So by now you all know that I have been hating on my husband’s carnival obsession. You would think that going to Trinidad Carnival was enough partying for one year, but no, even back home he was like a junkie scavenging for carnival parties to attend. I mean, who carves out their exam study timetable around “must attend” carnival parties? That would be my husband (by the way, he better come home with straight As from this Master’s programme, or else...)
Hating aside, I’ll be the first to admit that it is really hard to be around someone who is excited (read: obsessed) about something and not have a wee bit of that excitement rub off on you. And that explains how I came to succumb to peer pressure (or is it husband pressure?) and agreed to “play mas” or jump carnival this year.
And believe me, I did try to back out after giving the commitment. Like the night of Bacchanal launch where they showcased the costumes. I suddenly fell “sick”. I mean, if I wasn’t there to select a costume and the one I would have selected was sold out then I wouldn’t have to jump, right? Well that plan failed. I looked on in despair as my overly enthusiastic husband rushed home excited to show me photos of the front line costume he had picked out for me.
“It’s the best looking one, I promise.” He was grinning like a Cheshire puss as he scrolled through his phone showing me the options. I hated to admit it but he was right.
“Oh, and I made a down payment because they all already sold out!” My, my, my... he was mighty pleased with himself.
“Well, that was kind of the idea.” I muttered under my breath.
“What you say honey?”
“Nothing, just saying that I really like the costume!”
“So when you going back to the gym? I already talk to Courtney.” Courtney is my personal trainer by the way. “Oh, and you need to start eating better?”
“Uhh? But I hardly eat!”
“That’s my point! That’s not going to work with exercising.”
Sweet baby Jesus, can I slit my throat now?
Knowing how determined my husband is once he gets set on something, I decided to pull up my big girl panties. After all, I already gave my word; it was too late to back out now.
So with my brightest, fakest smile, I was ready to forge ahead. “OK baby, whatever you say!”
And with that I was back in the gym, every (well most) Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. My trainer, as if not enough of a slave driver on his own, allowed himself to be drawn into a bet by my husband that he could not get me in better shape than him. Really though?! I’m not even sure why that was a bet. But it was enough to transform my trainer into Hitler himself for the weeks leading up to carnival. And about my hubby’s crazy betting habits, well I’m just going to leave that for another post.
Bacchanal Friday Nights
If you are going to jump carnival, you need to know the songs right? And it was for this exact reason that hubby impressed upon me the need to attend Mass Camp every Friday night.
But if anyone needs a lesson in tact it’s my husband. As I pulled from my closet the selection of shorts that could possibly be worn to Bacchanal Friday night parties, my husband blurted out, “No sah, dem shorts not gonna cut it.” As if his outburst wasn’t enough, he was also shaking his head vigorously.
“What’s wrong with them?!” I was on the defensive.
Stifling a snicker, he responded “Well, you can wear that (referring to the shorts in my hand) for this Friday, but we going shopping next week!”
Apparently, my current selection of shorts was not “short” or “sexy” enough for carnival.
True to his words, the following week, we purchased six new husband approved shorts. Now armed with appropriate shorts, I was off to Mas Camp to party with popular soca artists, enjoy wild performances, rum and crazy whining. There were maybe six or so parties. I made it to three. Not bad, if I do say so myself.
Road March Preparation
The week leading up to road march was the most hectic week ever. Not because of Carnival but because of work assignments. In my field of work, clients are very demanding, they care not one iota about your prior plans and you must deliver. So for the entire week, I pulled 12 to 14 hour shifts trying to meet client deadlines.
I missed major carnival parties like Pandemonium, Bazodee, Caesar’s Army and the one I was most looking forward to, Sunrise Breakfast Party.
I also didn’t realize that planning for road march was serious business. There is a lot that goes into getting ready!
“Lecia, you get your stocking yet?
"Lecia, you have your boots yet?”
“What?! No! Wait! Where do I get that?” Thankfully, my girlfriends as seasoned revellers, also knew where to source it all!
Lecia, who is going to do your makeup? That’s my husband adding to the pressure.
“I don’t know... Me?”
“You mad?? Make sure you find a makeup artist!”
“But why can’t I do my own makeup?”
“Lecia, not you and your cheapness, just find a good makeup artist, I’ll pay for it”
Oh Jesus! The pressure!
