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manda405


Nov 9, 2005, 1:16 PM

Post #26 of 45 (3198 views)

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Re: [zoeq1000] Godparents in Mexico, what do you do?

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Never lost any friends over the padrino situation. We were asked recently if we could take part in a quincineta for our neighbor. They asked if we could provide 10 or 15 cases of beer for the party. We haven't known them very long, we just moved here in July, but they have been very nice and helpful to us. I still am trying to pay off my truck and I have some other bills I am trying to get rid of and so I explained to them that we just can't afford it right now. They were cool about it and said that really the only reason they asked was because the guy that orginally said he would supply the beer, backed out at the last minute and that they were going to be kinda short on money since they didn't expect to have to buy anything else. But we're still friends, and I still get tamales on Saturdays.
I have never liked the whole "padrino" idea. I mean it's a totally different situation if you are asked to be the padrinos of a baptism or of a first communion. That is a special moment in the parents' and the child's life and being a "Compadre" in that sense is a big responsibility and an honor to even have been asked. But I don't understand going around and asking people to pay for stuff for your party. If you can't afford to have a big party, don't have one. My husband and I have decided that when we marry in the church, we are not going to ask for padrinos. If someone comes to us and volunteers to supply food, or beer, or pay for the church, or whatever then that's cool, but if not, we are totally prepared to pay for the whole thing ourselves.


What happens down in Mexico...Stays in Mexico.


zoeq1000


Nov 9, 2005, 1:44 PM

Post #27 of 45 (3187 views)

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Re: [manda405] Godparents in Mexico, what do you do?

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Isn't it funny that we feel obliged to tell our financial condition when refusing a request to buy something for someone else's party. I did it, too. What if I were rolling in money, would I be obliged to pay for anything anyone else asks me to because it is their cultural tradition? I guess it is saying I would if I could. But what if I didn't even want to?


gpk

Nov 9, 2005, 1:50 PM

Post #28 of 45 (3181 views)

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Re: [zoeq1000] Godparents in Mexico, what do you do?

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Certainly not true in every case, but many/most foreigners living in Mexico look very, very rich to their Mexican neighbors, so asking for a contribution seems like the thing to do. I don't feel particularly flattered when asked to contribute. I was always amazed with my gringo friends in San Miguel who felt so privileged to be invited to their housekeeper's or gardener's house for an event. I have nothing against working people--I come from a working class family myself--but a "privilege" it is not. I have never flatly said "no", but I give what I feel comfortable with or think of some extra work for the person to do.


TlxcalaClaudia

Nov 9, 2005, 7:50 PM

Post #29 of 45 (3140 views)

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Re: [Ed and Fran] Godparents in Mexico, what do you do?

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I figure they've got as good a chance to make it as any other couple these days, north or south of the border.

Good Point Ed.

Oh the family who 6 years ago told me not to marry a Mexican. Then the folks who said not to buy a business. How about the uncle who said don't waste money on college. The girlfriends who suggested I abort instead of have kids...twice. The colleagues downtown who said I would never make it working from home. The neighbors who jerked at my intent to homeschool. The random folks who I don't even know who said 'Don't teach your kids Spanish; it will confuse their English!'
And more recently, the folks who think I'm nuts to sell the home and accept a job in Mexico. I like reading these posts; shows there are doubters all over and it is nothing personal.

I give credit to this board for, well, not making me bored.


;)

Claudine



macmember

Nov 9, 2005, 11:04 PM

Post #30 of 45 (3110 views)

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Re: [manda405] Godparents in Mexico, what do you do?

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When I raised my Son, we paid for everything he wanted or needed, that we could afford. If we couldn't or didn't want him to have it, he didn't get it until he was old enough to work for it. We NEVER asked anyone to contribute for his sports, schools or parties. Now every relative and friend we have feels the need to ask us to buy some "junk" or "subscription" to help pay for something their child is involved in. As if that was not enough, now we have an Evangelist in the family!!!!! I personally am sick of it.

