Cursi

I went to a party the other night, and we were all having a merry old time. One of the guests started playing the guitar, and someone asked if he knew any songs by Ricardo Arjona. No, not Arjona, I pleaded. ¡Es muy cursi! Judging by the immediate chorus of indignant gasps and protestations, I had touched a nerve. More than merely defensive of the singer, they took issue with my epithet of choice. ¿Y qué tiene de malo eso, ser cursi? I didn’t stop there. Es más, I said. I’ve found that Hispanics on the whole tend to be much more cursi than Americans. Well, that was it. Se armó la de Troya. The women were then up in arms. Oh, what does she know about love? She’s just a cold, heartless gringa. How could she ever understand the way we Latinos feel and express ourselves? No, they didn’t actually say those things, but it’s what their whelps were basically communicating. As we’re all friends, I took their ribbing in stride. They wouldn’t let me live it down, though–the rest of the night, they kept making a big deal about all the music being CURSI and then looking at me as if to apologize for offending my stony artistic palate.

I wanted to retirar lo dicho immediately, and not because of the outcry from my friends. I knew that no feelings had been hurt, and I still stand by what I said—Ricardo Arjona is cheesy. Immensely so. And his music is not my cup of tea. But if someone wanted to, I’m sure they could lampoon many of my beloved Hispanic singers for being cursi as well–Silvio Rodríguez, Julio Jaramillo, Chavela Vargas, etc. Why does cursi get such a bad rap? And what do we reveal about ourselves when we hiss and glare at this adjective as if it were the devil?

Cursi means cheesy, especially in the sense of mushy, sentimental, sappy, lovey-dovey. Cloyingly sweet, sickeningly sweet. Empalagoso, hostigante, acaramelado. Someone who is cursi oozes miel–honey–and is thus meloso. Think of the Seinfeld episode where he and his girlfriend called each other Schmoopy, and you’ll have a good idea of cursi.

Cursi elefante

It’s very subjective, though. I guess everyone has a certain degree to which they can tolerate mushiness. Predictably, it’s always other people’s sappiness that gets on your nerves; one almost never views their own actions as cursi unless their family and friends start giving them a hard time about their soft side. That is, we’re all hypocrites when it comes to being cheesy. All of us, of course, but the Spanish speakers.

I had a cursi friend in Bogotá named Jhon Carlos. Here’s how I described him to a friend back in 2010: “He’s kind of awkward, though awfully sweet and tender, also kind of cheesy and… eager. :)” Yes; very cheesy, this Jhon Carlos. And very eager–muy intenso–but so genuine and sincere. He filled my inbox for years with emails full of virtual flowers, cliché professions of love, and lots of melosidad. Although I rolled my eyes at the trite and sappy ways that he expressed his feelings for me, I respected him for being so heartfelt and unabashedly cheesy. O sea, for not holding back and for not apologizing for his cheesiness in an effort to put up a barrier of self-protection in case of rejection or mockery. People who dare to bare their hearts make themselves easy targets, but who wants to be the grinch who goes around ridiculing people for attempting to find and then luxuriate in love? Insecure people, that’s who.

My first boss in Colombia, Alba, once gave me a painfully cursi stuffed lion attached to a fuzzy cup that had two hearts on it and had HAPPY EVERYDAY emblazoned across the top. I was touched. The examples I could give of cursi-ness that I observed in Colombia could go on and on, and I’ve noticed it among Hispanic friends from other countries as well. And it’s one of my favorite things about them–I love my Hispanic friends and the Latin American culture at large for being so cursi. I do. No, I still prefer not to receive stuffed animals from love interests seeing as I exited childhood decades ago, but I will take a cheesy, over-the-top, melodramatic love any day over some serious, respectable, safe, buttoned-down alternative. Yawwwwn. ¡Qué pereza!

