My Takes

Just my humble opinion…

Archive for the category “People”

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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Who Are You?

Do I know you? Do you know you? That may be the better question.  Everyone wants everyone to be like…yes, everyone but themselves. Why can’t you be like so-and-so? As a young kid, my aunt wanted me to be like The Baileys.  The Baileys were our upper-class family friends, quite naturally, their kids were classy and well-mannered.  At least in the public eye.  My aunt didn’t know they farted without saying excuse me.

There is so much conversation on young people being forced or pressured to look and act a certain way.  As parents we resent and discuss this with disgust but in many ways we are guilty of setting the trend.  How many of us ask our halves to be different?  “Honey, why can’t you be like this?  Do it for me.  Wear this…”  I have seen it in friends who were once wild and free with independent minds, becoming zombie-like as they lose their own identity and take on that of their other halves.  They just melded.

Sometimes a change is good.  Your wife finally gets you to loosen up and try something you have never tried before, you did and found out you loved it!  In fact, you are a natural at it!  This does not change who you are.  It just means you have added something new to what makes you.  Kudos to the wifey!  Life is a life-long learning experience.  You sometimes learn that you are not one-dimensional after all!  I for one have found out I like chips after all! Thanks honey!

On the flipside, I have seen my once-funny friends get involved with Debbie Downers and turned into Boring Bobs.  (Isn’t it funny that it rarely works the other way?).  A happy you is the real you are and being anything other than that is compromising or rejecting the very things that characterize who are you.

Don’t be like the Baileys or anyone else for that matter.  Be YOU, but first, find out who you really are.

 

 

 

 

DST

Image result for daylight savingsIn this hectic world where we wish daily that we had one more hour in our days, losing an hour is a big deal.  When it’s done on a Sunday morning where the next day is the much-dreaded and hated Monday, it’s an even bigger deal.

It’s becoming increasingly clear that this tactic has ran its course but the decision-makers continue to flog this dead horse.  Maybe they just don’t want to admit defeat.  Saying this,  I have a work-around that could make this DST work and benefit everyone.  Make the change on a weekday, preferably Monday, at about 3pm!

How would that benefit everyone?  Well when the time changes on a Sunday, employees show up to work tired and unproductive.  That’s if they do turn up, some prefer to call in sick.  If the time goes forward an  hours closer to the end of their work day, employees get to leave on hour earlier AND start their evening chores earlier too! It’s almost as if they gained an hour! It’s all in the mind of course because really, who doesn’t want to leave work early? Happy employees=production=happy employers.

Thank me later.

Don’t Let Your Badness Stop Your Goodness and Make You Lose Your Happiness

As I sat in the pew last Friday, attending my second funeral in as many months, I reflected on how final death was.  It was the funeral of a close family friend, she was only 46.  The celebration ran long as there were a total of 10 speakers, each sharing stories of the awesome person whose ashes lay before me.  Gone too soon.

I thought of how we sometimes live our lives as though we have a lot of years ahead of us.  Even though we greet each other at funerals with the same, “Oh life is so short, let’s not meet like this anymore.” that sentiment is usually forgotten before we are even done gorging on the funeral food.

Life is indeed too short and even though we have all these memes and sayings that remind us not to worry or sweat the small stuff, it’s all just hogwash.  We worry about past mistakes and screw-ups wasting valuable time regretting what we did to our best friends, our families and ourselves.  What we did in Vegas that stayed in Vegas…  The time we got drunk and experimented with drugs… Sometimes we even worry about the good things we did!  We spoke the truth and it resulted in us being alienated by family and friends, so we worry and stress about that too!

Last time I checked, worrying never fixed or changed anything.  Wishing you could turn back time is not going to change what happened.  So you did something bad stuff, who hasn’t?   Life is an ongoing lesson.  We never stop learning until we die, so learn from what you did.

Maybe you never intended to egg your neighbor’s house as you are a nice person.  You are anti-drugs but you did it anyways the night you got wasted.  What would your friends and family think if they only knew?  Maybe the same thing you would think if you only knew what they did. What you did is done so you might as well add it to your unplanned/accidental bucket list and scratch it off.  The thing is, a person’s worth is not judged by what they did but who they are.  I have seen pastors who were once incarcerated. Lives turned around for the better.  Don’t worry about your past, worry about your present. Did you learn from it?  Are you a better person because of it?  Then you are a success, not a failure.

As you lay dying, the only worry you should have is if your family would be ok.  Anything else is a waste of RAM.

