Month: September 2015
Public speaking is certainly not my cup of ginger tea, but my conclusion? “I must overcome this giant!”
Let’s face it. How will I commit myself to read my future book before my fans, if I keep on using the word “but” whenever I have a chance to express myself in public?
Although, it’s really not my fault. Sometimes, my tongue feels more comfortable when my lips remain sealed, even among friends.
So, to defy this gigantic monster, guess what I did Saturday during my paralegal club meeting?
When the professor asked, “Who would like to be the North Campus President?”
“Well!” I reasoned with a “but” excuse. I thought it best to learn how to crawl first, before I start walking. I wouldn’t want to fall and bust my lips on my first attempt.
Yes, you guessed right. I did not raised my hands.
Turned out, I had a few “but” remaining inside my excuse box. So I ignored the call for the Vice President for both North and South Campus.
But, guess what? I finally raised my hands for the South campus secretary! Ho-ray!!!
But, do you know who beat me to it?
One of my daughter’s friend, who grew up in MY neighborhood, EATING MY FOOD. In fact, she calls me Tatie, which mean aunt, I considered her as my nice.
Wow! That gives a whole new definition of the term, “keep your friends close, but your enemies closer.” Yap!
Can you believe I contributed to her success! All along, I was pulling her shirt while whispering to her:”vote, vote!” But, confidently, we both raised our hands together, for the same position. Hilarious!
Of course I was proud of her!
But, loosing turned out to be my force of motivation. Like a form of training.
So when I heard the next: “Who would like to vote for…?”
My box of “but” was suddenly empty. I found myself raising my hand so high, I almost stood up. Because, all my fears had just flown away.
Yes, I was elected to be one of the officers of the Paralegal Eagles. I”m the Student Governing Rep.!
To keep us motivated, our professor told us “All you have to do is show up!” Which, I have no problem doing.
But, when I finally grabbed my box of ‘but” which I presumed was empty, there I discovered one more ‘BUT” was stuck inside of it.
So I had to swallow my saliva before I read “Algebra class!”
“Dawn it!” I screamed.
“This class still exist?”
Oh! So you’re really looking for the definition of “Chill – Rain?”
In my book, it stands for “CHIL-DREN!”
The word “Chill” in the dictionary means:
So when you have children, you are inviting a rainfall,an outburst of all of the above. Trust me. I know what I’m talking about.
Now, I’m not saying not to have the little rascals. But, my advise to you: “Wait after you’ve enjoyed your life.”
Like my second daughter. She’s been all over the world and still traveling. In fact, she’s creating her own country, just so she can find the next spot to travel, since she’s been EVERYWHERE!
Or, you can do the alternative. Wait till you turn fifty to have the brats. Why? So they’ll practically raise themselves.
Yap! It will be like a 50/50 investment. You boob would have already been ruined. Your chin dragging, you really don’t have nothing left to lose.
In their late twenties, you know, when their horns are visible to the world, their smart mouth echoing before your face, you’ll at least have the satisfaction to say:
“What did you say your name was child; who are you?”
“Ma, it’s me!”
“Your daughter, or your son!”
“Really! I had children? Now what do you know!” Hihihihi! (After they left)
Or, lets say they come to you and say “Mom, I’m so hungry!” After, you’ve just spent your last dime, and filled the fridge with all sort of goodies.
You can answer them “I just came from the doctor, my taste bud is completely null. Going forward, you going to have to cook honey!”
Then wait till they get out of your private space, which is your room. Stretch your body comfortably on your bed, grab your favorite book, and start reading with a satisfying smile on your face.(Don’t regret it either!!!)
And about when they go in your purse and take your favorite lipstick, or your closet, borrow your new pair of Italian shoes, which by the way, you will never see AGAIN! Why? Because, they don’t feel you deserve it!
Tell them: ” Oh dear, I sure hope you don’t catch my infection, just came from the dentist!”
As for the shoes, let them believe your foot is so badly infected, they shouldn’t even sit on your bad!”
You see old age give us one advantage over this young so called smart generation, who think they can treat like crap, after we’ve sacrificed our lives for them. That is, “We can act as crazy as we wish! If they are not worthy of our genuine kindness, and love toward them, don’t let them take any more advantage of us. If you have to, tell them “Your back, your jaw, your ear, your ass, even breathing hurt.”
