My Takes

Just my humble opinion…

Archive for the category “Love”

She’s In Love With The Boy, Or Is She?

While at a recent Garth Brooks concert, his wife Trisha Yearwood was singing her hit song, ‘She’s In Love With The Boy’ and as she sang, my mind wandered, as it is wont to do.  It wanders all the time, even while wandering.  It wandered this, “Pretty soon that song won’t be politically correct”.

You are probably going, “Why wouldn’t it be?  What cheap drugs are you on now?” Well think of the way our society is going.  He is she and she is he or both.  Where we once made do  with male and female washrooms for a two-gendered world, we are now adding a third for those not under this umbrella.  The ‘both’ group.  See where I am going with this?  I can’t hear you!

If you are still in a fog, let me aid your defogging.  Gender identity is slowing becoming non-existence or a non-issue. (Too bad I can’t say the same for race).  There’s no longer a clear distinction.  We are slowly dispensing of the systems that identified us as men or women.   Inclusivity is the order of the day.  (I still remember LGBTQ when it was just LG).

Saying all that, it won’t be long before someone asks the question, “Why are all these love songs about a boy and a girl?  What about the gays and lesbians?” Yes, what about them? Why are we eager to change and be more accepting yet it’s still a hidden taboo to sing about a man in a relationship with another man? Or a woman in a relationship with another woman? How come the ‘Kiss Cam’ at sports game never zoom in on an obviously lesbian or gay couple?  Is it that deep down, we really want HER to be in love with the BOY?

Just another one of MY TAKE

 

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Touched Your Spouse Lately?

Interpret this any way you want but many of us, make that too many of us, are not touching our wives or husbands enough or at all.  There, I said it.  You are guilty and I am guilty too.  It’s not that we don’t love them, it’s just that this rat race that we are caught up in leaves little time for us to stop and acknowledge them.  Rushing around in the morning preparing for work, we bump into them and instead of capitalizing on that touch, we say excuse me and move on.  A routine peck on the cheek to say goodbye while our minds are already at work.  Unfortunately, it sometimes take a catastrophic occurrence to yank us back to reality.  Our spouse is ill or goes missing after a walk to the the store or killed.  Then it dawns on us that we should have touched them more.  Move I Love You’s, more hugs, more meaningful goodbye kisses.

Thankfully, my wife and I are cognizant of the frailty of life and try to spend quality time together both in and out of bed.  We often acknowledge each others presence in the same room by a touch or a playful punch or kick.  Even with this, there are stretches where we still get caught up in the race.  Some days we do the perfunctory kisses and avoid each other while in the same room but mentally engrossed in something farther away.

Last Friday, as I went into the kitchen to prepare my lunch for work, I found my wife also in the process of doing same.  As she leaned into the refrigerator, I noticed how beautiful she looked in her work clothes and without conscious thought, touched her. Not a perfunctory touch.  I rubbed her back, arms and shoulders.  In that touch, I told her things I may have missed telling her because I was too busy.  In the touch, I said how happy I was that I found her and thanks for the things she does for me and for being the best mother and wife.  The touch spoke volumes while my voice was mute.

That night as we lay in bed, my wife told me that my morning touch made her day.  It made mine too.  Now it’s your turn.  Re-discover your spouse before it’s too late. Don’t be caught up in the rat race.  In the end, it means squat.  Not good with words?  Say it with touch, it’s a universal language, even the deaf can understand it.

My Take.

Memories Of My Centenarian Granny

Note:  Last week, my grandmother hit another milestone.  She tied her own mother in terms of longevity.  I spoke to her for her birthday and she boasted that she is the eyes of her daughter, my aunt Ermine.  “I still does thread the needle my boy.” She related.  “I do the reading for Ermine too because her eyes not too good.”  To commemorate her birthday, I dug up this blog that I wrote when she turned 100.  Here’s hoping that Nenny lives to see many more birthdays in good health.  What a blessing!

Nenny, as my grandmother is affectionately called by her children, grandchildren and villagers alike, celebrates her 100th birthday today, June 22nd.  No one in the family is surprised.  After all, her mother, my great grandmother, lived to 103.  Up until the day that she died she was still gardening and tending to her bananas and other crops.   Nenny is healthy for the most part and walks about 3 miles to church every Sunday.

