual than Western culture. In Korean, for example, I'd say "this is our mom" not "this is my mom". The very basis of a language say a lot about that culture.
So in my Western circle of friends all of my girlfriends have professional careers. They are strong, independent women who stand on their own. All of them make more money than their spouses. All of them, with the exception of one or two, have separate bank accounts. They have a separate account for their joint expenses (ie. mortgage, utilities, and food).
Another couple I know doesn't share with one another how much money they make. They each contribute X number of dollars to the joint account and what is left in their individual accounts is 'their' personal money. I'm not saying this the the right or wrong way to handle their finances. This system works for them. They have "collective" money and "individual" money. And although this is not the way I choose to handle my finances with Sung Hyun, I don't think my friends way is incorrect either.
Next time I'll choose my words wisely, as to not exclude our husband ;)