There should be legislation passed that says, if you can not afford to provide for your Children or Grandchildren, tell them you are poor and they will have to get by with less!!! It might teach them to get an education and work for it rather than standing around with their hand stuck out waiting for you to die.

I guess when we move to Mexico, we will have to make sure all our neighbors think we are supported by our Son and he is the TIGHT WAD! It's helpful to get started on the right foot.

Texas Tight Wad


Gringal

Nov 10, 2005, 7:13 AM

Post #31 of 45 (3083 views)

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Re: [macmember] Godparents in Mexico, what do you do?

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Playing the poverty card merely puts off the problem. I seem rich compared with my poor neighbors. You could cram a family of ten into my two bedroom home. Magic words: "I won't do (give, contribute...) because I don't want to" is pobably the hardest thing to say when somebody wants a handout. Well deserved, since the asker usually knows better anyway. I got the hang of this way back when I was a hard working merchant being beset by hippies wanting "spare change" and "freebies". This refusal does not mean you have a hard heart, since most of us do contribute to deserving causes and people.


TlxcalaClaudia

Nov 10, 2005, 8:14 AM

Post #32 of 45 (3065 views)

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Re: [macmember] Godparents in Mexico, what do you do?

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Hi Macmember- I like corresponding with you, so please don't think this is directed to you. There have been many thoughts posted on this and this is to all in general. Please don't stop emailing me Macmember. 0:)

I guess being such an independent nation here in the USA we don't see the whole padrino thing from the same angle as Mexicans. If one doesn't want to give, simply say "I can't at this time." It is ok. In fact, it is normal that someone will have to reject a request. Not everyone says yes. One of the things I admire about the Mexican family I married into is the familial dependency. It goes both ways and I have been glad a time or two back when I was living alone and dating hubby that I could call for assistance and 4 brothers of his would arrive at my door to help. At some point, everyone needs a little help (be it labor, babysitting, money, an ear to listen). At both of our daughter's baptism, I didn't ask for much and was hounded with questions of "what may I do/bring?" Now I get it. Afterall, I have never been asked for money to pay one's bills...just asked could we like to contribute to an event that all will share in. The time I have spent with my hubby's family has been priceless and is exactly what I want...good times with them. Bottom line, it is ok to say you can't contribute. Don't be angry at them for asking though especially if it was for a padrino thing...they will be there for you in a sec. bet on it. I personally never want to see this tradition taken away. It isn't mine to take away anyhow.

I'm curious how many feel about the negotiations at the markets? I know it doesn't sit well with many foreigners, but would some try to have that changed too? Just a thought.


Respectfully,
Claudine


dtracy8671

Nov 10, 2005, 9:58 AM

Post #33 of 45 (3035 views)

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Re: [TlxcalaClaudia] Godparents in Mexico, what do you do?

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Very well said, Claudia. I look forward to having that "extended" family, who will be there for us in our old age, as I hope we can be there for them - and, not necessarily with just money, as there is not so much of that anymore. To have a family unit around is one of life's greatest pleasures. Disagreements and all!


macmember

Nov 10, 2005, 9:44 PM

Post #34 of 45 (2965 views)

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Re: [TlxcalaClaudia] Godparents in Mexico, what do you do?

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Sure Claudine, we can all agree to disagree on any subject. That is what makes the world go around. Sometime we are coming at a problem from a different direction.

I, like Gringal, come from a commercial background where everybody wanted something for nothing, until you were just burned out. My Husband and I owned/operated a Grocery Store in Dallas Texas from the 60's to 1997. We had an average of 25 employees at a time and the majority of them and a big part of the customers used us up!! I can assure you that none of them would ever be there to help us out when the bills came due. In fact most of them stole us blind if we turned our backs. I will say that that lifestyle has made me cynical regarding almost everything.

As far as the "haggling" aspect of shopping. I do not like it. Just give me a fair price and I will determine if it is in my best interest to buy it from you. I hate buying a new car mostly because of the hassle. I always feel like I have been taken, when I leave. The last few cars we bought, we went to an auction of lease cars where the other Dealers were shopping, NO salesmen. Only way to go.

