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More Than Words


Some may be wondering about my absence from the world of blogging. It is not that there isn’t stuff going on in my life that I want to write about (trust me, there’s too much); it is just that when I put things into perspective sometimes (and get a tad melodramatic) I realize that what I write may be just self-involved and pointless. (Hey I did say melodramatic).

I write this because sometime in May I got an email from my music soul mate, my best buddy informing me that they had cancer.  I didn’t know what to say or do and I didn’t know how to respond to him. Weird huh?  I am known for prattling a mile a minute  for being verbose, wordy and making pointless speeches that could go on and on and yet, in that moment after reading the email, I felt alone. I felt numb. Speechless.

“Sometimes, I feel the fear of uncertainty stinging clear”

How does one write a self-indulgent blog when someone close to you is going through something bigger than any pseudo-relationship/crisis/ customer service meltdown that you might be having. All of sudden life slaps you and you begin to see that you need to grow up! I still think I am not ready to be an adult. Yes,  a 30(cough) year old man is scared to be an adult.  I have always said to most people that in most areas of my life I am adult, except when it comes to my emotions. There I think I never progressed passed the age of 14.

Unlike other people in this world, I am not accustomed to sickness or losing people in my family and when I heard the word “cancer” (which is not a death sentence anymore); it shook me to my core. What do I write to someone to express how you feel about their situation when internally you are unable to process it? I walked away from my laptop many times and just surround myself in other stuff because , honestly to acknowledge it meant that it was actually happening.

And I can’t help but ask myself how much I’ll let the fear, take the wheel and steer

It took me a week to write something down and even then it was feeble. It was short and all I remember writing more than once is: “Please Don’t Die”.

Thinking back on it, I realize it was a selfish request and still not supportive at all. In the midst of someone’s pain/ordeal, all I could think about was my loss of a friend.  A friend that introduced me to so much music.  A friend whose Cindy Lauper CD – Twelve Deadly Cyns and More.. I still count as mine even though it’s there because I never returned it to him… A friend who I could talk for hours on end on nonsense and 80s TV and not be ashamed. Hahahahaha. Yup… my first correspondence to him in his crisis was poor.

There were friends he told that had made regular calls to him but I didn’t know what to say when I called and I hung up the phone many times because of it.

I must admit that I am never socially prepared for bad news especially sickness and death. My way of dealing with it is to pretend that all is well and try to talk about other things while ignoring the elephant in the room. With him,  I knew this wouldn’t work. So I remained silent once again.  You have no idea how I felt like a child huddled in corner peeping out to see if the situation I did not like had changed.

It’s driven me before.  And it seems to have a vague, haunting mass appeal

I was working on a Musical called Little Shop of Horrors at the time so I sort of claimed that as my distraction. However, it wasn’t. I was the voice of the plant (Audrey II)  and not in many scenes at all so there was always time to think. Work was hectic but there was always time to think. Think! Think! Think! Time to think but not act. Avoid. Delay Delay Delay……

Yet I came up with no solution or no introduction to a conversation with him.  He lived hundreds of miles away in another time zone so I kept on delaying the inevitable.

In May, an opportunity to do two songs at someone’s concert came up and all of sudden, I couldn’t find something to sing. I knew like over a hundred songs lyrics , and had a CD collections over 1200 albums, yet I could not think of a song.

Then it hit me that I should call him and talk to him about what to sing. Yes, this would be my intro….I wouldn’t feel awkward anymore.

I didn’t call. I couldn’t call. I trembled

Instead I chose to email him on Facebook as I had worked out in my mind that since he did not respond to my email, he must not have easy access to that account. (Yes Stefan, in the world where everyone can access everything on their phone, you picked this logic). Anyway I did it and asked for his help.

He responded.

He gave me some great advice for song choices. I used the opportunity to thank him and then I went on to explain my difficulty in talking to him about it. He laughed and just said “Stefan don’t you think I know you by now?”

