Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The Ugly Truth

Since I know you all have been waiting with bated breath....

I kid, I kid.

Seriously, Sidnei and I finally had a conversation. We talked about the pros and cons. We leaned a little towards building an apartment, we leaned some more towards renting. Finally after complaining wayyy too much talking with some willing ears (seriously, you know who you are and I can't thank you enough,) I realized that as much as I want to do the "smart" thing, as much as I want to be the better person I think would make that "smart" move...I just can't. I can not do it.

And all of your wonderful commenters are right as well. Obviously my pro/con list was very biased, because so am I. I really want to make the decision that involves me making the best decision for our future...for me that means, if we rent now, are we going to be able to save to buy a house at some point? I'm worried that that is a No. Which is why I wanted to think about building. However, I realized that my mental health is worth FAR MORE NOW than worrying constantly about where we will be at whatever point I think I need to achieve.

And here is the ugly truth...the straw that broke the camel's back. Let's go back to last week shall we? I dug in my boxes, pulled out some Christmas decorations that I shipped, put on my Christmas music, my Santa hat, and got to work (with permission from my MIL first). I displayed a nativity scene, some Santa, snow globes, and mistle toe bells (soo pretty..pictures later). It was all very Christmas-y and I loved it. Friday I decided to go to Centro, look for a table top tree (we decided not to use the big one I brought because of my nephew), some lights and decorations. I was so happy with me, I found everything I wanted, for less than $50 reais!

I came home and put up the tree right away. I was so excited. Nothing brings the Christmas spirit out of me better than Christmas lights...seriously, I love it! I decide to put our tree on the table that we have on the veranda, because we all sit out there every night to eat and talk. I got it all set up and I was happy, happy.


Enter SIL.

Before she goes upstairs to change out of work clothes she says, that would look more pretty inside the living room. I didn't say anything, hoping she would get the hint. She goes upstairs and returns (too) shortly after. She goes about her business and then says again, "The tree would look better inside...It's ugly out here." I tell her I like it out here. So she says it AGAIN. So she takes the tree, moves it inside the living room beside the TV and says, It looks more pretty here. So I said again, "I like it better outside." And then I just walked away. Because I was seriously seething...blood boiling..all those angry things. Because I wanted to punch her. And because you really aren't supposed to punch 11 week pregnant women (or anyone for that matter)...I walked away.

Enter Sidnei.

I tell Sidnei what happens. He says, well it does look better in here right? (Are you allowed to punch your husband?) NO, this is not the point. This is EXACTLY why we are NOT building here. Because I bought the tree, because I decorated everything, because I did all the work, SHE does not get an opinion. OK, she can have an opinion, but she can also keep her sticky pregnant paws OFF my tree. We are NOT building here because I will NEVER be able to do the things I want to do. We are NOT building here because you do not get that I need you to BE ON MY SIDE. And we are NOT building here because I do NOT want to start anything with your sister(seriously I loathe contention), but one day, one day I am going to blow up like the Macy's Day Parade Balloons and it's NOT going to be pretty.

So to make a long story short. We are going to rent. End of story.

Enter Justification for overreaction.

And yes, I seem to be a bit territorial with my Christmas decorations. But in my defense, I wanted the tree in a place where everyone could see it and bask in the Christmas spirit. But no one seems to give a damn since no one has said ANYTHING about the decorations the tree, anything. Which severely annoys me. I am having Christmas spirit issues because of the lack of it. I miss my Mom, the abundance of her Christmas-ness (after she decorates...she's a little cranky in the process), and watching Elf with her. Because no one laughs with me like my Momma when we watch that movie. And if I seem like a whiny, spoiled, self absorbed brat...Bite me. Try to remember... It's my first Christmas ever away from my family, in a foreign country, in a city that does not celebrate Christmas like we do, and it's damn hot.

Nevertheless, I am grateful to be with my husband this year.

And even more grateful that we are going to rent. Let's hope we get there SOON.