Beverly


TlxcalaClaudia

Nov 10, 2005, 9:57 PM

Post #35 of 45 (2964 views)

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Re: [macmember] Godparents in Mexico, what do you do?

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Beverly-

we can all agree to disagree on any subject. That is what makes the world go around. Sometime we are coming at a problem from a different direction.


So true! And I like correpsonding with you and wouldn't speak to offend you, especially not publicly. Thanks for understanding.

In fact most of them stole us blind if we turned our backs. I will say that that lifestyle has made me cynical regarding almost everything.

I once had a friend who was a criminal lawyer and he put it much like you just did. After a point, he came to always suspect someone was lying because that what was what he dealt with daily. Another visiting friend who is a pediatrician was questioning my child's delayed speaking because of what he observed when he saw such cases (she is now a chatter box much to his relief). It is our experiences that make us interesting. Share yours and I'll share mine...and together we will have good things to talk about.


by the way, sent you an email about SD.


Claudine


zoeq1000


Nov 11, 2005, 3:43 AM

Post #36 of 45 (2948 views)

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Re: [Biggles] Godparents in Mexico, what do you do?

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To let you know what has happened...Remember I sent an email to the girl who asked me to fork over $650 US for her Quincenara party saying that it wasn't part of my culture and I didn't want to do it. I got an email from her apologizing for "thinking Mexican." She said she was aware that this wasn't done in my culture and she was sorry if she offended me and wants to be friends always. She wants to send me an invitation soon.

My conclusion is that it is important that I stand up for myself when asked for money or to loan money here in Mexico. I don't do it in the states and I don't plan to do it here. The minute I don't feel I have a choice in the matter, I'm going to run the other way. I do want to give to this culture but it will be how and when I choose.

This has been a good lesson for me. I am "rich" to most Mexicans and I do feel they think that I should spread it around and will not hesitate to ask. So OK. Ask away. I'm prepared now. And this is due in no small part to my friends here on Mexconnect. I asked for answers and I received them. Thanks, guys.


zoeq1000


Nov 11, 2005, 3:50 AM

Post #37 of 45 (2949 views)

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Re: [julian3345] Godparents in Mexico, what do you do?

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What a creative gift - swimming lessons! That is a great idea and one that will reap benefits for all of the child's life. I think that for the Mexicans we love, we should think "out of the box" for them. They are so tied into their different traditions and celebrations, that it is difficult for them to think of buying a car for a 15 year old rather than blowing tons of money on a party, a one-time thing.


Marlene


Nov 11, 2005, 10:04 AM

Post #38 of 45 (2901 views)

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Re: [zoeq1000] Godparents in Mexico, what do you do?

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Quote
They are so tied into their different traditions and celebrations, that it is difficult for them to think of buying a car for a 15 year old rather than blowing tons of money on a party, a one-time thing.

Not true. Families in Mexico with means (and there are MANY) will do all of the above plus throw in a new computer or wardrobe as well. Drive by the high schools and universities in larger centers and check out the parking lot. Those shiny wheels don't belong to teachers! It's easy for expats to picture all Mexicans as being poor, but it just isn't fact.


julian3345

Nov 11, 2005, 2:58 PM

Post #39 of 45 (2861 views)

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Re: [Marlene] Godparents in Mexico, what do you do?

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That is absolutely correct. Elite families are more likely to have a family mass, a small party and give the young lady a trip to Europe, a car, a computer, etc. In the case of my neighbor, her older sister did have the big bash with ball gowns and attendants but she wishes now that she had chosen something more long-lasting as her younger sister did. This is a well-to-do family with succesful businesses and real estate holdings. Joan


TlxcalaClaudia

Nov 11, 2005, 4:22 PM

Post #40 of 45 (2839 views)

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Re: [zoeq1000] Godparents in Mexico, what do you do?