Happy everyday

Hell, one could date Pablo Neruda and even find him cursi were they to insist on militancy against all sentimentality. Where’s the fun in that, though? And, who knows, maybe even Neruda got exhausted sometimes from the great pressure to be original and not cursi–after a long day of racking his brain for inspired, fresh symbols of love for his poems, perhaps the most he could muster up for Matilde was a little teddy bear he’d pick up at a nearby store. Maybe she even requested them, having been up to her eyeballs in sonnets and odes. There’s nothing wrong with being a little cursi from time to time, and if it’s your MO, well more power to you so long as your partner’s on the same cursi wavelength. Each set of lovers forms their own language and lexicon composed of their significant symbols and code words, and who really cares if some fulano scoffs and labels them as cursi? Ain’t nobody got time for that.

I also think of a gift I once received in Colombia of a set of pillows, one of which had my name crookedly embroidered inside a heart. You can probably guess whose name was in the other heart. As far as cursi goes, I’m pretty sure those pillows take the cake. And yet, very much out of character, I loved those pillows and not in spite of their adamant cheesiness but rather because of it. They were sincere, they were made and given with so much love, and their very existence was a brave, unironic, and unambivalent celebration of something very beautiful and worthy of praise, even if it were to later prove ephemeral. What am I, too good for cursilería? Of course not. Love is always worth celebrating, albeit imperfectly, albeit cheesily, albeit precipitately, albeit years after the fact.

In sum: What is love if not cursi? Love is supremely sentimental and gushy and ridiculous. And love means leaving your self-consciousness at the door, as well as your ego. I feel like you’re not really in love if you’re not regularly making a fool of yourself! But why hide our cheesiness within the safe confines of relationships? I admire people who can unblushingly own their feelings, hopes, and even disappointments without pussyfooting or pretending to not care all that much anyway. Although cursi people could use some work in the originality department, at least they care in the first place. There’s a lamentable epidemic of nonchalance and numbness and self-absorption these days, and cheesiness is a much better alternative to these terrible modes of subpar living. The way I see it, life is about caring. And since people have been caring for millennia, it’s awfully hard to express your care in a way that millions of other people haven’t already done. So, go ahead and be cursi. Those who would snarl and say bah humbug and rain on your parade have their own issues–just feel sorry for them. Ricardo Arjona, I still don’t like your music, but I respect you for sharing your cursi soul with us. There are certainly worse ways to be.

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61 responses to “Cursi

  1. Oye, está buenísimo este post. Tranqui, no eres la única a quien le cae mal Arjona. Alguien que puede escribir una canción sobre la menstruación tiene huevo. Creo que acá en Colombia estamos separados entre los que les gusta Arjona y los que lo llaman el poeta de lo obvio. Él es más que cursi es de mal gusto. Jeje. Pero bueno, no, tienes mucha razón, creo que en general, y es en general porque también conozco personas grinch acá, los colombianos y probablemente latinoamericanos son muy detallistas y queridos, no sé si llegaría a decir cursi, pero sí muy queridos. En los estachos hay veces sentía que yo era muy generosa hasta que volví acá y empecé a compartir con gente de acá eso sí es ser generosa. Yo disfruto mucho ese cursi-kitch de acá también, aunque mas como algo gracioso. No me sorprende para nada lo de las almohadas, me reí mucho.

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    • Muchas gracias, Manu. Jajaja, desconocía la canción, pero busqué la letra y fuuuuuchi, qué boleta. Eso, son muy detallistas y queridos. De hecho empecé el borrador de una entrada el otro día y describí a los colombianos así, tal cual. Con respecto a las almohadas, pues me alegra que te haya gustado. Eran lo más de lindas. Nos las hizo mi ex suegra, una gran mujer a quien amo mucho. Una mujer que es puro amor, hasta el tuétano pues. (Paisa) Rezumaba amor y me puso un gran ejemplo. Por si no quedó muy claro en la entrada, yo admiro lo “cursi” de los colombianos, y deseo ser más así. Pues, utilizando expresiones gastadas tampoco, más bien los sentimientos que están ahí tras esas acciones.

