|Mums the word . . .|
Well, wherever I'm living there's no way I can go to someone's home empty-handed. (Remember Goldie Hawn in Private Benjamin? We had the same mother . . .) Mark and I always bring something when we're on our way to a dinner, whether edible, drinkable, readable or playable. There's one thing very strange about the gift relationship here in Brazil, though. You go to a birthday party, for example. You put the gift you've brought onto a pile with the other gifts. But, if the gift isn't opened and gushed over immediately, only rarely do you get a thank-you note or a thank-you phone call. In the States, you spend half your childhood under instructions from your mother not to leave your room until you've written out neatly, Dear Grandma, Thank you for the pretty handkerchief that you gave me for my birthday. I'm sure I will use it well. Or Dear Uncle Morris, Thank you for the $5.00 you sent for my graduation. I'm sure I will use it well. Here it just seems not to be the custom. And what's even worse than the silences after birthday parties are the silences after weddings. Don't take this wrong, dear Brazilian friends, but on several occasions we have been to stores where a marrying couple has enrolled in the wedding registry. We've ordered a desired gift and paid for it. If it's not acknowledged, how do we know it's even been delivered? Are we supposed to ask? Help us here, we're truly in the dark.
|Still blooming, after all these years|