I have many treasured memories of Nenny as a kid.  Her story telling was legendary among her grandchildren.  No one could bring a story to life like Nenny and even though we requested them nightly, we would still get the chills and cower in fright as she told us a jumbie, (ghost) story about some dead person coming back to avenge their untimely death.  Our favorites were the stories told about a cunning spider called Brer Anancy who would tricked the other animals to get whatever he wanted.  They were appropriately called Nancy stories.  Every Caribbean kid fortunate enough to have a grandparent tell them these stories, loved them.  We never got tired of hearing how Brer Anancy tricked Brer fox.  Nenny would also share her growing up stories with us and we enjoyed sharing in her memories just as much as she obviously enjoyed sharing them.

Some nights, Nenny just wanted to sleep but us kids had other plans for her.  We would beg and beg until we finally learned how to trick her into telling us a story.  One of us would start re-telling one of her favorite stories and intentionally messed it up.   Nenny would get so annoyed at this that she would interrupt with ‘That not how it goes!” “It is!” We would reply. “How does it go then?” She would then correct us and before she realized it, would be deep into telling the story.  We would look at each other and smile conspiratorially.

Coupled with her penchant for telling stories and a hard worker, Nenny also possessed one of the most colorful vocabularies of anyone I know, complemented with a great set of lungs.  She could cuss  you out in any shade you prefer and it could be heard for miles.  (Apparently, this is something she inherited from her mom and maybe a secret ingredient to long life).  Her use of profanity was also well known and shyness was not one of her weaknesses.  Young, old, black, white, rich or poor, no one was exempted.  (The poor Governor). If one of us did something wrong, Nenny would verbally tear a strip off us, dropping F- bombs like it was Hiroshima all over again.   Even though she never hesitated to go ballistic on us, she would not tolerate anyone else taking the same  liberties. No way! Not her grand kids.  If Nenny called us idiots, don’t mistakenly think you could too.  Many learned that lesson the hard way.  Nenny never hesitated to put on her fighting gloves and go to war for us.

Nenny had her own quotes for everything. “Bwoy, ah way oil ah oil yo?” was often used when I was misbehaving. It simply meant, ‘Boy, what is the matter with you?’  “Play Play does bring belly” meant that too much playing could result in someone getting pregnant. “Leave me ah Jesus feet” was one she used to tell us to leave her alone.  “Yo ah a watch me like how Johnny ah watch town basket” was one I never quite figured out. I know Johnny but not exactly sure what a ‘Town Basket’ is.

I remember Nenny would accompany us to dances and fetes and wait outside until they were over then walk us home.   She would bring a flashlight to guide us through the pitch-black darkness of the 3 mile walk home.  We would never get embarrassed by her escort. Well except for this one time when my cousin took too long to leave the dance hall and Nenny asked the doorman to let her in and walked around the dance floor looking for my cousin.  She found her slow dancing and untangled her from her partner and escorted her outside.  That was Nenny.

In her 90’s, my grandmother detested clothing that made her look her age.  “Yo tink me old!” She would often say when we tried to dress her in age-appropriate clothing.  She wore high heels and dresses and enjoyed the comments from her fellow church goers on how young she looked in her stylish attire.  She would often comment, “Did you see sikkay bikkay ah wear de same frock like mine?”  (Sikkay Bikkay was her code for anyone whose name she didn’t want to say). Yes, but you wore it better, Nenny, even though she was more than half your age.

Nenny is the consummate matriarch of  the family.  She is like the queen on her throne. the family revolve around her. It’s a blessing when someone lives to see 100.  It’s an even bigger blessing that in my 40’s, I still have my grandmother alive and well.  Incidentally, both my grandmothers are alive.

Nenny, thanks for all the stories and memories.  We hope that you will stick around for a few more birthdays.  Today, you will be in the presence of the Governor General and other dignitaries so please use restrain.   As you would tell us when we talked too much, ‘Piece ah yo tongue war clip!’

Happy 100th Birthday Nenny!!  Say hi to Sikkay Bikkay for me.

Nenny, (left) and her daughter

Facing Our Mortality

When faced with our frailty and even mortality, it’s funny but not ‘ha ha’ funny, how we suddenly reassess our priorities.  Our all-important project now seem insignificant.  Paling in comparison to the boulder of uncertainty that now impedes us.  Just last week you told your wife that there’s no way you could get the day off work so both of you could celebrate your wedding anniversary.  Too much on your desk that needed your attention. Now today as you watch her gasp for breath in a hospital bed, there you are, away from work.  Vowing not to leave without her. Work could wait.