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  2. I won’t comment on the word ‘cursí’ having only just learned of its existence a couple of days ago, but I think the idea of ‘cheesy’ is only truly pertinent if there is some inference of insincerity in the witnessed action: even if the insincerity is perceived as existing within a derivative or resultant of the action; or even if it comes only from within the person witnessing the action. To see if this might apply to your example about Jhon Carlos, you would need to honestly ask yourself three things – 1. Is it possible he was being completely sincere in his actions, yes? Then, 2. Is it possible that an affirmative result of said actions would be sincerely what he would want, yes? Then, 3. Were you ever sincere in your own consideration of the results he sought? I think if the answer to all of these questions were yes, then the adjective used would have been ‘romantic’ among others, but ‘cheesy’ does infer a negative – an insincerity on some level, and that could prompt a surprising response in others who perceive someone or something as being genuine. To someone, Jhon’s actions will be anything but cheesy, and from the right person those same actions toward you will most certainly sweep you right off your feet. Así opino yo.

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    • Hi Brian,

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I feel that cheesy is one of those vague words whose exact definition is hard to pin down, probably because it has several. It also wouldn’t surprise me if it’s changed or expanded/become diluted with time, generations, geography, etc. In the dictionary the definition that seems to be the one you most associate with cheesy is this one: “Informal (of a smile) broad but possibly insincere a big cheesy grin”. Outside of the very specific context of a smile, I never use the word cheesy to denote insincere. Do you? I also see “Cheap, unpleasant, or blatantly inauthentic”. Hmm. Yes, I do often use it as a synonym for corny or tacky. Here, however, I meant it more as flowery, sappy, mushy, syrupy, etc. That is, strictly confined to romance. Those are all good words, but I feel that most bilingual people would translate cursi as cheesy, and I don’t see either word as inherently bad.

      As I stressed many times, I find this “cheesiness” (for lack of a better word) to be utterly sincere, and my intention was never to mock anyone nor patronize them. Perhaps it just makes me a tad uncomfortable at times to see people express themselves so uninhibitedly, although I admire them for being able to do so. There is perhaps something reminiscent of childhood there–that lack of self-consciousness–and thus I suppose it sometimes smacks of childishness, even a little bit of silliness. Ie, the stuffed animals and cutesy pictures and terms of affection. But I also indulged somewhat when I was in Colombia, and I loved feeling the freedom to do so.

      Of course, cheesiness is in the eye of the beholder.

      As I thought about this topic, I did think about the socioeconomic aspect as well. Colombia, of course, is a third world country, as is most of Latin America. Jhon Carlos was very, very poor. Of all the people I met in Colombia and houses I visited, his was definitely the poorest. Alba, a university professor, was very middle-class, and the person who made the pillows for me was as well, probably lower middle-class. Do these factors come into play somehow? Far be it from me to pretend that they don’t. Overall, though, my focus of this post was the idea of cursi, just as the title indicates. Cheesy is an imperfect but approximate translation, and maybe it hurts more than it helps. While there might be some cross-over here with tacky or cheap, my focus was the “exaggerated” expression of sentiments. We’re all supposed to feel them, but then we’re supposed to moderate them for public consumption. I prefer the Latin American way, though I can do without the stuffed animals.

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  3. Hi Katie,

    I didn’t mean to suggest the word be used to denote insincerity: just that there has to be an insincerity on some level in the perception in order for the word to be pertinent. Yes, in cases of blatant inauthenticity it’s obvious where the insincerity exists, but I wanted to suggest that in all other cases there must exist an insincerity, however subtle or nuanced, even if not on the part of the actor.
    I feel I could provide an example for every instance: corny, sappy, syrupy flowery, even Ren-fair-y, but I think regardless of whether you confine the word to romance or unbridle it entirely, the root of the idea is always the same. I don’t know about the word ‘cursí’ yet, but if it means ‘cheesy,’ then I might understand why you got a gasp from others who might not have perceived what I’m suggesting is a key aspect of that word.

    Fun topic :)

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    • I still don’t quite follow. Why does there have to be insincerity? Inappropriateness, sure. But I don’t see the insincerity.

      As you can see from both of the other responses–both are Colombian-Americans who are fully bilingual–they don’t perceive cursi as bad, nor do they seem to take issue with my translation to cheesy.