And thank you again for all your advice and opinions. It really does help.


Lisa said...

I agree with you completely, not that you need my okey dokey!
A girl has got to have her space to decorate and make hers. Obviously that will not happen.

Eve said...

I'm with you! A little independence from the family is a good thing - especially while you mold your marriage in the early years and discover who you are as a couple!

Anonymous said...

Jelly spinger
Patience...Relax...Yoga class!
Don't punch anyone...unless you wanna hear:
The time will come, and you'll have a healthy relationship w/ his family.
You can change your situation, and you will!!!!
Think about the ones with no choices.
Be positive, GIRLLL!
Good music...
Thumbs up...
I gotta felling....:D

Chelle said...

Aw, hon, I totally get it. I would have felt the exact same way!

Lin said...

You were within all your right to be upset with her moving your tree. I'm totally territorial as well & I hate it when someone touches or moves something of mine. I hope it all works out for you two :)

Jaime Wilkins said...

Oh Steph! I'm so sorry you're away from home at Christmas. It is really really rough! I don't think you even needed to explain being upset about the tree. She shouldn't have TOUCHED it! Maybe you can just enjoy it in your room! Good luck with everything!

Danielle said...

Yeah, the tree thing was relatively small, but a metonymy for how annoying and frustrating your life is there with her.

I think renting is better because you'll feel less pressure to be tied down (i.e. trapped) in that city forever. If your options open up (like if Sidnei can get a job in a bigger city, or better yet, his US papers finally go through), it'll be easier for you guys to move on. So you'll have a little bit of stress for "wasting" money on renting but less stress for keeping your options open. And being able to put your tree wherever you want!

PS: I'd just move the tree back and if she says anything, you can say "se quiser ter arvole na sala de sua casa, fique vontade!" Maybe don't say that. It's kind of snotty, actually, and I don't know if I spelled tree right.


Ballerina Girl said...

Wow, breather first and congratulate yourselves that you both came to the right decision!
Good luck, and remember, family life is very different here in SA. Everyone is involved in everyone else's business....only Sidnei can change that, if he so chooses.


Laura said...

I wanted to comment on your pro/con list post with my opinion (that a new married couple DEFINITELY needs their own space away from too much family influence), but that's really a personal decision that totally depends on your individual situation.

That said, I think you are making the right decision. Money and financial goals are very important but not at the expense of your mental health! I agree that the tree thing just symbolizes that this set-up is not working for you guys. The fact that your husband defaulted to agreeing with his family over you is just icing on the cake.

I think you might just find that getting into a less stressful living situation will let you focus on more positive things and in time improve your relationship with you H and family, and even open up new opportunities.

PS... I'll be spending my first Christmas in Brazil away from my family and I'm really happy about it, but it's not easy even going for a trip. I'm already getting the guilt trips, etc. I realize it's much different actually living there... Hang in there!


Corinne said...

Glad you decided to rent. It IS more money, but it really sounds like you need the space. It is a lot to adjust to and sharing space is not easy. Your SIL probably thought that trees belong inside and could not figure out why you wanted it outside. I think she should not have moved it though, since it was your tree. Be prepared for Sidnei to side with family, mine always does. Fortunately there are more times his family sides with me :)

Vanessa Rogers said...

I don't blame you, I would be so fed up with living with the in-laws. Good for you!

Anonymous said...

I totally feel ya girlfriend. As much as I <3 my MIL I'm having my own 'ugly truth' with the cunha. And I'm still waiting for my wonderful marido to get off his bunda and take me to SEE my Christmas tree since I wasn't smart like you to pre-send all my goodies: http://farm1.static.flickr.com/138/324364804_db1dfebbc1.jpg

Um beijao amiga

Sam said...

Well, that sounds like you made the right decision, LOL! :) Good for you!

Anonymous said...

