Monday, September 26, 2011

The Standoff

Last night I had the standoff of my year. It was between me and the Grandmother of Mr. Rant, the Great-Grandmother of the Chatterbox.

You see, she steals goodie bags. I guess you can't say she steals them but actually takes them to give them to other random children like her maid's kids and such.

It really is a cultural thing. All Brazilians have this idea that they are entitled to a goodie bag if they should even know of a child around the age of the birthday boy. This is normally ok but I am that weird Mother who takes her kid's goodie bags way too seriously. No crap, nothing that doesn't even work when you take it out, and definitely not all candy.

This year my parents were rock stars and mailed a box of US goodies you just can't find here. We're talking sticky hands, flyers, and finger flashlights among other things. So when I managed to only make 48 goodie bags, and at least 40 kids were definitely showing up, I knew I'd have to take the Monarch down.

It's not as easy as it sounds. Trust me! When your child's Brazilian Great-Grandmother makes a request, you do not say no! For example, when she makes an effort to bring you a cup canjica she sweetly made for the party, even though it really doesn't go with your beer and hot dog, you eat it. It's just how things roll.

So when she came up and requested a couple of goodie bags I had to hold my ground. Honestly, I had to picture crying children and Mr. Rant scolding me for not being more prepared. I told her "Sorry Grandma but there may not be enough bags. More people came than expected but if any are left over I will bring them over to your place on Monday."

Of course she replied "oh but only 2. For sure 2 is ok."

"Sorry Grandma, I can't. I don't know if we have enough. I promise you will be the first to know if any are left over though!"

A short time later I finally got to leave my goodie bag post as people were not hovering over me like happy cake fed vultures.

The moment I left the table I turned back. Call it instinct, call it knowing better, call it life experience. There circling the good bag box was the Great-Grandma. She was slow, smooth, and innocent but I knew better.

When I sauntered up to the table I got the famous granny 'You may have caught me but I'm too damn cute for you to say anything grin' and she shuffled away. This much sass from an 87 yr old. I would love to have seen her at 20!

By the way, I had the perfect number of gift bags! 48 bags to 48 kids exactly! 


  1. Moca brava, Rachel! I lvoe it that you had exactly 48 for 48 kids.

  2. She sounds like my Grandmamma! Too funny.

    Does your great avo butt in front of everyone in lunch meat line and then declare in super broken English (I guess it would be in Portuguese for you) that the quality of the meat is sub-par and therefore needs to be thrown out and re-done? The meat here is obviously inferior to meat in Ukraine, duhhh. Sorry for my rantzinho! I can't help it Rachel, you've cloned me into a baby you!

  3. In Brazil the elderly get to automatically cut in line. The country as a whole just decided to stop trying to prevent the inevitable ;)

  4. Looks like my G-ma should have immigrated to Brazil with the rest of her fam!

  5. What would she do with a goodie bag that's been made for kids?!?!?!???

    and P.S. - I love the photo :D

  6. Dear Rachel,

    You are brave, you are an inspiration and you are conquering Brazil one gift bag at a time ;)
    You are the total walking and talking "Guide for Gringos 101" :)


  7. So that's why you were guarding the goodie bag box like a hawk! lol ... btw we LOVED the goodie bag ... many unique toys that, like you said, can't be found here in Brasil. A++ party!

    --Jean and Little E

  8. why not giving the great grandma a bag is being an inspiration to others?

  9. Humn, the old "canjica for goodie bag" scheme. I have seen this before. Often perpetrated by one of the most devious minds of our time: the Brazilian Great-Grandmother.
    It has been reported that a vigilant Captain America assistant was able to dismantle the situation without resorting to the Cap, who was probably busy in Brigadeiroland. Kudos to her.

  10. Anon, I think the inspiration thing was a joke. We are all poking at the Great-Grandma in the meaning of good fun. Wait, that sounded quite wrong...

  11. Gritty,

    Canjica can buy just about anything ;)

  12. Gritty, I saw you on the cover of GQ for this month. You look dashing.

    Sorry for being a stupid gringo but WTF is canjica?!

  13. Alex, we respect Grits secret identity here. *serious face* ;)

    And Canjica is: The dish I'm talking about is a super fattening sweet pudding type consistency

  14. Laughing my ass off. That is too funny about the Grandmother. But you're so right about the goodie bags! Every few weeks my inlaws bring my son a goodie bag from some party from some child we don't know and I also get goodie bags via school, from parties we weren't even invited to from kids in other classes. And your bags did ROCK (he loves that whistle)! Last night we saw a commercial for the Captain America movie and Nic jumped up and exclaimed "omg, WE'VE BEEN THERE!!...Luka's house is where Captain America is, wow, I can't believe it's on T.V!!"

  15. Very good image, excellent effect to show us that old woman walking on the wall like Spiderman, I'd like to see more crazy things like those frequently.