Friday, March 18, 2011

The Bacon Theory

I've had the bacon conversation with a couple of different people over the last couple of months. What's the bacon conversation?  Actually, it's more of a bacon theory. 

The theory goes as such: If a person in a family is bringing home the mouth feeding portion of the money each month (the bacon) you can not give them crap about working.  No, not "working" but that annoying stuff like answering business calls at 10pm when you are trying to get them to go "downtown." 

This theory is interesting and I find that Brazilians do not give their partners much crap at all about working a lot. Contrary to popular belief abroad, Brazilians put work horses to shame! Working until 830 or 9pm really isn't that big of a deal here, and I have a theory as to why. Shocker, huh.

There are numerous factors in this. First off, it's really not uncommon at all to have 2 income families down here. You are totally not going to bitch at your husband for answering that call if you were on the phone in the first place. 

There's also the Nanny/Maid situation. People have them. They are a buffer between overworking spouses and stay at home moms/dads.  Hell, they are the stand-in parent for the 2 income households.  And in the case of the Nanny/Maid, they can't complain to the bacon bringer. Hell, they are paid to wait around and cook the bacon that's brought.  

And that fact that there is someone in the middle, who's job is to pick up the slack, makes a huge difference.  The biggest complain of this stay at home Mom is the lack of buffering. I can get pretty chafed sometimes and it's not pretty! 

Of course, that's only with my minis as I do have a maid twice a week to help me around the house.  It's a good thing for Mr. Rant. He sure as hell would get a lot more crap for his socks being littered around the entire apartment.  He denies it but it's either him or we have a serious sock-mold situation growing in this place. 

The point being, it can be hard to be a supportive partner for a busy spouse. It can be upsetting to see the kiddos little faces pressed on the window as they look for Daddy on the street because they know he's going to be home before bedtime.  

And when they complain, I open sacks of bacon and throw pieces at the ungrateful little bastards. Actually no, that would be cruel. Good bacon is far too expensive in Brazil to be wasting it like that. 

But we have had the talk that everything costs money and the reason Daddy works so hard is to help pay for things like food, soccer practice, and cable tv. Priorities. And they get it. The chatter box even offered to not have snacks for a week if Daddy could come home early. 

Then when I put them to bed after a day that had, I swear, 321 hours in it, I go out to the living room. I sit down and I have the same conversation with myself using wine, internet connection, and staying home with my babies as my examples. 

Freaking Bacon, always expanding our minds. 


  1. I think it really really depends on the background. You have brazilians in the middle class raised with a lot expectations, studying hard and taught to never stop (like your workhorse). These students are constantly taking courses through out the week besides their regular school. They are usually more involved in school and sports.

    Then the working class, the focus is more about making money and finding a job. They don't study often, they go to public school which is next to no school at all for the most regions in Brazil. Many days, they are missing teachers and students get sent home early. So they don't really have the cultural influence of studying and working hard. Many come home watch novelas with there family or go hang out with friends at night.

    The underclass well, it's bad. This is the class of waiting, waiting for food, waiting for work, electricity, water or education. So they will not be used to working hard at all constantly. It's more like burst of work, constructing a home or some short term job that usually needs to be done so crazy because it's been put off far too long. It's something people need to adjust to in this class, largely because the education in the underclass is the weakest and unemployment is high. Which is ironic, I think Brazil has so so many low paying/ low skills jobs. Something more is going on here, it's difficult for me to have contact with this class. I don't understand the Portuguese very well and it's is a big communication problem.

    I think a lot men who are underclass and working class don't fight with their wife about working. BUT I think they believed they are entitled to do certain things being the bread winner. Such as going out to the bar everyday, cheating and not doing any work inside the house. Brazilians are a more passive culture than Americans. Americans are more likely to fight it out. My husband almost never has any complaints about anything. And when I was working and cleaning the house got sick of all the work and wanted to fight about it-- he just simply said "I will pay for a house keeper, is everything resolved"? It is just so simple. I have a hard time being upset about things at home. It's more my professional front that I am upset with in Brazil.

    And of course there are expects to all of the above. Many.

  2. My husband and I both "bring home bacon" except he brings home more bacon for less money (work) and I am a workaholic, who he is constantly telling to unplug... Brazil is nice as you do have that buffer, and if we go back to the US, I don't care if it isn't as "cost effective" we are going to have that buffer.

    With kiddos though it's hard, and I totally felt for the wee one offering to give up snacks. Buffers, bacon and all of that don't mean a thing to children. s! My kid's only 10 months, so we still have the nap time buffer.

  3. With my Brazilian ex (when we lived together here in the States), she was the type of person to be a workaholic and I didn't fully attribute this to her being Brazilian...though, immigrants generally have the mindset that there is no choice but to put your head down and work hard in order to survive, at which point they develop important work habits to being successful.

    She would take calls 7 days a week, even many times on Sunday at 7AM. Time that should be "our time", was "our time...unless it's work time". I told her no work on Sunday or we have a problem that won't be fixed until she stops working on Sunday (so that we could have one single day to ourselves). She already worked from 7AM to 9PM routinely.

    As far as the bacon, we both brought it home, though she made more since she worked like a crazy person. I wouldn't say it is either/or since both personality and culture come into play.

  4. On the other hand, here they are given like hour and half to 2hrs for lunch - or is it choppe, lunch and a siesta? I could fit all 3 in that time. If it were England, they'd eat a quick sandwich at their desk or the deli across the street at best and be at the pub almost 2 hours earlier... wait, did I write the pub?? Sorry, I meant home with their wife and kids!