 

 

Random act of kindness

Have you watched or read the news lately? Not too much good stuff, is it? In fact it’s downright depressing.  Slowly eroding your belief in your fellow human beings. Well don’t despair, there are still quite a lot of good people out there.  Like the one I ran into yesterday.

While waiting in line at my favorite coffee shop, the guy behind me tapped me on the shoulder and asked me what I was getting.  Suspicious by nature, I guardedly told him I was getting a coffee. What is it to you? I asked inwardly.  “I got it”, the fella said. I didn’t. Get it I mean…For a second or two, I wasn’t sure what he meant. It never dawned on me that a total stranger would offer to pay for my order. Maybe try to get me to pay for his but not the other way around.  “Don’t worry about it, I’ll pay for your order”.  You don’t have to, I meekly responded.  Are you sure? There was no stopping him. He insisted.

The stranger asked me what size I was getting and made it clear that I could get whatever size I wanted and while I was at it, maybe grab a sandwich. I flirted with the idea of downsizing and getting a small coffee but decided to go with what my initial order. I wasn’t planning on getting anything to eat but after a few twists of my rubber arm, I settled for an apple fritter.

We engaged in season and weather conversation while we waited.  When we approached the clerk, he told her he was paying for whatever I wanted and signaled for me to order. He was good to his word. With a profuse and heart-felt thank you, I left the kind stranger to enjoy his meal.

I acknowledged this deed on my Facebook status and found that many people had the same experience recently. Very heartening, isn’t it? Has it happened to you? Maybe not in the same way but someone may have restored your faith in humanity? Don’t forget to pay it forward. It’s the only way we could counter the negatives of this earth.

Merry Christmas!

So Who Betrayed Who?

Early this week, I received a troubling text from the wife, “Honey, if you are on Ashley Madison better fess up now.”  I didn’t get it but I knew about the website.  My first thought was that there was probably a pop up or a spam email from the site on my computer. “Do you want me to cancel my subscription?” I jokingly replied waiting for her to explain herself.  She didn’t.  I found out later that day that the site was hacked and that users’ names were being posted online.  My wife was kidding of course, just so you know.  I never did like the name ‘Ashley’.

Now while members of this site that encouraged married users to have affairs because ‘life is short’ are crying foul, I ask myself, could they really cry foul? Do they have that right to even open their mouths in protest? I thinketh not.  They gambled and lost.  Plain and simple. Maybe the hackers are a group of angry women who are tired of going to bed alone while their husbands stay up to have an affair because life is short.  A discreet affair mind you.  Or maybe a group of men and women as women are also taking advantage of this indiscretion.

The fact that 37 million users use this service speaks volumes. I love the irony.  While they feel betrayed by a company that promised discretion but has not deliver, their partners share that very same feeling.  So who has betrayed who?

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

Monday Madness: Sex-Change On A Whim?

Do you find it ironic and equally confusing that we tell our kids to accept themselves no matter how, what and who they are yet we applaud Bruce Jenner for not accepting who he was? I do.  At  65 years old, Bruce Jenner of the Kardashian circus fame, decided to have a sex-change.  He set the media world on fire with the revelation that he was now a she.  Many gushed over the transformation, as though he went from an ugly duckling to a beautiful swan.  I didn’t.  But then again, I never was one for circuses.

Pardon me here but I find this as nothing short of rich people having nothing better to do with their money and seeking more fame and attention. It doesn’t help that I have yet to see the merits of sex-changes unless medically necessary.  (I have yet to see a medically necessary sex-change).  So it is quite difficult for me to understand why a 65-year-old man would suddenly feel the need to change his sexual makeup.  (And what the heck does ‘Trap in a man’s/woman’s body mean?). Maybe I’m missing something here. Too conservative maybe?

So kids, forget what we say about accepting yourself.  Boys, the girls don’t want you to play on their team? Get the last laugh, become one of them. Ditto for you too girls.  Never again do you ever have to wonder what it feels like to be a girl or boy.  Experience it yourself!  Parents, you can quit trying for that girl or boy.  Just flip on of the other kids. Ah, life is so much easier these days…

Just My Take.

 

 

Finding Happiness

Happiness

Happiness (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Happiness is perhaps one of the most debated topics.  A quick visit on the web and you will be bombarded with ads that offer inspirations or blogs on how to find the elusive happiness.  How To Be Happy, What Is Happiness? The Happiest City to live.   Many hit songs and movies are centered around the subject. Happiness.

In this soup mix of life, happiness seems to be the base.  It is our raison d’etre or the bane of our existence.  No matter who you are and what you do, your main quest is happiness.  Even the cold-blooded murderer seeks happiness.  Unfortunately, bringing harm to others would not bring you real happiness. Happiness is also subjective, meaning it is relative to the individual.  What makes me happy does not necessarily make you feel the same. On the flipside though, making someone happy could also make you happy.  How easy is that?  That’s what I would call true happiness.