I know, it’s funny the way we could juggle our lives and put things in perspective once we come face to face with a life-changing moment, not only in our own lives but the lives of our loved ones.  I took my soul-mate to the hospital at 3am Monday morning as she was having asthma-like complications.  As I looked at her,   huffing and puffing her way to the car, my life, past, present and future flashed before my eyes. The ‘what ifs’ were overwhelming.  I knew she was going to be ok, but still, what if?

One of my many blessings I bragged about was that I had both of my grandmothers alive and over 100 years old. In fact, I had never had a death of anyone that was close to me since I was a little boy, and that was my 103 year-old great-grandmother, who I didn’t even live with.  Last month, the younger of my grandmother passed.  Today, her son, who is my dad, lies fighting for his life in a London hospital.  His prognosis looks bleak.

What does this all mean? Perhaps nothing. Just another page in the book of life to some.  To others, it’s an eye-opener. A time to look at what’s important and how much value to assign to them.  Unfortunately, many of us are too busy to notice until we are facing our own mortality.

Straightening Out Daddy’s Gay Daughter or Daddy

Community Britta Lesbian

Community Britta Lesbian (Photo credits: Giphy)

Two years ago, I blogged that I would take up the offer of a concerned father who was offering 40 million pounds to any man who married his lesbian daughter.  Here.  The lure of money, and so much of it, piqued my interest and I initially set the wheels turning to see how I could exploit this easy money.  Unfortunately for me, moneywise that is, the love that I had for my wife and family overcame my love for money and so I decided to pass.

It seems as though a lot of men passed too because I read today that the dad was upping the ante.  He was now offering double, yes DOUBLE, the bounty to any man who could turn his lesbian daughter straight.  Wow! It was easier the first time around. All I had to do was marry the lady.  Now I have to STRAIGHTEN her out?  Or scare the gay out of her?  Whatever it was or take, I had to get her ungay then I would be one of the richest Caribbean born man.  Sounds good.

This time, the decision is much easier.  Even though the pay off was higher. It is not my job to orient or disorient anyone’s sexuality.  (Pardon the pun there).  The dad is crossing some serious boundaries here in trying to change his adult daughter who should take a harsh stance against her dad’s bullying and ignorance.  This man is a disgrace to real Dads.  Anyone taking this guy up on his offer is no better than him.

So Mr. Moneybags but I have to pass yet again.  I have some advice for you though, seek counseling and leave your daughter to live her life the way she pleases, with who she pleases.  You sir, give heterosexuals a bad name. You sir, need straightening out!

Read:  65-mil-to-marry-daughter-hmm

 

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If You Have Loved Ones, Then You Must Have Unloved Ones

imagesThe other day while doing my morning devotions, the topic was love and its qualities.  Love was described as patient and kind, not envious, selfish or arrogant.  Love doesn’t keep records when people let us down or do us wrong.  It forgives and is happy for others’ successes.  It is very optimistic.  It bears all things, believes in others and what they can do, thus putting up with a lot.  Love hopes for the best in others, never gives up.  That got me wondering as I do that a lot.  So is this the way were are supposed to love everyone or just our loved ones?  If it’s everyone, then more than a few of us, myself included, are in trouble.  I would like to meet someone who loves everyone that way.  I can punch you in the gut and you would smile and say  you love me?

Some of us are capable of loving the way loved is  explained.  A few of us, myself included, are incapable of loving everyone that way.  We all have our circle of loved ones.  Family, friends, pets, objects, whatever we choose to bestow our unconditional love on.  Outside that circle, and sometimes even inside, are those that get the conditional loving.   The envious love.  The unforgiving love.  The pessimistic love.  If the qualities expressed above are indeed the qualities of true love, then it just might be time for a self audit.

So you are saying, “Hey, I have saved the life of strangers!  Running into burning buildings and risking my own life.  Of course I could love!”  But is that really all what love is about?  I don’t know, I’m just asking.  Even cold-blooded murderers love someone or something with a furious passion.  I always thought of myself as a loving person.  I mean there are times when I am envious of the person I love.  Sometimes I’m not ready to forgive or forget those who wronged me.  Do I wish for the best in my old boss?  I could try but I’m not sure I do, but I still think I’m doing a good job of loving just about everyone.  Engaging in a gossip conversation about someone doesn’t really mean I don’t love them, does it?  Basically then, if I can’t offer that real and unconditional love to everyone, then I’m failing miserably.  Or am I?