When they show you an expensive dress or pants they want you to buy, you should be suddenly blind.
“Hone, I wish I could see, bu I’m losing my sight. The doctor just told me.” Then pray for forgiveness!
When they ask you to remember something, you are no longer alert!
“Sweetie, you forget how old your mother is?” Then sight, pitifully! As if you truly regret not enabling them.
Yes, its time that we fight back! This generation has the capacity to be either “A mother’s curse, or a blessing!”
However, if indeed, they are a blessing, is there anything we wouldn’t do for them?
This has been my experience. My apology, if your children are exempt from this serenade!
As for me, in view of my past experience from the children I sacrificed so much for, had I not be strong, I could have dropped dead!
Therefore, while I will continue to pray for them, I will patiently wait for them to gain maturity. I know the day will come, since I taught them well. I trust the Word of God which promised me “Train a child the way they should grow, and when they get old, they will not depart from it.” If God is not a liar, my children will find their way back to wisdom, love, and respect, even the Godly success I’ve prayed for.Thankfully, they’ve all earned their Bachelor and Masters, with the exception of one, still struggling.
But meanwhile, if they ever disrespect me again, and think they play with my love:
Mom, can you do this for me? I will answer:
“I don’ t know you from jack, who the hell are you?” Will be my answer!
I stopped by your house twice, brought you some soup, but Zawa told me you were not there.
The grey haired woman was too busy coughing to answer her friend. Finally she answered.
“The rain sprinkled on me while i was out shoping, now I know, am going to catch a cold. “You made your squash soup today?”
“I always cook my Sunday meal on Saturday.”
“What? You eat left over food on Sunday? ”
Annoyed at her friend, she slightly raised her voice to say. “You mean, you still wait till Saturday to shop for your Sunday meal?”
“Yap! I don’t play with tradition. I have to cook my fresh chicken, some white rice and white beans every Sunday. Even Wawa won’t eat if he knows…”
“Well, you need to tell your Wawa this is America. He’s been here for over twenty years, and he still wants freshly cooked food every day?
She answered, “It’s not only for him. I enjoy my Sunday meal better when I shop on Saturday!”
“Get away from my face with your nonsense!” Ersula slightly raised her voice. “I don’t waste my time on food. I can have a sandwich, broil me a plantain, to eat it with some leftover meat. Even a bowl of salad will do. Food is food! “
“You sound like an American now! Eating a sandwich on Sunday? You should be ashamed of yourself!
The old woman stares at her friend as if she had committed an abominable crime.
“I can’t believe you would eat a sandwich! A dry bread with some bo, bo, Bolola?”
“For God sake, it’s called, “Bolog – Na, not Bolola!’ I can’t believe you can pronounce even that, after twenty years being in America!”
“Well, that’s because we don’t eat Ball log Na. Wawa used to eat some Him/ Hamm, I don’t know how to say that one either. But, when he found out it was made of horse meat, he kept on imagining the horse running all over the place inside the house. So he told me never to buy that again.”
“Your Wawa is as sick as you are. I never heard of anyone not eating a damn sandwich! Anyway, when do you have time to cook all that food on Sunday – don’t you have to be at church by 9:00 A.M.?”
“I start broiling my beans after midnight! The hen takes a bit longer to cook, but unusually all my foot is ready by the time Wawa wakes up. Since he doesn’t like his soup to be cold. “
“You mean to tell me, you cook some squash soup to top the rice, chicken, beans?”
“Yeah! I broil some plantain, plus we eat some salad too!”
“Your boys eat dinner with you guys on Sunday?”
“Dinner? The soup is for breakfast. The Rice and chicken … for after church, around 2:00. But we have some rice pudding for supper. One bowl each.”
“Are you kidding me? And you guys are still but skin and bones?”
“You must remember, we’re always on a diet!”
The old lady turned to look at her friend. For a moment, she refrained herself from saying anything to her. In fact, she grabbed a bottle of water to gargle down, while she shook her head. But, finally when she turned her head she yelled:
“Diet? Diet? How in the hell do you imagine yourself and your husband to be on a diet, ZAZA?
Zaza calmly answered:
“Wawa and I drink some tea, so we can shit all day!”
I woke up this morning on the wrong side of the bed. Since I was not about to surrender to depression, I decided to just rolled over toward the right side of the bed!