Do you REALISE how anxious I've been waiting for your decision?! Just kidding, but I'm really glad you've decided :)
And I TOTALLY understand the Christmas Tree thing - no thanks, no recognition of your work and then someone wants to change it - trust me, I would explode too.
Good Luck finding a flat to rent, estou torcendo por ti!

mrsmouthy said...

If it makes you feel any better, I thought the tree looked better outside. :)

American in Norway said...

Oh honey.... You don't even know how much I FEEL your pain...

I remember my frist Christmas in Norway without my family... Bjørns mom kept asking if I wanted to call home... & I just couldn't because I KNEW I would have a total melt down.

Our first of marriage we tried to rent from his brother...too much family too close while you are trying to start your family together is NOT a good thing.

Mrs. Carioca said...

I think you made the right choice. I hated living at my dad's house and I moved out to rent before I could even afford furniture. Thank goodness I did that. I think overtime you'll be able to save money and you'll be just fine!

May said...

I know money is a big issue, but if I were in your shoes, I would be afraid of spoiling my relationship with the in-laws (SIL included) for good, and it could directly affect my relationship with my husband. Even though saving is important, what good can come of living in such conditions if it may brake you guys up? (That's MY personal long term view of the issue if you do keep living with them) Somethings are just priceless and I think in the long run your decision may be a marriage saver.
I sincerely hope that things work out fine for you, no matter what happens.
And I would put the tree wherever I want. People are allowed to have an opinion in my house, but I'm entitled to make decisions.
Best of luck!! :)

Fabiola said...

I was praying that you got to this decision.
I hope you will rent your apartment soon.


Michele said...

Oh girl...I'm so with you...and if I may say so, I would have punched her...but that's just me!!! And damn, I would be missin my mom if I were you too.

Hang in there...and find somewhere to rent...soon!!!


Krystyn said...

I definitely think that renting is the way to go. Most people that rent (me included) saved money while we were renting to be able to purchase a home. And, you will be much happier with your own space.

lovelydharma said...

Hey Steph,
SO I just re-read this (I was reading as we were chatting the other day) and I have to say, I'm giggling a little because -
1) My mom is a walking overabundance of Christmasness. And she is always cranky when she decorates and I always miss her this time of year.
2)You said "bite me"! Which the other day I was really wanted to say to someone but realized that I wouldn't be understood. And I missed saying it!

Some days I miss speaking American as much as I miss Christmas.

Hope things are staying cool and calm and Christmasy!!!!!

Jim said...

You sound pretty clear about your decision. Do take care that Sidnei gets it every step of the way.

Emotionally you will definitely be better off. To combat the criticism about your financial decision -- make a firm commitment to save money - even if a tiny bit.

It will all come out in the wash.

In the mean time make a little Christmas magic just for yourself!

Good luck!

Stephanie Meade Gresham said...

You can punch pregnant women. Just not in the stomach. Or the bajingo. Aim high and you're fine.

Anonymous said...

I just came across your blog, sorry you have to deal with such a dondoca of a SIL! You are more than justified to feel the way you do. I am leaving for Brazil on xmas eve. I spoke to my mother earlier tonight. She mentioned my two aunts, whom I have not seen in years, are coming over for xmas. Felt a little bummed. But, I am looking forward to my trip. Its only a vacation, but much needed!:) You and your husband definitely need one. Can both of you get away, even for one night? ie: New Years? Money can be an issue, just hang in there. Keep us posted.

Amanda X said...

Let me just tell you that this post made me sooooo happy. Now I would have gone crazy with a SIL like that. And you handle things much better than I would have. I read this post out loud to Cheryl and we both were laughing. "And because you really aren't supposed to punch 11 week pregnant woman."

Anyways the reason this made me happy was because I was hoping that you would decide to move to your own place. I couldn't imagine living there on top of them. So yes it will be more expensive but I think that your sanity is so worth it.

I love you and miss you! I was at BYU on Saturday and missed you a ton. I drove around and by S Hall and remembered our fun times. Remember the HUGE snowball (with the face in it?) Good times...