|Just one button short of news anchor decorum|
There are a lot of blogposts I can't write. I am completely stymied by a deeply ingrained strain of American puritanism coupled with a strong desire not to offend my Brazilian friends. When I was growing up it was common etiquette not to talk about sex, politics or religion, but these are not the problem topics for me here in Brazil. No, there are other subjects way more delicate, provocative or touchy than that classic trio. Just as an example, there's no way I would ever write a blog about the differences in style between American and Brazilian women. No way. Unh-uh. If I'm still surprised when I see the two-sizes-too-small fit of Brazilian women's clothing, causing all kinds of intimate body parts to protrude and bulge, I guess that's my problem. If I still roll my eyes when I turn on the evening news and see killer décolletage on a serious female news anchor, that's my problem, too. And this is, of course, a two-way street. Plenty of Brazilian women roll their eyes at me — at my comfortable, oversized clothes, often purchased in the men's department. But as I said, this subject will appear in no blogpost of mine.
And I will never discuss how middle-class adolescents are raised here in Brazil. I'm such good friends with the parents of some of these kids, I wouldn't presume! I raised no children in any country, so who am I to mouth off? It's just that a lot of these kids don't know what a household chore is. Remember chores? My sisters and I grew up doing chores around the house, it was a natural part of growing up. How can a person ever go out on their own if they don't even know how to do the basics, like make a bed, wash a dish, prepare a simple meal? These kids I know are all such great kids, they're smart, they're talented, they're funny, they care deeply about their families and the world at large. Why should I be so worried? Well, I'm worried because a lot of them are looking forward to participating in English-language exchange programs some day. Boy, are they going to be in for a shock when some host family in Iowa starts assigning chores!
|No, this plate does not fly|
|Tiny apartment, tinier maid's room|