Even though it is unanimous that we are all in the same hunt for happiness, many of us are so caught up just fighting to merely exist that happiness becomes an afterthought.  A luxury only the lucky few could afford.  We seek things that either give us a false sense of happiness or a temporary happiness-fix.    I am going to make lots and lots of money, I might not be happy but I will be rich.  If I do find happiness, then bonus!  The majority of us are in jobs that give us no sense of happiness but they pay the bills.  We spend our entire lives in this situation.  Money does not equate to happiness, just ask anyone who has won the lottery.  Some even wished they had never won.

We sometimes envy celebrities and the lives they live.  They seem so happy and why shouldn’t they?  They have everything.  Well, except true happiness.  The happiness of going for a walk without having cameramen jumping out of bushes.  Walking into a local grocery store or shopping at the mall without wearing a mask…who should envy who?

Happiness is elusive but only because we make it so.  It’s actually simpler than we think.  It’s a smile, a song, a hug or making someone’s day.  Things that money can’t buy.  Then why can’t we find it?  One reason is that we really do not know what happiness is.   We seek to have the happiness of others.  We want what we think makes those people happy.  Sometimes when we stumble upon happiness, we dismiss it.  It’s too easy.  I don’t deserve this.  Why am I happy?  Another reason is that we seek to be selfishly happy. It’s been proven that making others happy brings us happiness but who really wants to make others happy? What if we make them happy but do not get any happiness out of it?

Happiness is there for the taking, barely elusive.  So how do we find it? By realizing it is not lost in the first place.  Don’t over-think it, just be happy.

My Take

 

On Fat Shaming

michael-buble-instagram-fat-shameThere has been a lot of discussion on the issue of fat shaming lately, with stars from Kelly Clarkson to Pink being targeted by ‘fat shamers’. What’s that you asked? Well Fat Shaming is basically the act of poking fun of someone who you think is overweight.  Noticed I wrote ‘think’ in italics? It’s because it is usually the opinion of the shamer.

Last week, Canadian nice guy Michael Buble got the social media world in a frenzy when he posted a selfie of himself.  Nothing wrong that except the photo had a woman in the background wearing short shorts.  Buble posted the photo on the Instagram with hashtags, #babygotback, #myhumps and #hungryshorts.  Adjectives you can hear any time and any day on your local radio station.  Maybe it’s me as I’m a bit slow on the uptake sometimes but I fail to see where that could be fat shaming.  The woman in the photo had nothing to be ashamed of.  Maybe mad as hell that someone she didn’t give permission to posted a photo of her on social media.  Did I mention that he also had the hashtag #beautifulbum?  Not #fatbum.

Fat shaming is a form of bullying and so can be very traumatic, especially when the victim is vulnerable.  Although some of us could do with a wake-up call or a gentle nudge that we need to smarten up and go easy on the coke and chips, no one has that right to try to shame us into it.  if we are the architect of our own fatness by the way we live, we might need our friends to step up and tell us exactly what they think in a constructive criticism kind of way.  The last thing we need is a fake friend to tell us how great we look while we put on the Macdonald’s pounds.  There are diplomatic ways of saying things.  I once thought I was at an ideal weight until my Wii Fit Fat Shamed me by announcing that I was overweight!  The nerve! I wasn’t mad though, I took the constructive criticism in a positive light and shaped up.

There are a couple lessons to be learned here.  Do not post people photos without their permission and do not take everything so personal.  Growing up in the Caribbean, it was considered healthy to have some meat on your bones.  I was skinny shamed, called names that made me feel I was starving Ethiopian kid.  So know yourself, love yourself. If someone try to fat shame you, look in the mirror and see if you like what you see. If you do, shame on them. If you don’t, fix it. Remember, people will talk about you no matter what you look like.  So it’s up to you to like how you look.  If you are unsure, see Pink’s response to fat shamers. Here.

My rant:  We created this stupid vicious cycle with our ill-placed obsession with physical appearance then get offended when the very weapon we create is used against us.  We feast on shows and songs that promote certain body types and looks, yet act shocked when it comes home to roost.  Tut tut! Until we can evolve into a better race of people with a grasp on how to co-exist, fat shaming, bullying, racism etc., will be forever with us.

Buble, although in my opinion you did nothing to suggest you were fat shaming the cheeky damsel, your irresponsible actions, especially given your position, left a lot to be desired.

But relax man, it’s just my take!

 

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