Learning to swear.

Today I learned to swear.


My family will tell you that like — for a million years — I haven’t been a big “swear-er”.   Nope.  Not super big.   But — I did begin to swear — quite a lot — about a year ago…November 8th.

Draw your own conclusions.

Then…about six weeks ago R said to me — ‘ok, I know that you are expressing yourself in this way now….but it has been ten months….can you please stop now?’

Which I thought was pretty funny.

When I lived in the South — when you wanted to comment about what an idiot a guy was, you would say: “Bless his heart”.   Or, sometimes I would say “Have a really nice day” when I meant something completely different.

But today — on my fourteenth day in Milan — (il quattordicesimo), and my fifth day of class — we learned to swear.

For real.

Bad words, swear words, are known as “Parolacce” — literally “bad words”.

Class began with our teacher telling us that it is super important to know the words which are synonymous with Arrabbiata/Arrabbiato — angry.

So he asked us to list all the synonyms we could think of for the word “Arrabbiato”.

We came up with Fastidioso (annoyed), Irrita (Irritated), Incavolare (to upset…from Cavoli — cabbage), Furente (furious), Incazzare (involves a body part).

If something really bothers you — you can say:  Che rabbia!  Che fastidio!  Che irritazione!, Che disgusto!  Che infuriato!

And if someone is easily offended “Offeso”, you say that they are “touchy” — permaloso/a.

Try to keep up.

Now we started the insults.   The teacher wrote the headings for two categories on the board:  Insulti e Parolacce.

First word — vaffanculo!  (Google it.)

Then — Coglione (pronounced co-lee-O-ne) (jerk).

Then….things got exciting.  The teacher paired us up and told us we had to write a fight.   An argument — a “litigare”.    Each skit had to have 3 insulti o parolacce, 5 pronouns, 2 irregular superlatives, 3 verbs in the imperative tense, 3 verbs in imperfect tense.

Oh, and we had to memorize them because we were going to perform them.

What?!?!?!  (Che cazzo!?)

He gave us thirty minutes.

They had to begin with “Cosa c’e?….niente” and end with “Perché?  Perché no?”

(beginning with What is This?…..Nothing” and ending with “Why? Why not?”

This is what we wrote — oh, and the teacher said that I had to enter the room at the beginning of the skit — by STORMING in — and slamming the door…and shouting “COSA C’E?!?!?”

My partner said “niente”.

I then told her that all morning she had been behaving like a jerk.  So…like…what the heck?    She asked me why I was always so irritating?   That I should tell her.

C’mon, I said. (Dai!) What is your problem?, I said.    I said that I only came to Italy for her.

Then she told me to F— off.

(Yes, in Italian.)

That I am a stronza.  That I should stop.

Then I started to cry (uh…it was a skit, I was acting.)  I told her that my mother was right.  That she was selfish.  That she was the WORST in the world.

She told me I was too picky.  F— your mamma, she said.  Your mamma is the WORST, she said.

I am so offended, I said.  I am taking the children and going to my mamma’s house, I said.

Wait, wait, she said.  You are always so beautiful when you cry.  Come here, she said.

No, I said.

C’mon, c’mon, she said.

Why?  — I asked.

She ended with:  “Perché no?” — and embraced me.

An hour later we were in a restaurant — our teacher and eight of us.  We were talking about class.   My partner, a young Chinese woman, said she would never forget that word….Fanculo — “F” your mamma, she had said.

We were laughing and saying that word.

The restaurant was super crowded and our teacher was freaking out.

Ragazzi!  Guys!, he said….everyone in the restaurant cannot hear you say “F” your mamma!

Can’t wait to argue with R.

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