So we’re sitting at his family’s Christmas dinner table and he pulls out this little black box. My heart starts racing,my throat gets dry and I start gulping down more wine.His parents are too distracted over slicing the turkey to notice the serious look on his face. He gives me this intense look that causes me to cough on the Merlot,his sister rubs my back and his cousins starts laughing. The music is loud and he mouths me something, now I’m incredibly terrible at reading lips so I’m lost. After guessing what he said I gave up and decided to lean in closer. In doing so some gravy spilled over my dress and everyone becomes frantic,he rushes over to me and helps me dry my dress with some napkins. He puts the box in his shirt pocket “What were you saying?” I asked nervously.
Never mind he said,I’ll tell you later,I frowned and in came his drunk uncle who wasnt invited he was furious and started throwing a fit. My boyfriend rushes in just in time to suffer a punch in the face that was intended for his dad ,the women scream and Marcus my boyfriend is down flat with blood oozing from his nose.
I rush over and bring napkins to his nose to stop the bleeding.Marcus’s dad is now at his brother’s throat and Marcus’s mom Mitchel is crying as her two daughters come to my side,I couldn’t believe what was suppose to be maybe my best Christmas turned out to be a disaster.
Couple hours later we’re at the hospital with Marcus and his uncle who both shot each other in the leg. I’m sitting in the waiting room with Marcus coat on me as he speaks to the doctors,I remember the box,I numbly reached for it and opened it…
The Wiseroots Barbershop was renowned back in the 70’s,the days where men rocked their FROs and bells bottoms,taking drugs and partying wild. It was that time when men seemed lost and seemed direction that they would casually have a sit on one of the leather chairs, awaiting their turn for a trim.
The older men would nurture the younger ones with stories from their youth,passing on wisdom and lessons.Players would beg to learn a trick or two but the elders would only share how to be a gentleman and how to treat a lady.
The leather chairs over the years became an arena for discussions over politics,drugs,women,family, culture, race you name it. Nothing wasn’t hidden and the raw truth was spoken on daily life situations. It was at the barbershop Sam sat dumfounded when he found out he was going to be a father,at 18 just out of school with no job,he was given a job at the shop after being lectured on responsibility.
The Wise roots barbershop wasnt the best in latest cuts and trims but they held a warm,educational and entertaining ambience. A spot mothers would drop off their sons when they needed a good talk about being a real man or just a good boy. Many husbands would woo their wives after Mr Taylor told them his secrets of how he kept his marriage of 45 years strong,God,good talk and good sex he often said and the men would laugh at the 82 year old chap.
The barbarshop closed for a few months after the passing of Mr Taylor in the 90’s it was a sad day in that town and since his passing the place hasn’t been the same.
His son took over and runs it up to this day but he isn’t his father and though he tries his best to give advise these days they just are not received as before. The neighborhood has grown cold and filled with violence and drug pushers. The chairs are not as filled and when the talk is just about how it used to be.
Music and a huge grin is what he was known for,other than being a good accountant there was little I knew about him.
We worked at the same establishment for years and never spoke to each other, and even when I said hi his headphones just seemed a little louder. Can’t quite recall how we became friends or how we started talking but ever since we did we have not stopped.
It’s weird how amazing friendships can be birthed from casual greetings.Getting to know this individual over the years has allowed me to see him evolve into a fine young gentleman. From a character that has matured to be quite ambitious, intelligent, kind,family oriented,to one who is wise,curious and fears God.
I admire this young man’s courage and persistence, even in the midst of his disappointments,heartbreaks and pain I’ve seen him rise in positivity. It’s a blessing to call him friend and the fact we share the same adventurous strike makes it more interesting to have him in my circle.
His smile is still as broad and he still enjoys his music but he has grown to be much wiser than his age,and he continues to inspire me to rise to greatness.
So,it’s thirteen more days till Christmas and many of us are very excited to do our last minute shoppings,have family over, sharing of gifts,having lots to eat and drink,most of us throw diets out the window including myself during that time.(lol)
I honestly enjoy this time of year,it’s my favorite holiday,and no matter what age I am,Christmas always has me feeling warm on the inside. I live in the Caribbean where there isn’t any snow to make snow man’s or snow angels,nonetheless that hasn’t kept the kids from believing in Santa Claus and enjoying their new toys.
In the Caribbean we celebrate Christmas by indulging in huge purchases of hams and turkeys, pork,beef.. this is the part where cow’s butchered body is suspended by the legs while a group of buyers stand yelling how much bounds of meat they want . This may seem uncivilized, but this is viewed quite normal in the Caribbean society and the health inspectors ensures it is free from harm and good for consumption.
Canons made from bamboo,being fired up by an excited boy blowing through a hole on the other end a fun yet risky experience which have left many boys without eye lashes. But nothing compare to the booming sound marking the celebration of the Christmas season,a childhood tradition that never ends.
I recall as a child waiting for my mother to return from town with loads of shopping and with a new doll,no matter how many dolls I had I always wanted a new one. Sodas sold by the crate were many,candy canes,ginger bear,eggnog and fruit cake marked the commencement of a jolly,green Caribbean Christmas.
To be continued
Today I was reminded to give a dollar not because you want others to see you and say oh what a good person you are,but because you felt led to,it was a heart decision.
I know I gave more before, and stopped mainly because of the stigma that vagrants hold of taking the money to purchase drugs. But today I’m reminded that the word compels me to give and I should obey.
Vagrants reaching out to me reminds me of how we struggle, and we all have needs,whether financial, emotional, physical, we all need someone to be there and show care. It also reminds me to be grateful in all things,for someone out there got it worse than me,and we are indeed blessed to be alive.
When we give it isn’t to get something in return but to picture ourselves in that person’s place and try to make a difference even if but for a moment.
It is better to give than to receive and when we give we shouldn’t tell the world of what we’ve done. This isn’t to impress anyone not even God,we give because it’s the right thing to do.
So let us learn to be a little more selfless and walk in someone’s shoe.
“A woman who takes care of herself becomes her own best friend” Maya Angelou
My No November Meat challenge has ended and I did not lose 35lbs like I desired however eating healthier has become easier. I know if I was way stricter on myself I would have lost the weight but I’ll be honest and state that I cheated once or twice, eating meat 1 out of the seven days.
For the past couple of weeks I ate tuna with green bananas, sweet potato, ripe plantains (I decided to add more starch into my meals and I mastered cooking a delicious lentil,pumpkin,spinarch and carrot soup with plantain and sweet potato. My most delicious veg meal yet, added dices of seasoned tuna last Friday. This meal is literally finger licking good, my sister agreed and told me I should do it every day after she had a taste.
My exercises on the other hand were next to nothing during the week of my menstrual cycle I lacked the energy and just wasn’t in the mood to do any body work, days I managed to do any exercises I only did sit ups. My hormonal swings had me craving fry chicken more than ever, the mare scent had me day dreaming and messed with salivary glands. I’m glad I resisted most days and gave in only one out of seven days not so proud of that but I have made some progress.
The challenge has been by all means difficult and I realized I could have pushed harder and I needed to be more disciplined to achieve greater results. Nothing happens overnight and self disciplined gets harder with time, it’s you who has to push and push really hard to achieve your goals.
This challenge is a process, it isn’t about the destination but it has been all about the journey. Learning to take better care of myself, demonstrating self love in one of it’s highest form.
P.S I am pleased that my menstrual cycle was regular this month, something it hasn’t been for some time, hence my efforts have been recognized and has provided results. I am motivated to continue on this healthy lifestyle take better care of me and my future God’s willing.