On Friday, two days before Carnival, driving home at minutes past eight, I realized that I had completely forgotten about my carnival costume.
Thanks to Superman aka my husband when I got home, my costume was sitting on the sofa waiting for me. He had also picked up the boots I selected a few weeks earlier.
What did I tell you about this man when his mind was made up?
I tried to slip into my costume praying that all would be well. I did say I tried. The panties, swimsuit bottom, whatever you want to call it, it did not fit. As for my wire bra? Let’s just say my nipples were on display!
“I can’t wear this! It looks like I stole the panties from a kindergarten!” I was mortified as my butt cheeks jiggled from the sides. Not cute.
“Relax, just take it back tomorrow and get it changed.”
But on Saturday I was stuck at work, and by the time I was done fixing my hair, there was no time to go change my costume.
“Honey, remember that orange swimsuit you have? You can just wear the bottom and then we can figure out how to fix the top.”
Darn it! That was actually a good solution. He had even gotten me Dr Scholls for my feet. So much for backing out at the last-minute. Everything was now in place, except that I would have to sacrifice sleep to complete work commitments. At 8:30 on road march morning when I hit send on the last agreement I had drafted, I was relieved; relieved and dead tired.
I wanted to be excited about road march, but truth be told, I just wanted to sleep. A part of me secretly wished my costume would fall apart and I could crawl into bed and just sleep.
But hubby was having none of that, and half an hour later my makeup artist was set up and ready to go.
The Road March
And it was all worth it!!!!!!
The hour-long make-up session, plucking feathers from the rest of the costume to camouflage my nipples, the fashion tape to secure the feathers, the contouring of the wire bra! I was so happy with the final results, the sleep had flown from my eyes and I was rearing and ready to hit the road.
Sleep? What sleep?!
I’m not particularly narcissistic, but let me just say it would be a complete waste to look that good and not take pics, lots of pics. I vowed, no gyrating until I got really good photographs and by really good photographs, I meant not until Dwayne Watkins took my photos. And of course, not until I produced cover girl worthy photos for social media sites like Skkan, Lehwego and my own blog, yes. I mean, I can’t say I was really there until photo evidence is produced, right? Don’t judge.
That Bumper is too Real!
The real vibes at Road March does not start until you hook up with friends, and when I’m with my girls Terriann and Monique I am sure to have fun. Scrap that, I had a blast! It was turnt up (that word again), tun ova!!! The best part is we were free to whine and gyrate with my husband doubling as camera man/closed protection security. We were bending over, gyrating and whining down unabashedly and there was my hubby protecting our bumpers from the random unsolicited male whiner. Every time we turned around we bumped into him. How painful it must have been: his favourite soca music playing, bumpers passing but he was stuck protecting our ASS-ets!
And the one time he succumbed to the music and ran off to take a whine from a girlfriend, a natty was taking full advantage of his absence gyrating on my bumper. If only for a few seconds, he was in soca bliss until he saw my husband returning and made a dash for it. In a flash, he disappeared. I swear, it was like he was never ever there.
“Oh boy, honey you frightening off all the poor fellows!”
Anyway back to whining, music, rum and gyrating! Despite the fact that the trucks obviously thought we were running a marathon, as we sometimes had to chase them down just to keep up, the Pure Country Renaissance truck was a hit!!! Hits after hits to keep us gyrating and the highlight of my road March when Machel and Kerwin joined the crowd for some whining.
Yep, I immediately went into groupie mode, by any means necessary I was getting a photo, and the photographer? None other than my husband…
There were also a few puzzling moments, like me trying to figure out the sex of some of the persons on the sidelines, or trying to figure out how the police officers managed to remain still as sexy carnival revelers gyrated on them, or how on earth does Tahira Redwood find herself atop every building, whining and gyrating even though I just passed her at the last stop.
As soon as the alcohol wore off, I felt that if I had to walk another chain, I’d collapse. Thankfully, hubby shared my sentiment and agreed that we didn’t have to go back to Mas Camp where the reveling culminated. We could detour and head home. Happier news, my feet had never heard. So with parting kisses, hugs and a bit more whining we were off!
My girlfriends showered me with praise: "Job well done for a first timer!" Yeah me! I was happy to receive their stamp of approval!
O.K. I’ll grudgingly admit it: I do see what all the hype is about! Road March was EPIC!
Don’t hold your breath, but I may (MAY) just do it again next year!