You have to admit though that If everyone actually loved everyone as love is explained in the Bible, Christian or not, imagine what the world would be like.  An all-encompassing circle of love.

Eight Years Ago Today

esb155_largeOn July 30th 2005, I was lucky to be the groom to an angelic bride.  The day celebrated by blessing us with sunshine and a gentle breeze.  The ceremony was perfect and the presiding minister did a great job in keeping things light but still serious enough.  Yes, I remember that day as if it was only yesterday.

After the church, everyone went to do whatever people do during that break between ceremony and reception while the poor couple endure hours of posing for that perfect photo.  Look left. A bit more…like this.  Ok, now you hold her hand while she looks directly and lovingly into your eyes.  There! Hold that pose!  We were so caught up in the moment that we didn’t mind being man-handled into positions.

My favorite pose

My favorite pose

My favorite part of any wedding is the reception and mine was also my favorite part of our day.  So many smiling faces.  Even those who weren’t smiling at first soon smiled as drinks from the open bar relaxed their facial muscles.   The DJ did a remarkable job playing music for the mixed cultures in the room.  Talking about mixed cultures, introducing the tables was like reading the guest list at a United Nations party.  Guests came from New Jersey, Washington DC, St. Vincent and The Grenadines, Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal and many places I can’t remember.  (Yes, I know I said I remembered like it was yesterday).  I think the locals were outnumbered.

Oh Happy Day!

Oh Happy Day!

We danced, we laughed, we took photos, lots of them and we shared stories.  With an hour of partying to go, it turned into one big dance floor with everyone from toddlers to the elderly moving to Caribbean beats.  Then the last note faded away and we were left standing like the losers in a game of Musical Chairs.  Outside, the weather still in celebration mode, sent down showers of blessings and capped it off with a fireworks display as lightning danced across the skies.

She's giving the day two thumbs up!

She’s giving the day two thumbs up!

For our guests, that was it.  Another wedding. One of maybe a few on their schedule that summer.  For Amie and I it was the beginning.  After the last dance, it was just us.  Starting out on a journey together not knowing what the future holds.

So far, the journey has been a good one.  Three boys as cute and smart as any kid that I could have wanted, a home full of love while surrounded by a supporting cast of great friends and family.   God has blessed us indeed.  God has blessed me indeed.

Happy Anniversary, baby!

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Wednesday’s Wisdom: Overusing The L Word

imagesThe other day as my wife was leaving for work she said, ‘I love you’ and without much thought to what I was about to say, I replied “Love you too”.   To me it sounded mumbled and noncommittal but she was fine with it and so was I.  It was the normal response to someone saying, “I love you”.  A mumbled “Love you too” without any sincerity.  Even my sons do it.  It’s expected.  It’s what we want to hear.  We don’t care if the person meant it or not.  The L word was used and that’s good enough.

After I said it to my wife, I thought about it for a while.  Wait a minute! That sounded so weak and fake.  Sure I love her and she knows this but what’s with the insincerity?  After all LOVE is a good thing to be happy and proud about, right?  LOVE should be yelled.  LOVE should be spoken with the sincerest of tones.  Not squeezed out like a tortured whimper.  We should never allow ourselves to get numb by the over-familiarity of the word.  It’s almost like someone who regularly uses swear words, after a while it becomes second nature to punctuate their speeches with profanities. So it is with LOVE.  It gets used in our everyday slangs and speeches without conscious thought.  That’s why it is so easy fo to say “I love you” to  someone then turn around and hurt them soon afterwards.  Because the implications of what they said was lost on them.  I bet if I walked up to a random stranger on the street and go “I love you” they would reply “Love you too” or at least start replying before they even realize what they are saying.

To experience the full power of LOVE, we need to say it and mean it.  With conviction.  Next time you tell your loved ones you love them, think about the word as it roll off your tongue. If you don’t feel it in your heart, it’s not love.   And that’s why I think there are so many shortcuts to say  ‘I love you’.  Because too often it’s basically just a cliché.  There are now many shortcuts to say those three little words.  Why? Because when we say it using shortcuts, it’s as if we really didn’t say it.

