Monday, February 8, 2010

Dumpster Diving

They say that one man’s trash, is another’s treasure….or something along those lines.

For my mother in law, this is the golden rule. Which is odd, because generally I found, that many Brazilians (obviously not all) tend to find the idea of second hand items….odd. However, to be fair, this comes from a society that pays A LOT for their possessions, and uses them to the full extent of their worth. Where I come from, if the toaster were to break, you throw it out, and go pick up another one from Wal*Mart. Here you take it to the repair shop. This goes for just about everything. There are repair shops here for EVERYTHING. Appliances, furniture, you name it, there’s a store for it. And this really is a great thing. I’m not saying this is everyone, but I know in the states I had a tendency to be careless sometimes and had a thought that everything was replaceable. No big deal. Well now that same toaster I picked up at Wal*Mart for $20 is $R100 or more (give or take $50…but factor in cost of living, it’s more). Which makes me much more careful (or at least I try really hard…but I have a tendency to be a little accident prone)

Anyway, back to my MIL. She LOVES second hand everything. And she hates to throw away anything. And I mean anything. Even produce that I think has gone bad when I am cleaning the fridge…she’ll bring it back. Stale bread? Stale chips, cookies? Keepers. Keep in mind these are all in separate baggies, so they aren’t mixing with trash-trash..but still. My SIL and I will sometimes clean the kitchen together when she isn’t there to get rid of things and clean out a little. Like Tupperware with no lids, lids with no Tupperware, broken ice trays, things that haven’t been used in 10 years. And then we hide it. Because if she were to see it, she’d just bring it back in.

So up until this point, I have had a little chuckle at the trash power struggle. But chuckling now, I am not. So the other day, I decided to clean out our closet…since I broke a shelf..and since Sidnei was not happy and demanded I take some stuff out. To be fair it was packed to the gills…also to be fair, I told him I wouldn’t this problem if I had my own house instead of one room. Tit for Tat right? So I went through clothes that were too big and I didn’t want my MIL to sew for me, things I didn’t really wear, winter clothes that I brought with high hopes….and my underwear drawer.

Now my underwear drawer was busting at the seams. I love underwear. Unfortunately, I had lots of old underwear, underwear that was way too big now etc. So I put them in a plastic baggie to be tossed out. Because really, who wants someone’s underwear???




I came outside the other morning to see her washing my discarded underwear. Asking me WHY? Why would I throw them away?


The line has to be drawn somewhere people.

I draw them at my underwear.

**Edited to add** She absolutely plans on wearing them herself and is none to shy to say so. And also despite my brazen attitude here, I didn't really say anything. I think mainly out of pure shock and horror. Though I'm pretty sure she caught that look on my face. I did mention it to Sidnei and he in turn thought it was hilarious and has made countless jokes all weekend. Though he did mention that he will never understand his Mom and her love of all things junk. I am never in lack of stories living here...


Anonymous said...

Stephanie!!! That was hilarious!!!! Maybe she's going to use them as old dishcloths?!
Thanks for the laugh :)

Elena B. said...

hahaha, oh man....yeah, I'd definitely draw the line there! So is she planning to wear them herself?!

Stephanie said...

Julie, I don't know what would horrify me more. My MIL using my underwear or everyone else in the house using them to wipe off houseshold surfaces.

Glad you got a good laugh in :)

Absolutely, I edited my blog since I kind of left that part hanging!

Ballerina Girl said...

so true never lacks a story when living here ;)


Fabiola said...

I am glad you said that not all Brazilians are like that ; )
I am the type that throw things away really easily, but I am married to someone who has a really hard time to throw things away;

By the way, how are you dealing with this crazy hot weather? It haven't been this hot in years.

SweetlyBroken said...

that was the laugh i needed before heading in to work.. thanks :D

Sam said...

Okay, your MIL wearing your underwear? That is the best MIL story EVER. TOLD. :)

Corinne said...

too funny!! You must have some really nice underwear!!

Danielle said...

Oh my goodness that's horrible! How uncomfortable!

Now you know in the future to walk things outside and throw them into a neighbor's trash can.

I'm all about the donating too, but neither you nor in-laws are poor enough to take away your dignity like that! Limits! Boundaries!

But yeah, it is kind of funny. ;)

Vanessa said...

I am going to start calling you Saint Stephanie. I do not know how you are able to stay living with these people. This is something my Brazilian MIL would do as well.

Bethany said...

Ewww.Yea, I would have done the same as you. There's no WAY I could have said something out loud but inside I would have been screaming. LOL!

Fabio Bossard said...

That's not a Brazilian thing at all. Your MIL will definitely use anything that comes her way.

Amanda X said...

OH. MY. HELL. I don't even know what to write. I am in shock. Gross.

makes me think of some funny stories. ummm....vagankles. HA.

(not sure why that popped in my head when reading it. but I know it'll give you a good laugh.)

Dari said...

AH HA HA HA HA that is so hilarious/nasty... Awkward! I love that she has no shame about it at all. I would love to hear the things Sidnei is saying about that whole situation!!!