FaCoCaTiPa® – The Secret to Marital Harmony

“The secret to staying together isn’t compromise, it’s giving in.” ~ Ethan Mordden, How’s Your Romance?

Far (distant, way off yonder, lost to sight) be it from me to offer any comment that smacks of wise counsel with regard to the way “relationships” ought to work—by which I mean those “intimate,” “one-on-one,” “committed,” “partnered,” “pair-bonded,” and “close-coupled” (and a host of other truly ugly terms that sociologists have foisted upon us over the years) ménages that we hear so much about in Hollywood movies and personals ads.

No, you’d be better off taking advice about how to lose an election gracefully from Bill Clinton.

So consider what follows as more of an observation.

Let us imagine the following hypothetical situation in which two cohabiting adults must accomplish a (generally mundane) task: how to make the salad, arrange the suitcases in the trunk of the car, fold the wash, drill a hole in the wall, drive from Point A to Point B. Frequently, from such an innocent premise, the amusing fact emerges that one’s approach to said task is markedly different from the approach one’s SigOth has in mind. A congenial and respectful dispute ensues.

Which quickly turns deadly serious when it becomes clear that SigOth has entirely taken leave of his senses.

Now, you certainly realize that his way of doing things isn’t actually wrong…. Well, let me back up. Of course his way of doing things is wrong. I just mean it’s not objectively wrong, in the sense that you can’t look it up on Wikipedia and say, “See, I told you the capital of Montenegro was Podgorica” or “It says right here that July is too early to plant ornamental cabbage.”

Sadly, there’s no site you can go to, and no conclusive, external evidence whatsoever that you can bring to bear on  the proposition that it is a mistake to put all those clothes in the washing machine at the same time; or that stuffing perfumed sachets into the corners of the closet renders the air in the bedroom nauseating and intolerable; that filling up the car regularly with gas is preferable to waiting until the little red light starts to flash; or that, if drinking cappuccino after breakfast time is wrong, then eating French fries with mayonnaise is unforgivable and quite possibly actionable.

Thus, “Facocatipa® and ce qui finit la démonstration.

I should explain.

First, Facocatipa® is ® because I invented it. And what it stands for is: “Fai cosa cazzo ti pare” or, “Do whatever the fuck you like.” It is extremely important to follow Facocatipa® with an endearment such as “tesoro,” “amore,” or the like. For example:

“Do whatever the fuck you like” is hostile.

“Do whatever the fuck you like, sweetie” is the secret to blithe coexistence.

In the hope that it may be useful to others, then, I altruistically offer Facocatipa® to the world. If it doesn’t save your marriage, your marriage couldn’t be saved. Keep in mind that you don’t even necessarily need to say it out loud; let your conscience be your guide. As for me, I frequently find, as we’re driving ten miles out of our way because A Certain Person insisted on taking surface roads instead of the freeway, that chanting Facocatipa® to myself like a mantra is sufficient to achieve Nirvana.


Posted on 18 July 2008, in Italy, Italian, Italians (in that order), Tales from the Road, Write ... che ti passa. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. >Wen, you know I love the way you write! But most of all, I’ll learn by heart this precious suggestion and use it every single day of my life starting from now. Thank you, you saved my sanity and possibly my marriage!This said, mayonnaise is the ONLY human, tasteful, sane way to eat french fries. I read it on Wikipedia. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mayonnaise)Ok, it says only it’s the way we eat them in Europe, but Europe is the only human, tasteful, sane place to live in. :-))) Yeah, yeah, I know, don’t tell me. FaCoCaMiPa, caro amico mio. :-))

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