Ever watched a scene in a movie where a couple is getting hot and heavy and the girl gently pushes the guy off so she could look him in his eyes and say, “I love you” and he pushes by her defences and mumbles “Love you too” while his head is buried in her neck?

Just my take and I’m not a love guru so what do I know?

 

 

 

Can A Kiss Really Be Just A Kiss?

French Kiss

French Kiss (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Watching television, there’s always the love scene where a couple whether married or unmarried would share a tender moment.  Depending on the rating, it could be a steamy tender moment that makes you feel uncomfortable if your mom happens to be watching it with you.  Sometime ago, I was watching a family movie where the couple was lying in bed talking.  As they talked, the wife lightly and lovingly touched her husband’s arms, back and face.  For a moment I thought I saw genuine care in her face.  As they enjoyed a deep and exploratory kiss, I couldn’t help wondering if either of them had any feelings at all for the other.  Just a tiny attraction?

I know it’s all movies and acting but can someone be so professional that they could resist the body’s natural instincts and urges in the name of acting?  I know some people would say  “Oh it’s different when you don’t love the person you are making out with.  There’s nothing to it.” but I really don’t buy it.  I know for one thing that if I was doing a movie with say Jennifer Aniston and we had to do a make-out scene, of course I will feel something.  I am human.  (I know you are saying, ‘Yeah right’).

Couples who never saw each other before are lying in bed together nude or almost nude and mimicking what they do in their own bedrooms.   And that’s normal? Nothing’s wrong with that? Just a job? It’s only movies?  Well let me give you my take whether you want it or not.  I seriously think it trivializes real life relationships.  I also think it could be linked to the failed relationships and marriages that plague celebrities.  Why have a partner when you could fool around with all the hot women in Hollywood with no strings attached?  Ala The Bachelor.

Coincidentally, while I was drafting up this blog, I took a break to surf the internet and found an item where the star of the television show Scandal admits that his wife is uncomfortable watching his make-out scenes with his female love interest.  She apparently refuses to watch the show.  Here.  Now that’s what I’m talking about.  Would I enjoy watching a movie where my wife is half naked and kissing some guy the way she kisses me?  Especially if he’s more ‘man’ than I am?  But it’s only the movie honey.  I love you.  Oh really?  You kiss him exactly the same way you kiss me AND you even close your eyes…

Saying this, I do realize that for a movie to be successful, it has to be as close to reality as possible.  Unfortunately, there’s a very thin line that separates that reality from the movies.

To me, a kiss is more personal than even sexual intercourse but that’s…

Just my take.  Go ahead and kiss the girl.

 

 

 

 

Post Valentine Post

Happy Valentine's day!

It’s 5 days since V-day and I admit that I was amiss in not blogging about the thoughtful and ingenious things my wife did for Valentine Day.

Amie and I, well mostly her, had agreed that whatever we came up with for Valentine’s day would not cost anything.  As I’m not a big fan of the hype that surrounds it, I of course agreed.

On Valentine’s day, I got into my freezing car and there stuck to the steering wheel was envelope number one.  Also enclosed was a Tim Horton’s gift card.  The letter inside detailed how we first met and what attracted me to her.  It also instructed that I get myself a breakfast on the way to work.   I didn’t.

I got to work at 6am, opened up my laptop and resting on my keyboard, another envelope with my name.  Being not too dumb, I saw the connection.  I knew it was from my wife and it wasn’t a grocery or a to-do list.   But seriously now, how did she do that?

This would have been enough for me as I am easily pleased and easily amused.  I enjoy simplicity, but no, she wasn’t done.  There was another letter on my desk.  Then when I picked up the boys from pre-school, their teacher handed me another.   Amie’s mom passed me one when I picked up the boys from her house and Mikhail had one for daddy when I took him to piano class.  Even our student, Alex did his part in delivering mail that day.  The last one was hanging on the fridge.

The letters chronicled our life together from when we met to present.   The last letter thanked me for being the dad and husband that I am.  (Nothing about getting me the big-screen tv for the man-cave).  Obviously, Amie put a lot of thought into this and she got the reaction she hoped for.  I was impressed, happy and appreciative.

What did I do for her?  Wouldn’t you like to know…

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