      You were there–they didn’t quite “gasp”, (my dramatic word choice), it was more like mock indignation and defense of a very popular singer. And when I shared my impression that Latinos are generally more cursi than Americans, they didn’t rush to say that they are not cursi, but instead playfully insisted that I was just cold (a popular stereotype of Americans) and couldn’t appreciate that cursi-ness. It’s a good thing :)

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  4. Katie,

    I actually sometimes find myself missing Colombian Cursi-ness. Even the construction workers would sometimes recite poetry/vallenato lyrics for me when I left my apartment. Can you imagine a construction worker in the U.S reciting poetry to every woman who walks by? Sometimes I have to remind myself that I can’t be unabashedly cheesy here in the U.S. I really allowed myself to indulge in cheesiness in Colombia at times because I could! I always wonder how much was sincere and how much was generic. And how much you were actually expected to take seriously.

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    • Hey!

      Oh sure, on the streets I guess it’s as sincere as you want it to be :)

      Yes, I miss it too. But I’m all about originality, so I can really do without some of the canned and overused lines and symbols (cute animals, smiley faces, hearts, candy, etc.). Maybe especially the animals and cartoons because they just seem childish and thus inappropriate. As the stereotype of Colombian men is that they are babied and coddled by overbearing mothers and society at large, they’re not doing themselves any favors by confirming this impression. Though, of course, women are just as cursi. It’s just that it’s the men that I’m concerned with here!

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  5. It’s very possible I’m doing a poor job of explaining myself. I tend not to know whether my writing only makes sense to myself or to anyone else, lol.

    But, I am beginning to suspect that the two words are not exactly equal: especially after reading the other comments. It’s almost as if ‘cursi’ might be better translated to English by saying: ‘a proclivity to express one’s self romanticly.’ This might better explain why a Colombian construction worker would be seen with an armful of bears and poems, while the last thing his American counterpart would want would be to be seen as ‘cheesy’ -two completely different ideas? If so, then as an American male, if I thought I could be cursi without any risk of being cheesy I’d send build-a-bear stocks through the roof. But in English, being cheesy is what happens if a romantic gesture falls on its face, if one tries too hard – if one is not taken seriously: -if one is lacking situational awareness, -or is being seen as allowing reality to sabotage what it is one is trying to present. No one strives to be cheesy, but I believe all men would be more like Colombian men if they thought they could pull it off. I’m even pretty sure that no Colombian would strive to be ‘cheesy’ either, but cursi -no problem there: Colombian’s are romantic people, right?

    The only concern I have, as someone who is genuinely trying to learn the true meaning of this cool new word, is with what I found in my own dictionary for cursi. There exist only three definitions there:
    1. Que presume de elegante y fino sin serlo.
    2. Que aparenta elegancia o riqueza, pero resulta redículo
    3. Que se expresa con un lenguaje demasiado elevado y resulta redículo, mal sonante, o inapropiado.
    Hmm.

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    • OK, I am understanding you better. Not your fault. Like I said, I think that some people use and understand the word cheesy slightly differently.

      Well, in many people’s book, expressing oneself romantically IS in and of itself cheesy. Unfortunately! I think it’s tolerated to a certain level, but anything strong is deemed excessive, exaggerated (thus, slightly false) or buffoonish. The unfortunate thing is that when people want to show these strong sentiments, they so often resort to very trite and unoriginal methods. This is probably why it is difficult to see the sentiments as sincere and not simply lazy and even manipulative.

      Regarding those definitions, I know that in some countries cursi means pretentious or snobby. That’s not how it’s used in Colombia, though, as well as many other countries. I’m no expert on the word either– I recommend that you just keep an eye out for it and see how you hear it used. Definitely come back and teach me if you pick up any useful insights :)

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  6. El cursi colombiano se parece mucho al cursi mexicano. Arjona.. dio’ mío, qué alguien le de algo que hacer a ese pobre muchacho: pero nada de “versos”. ¡Que polémico resultó el tema de la cursilería! Poniéndome cursi te mandaré mil abrazos… wait, that just doesn’t sound like me. Not today. :) Hehe. Una vez leí una defensa de un poéta mexicano a otro poéta mexicano, creo, al respecto de lo cursi.. dejame ver si la encuentro…

