1. You get used to insane tangents.
Your Brazilian partner is not used to getting straight to it: He uses a lot of metaphors, idioms, sidetracks, and seemingly unrelated stories to illustrate his point. He’ll be telling you about his family (which you think should have its own telenovela anyway) and in particular about one of his many cousins, who killed her best friend’s puppy by accidentally sitting on it and then threw it out of the bathroom window pretending it never happened (if you think I’m making this up, think again), then flew to Paraguay to have dental surgery but ended up with one less kidney.
He then then drifts off and wonders whether now is a good time to invest in the stock market, and you’ll somehow end up knowing what his grandmother had for dinner yesterday and that the family baby tried to boil the goldfish. This is all to make clear that he changed his mind and now prefers to go on vacation to Greece instead of Mexico. It’s a form of art, really.
2. You gain an instinct for figuring out newly-invented words and phrases.
Your Brazilian partner makes up new words on the spot. Reta, xuxubeleza, ziguifrida, chechelenta… You don’t know if it’s an insult or a compliment and the dictionary can’t help you either. You learn how to read between the lines, and figure out what it is that he is trying to tell you by paying attention to body language, facial expressions, and just giving it your best guess really. In no time you’ll know what it means to travel through mayonnaise, pay for the duck, and put your foot in a jackfruit.
3. You begin to get a feel for “Brazilian time.”
If your Brazilian partner tells you he’ll be there in 7 minutes, be aware that this means 7 minutes in Brazilian time. You’ll have to develop the skills to estimate what those 7 minutes translate to in real time. This is a lot harder than you think. One day, those 7 minutes might mean 1 minute in real time. The next day, they mean 43 minutes. Another day, 1.5 hours. It depends on the weather, the type of breakfast your partner had, the color of his socks, and other important things. In any case, 7 minutes will never, ever, actually mean 7 minutes.
4. You learn to go shopping after the party at your house.
Your Brazilian partner loves to share, entertain, have a good time with friends, and he loves to party — preferably all at the same time — and that’s why you love him. But don’t be surprised to see nothing left in your cupboard the day after a party at your house. The problem is not limited to the cupboard: always check if you still have all your books, pots, pans, shampoo, bikes, siblings. A pet-count is also recommended. If something’s missing, it’s likely been given away to a guest who gave it a compliment.
5. You accept maddening levels of discussion about skincare and anti-aging products.
Antioxidants are a topic of daily conversation at your home, with colleagues, friends, and family. Your Brazilian partner is a fanatic when it comes to beauty, vitality, and health and he’ll resort to extreme measures to stop that aging process. Whether these measures have been scientifically proven or just seemed to have worked on the neighbor’s cat doesn’t really matter. At your house there’s at least 15 different health supplements, multi-vitamins, and things you can’t pronounce that promise eternal youth. And that doesn’t even include the creams, oils, and lotions. Everything is proudly presented and discussed when you have guests over, whether they like it or not. (If they do like it, they’ll probably get to take home some, see point 4.)
6. You get obsessive about personal hygiene.
Kind of an extension from point # 5: Your partner has the habit of brushing his teeth and flossing a couple of times per day, scrubbing, shaving, and spending a long time in the shower doing God knows what. He showers multiple times a day, including just before going to bed. In fact, he’d consider it super gross if you’d get to bed without being clean. So the choice is yours: shower, or sleep on the couch.
7. You talk about food a lot (and probably gain a few pounds, too.)
You discuss what will be for lunch when you’re having breakfast, what’s for dinner during lunch, and what you’ll have for next day’s breakfast at dinner. Talking about food and anticipating the next meal is almost as important as having the actual meal. Your Brazilian partner loves food, and isn’t afraid to show it: pão de queijo, feijoada, tapioca, farofa, picanha, and everything churrasco. Damn it, now you’re hungry. What’s for dinner?