In Taiwan, there’s a saying, “面包或爱.”
This literally mean, “bread or money.” This implied that if we’re lucky, we can have both. But if we’re not, we may have to choose between marrying for love or money.
By ourselves, we are complete romantics. The romantic fiction and rom-com movie industry wouldn’t rake in hundreds of millions of dollars if otherwise, and every little girl will dream of their own knights in shining armor.
No matter how we look, we always dream of a handsome manly man, who will swoop us off our feet, and ride us away to the sunset. And of course, it’ll be perfect if he’s a man of nobility and wealth so we never have to worry about cooking and doing the laundry anymore.
In the daytime, he is a man of respect, and everyone bows down to him. But in private, he is submissive to our needs and exists to serve us in bed. How many romantic fiction novels talk about a well ripped man whose hard abs excite and has the stamina to please us all throughout the night?
Cue in the reality with our own partners — “Husband, are we doing the deed today?” I asked him last night.
To which husband replied, “Not tonight, I’m a bit exhausted. Maybe next week after the show.”
And while we are financially comfortable and not starving, we do not live in a castle with servants to do our bidding. My clothes are the same since I got pregnant, my husband drives second-hand cars and my year’s salary can buy me ONE Hermes bag.
I went out with a man whom we shall call Steel Magnate when I was single. He was tall, single, in his mid-40s, a self-made man and was wealthy. On our date, he talked about investing in a few hectares of land where he was building a foundry.
“The deal is Php 10 billion,” he said matter of factly. He wasn’t even bragging. It was the truth.
And while we clicked, we didn’t really pursue the friendship. He didn’t understand why I should be working for my brother. For him, as a woman, I didn’t really neede to work.
And since I was at least a decade younger, I didn’t understand his current life of playing golf, hobnobing with other successful businessmen, and living the now good life. My mindset was that we still had to work for our successes. I wasn’t there yet and couldn’t let go of the nagging feeling that I must still work to achieve something.
Steel magnate was definitely the 面包. If we actually got together, life would be mighty comfortable and he can afford giving me a few Hermes bags here and there.
My husband was more of 爱.
Like many businessman’s sons, he wasn’t financially uncomfortable, but we are still poor enough that we can appreciate what a million pesos meant.
We currently manage two differing businesses, and it’s slow moving compared to Steel Magnate’s billion peso business. What billion? We are happy to have a few millions, and even then, most of our capital goes to pay our rent, overhead and labor. We are lucky if we still have some left for us.
When we bought our current office, we had to take out a 10-year business loan, and our return on investments will only come through a decade later. In short, we had to work for everything we have.
Our house was lent to us by his father, and sometimes, I worry about paying our association dues, which amounts to a few hundred pesos a year. Electricity bills surprise me, and sometimes, we wonder how lucky we are that we can pay our credit card bills on time.
But we love each other.
We make each other happy.
And we have a lovely family via a daughter whom we believe is cute. Hahaha.
So looking back at the question, 面包或爱, I think the answer is, there is happiness in marrying for love. But there is even more happiness in marrying someone whom you love, and ain’t too poor. Not too rich or poor. Just good enough.
How about you? Did you marry for love or money? Tell me your thoughts.