Tuesday, December 21, 2010
House of Midgets?
I'm living like a queen this holiday season. Ok, it just feels like it. While my parent's house is considered a good size in Maryland, it would be a mansion in Rio de Janeiro.
I find that part of Americans funny, the need for space. That need bit me in the ass when I first arrived in Brazil. My Father-in-law picked my husband and I up at the airport. I was told to dress nice for the flight, as we flew with buddy passes. That meant heels in my book. 3 inch heels to be exact. I was exactly 3 times the size of my Father-in-law.
We got to the apartment and were greeted by my Mother-in-law and Brother-in-law. It was official, my husband was from a family of midgets. Ok, maybe I just really needed to take off the shoes.
But honestly, it felt like everything was smaller than it should be, including my husband's family. I felt HUGE. Then again, maybe it was just my American ego getting the best of me.
I was given the tour of the apartment and started out my adaptation then and there. There was NO alone time. There was no privacy or space for it. I even came home one day to find my Brother-in-law and his friends listening to music and sitting on what was supposed to be my bed. Mine. Of course, it was his bed, in his room, that he was lending to me. But it was supposed to be my space.
My mind was blown. How can people be together this often and enjoy it? All the chatting, touching, kissing, and co-existing. I can clearly remember feeling somewhat violated by all the togetherness. It was exhausting. Can you believe that I came of as slightly cranky.
Now, I can't imagine it any other way. I feel like all this space is a waste. You really don't need it. And my kids are turning out even more Brazilian in that way.
My Father went in to relieve himself in the bathroom connected to his bedroom. My 4 year old charged in and asked why he closed the door. Then, upon realizing that my Father didn't have a book to read on the toilet, a crime to my oldest, he ran out to get one. Grandpa was a good sport about having his privacy intruded on and also enjoyed reading The Magic School Bus.
As awkward as some moments can be, I don't think I'd trade for the bigger place. First off, I'd hate to have to clean it. Secondly, I kind of like the extra closeness. So what if our entire Brazilian family knows I'm somewhat gassy. It's that kind of thing that brings people closer. Not the gas. The knowing of odd realities about each other.
But don't get me wrong, I do enjoy a good visit home and being able to hide away from everyone else, even if it's just for a few minutes.