Carnival indiscretions and other holiday adventures …

Perfectly fitted grey suit with matching tie… looking debonair, modestly attired wife in tow and a beaming mother - the perfect Sunday family portrait. (Tainted, only if you knew of yesterday’s adventures).

If you are Jamaican, you know that no matter how much of an adult, independent, non-church going new age thinker you are, when you go to country on those holiday visits, you must accompany mother or grandmother to church. Period.

But this is no ordinary weekend as my husband who has never set foot in a Kingdom Hall has promised faithfully that he will attend. The result of this promise? My mom has called no less than 5 times (on the same day) to remind me to “Bring a suit!” So you know if we forgot the suit someone’s head would roll, namely mine.

Saturday morn

Sure enough as fate would have it 5 minutes into the drive heading out of Kingston, I looked around and there was no suit! After a screeching halt and a dubious U-turn, the suit is retrieved and we are yet on our way again, disaster averted! (Whew).

It’s always at treat to hang out with my mom and we are especially happy to stay with her now that we are married because WE GET TO SLEEP IN THE SAME ROOM! Yes, I’m shouting because it’s a big deal. If your parents are from the old school, then you’ll understand this regime. Never mind that you live together; when you go to ROME, you do as Rome (aka my mother) commands.

This Easter weekend was the perfect way to kill two birds with one stone; a weekend with mom and partying for carnival. Since it’s also study season, the only party I have fitted into my schedule is beach jouvert, a soca party on the beach with live performances, bonfire and body paint galore. The catch is that my mom is super strict so the first hurdle was, how do I leave my house in the completely “harlot” outfit that I plan to wear under her prying eyes?

Now all of this must sound very strange to you. Why is a grown ass married woman hiding her outfit from her mother? Well, the answer is simple. Fear! Fear of my mother’s disapproving stares and unbridled tongue! So what’s the decoy? The plan is to wear pants. I can always change into those dreadfully short shorts in transit.

The forbidden shorts!

The forbidden shorts!

Saturday Eve

So we bid her adieu in my respectful wifely attire – appropriate jeans pants and flattering top. Along the journey, I slip out of the pants then wiggle and squirm my way into the extra short shorts. Oh the deception! But my guilty conscience is short-lived as we arrive at the venue and I am caught up in the rapture of the music, revelling in paint and even climbing atop my husband shoulders, enthusiastically waving the Jamaican flag!

And then it’s time to go home. There’s paint everywhere and I can’t possible ruin my slim fit pants. Clearly this plan wasn’t well thought out. What to do? This time it’s an oversized garbage bag to the rescue and I cut open spaces for my arms and head.

Debauchery!

Debauchery!

Saturday night

It’s almost 11 at night as we pull up to the gate and the plan unfolds in my head: Open the gate quickly and make a beeline for the shower. Garfield beats me to it and as he begins to shower, fate steps in and the bathroom starts flooding.

Mommy, distraught by the flooding bathroom is lamenting that the pipe was recently fixed, when she stops in mid-sentence. Now mind you, I’m a kaleidoscope of colours and there is red paint, now wet, dripping down my legs.

In horror, “Lecia! What is that on your legs?”
Realising that she might be thinking that it's blood, I hasten to reassure her, “It’s only paint mommy.”
“Paint?!” Now looking confused and quizzical at the same time, “So how did you get paint on you?”
“Uhmm... it’s body paint mommy, don’t worry it will wash right off.” Awkward pause.
Hmmm,” now she’s frowning,  “So is where unno go that you would get paint on your body like that?”
I’m now shifting uncomfortably, “The beach mommy, remember the water is right there so you could wash it right off?”
Unconvinced, she mumbles inaudibly and after what seems like eternity she leaves us.

My husband who by then was fully showered, clean as whistle, like he has never been near the beach or paint looks on amused and climbs innocently into bed. Traitor!

Traitor!

Before the paint

Sunday morn

Mommy greets me warmly “Morning my red Indian!” She continues, “Because is only Indian I know wear red paint.” My bemused hubby joins in agreeing with her observation. Damn traitor!

But my mom is extremely chirpy, a sing-song with almost every note because for the first time hubby will be accompanying her (and I have to keep reminding my dear husband) “Not to church, but Kingdom Hall!”

So off we go, like the picture perfect family with no trace of the debauchery of yesterday, except for the tinge of red paint that no amount of profuse brushing could remove from my hair. Now, it’s my turn to be amused as I watch my hubby sit for almost 2 hours in one session. Amusing, because my hubby has the shortest attention span I know and even 10 minutes without browsing his phone results in withdrawals.

Picture perfect!

Picture perfect!