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Being tied to their traditions is exactly how I like describe the Mexican culture. Why change that? That is NOB thinking and more likely to offend your friends if you say otherwise to them. Afterall, they are your friends that you wanted to accept your views, thus the deed should be returned equally by accepting theirs, especially if living on their national soil. It is beautiful that they remain so intact by having these festivities but if any guests or expats think otherwise, then good luck telling

Quote
"the Mexicans we love"

and their neighbors, friends and family how wrong they all have it. Buying a car is not necessarily longer lasting than the memories of a "one time" family gathering. Living with a family that places a higher value on family gatherings and less on material possession, I can say with confidence, there is not one Nava (my last name) who didn't work to buy their own "first" car despite the many family parties or festivities, baptisms and quicenerias we have had. It is not looking out for "the Mexicans we love" to suggest that you or we ought to "think outside of the box" for them. Wow, no wonder it was so cold in LA.

Claudine


zoeq1000


Nov 11, 2005, 4:35 PM

Post #41 of 45 (2832 views)

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Re: [TlxcalaClaudia] Godparents in Mexico, what do you do?

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I take exception to that. Tradition is wonderful. But so is thinking out of the box. Where would we all be if at sometime, someone didn't think out of the box? And I am not criticizing Mexican culture. Not at all. What I am objecting to is my getting into a situation that they know what is happening but I don't and yet a financial commitment is being made. That's not fair. I just want to know before I commit. If you choose to follow their traditions and give your money away, that's your affair entirely and more power to you.

My next door neighbor says that some families follow the tradition of padrinos, not all families. His family, though he is not well-off, never follows this tradition.


TlxcalaClaudia

Nov 11, 2005, 4:57 PM

Post #42 of 45 (2823 views)

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Re: [dtracy8671] Godparents in Mexico, what do you do?

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In Reply To
I look forward to having that "extended" family, who will be there for us in our old age, as I hope we can be there for them - and, not necessarily with just money, as there is not so much of that anymore. To have a family unit around is one of life's greatest pleasures. Disagreements and all!


I too feel it really is a wonderful thing to have an extended family. When do you go to Mexico and where will you be?
Disagreements tend to take place quietly in hubby's somewhat traditional family (thank goodness). Hubby can't imagine an argument with a sibling after hitting adulthood and can't imagine not offering a helping hand (nor is he afraid to ask a sibling for help should he need it). I know not all Mexican families are like this; I have lived around many since my own maternal Grandparents are Mexican. I'm just lucky I guess, and acknowledge it frequently to him.

Claudine


Marlene


Nov 11, 2005, 4:58 PM

Post #43 of 45 (2822 views)

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Re: [zoeq1000] Godparents in Mexico, what do you do?

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Quote
And I am not criticizing Mexican culture. Not at all. What I am objecting to is my getting into a situation that they know what is happening but I don't


It has nothing to do with traditions or the culture. My Mexican (working class) family and friends have never, ever asked me for money for parties or celebrations in the years I have been here. Your friends tried you on for size is all, and you were able to see through it. ($6500 pesos is a ton of money by local standards!) I doubt you will get asked again, and know that you did a good, positive thing by putting it forward to the forum so that others could be aware of things that can and do happen to the new guys (read: foreigners) on the block.


(This post was edited by Marlene on Nov 11, 2005, 5:02 PM)


TlxcalaClaudia

Nov 11, 2005, 4:59 PM

Post #44 of 45 (2821 views)

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Re: [zoeq1000] Godparents in Mexico, what do you do?

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Respectfully put Zoeq1000.

Thank you.


Claudine


zoeq1000


Nov 11, 2005, 5:32 PM

Post #45 of 45 (2801 views)

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Re: [Marlene] Godparents in Mexico, what do you do?

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Thanks, Marlene. This was a tough one for me because I really like the family and I felt they were extending me an honor, yet they were asking for so much money. And while they have been helpful, I have helped them, too. I do like to do things that help others help themselves and I'll continue along that vein.

I do think that parties and family gatherings are important as one member pointed out. But I think that can get way out of hand financially getting caught up with the best place, the best dress, the best food. What is important is that your family and friends are sharing some time with you. I have fond memories of my wedding held in my landlady's back yard with the camilias in bloom. It didn't cost much but it was important to both of us. I think I've found my footing, thanks to you all.
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