    Fui a buscar un verso y acabé con un montón de cosas, aquí te dejo un poco de eso. Me parece que el poema está incompleto, pero no pude encontrarlo aquí y la profesora que nos lo leyó en la facultad sólo lo leyó, así que…

    “Una cartita rosa a Amado Nervo”
    -José Emilio Pachecho

    …Y en un vaso olvidado se desmaya un país
    a las Damas Bizantinas
    *lo cursi es la elocuencia que se gasta.*
    No te preocupes
    si sonreímos con tus versos dolientes
    y nos sentiremos hoy por hoy superiores.
    Tarde o temprano
    vamos a hacerte compañía.

    http://www.80grados.net/jose-emilio-pacheco-o-la-salvacion-por-lo-cursi/

    Y ahí una reflexión amplia sobre el poéta Pacheco y lo cursi.
    Si tienes tiempo y ganas, te lo leés. Si no, no importa mucho, que nadie se va a enojar hoy por eso; yo mismo quisiera leerlo pero ando “escribiendo”, aunque me tomé una licencia poética para cuchichear en tu blogcito lindo.

    Sale y vale, nos leémos al rato.

    E

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    • Hola, muchas gracias por el poema, me encanta. Siiii, tarde o temprano vamos a hacer compañía a los cursis, para bien o para mal. He leído por encima el ensayo, con ganas de leerlo más a fondo más tardecito.

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  8. Muy interesante. Es curioso, pero lo que tú llamas “cursi” es prácticamente algo de todos los días en muchos países de habla hispana, y aunque a la gente que regala peluchitos y tarjetitas de corazones puede considerarse “cursi”, también se les llama “detallista” o “cariñoso”. Creo que en parte tiene que ver con la mentalidad del estadounidense, que es mucho menos expresivo y tiende a erigir duras barreras entre sí y los demás. Vivo en California hace casi cuatro años y todavía me cuesta mucho amoldarme a esa forma de poco cariñosa de las amistades. Los estadounidenses por lo general son muy simpáticos y amigables,y les gusta hablar con la gente y conocer personas de distintos lugares, pero casi siempre todo se queda ahí, en una conversación y toma un muy largo tiempo hacerse amigo de alguien de verdad.

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    • Hola, muchas gracias por el comentario. Sí, yo sé que la cursilería es el pan de cada día en los países de habla hispana. Y sí, detallista y cariñoso también son buenas palabras para describir a los hispanohablantes. Muy acertado tu comentario, y créeme que en lo personal prefiero cómo son las relaciones hispanas. Con respecto a los regalos, debe ser cuestión de gustos. Pues, acá los peluches se relacionan con los niños, entonces se les tilda de infantiles, aunque sí hay personas que los regalan igual. Sin embargo, cosas como los chocolates, las joyas y las rosas, pues más gastado no podría haber, pero sea por lo que sea normalmente no se consideran cursis, en cambio los peluches y los corazones y la poesía sí. Creo que hay varios factores en juego, y sé que esto es algo pero sumamente subjetivo. Mi objetivo principal en este miniensayo fue poner en tela de juicio mi reacción visceral a lo cursi para examinar mis propios prejuicios e hipocresía (tendemos a rechazar lo que en el fondo somos). La verdad es que yo también soy muy cursi, pero a mi manera :)

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  9. Fabulous, this is a beautiful post. Thank you for sharing

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  10. Reblogged this on loupollard and commented:
    I love this post, especially the last paragraph.

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  11. Nice take on cursi. Maybe Matilde prefers embroidered pillows.

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  12. If you think he’s cursi, try Atif Aslam. We all need to wander down that cursi lane from time to time. And if you can’t appreciate the crooked embroidery on the wall, then you are really missing out.

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  13. alexanderschimpf

    There’s nothing cursi about a fuzzy cup. Rather, a fuzzy cup is loco.

    By the way, this is like the best post ever.

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  14. I suspect you harbor a little cursi yourself…..you still have that fuzzy cup!
    Like you, one of the things I cherish about some (not all) of my Hispanic friends is that they wear their hearts on their sleeves.
    Congrats on the FP!

