Sunday, September 26, 2010
A Breakdown of the Brazilian Family
All families are different, and yet, all families are crazy.
So I´ve decided to break down the dynamic of the Brazilian family as viewed from a wife.
The Mother is in charge. Yes, your husband´s Mother. There´s really nothing you can do about it. You went to put his balls in your purse and realized they were already in someone else´s. It happens.
Keep in mind that it will never be said out loud but it is true. They are die-hard Momma´s boys and that´s really not a bad thing. One of these days, when their Mother croaks, you will be the proud owner of a shiny new pair of... you get the picture. Of course, that will never happen. The Brazilian Mother-in-Law never dies. She outlives us all.
Worst case scenario, you could always go and talk to her boss. Who you ask. Her Mother. Her Mother is the boss of her... and her husband. While we´re at it, you and your husband as well. Don´t worry, the Grandmother is the high up boss. You rarely have contact with her. Your Mother-in-law has to bear that burden.
Do keep in mind though that the Grandmother will not help you. Your troubles are petty to her. If she was born and bred in Brazil, she has lived through things you can´t even imagine. I´m talking popping out a baby on the floor of her kitchen into the arms of a screaming maid because the maternity hospital in the tiny town was taken over by soldiers during the war and the midwife didn´t make it in time. In case you are curious, she cut her own umbilical cord and heated up a bottle for the older child who was crying because the maid couldn´t pull herself together. Yes, that is my Grandmother-in-law. My leg could get cut off and she´d just tell me to get over it.
Now the second in command to the Grandmother is the Aunt. Come on, you know that aunt. Every family in Brazil has one. She has never married and is still living with the Grandparents. She is the go to guy when you want to request a certain meal at family lunches. Of course she is, she´s the one who goes to the feira and cooks almost everything.
So what does that make you? Depends on how many women in the family. I figure, if the Brazilian family were a pirate ship, I´d be swabbing the deck. While that annoyed me at the beginning, I´ve found the beauty in it. There are so many characters that I´m almost living the Pirates of the Caribbean, only it´s more entertaining.
The Sass is palpable and I have to say, I like it. I love these ladies. For that matter, I adore the men too. I find the laughing, bickering, uninvited advice, and gossip all quite endearing. Strange how that happens. I guess you could call me adapted.
Above all, you must remember that these woman, although fabulously crazy in their own respect, will bend over backward for you and your family. They would sell the family apartment if need be. That´s the thing about the Brazilian family, they are in it for the long haul. You are family, whether you like it or not, and that comes with certain responsibilities and definite privileges. You can and should go to them. Just keep in mind that everyone else in the family will know your business. What am I saying? They already do. It´s just the Brazilian way. They are a talkative bunch.