Iron sharpens iron…

This one is for the ladies. A potentially triggering post on human expectations.

Tell me if I am wrong.

You can be a top-notch human being with the XX chromosome and cook, clean, raise the children properly, stay hydrated, mind your damn business, fight to protect yourself, secure the bag, fulfil your dreams, do squats, destroy the patriarchy, pray, moisturize, be a role model, protect yourself, be a sex goddess, read books, top your career field, manage mood swings, puff up a sada roti, shatter the glass ceiling, practise self-care, check in with your friends, do your Kegels, decide what you want to eat when prompted and people will STILL side-eye you and have an opinion on how you should live, sometimes even boldly taking up said issue with you.

Tell me I’m wrong

I realize that people love to make pronouncements on a woman’s life just because it is the historically, socially and (especially in Trinidad and Tobago) culturally acceptable thing to do. Sadly, a lot of these pronouncements come from women as well, a thing of wonder, as if we don’t have to fight up enough while being considered the weaker sex. This idea that people are just free to express themselves and say whatever they want to women without responsibility, measured compassion or the faintest of consideration is mind-boggling. The gag is however, armed with this knowledge, you are free to measure out your own response as you see fit against whomever you are defending yourself for the sake of your sanity.

So if you are:

Single and they’re asking you why you still single,

Single with child/children and they’re asking “where de father?”,

Single with child/children and dating and they’re wondering what example you’re setting,

With someone and they’re asking why you’re with that person (“you could do so much better!”),

With someone and they’re asking when you getting married (“you eh lock he down yet?”),

Married without children and they’re asking when the children coming,

Married with one child and they’re asking when you making the rest (“The child will be lonely!”),

Mastering your career/business and they consider you a failure because you’re not with someone or married (“all ah dat and she cyah find a man yet”),

Mastering your career/business and they think you are selfish for not having children,

Not wanting children and they also think you are selfish for being as you are,

Actually wanting more than the usual three or four children and they think you are crazy/in a cult,

With someone of your race………

With someone of another race…….

Happily working in a field and they’re wondering how much money you could possibly be making,

Struggling with fertility and they’re thinking you are an alien,

Struggling with weight issues and they’re asking if you’re pregnant,

Struggling with weight issues and they’re thinking you have AIDS or a demon inside you and you need deliverance (“You eh see how she drying up?),

High maintenance and they’re whispering “who she feel she is?”,

Not as high maintenance and they wonder “oh gosh, you hadda be looking drag up so?”,

chances are you have felt the disdain. The statements and questions are just put out there into the universe without consideration of what women are going through in their personal situations and even more within their mental and emotional spaces!

Man, I could go on, but the main take away here is you CYANNOT please everyone so why waste precious brain cells trying to think that you can? The Bible says in Proverbs 27:17 As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another. We are put here on this earthly space to sharpen each other, to encourage each other, to gas each other up and (to completely mash up this metaphor), to ensure that we are all acute and razor-edged to glint in the freaking sun.

To my sisters, just remember nobody is running your life’s race but you and I am yet to see a race ran with athletes taking the exact, same stride from the gun blast to the ribbon. So be kind to yourself and protect your head space. Find those around you who keep you sharp and keep them close. As for the others who want to dull your shine and keep you matte and muted because of how they perceive your life is to be led, your responses could range from the silent, to the polite, to the sarcastic, to the IDGAF.





To be clear….there’s no Carnival right?

A very Trini post here, so my non-Trinis bear with me. There are clickables for context to help you along.

For those so inclined there is an itch going around that is not being sufficiently scratched resulting in Trinbagonian people bawling for a reprieve. When the announcement came that Carnival was cancelled this year and we would have to fend for ourselves (and I say ‘we’ because I am also part of the throng), nobody knew what this virtual ‘Carnivale Anno Covidi’ would look like. Thus far with the pivot we have seen virtual concerts/fetes/’fetecerts’, Instagram parties, Facebook events, carnival workshops/webinars, small backyard jams, music and comedy online platforms, heartbreaking music videos and soon a movie and an artificial reality feteing experience all from the safety of our seats (not a jump, wave or wine anywhere to be seen). Meh…I guess, something is better than nothing but with all of this niceness covered, guess what? Ah still home and ah still itchy over here dammit!!!

Ya’ll got anymore ah dem fetes?

I don’t usually feel craven but trust me, my mind and my body knows that something is wrong. We are smack dab in what would have been the middle of it, the weekend before Carnival week. Soca on my radio hyped me all the way up today and this now feels so off as unbelievably I haven’t done any of the following as yet (in random order):

1. Stare at different angles of pictures of my Carnival costume trying to get that theme right in my head with makeup and accessories.

2. Map out outfits, makeup and hair for all the carded fetes.

3. Download the Ticket Federation Carnival Calendar on both laptop and phone and study it like exam prep, trying to create a reasonable balance between sufficient categories of fete exposure and parental responsibility (and if you have to rely on grandma to babysit, you KNOW this particular struggle).

4. Lock and load up the credit card with Carnival funds to buy most if not all my fete tickets online in one go. No time to visit outlets and wonder if they still have any remaining.

5. Feel the pulse of the Queens Park Savannah-Cipriani Boulevard-Ariapita Avenue-Tragarete Road-St. Clair Road ‘circle’ (square?🤔) during the season.

6. Wash my cooler and resurrect the plastic bottles including my cup that lights up neon because that is essential in a cooler fete.

7. Obsess with my mas playing crew about our costumes and Monday wear in particular (see #1 above).

8. Wonder (in pain) if my personal trainer arose from the furnace of hell to torment me yet appreciate the work he puts in for the gaiiiiiins.

9. Swallow copious amounts of immune boosters…vitamin C times zinc times coconut water times echinacea and then some Hemarexin in the mix. (Don’t try this at home).

10. Buy two pairs of carnival tights in Micles.

11. Buy glitter, gems and the ‘fete amount’ of false lashes in Wonderful World (but with my shamefully recent discovery of lash extensions, this isn’t likely to return).

12. Debate the boots vs sneakers quandry in my head.

13. Pray that my costume collection day is not on Carnival Friday. (Frenzy and traffic…never a good combo).

14. Not sleep after a fete, bathe, head straight to work, take a half day to go back home to sleep and then wake up and pick up the gremlinz from school. True story. Many times.

15. Take close to 24 hours to style my hair in braids because as long as there is a YouTube video showing me how to do it, I’m doing it.

My look for 2021. my arms and neck were not happy when I finished.

16. Feel the intensity of being a Trini while being at Pan Semis.

17. Load up the soca music playlist to play ad nauseum in the car.

18. Cut up my jerseys in fancy styles in preparation for Jouvert and wondering which of my sneakers are old enough to take the disrespect.

19. Eat like a rabbit.

20. Figure out the Road March in advance (This blessed 2021 it’s a toss-up between Carnival Tabanca by Bunji Garlin and Long Time by Arrow).

Sigh…I made it to twenty, I could go on, but I want to cry. (Finding those links didn’t help either).

I weep hysterically.

Initially I told myself I could cope; I’ve sat out Carnival before but not realizing that even though I did that, I have never fully SAT OUT of Carnival, I have always attended some kinda filler. As the time draws near to the dates that would have been, there is a growing feeling of discontent inside me and of course wehhhhh…..

As is the saying, Carnival 2022 will be a movie as long as Ms. Rona gets the hell out of dodge and vaccines are in wide supply. I cannot wait, but in the mean time let me hol’ ah burn with a virtual jam yes….pass the Calendar….

As Carnival Calendars go, this one realllll sad….sigh…