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    • Au contraire! I don’t have it– I left it with my ex. I just had that picture on my computer from before. There was something else in it that was (intentionally) cursi, but I cropped it out :)

      Thanks! Yes, I tried to make it clear that this was a huge generalization, which is what always happens when we talk about millions of people and many cultures all at once.

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  15. I like the concept, and I might disagree with the claim that things are only called cheesy nowdays if they are insincere. I’ve seen things called cheesy mostly if they are cringeingly sincere, as if the word is used to say, “Look at that idiot, hanging their heart out on their sleeve and stupid enough to not expect it to get trampled on!” As if someone is being foolish in putting themselves in a potential position of being hurt.

    There’s a lot of emotional cowardice behind most snark and sarcasm, and it sounds to me as if cursi is the word that gets slung at a person whose sincerity is perceived as calling this behavior out.

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    • Yes, I agree with every word of this comment. Very well-put! Foolish, emotional cowardice– YES.

      However, I think cursi also connotes unoriginal and childish. It’s all so subjective, though. Flowers and chocolate and jewelry are also unoriginal as all get-out, but they are generally accepted as what you do. As adult, conventional, standard. And generally not tied to emotions. Maybe it’s more of an economic thing. Deep! In any case, I will always side with sincerity.

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      • There’s definitely a bit of that in cheese, yes — which bothers me. “Here. I have no idea who you are and what your preferences are, nor do I want to put the effort into finding out, so I will treat you like an interchangeable lego block and buy you a mass-produced gift that society tells me to buy someone shaped like you so that I don’t have to get to know you. We can still have sex though, right?” O:-)

        But I don’t think that most cultures or languages HAVE a word for that — a word to describe treating someone as a bland instantiation of an entire class of people. (Well … prejudice. Which opens a whole new can o’worms.) Cheesy or cursi doesn’t seem to have anything to do with that concept.

        I think a father’s day card with a picture of power tools on the front, bought for a father who can’t do home repair, probably falls into the category of mass-produced unoriginality, but I’m not sure it would be called cheesy or cursi

        Thinky thoughts!

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  16. I’m not a big fan of cursi things, either. They’re so foreign to my own culture—or perhaps it would be more accurate to say my personality. I would take the stuffed lion and say “Thank you,” but inside I’d be saying, “Now what on earth am I supposed to do with this?!” But I like the way you ended this. I have some Hispanic friends, and you’re right. They’re some of the warmest people I know. There certainly *are* worse ways to be.

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    • Well, it’s interesting because one thing that is very popular among a certain subset these days is irony. And it’s very common for people to give each other ironic gifts, ie, gag gifts. Which are basically stupid and useless, the kinds of things that in the past people only would have exchanged at a White Elephant party. Both sides know that the gift is meaningless and useless, meant to–I don’t know–emphasize the meaninglessness of life and their own pathetic inability to give anything sincere or heartfelt, and after a short, cheap laugh it gets tossed aside. At least with cheesy gifts, the other person is trying to show that they care, even if we don’t see any practical utility in the gift. Maybe it’s a clash of worldviews. It’s definitely interesting!

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  17. Pingback: ¡Frescamente espichada! Mejor dicho, Freshly Pressed! | Vocabat

  18. As a speaker of Spanish, Catalan, French, Mandarin, and English, I love the little nuances of languages. My French friends struggled to come up with an equivalent of the English word “cheeky”. I wonder if there is an equivalent in Spanish?

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  19. Enjoyable read! Cheesy is not bad, or insincere, it’s just a matter of taste. What is cheesy to one is not to another. And it is a wonderful part of the culture! Thank you!

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    • Exactly! It’s very, very, very subjective. And certainly is dictated by factors like culture, economics, generations, etc. Thanks for the enjoyable comment!

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  20. “There’s nothing wrong with being a little cursi from time to time, and if it’s your MO, well more power to you so long as your partner’s on the same cursi wavelength.”

    Yes!! You said it, girl. The summers I spent in Costa Rica left me with the same love of their culture, and I realized the cheesy, heart on your sleeve expression of emotion is so much better than the stoic, “I’m going to hide my feelings” game I see so often back home.