Miraculously, he pulled it off (owing to the fact that a great deal of the study material could be readily found on the organisation’s website). After the session, as he attempted to make a bolt for the door, “Don’t move!” Mommy stopped him dead in his tracks and off she went to introduce him to all the folks. Now that was a pleasure to watch – the warm welcome, handshakes and conversations with mommy hovering over him like a proud peacock.

Finally, I could only drag her away by packing her bag and taking it to the car. We spent the afternoon having lunch at Jewel, Ocho Rios and a happier mother could not be found anywhere in Jamaica… oblivious to yesterday’s treachery.

Monday Morn

Garfield shakes me awake. “Look at this photo!”
It’s me atop my husband’s shoulders, waving the Jamaican Flag! The horror!
“OMG, what the hell? Where is that?”
“It’s in the Gleaner.”

Will the earth just open up and swallow me. Memories of a prominent photo of me in red short shorts that was captured years ago while in college that graced the Sunday Gleaner flooded back. My mom didn’t speak to me for an entire week!

“Don’t you dare show that to mommy!” I hissed.

And even nature began to sympathise with me as tears start pouring from the skies. Thank God! Mommy won’t get to leave the house to buy the papers or come in contact with anyone who has the papers! Yes! Every time the phone pinged or vibrated I cringed because it was another person posting or commenting on the photo. I silently prayed that no one called mommy to share news of the photo.

Of course, my hubby was enjoying all of this while I squirmed my way through the day. As we piled into the jeep to head back to Kingston with much hugs, kisses and fanfare from my mother who has given us enough food to last till the end of days, I breathe a sigh relief…Whew! That was close.

Ahhh… you never really stop being a child!

19 Responses

  1. Amanda

    Just came across the blog and I’m reading back some old posts -no wonder this is a top post!
    Hilarious! I felt like I should have had some popcorn because it unfolded like a movie – from when mum spotted the red paint (ominous music) to the Gleaner front page (even more ominous music).

    Really funny!

  2. Kemesha

    Your mom use to teach me in high school, cant forget those days…….really nice but strict lady!

  3. Valencia

    Wow!!!! Same skit different cast – This story sounds oh so familiar. Sorry to tell but it’s just a matter of time before mommy stumbles across the paper. It ain’t finish til it finish:)

  4. Sparkle

    I enjoyed this. This is how you know your parents did a great job, when even after adulthood you still respect and fear them.

  5. Queenie

    I don’t know how I missed this one. Girl I am on the floor!!!!! At 30 years old, when I go home to visit my parents, I still have to watch what I wear, what time I come home and yes…….di boyfriend sleep inna one next room!!!

    But Lawd Leece…….front page?! And it’s not like you two are standing side by side in a halfway decent pic. Yuh pan top a di man shoulders caught in mid song!!!! #deading

  6. Sue Walden

    I remember when your pic made the papers while we were at UWI and now again. You are just picture-perfect! BTW, this pic with the flag could be used for Jamaica 50! Awesome!

  7. Mimi Nate

    Great read as always Lecia…………..A simple case of what goes on in the dark must come to light…………..In your case daylight………LOL

  8. Abi

    Girl, great eye opener for those who don’t have loving (and dare I say?! somewhat controlling moms ) or a mom at all…..Thanks for that. *****Correction: squirm MAY way to squirm MY way. Nuh cuss a jus suh mi read lol.

    • Thanks Abi! Updated! Girl, I am never upset. I read these posts many times over when I’m editing but after a while I’m reading from my head so I see what I think should be there! Please send them along whenever you come up on them!

  9. Helena Felner

    You guys are so funny and cute:)

    So glad to see I’m not the only one who does not let my mom and dad know the other Helena even if I’m 40 years old/with my own family.
    Hope to see you guys soon and I tell everyone about the beautiful couple we met while in Jamaica!!!!
    Take care and keep sending me your blogs loved reading them and get to see how you are doing

    Helena Felner
    Sent from my iPhone

    • Big hug Helena!!! I’m counting down the days to complete exams so that I can take a trip soon!

  10. What a place for your secret fi buss!!! LOL! Front and center. Gleaner of all places! I don’t think she’s totally in the dark though. She knows something went on. *Chuckling*

    P.S. After she call unu 5 times unu still manage fi come out a di house widout di suit?

  11. Nicole "Netty" Brown

    OH YESS! I can relate to that golden rule – “you guys are free to sleep over JUST not in the same room” hahhahahha. Since your mom is in St Ann I will just ask my sis to drop her a copy of the paper hahahhahahaah!! Lovve this article…..lol

    • Gyal mi would malice you for life! Although I am sure someone already beat your sis to it. Now i’m just shuddering every time my phone rings!

  12. Patrice Willie

    Love it!!! Definitely can relate!!

  13. LadyBuchanan

    Haha….I am dying here. I hope she catches you as my mom always caught me!! lol