When I finally got up, I was leaping for joy!
So, there I was walking toward the garage, when I hurt my toes. Ouch! Then my body slammed against the ironing board, which slapped me on my face.”
So I took the broom and beat the crap out of it!
Yes, you’re right. My mind was made up. I was not about to be defeated today!
So, when my daughter finally woke up, she had nothing better to do, then to annoy me about my hair. Which honestly have been looking like dry grass lately.
“MA! What’s going on with that hair of yours? You know, that can’t Go ON!”
“What can’t GO RUN?” I asked her.
“Your hair MA – YOUR HAIR!”
“Oh yeah!” I answered. ” I bet you ten each, they can go run!”
“OK, I bet!” She replied.
So I went in the bathroom, shaved my hair off! When I walked out.
“WHAT HAPPENED TO YOUR HAIR MA???”
“They went running. Now you owe me $10.00 each string; pay up!”
I know! You might think I’m the First Lady. BUT, your eyes are just tricking you. LOL
My older brother is a rare character. By the time he was eight, he was already immune to the belt, pinch, slaps, and shoes, pots swinging or swirling toward him.
My mom had secret agents from different background, tracking his whereabouts, on a daily basis. Therefore, whenever I saw the merchant of rice, beans, or even the milk lady who often said, “Now that boy of yours was with some dirty feet little boys, and they tried to drink all my milk.”
I was reassured, he couldn’t have been too far away. Perhaps, ten miles cap. So the ten P.M. whooping will be mild.
But, if the report came from the mango, banana, cow or goat merchants:
“Mmm! Saw your boy running the river, with some dirty feet boys, good for nothing!”
I knew he was in DEEP trouble. He must have traveled to the country side where my grandmother lived. I’m talking about over twenty miles away.
By the time he finally came home, after midnight, he would find my mom sitting on the patio with the belt.
Although I was about five, I was not able to sleep until he came home. Because, I always felt a sense of duty to plead on his behalf.
Whenever he was finally getting a whooping, I was always in tears, screaming my heart out: “Please, please, don’t hurt my brother!”
But wait until it’s my turn. Do you know what he was screaming, while he jumped for joy? “Don’t hit her where she can’t die Mamma. “Hit her right there, behind her head. In the back of her head, MA! ”
I recalled the night he showed up with a large bag of pennies. When my mother asked him.
“Where did you get this bag from?” He replied.
“From the cemetery!”
His tiny ear almost got chopped off by my mom’s nails. She was pulling it so hard while she said, “YOU GO BRING IT WHERE YOU FOUND IT!”
He answered back, “But, it’s too late Mamma, the zombies might be up by now!” (LOL I made that one up, he didn’t really say that)
Anyway, later on I heard my mother telling a neighbor the story. The woman in shock exclaimed, “Oh my God! An evildoer probably did a ritual against someone with hose pennies, and the boy went to touch them? For sure now, bad omen will follow him!”
I was playing with my doll on the patio. I couldn’t stop laughing. I felt like saying, “Yeah right! Like the devil would hurt his own son! BUT, since I had just got a whooping for smart mouth, I kept my mouth shut.
Now looking back, I think my brother was just being a boy. Well! An unusual one. I think even the priest felt the need to intercede on his behalf 24/7.
At one point, my brother thought it was funny to run off with the bag of communion bread, simply for a good laugh. I think God must have graced him, since he was an altar boy.
My intercession on his behalf started as early as I could utter my first word of prayer. The fact is, for the most part, he was a good brother. I don’t recalled him hitting me even once. He bugged the nerve out of me. Killed my dolls, ripped their clothes. And while I was eating, he also enjoyed running off with my meat, or the whole plate of food, although he didn’t even like to eat. I recalled times when he protected me as well. But the day he grabbed my little brother’s bottle from the crib, and drunk all his milk, not even my prayers were able to help him out.
Yes, this is the truth. In fact, to replace the milk, he attempted to feed my brother a bottle filled with water instead. But, my brother kept on crying. Then, while he tried to grab the large can of powdered milk from the cabinet, the whole can fell off his head. Imagine my mother’s face when she walks in, to find my older brother, leaking the milk from the floor, with the empty bottle lays on the floor next to him, while my baby bother is screaming his heart out of hunger.