    Great blog, and congrats on being “freshly pressed”! :)

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    • That’s great that you’ve had the first-hand experience to be able to understand and appreciate the world that is “cursi.” While I find some personal drawbacks, there are definitely benefits as well, just as you point out. Thanks for the encouraging words!

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  21. Couple of thoughts:

    Arjona is not cursi. Es simplemente malo.
    But as much as I definitely don’t like his music and never will…I have to admit that you are right. He gets a little credit for sharing the lyrics he writes in such a public worldwide way. :S

    Love can be “cursi” but it doesn’t necessarily have to be cursi. Cursi follows the lines of “cheesyness” and being ridiculous. Cursi implies pretending to be something/someone you are not. Love has to be true and sincere. If you pretend to be some person you are not, just to impress the loved one, you’ve got a recipe for a broken relationship.

    Nice post!

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    • Just imagine the teasing Arjona must get from his guy friends! Ö

      Yes, another commenter and I already had a long back-and-forth above about whether cursi/cheesi-ness implies a lack of sincerity. I don’t think so, at least not necessarily. I think that many cursi people are expressing what they truly feel. I just find it a little bit overblown, excessively sentimental and childish at times. But to each his/her own! Thanks for the comment and kind words.

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  22. a realy nice take on cursi… good job

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  23. “I guess everyone has a certain degree to which they can tolerate mushiness. Predictably, it’s always other people’s sappiness that gets on your nerves; one almost never views their own actions as cursi unless their family and friends start giving them a hard time about their soft side. That is, we’re all hypocrites when it comes to being cheesy. ”
    loved this bit the most – it is so true, our judgement of others cursi is so different when the same (or much more) comes to us. i hope someday, i give in to the cursi in me, until then, i should just explore :) .
    a very cute yet meaningful post. well done. congratulations!

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    • Yes, you should always give in to what you’re feeling when it comes to the beautiful feelings that true love inspires in us. Everyone will express themselves differently, and there’s no right or wrong way to do it. Don’t hold back! And thanks for the kind words!

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  24. That is an epic post about cursi. Every time I thought of quitting it midway I got caught by increasingly cursi revelations. Mercifully, I am out of all businesses pertaining to Ricardo Arjona!

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  25. Loved the post and frankly (from a Latina) also think Arjona is Cursi, however not Alejandro Sanz of other singers. Don’t know how it happens, just some people tick the wrong way. Congrats on being Freshly Pressed! :)

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  26. I’m cool with people being a little more cursi than I am used to here in Chile, but the thing that gets me is the gushy, baby talk that tends to occur whenever a small child walks in the room: “Awwww, liiiiiiiiiinnnnnddaaaa, aw mi chicitita precioooossaa, ven a darme un abrazzziiiiitttoooo! Qué hermosa te vez, ooo, mi amorcita tan riiiccccaaa!!”

    Don’t get me wrong, I love kids, but it’s a little over the top. Especially when the kid just walked out to go to the bathroom and came back in the room.

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  27. Great post. I really enjoyed reading it ;)
    Arjona was coming to town for a concert and I thought it might be a fun date night. My husband said he rather crawl through a pit of snakes than sit through Arjona’s concert because “ese tipo es demasiado cursi…que empalagoso”. My American born, Cuban hubby is plenty romantic but for him, Arjona is just way too sappy.

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  32. Whilst you make some interesting points I found this article horribly patronising, not to mention over-written.

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    • I’m sorry that that was your take away–I can say with a clear conscience that I don’t have a patronizing attitude about this characteristic or any others that I’ve been living amongst over the past 3 years in Colombia. The various Colombian-American and Latin American commenters didn’t seem to take offense to it either. I get that it’s very subjective, and writing about cultural differences and judgments is always potentially thorny. I’d be interested to know what parts you found “horribly patronising.” Overgeneralizing, perhaps–I write from my experience, and many things are just my opinion. Always room for improvement.

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  33. Hi thanks for replying. Give me some time after New Year’ Eve and I’ll give you a considered response. Apologies for the terseness of my original post. As I re-read it, it is perhaps “horribly” blunt. Happy New Year, Ben.

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