Manners - or lack thereof

I don't have much manners.

Or at least I haven't incorporated yet the manners I should have here in the United States. Eleven years in, I am still going through cultural shocks and learning that if you bump into someone on the street, you better say you're sorry (where I come from, you don't even notice it - personal space is slightly overrated there).

When I was fresh off the boat in this country, I learned most of my colloquial English from a boyfriend that now I know, had a very dirty mouth.

I dropped the "F" bomb like it was an adverb or an adjective, and sometimes like it was the subject of a sentence.

My then boyfriend's grandmother had a horror expression on her face whenever I talked and I figured it was because she was senile. A professor in college finally made me understand why.

I raised my hand during class and asked, "Professor, I don't understand what the f... you just said..." The class exploded in laughter and my professor took me aside after class. He said, "Mariana, girls don't talk like that. As a matter of fact, nobody talks like that, but sailors." He explained to me that the "F" and other not so nice words were not appropriate things to say, ever, and especially coming from a sweet, little girl.

I wasn't aware. I mean, I wasn't aware I was sweet.

A few days ago I showed my stepson the ultrasound pictures of the baby that are glued to the refrigerator. I said, "...and here you can see his little peepee and his little balls..." My stepson brought his hands to his mouth, bursting out in giggles. "Did I say something inappropriate?" I asked my husband, whom shook his head from behind his newspaper. "Seriously, is there another word for balls?" which made stepson laugh even more, as if I had said the funniest thing ever. My husband just shook his head again, rolling his eyes.

You see, my husband and I are already from different planets.

He comes from a small, conservative town and is from a long line of Southern Baptist ministers (... the only boy who could ever reach me, was a son of a preacher's man, yes he was - remember that song?). He is neat, classy, quiet, shy, and is interested in talking about serious things, like economy and politics.

I come from a crowded, three million people city, in a very liberal country where clothing seems to be optional. I can talk with a brick wall if you let me. I am far from shy. Sometimes I forget to brush my hair (no point if you are driving a Jeep, anyway), and the most I have ever been involved in politics was while representing the commuter students as a senator, and I only did that because they gave free cookies.

So here is the question: do I have enough time to straighten up before the baby is here? I don't want him to be the weird kid that says funny things and sounds like a sailor.

Son Of A Preacher Man Song


  1. No straightening up needed. You are terrific just the way you are!!! You just say it like it is. I find that refreshing :)

  2. Now I'm laughing with NIc. Jayme is right no straightening up needed, but you will be amazed that when they grow up and start talking how much things will just automatically change. You will be just fine we ALL just learn as we go if there was an instruction manual it wouldn't be as fun.


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