As my brother got older, he developed a great sense of humor. I recalled the period when he thought he was, “The ladies’ man.” He had a birthday celebration every week. Beautiful girls while they brought him his birthday gifts, kissed him on his lips, would say, “Happy Birthday honey!”
Surprise, I would answer: “Who’s birthday?”
Then, he would give me, “The look,” like saying “You better shut your mouth!”
Before he answers, “Oh baby! What have I done to deserve you?”
I often felt like answering: “What has she done to deserve you?”
Yap! This is my first older brother number one. Has he changed much?
Well, I love him too much to tell you the truth! Besides, he’s a working progress. In church every Sunday.
One day when I asked him “Why he was such a faithful church attendant?”
He answered, “I can’t afford not to Sis. I must seek forgiveness now, for my pending sins. ”
There you have it! This is older brother number one.
On the other hands, my second older brother who now lives in Colorado, was the complete opposite from my elder one. He seriously had no sense of humor, although he was the kindest among my brothers. The only two things which mattered to him were me, and his food. My older brother was scared of him too, because he knew, he had no problem slapping him. Everyone knew not to bother him.
In fact, he was always so serious, I think his lips were glued with the Letter “U.”
I love my third brother who now lives in North Carolina. Although for a while we all wondered about his true nationality.
Working for the airline company, he traveled extensively. Therefore, whenever he stopped here in Florida, I often overheard his conversation with the ladies.
One morning, he might be from Jamaica. Don’t be surprise if by the same evening, he was from Trinidad instead, and spent his whole life in England. Lastly, although I lived in Florida, before he leaves, I might have relocated to France. During another visit, I may just find myself living in Africa!
So imagine whenever he says “Baby, I want you to say hi to my older sister!”
“Hello!” Wow! You live in Africa?”
“Yap! Wherever my brother wish me to be dear; since I never have to pay my relocation expense!” Is always my answer.
There you have it! The stories of three of my brothers.
Two of my girls have no filter whatsoever. I try not to take it personal whenever they spur their mind in the open. Frankly, the apples couldn’t have fallen too far from the tree.
One day during dinner three of my daughters were conversing among themselves. While I – could – hear- everything.
“Gosh, if Mom dies now, who’s going to cook this dish for us? We don’t know how to cook it; and, last time we ordered from the Haitian restaurant, it tasted nothing like Mom’s.”
My third daughter answered.“Oh crap! You are right! Then you better learn how she makes it before she drops dead on us!”
Acting as dumb as a mule, I said. “I’m so tired, with all my body aching, I feel as if I’m about to drop dead.”
“They all promptly yelled “Oh no Ma, you can’t die yet – We don’t know how to make the Legume!”
“Are you girls kidding me? Is this the only reasons you want me to stay alive?”
“No Ma. But, this is most of the reason.” The second one answered.
“In fact, all the kids from Tatie’s (Aunt) neighborhood would feel bad if you die.”
Then they all answered together, while laughing: “Just because of your cooking too!”
The second one replied again, “Besides, we are so used to hear you saying “I’m dying.” We don’t even take you seriously anymore.”
“About if one day I really drop dead, after I say that?”
She answered. “Then we will say:
“Oops! I guess she really meant it this time!”
With children like mine, why wish to die? Indeed, I was served a cup of my own medicine that day. But, like I said, I tried not to take them seriously. Considering..
I’m fifty… and just now learning how to “sugar coating’ my words. I have a hard time understanding why people have to be fony, or hypocritical. No, I’m not like my children. I’m just not a hypocrite. I actually have an allergic reaction whenever I sense this tendency from anyone. I will withdraw myself from you completely. In fact you won’t even remember if I exist. My philosophy is: “If you don’t mean what you are saying, don’t say it at all.”
My husband on the other hand, had no problem calling everybody “YOU STUPID!” Particularly when they miss pronounced his last name. In fact, my third daughter’s first word was stupid! Seriously. Soap or herbs couldn’t wash that word from her mouth.
I always dreaded the doctor’s visits with my husband. He refused to understand our last name was unusual. Imagine being a nurse, who went to school in California. You were unfortunate enough to stumble on your next patient file, with the following name:
Cassendre Revangué Kouakoua. Yes, that was the name of my second daughter.
Therefore, since you could not pronounce the French/African STRANGE NAME, you’ve never even heard of before. You decide to walk toward the patient lobby, while holding the file, you are try your best to say:
“Ca – Ca – ssen-drè RE – KOVAKOVA?”
The father who happened to be my ex-husband, with both his hands on his pocket, he stood up. While he walks toward you, he’s staring at you, from your toes, up to your head. Before he says:
“Have you ever been to school or NOT?” “STUPID!!!”
You answer kindly: “My apology Sir, but I don’t know how to.”
“Well! Don’t you know how to read?”
Meanwhile, where is his wife, who happened to be “ME?”
Hiding behind him, with my purse over my head! Since my daughter was too heavy, I couldn’t possibly use her as an umbrella.
So do you see what I mean?
I guess He was annoyed by my gratitude. It started to rain like crazy. To be correct, it was almost STORMING immediately after I uttered my heartfelt thanks.
The gush of rain was so heavy, by the time I ran toward the glass door, I was soaking wet.
“Is this how you repaid me?” I yelled.
You know me? I couldn’t just swallow my anger. I had to let Him know how I really felt. I mean, if you were me, wouldn’t you? So I yelled again.
“Are you for real God?”
No, He did not answer me. But, amazingly, just about then, I noticed a tiny lizard staring at me. I assumed it was trying to escape from the rain, and ran inside when I opened the glass door. And, since I didn’t have the heart to kick him out, I whispered to him.
“Ok. You can stay inside. But, you better never let my daughter see you here. In fact, go hide in the garage.”
But to my surprise, before I could walk toward the garage door, the little rascal had jumped on me. And, for the life of me, I couldn’t tell where it was hiding.
So I started screaming, “AHAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!” And, skipping all over the house, while I snatched off my clothes.
I finally stopped screaming because the hot water almost caused me to choke myself, since I was in the tub, steaming my body in the shower.
Afterward, I placed all my clothes in the tub for a hot bath, I gladly assumed: “That should have killed the little rascal.”
About an hour past, when I was certain the house was lizard free, I thought I would start painting.
Don’t tell my daughter this part OK. She took off to Portugal and left me in the house all by myself. Before she left, she asked:
“You are not going to pain here, are you Mom?”
“What an insult?” I thought to myself, before I answered her.
Of course, the same day after her departure, I rushed back to my house, retrieved my canvas, my two LARGE bags of paints and brushes.
Can you imagine the thrilling inspiration, when I found out I was going to spend the whole week by myself, with a nice lake view at my disposition?
Yes, other artist would probably feel inspired to paint something about nature, perhaps the lake itself. But, I’m a bit different. Perhaps, even strange. So I painted some ladies dancing the panda dance, with an ugly guy beating the drum. I also finished my grand-parents painting.
So, to get back to my lizard story. After I broiled the little rascal in the tub, I felt the urge to start painting. In fact, I even had my glass of red wine ready, in order to seal the deal.
But, when I finally grabbed my canvas, guess who was staring at me; dozed off to sleep, on my largest canvas?
I – will – NEVER – EVER- feel sorry for a baby lizard – AGAIN!
“Seriously God, ARE YOU FOR REAL?”
This week I can’t seem to find the time to write, so I will continue to showcase some of my culture inspired paintings.
This one is entitled “Caribbean Woman”
We are known for our exotic beauty, our full figure, ( don’t know what happened to me on this one) our kinky hair, our firm discipline, and most of all, for our unique style and delicious food!
Those among you who are from the Caribbean have probably heard of the banda dance. You know, it’s when you shake it the four corners of the earth while you bending down till you reach the ground. It was typical for us ladies to compete. Last year I had the audacity to attempt it was during my daughter’s graduation. They had the never to tell me “I could not do it.” So I showed them a thing or two. Well, that was before my knees cracked. But, I didn’t tell them that part when they applaud.
So today, I thought I would share a couple of my paintings with you guys, just so you may have an idea of what you would look like, when you finally learn how to dance the “BANDA!”
And, the answer is yes. “Even if you are Caucasian, you would still look like those ladies.
Sorry guys, didn’t show you dancing, but you can still play the drum! Don’t’ forget the pipe either.
I decided to post my paintings. I welcome critics or compliments. Thank you in advance.
Entitled “The Purest Love.” Acrylic on canvas.
The one below is called “Common Trait.” Regardless our culture … we all share the same pain every month. So this painting is dedicated to us women!