It made things easier from then but I still felt stupid for not calling. What the hell is wrong with me?

Anyway, he started documenting his journey and treatment with cancer on his blog and when I saw pictures of him, I felt better about myself but I still didn’t know what to write or say.

Where do people learn this skill of sympathy/empathy? I must’ve been asleep in that class or skipped that lecture to go to a movie or something.

I have witnessed other people comforting others on loss or sickness and something inside of me keeps rolling its imaginary eyes at some of the things people say. I always promise myself not to say the stupid things other people have said but I can come up with no suitable responses. I am not a hugger so what’s left for me?

I pray.

Though I am not one to attend church religiously, God and I speak often. And trust me when I say our conversations are not about forgiveness for shouting his name in vain; these conversations are moments of reflection, of thanks, of remembrance, of the scared little 30 (cough cough) year old boy afraid to deal with grown folks problems (and there are many).

I have to call at some point. I have to do it soon. I just lack the willpower and I’m scared of the tongue lashing I will receive for not doing it sooner. Yup I am a bad friend but I am mainly a scared one.  I don’t think I am bringing across the crippling fear I feel in having a conversation with him. It burdens me.

Yes yes.. I can hear all of saying.. “Just do it already!!!” But you have no idea how it feels. This is not as easy as breaking up with someone or dismissing an employee. Nope. This is a test of Manhood, of Maturity. of Friendship. of Bravery.  Guess this is a tutorial I will have to repeat.  This is reaching out to someone and feeling helpless that you are too far away to help them in anyway or that you can’t help them at all. That hurts. I can’t have the conversation.  

I don’t have any brilliant words to express or songs to sing or…….nothing. Just this helpless feeling that if I speak, what I say will sound like empty words they have heard a million times. What makes mine different? What makes mine sound genuine when I can barely believe them myself? They sound hollow and false and clichéd. A good friend is not deserving of those words.  

What to say?

All I ask is for forgiveness upfront especially to someone who has listened to me bitch cross continent as well as on the streets ofGeneva,Port of Spain,Bridgetown, Holetown,LondonandBath….

But lately I am beginning to find that I should be the one behind the wheel

This story is still incomplete.

I have to fix it.

Heaven help….

Whatever tomorrow brings, I’ll be there with open arms and open eyes

 
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Posted by on July 10, 2012 in Emotions, Family, Relationships, Uncategorized

 

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BEST of ME


525,600 minutes

525,000 moments so dear

525,600 minutes….How do you measure?

Measure a Year

 

(Yeah I went there!)

In the case of 2011, I can measure it in terms of the photos taken or in terms of the plays done this year or heartbreaks (two) or weight loss (none), in movies, in music or in terms of written blogs(73 so far).

No matter how I measure it, it was one HELL of a year!!

Here are some of the highlights for me –

RENT – QUEENS HALL March 17- 20 2011(Musical)

Probably the most important thing that happened to me this year is that I got to play Tom Collins in RENT. I still can’t get over being on the stage and actually singing “I’ll Cover You (Reprise)” and just feeling the emotion flooding through me in each moment I did it.  I will NEVER forget that feeling.  

 Rehearsals were brutal on some days but long in all.  I began the year rehearsing every day til 11pm and weekends for 6 – 8 hours in Presentation College in San Fernando. I had no life back then but RENT. There were moments during rehearsal where I just couldn’t stand to be around these people but never once did I want to quit because THIS was my dream and no one was gonna play Tom Collins no matter how much better a singer they thought they were over me. Pffft…..

I walked away from that experience both fulfilled and emotionally drained at the same time. I walked away with new friends, new admirers, new haters, new lovers (physically and mostly emotionally). I regret no kisses (LOL!), no cuss outs and no alleged dances moves that people may have seen on or off the stage. All in all I got a deeper understanding of who I am and how FREAKING much I love to PERFORM!!!

FORGET REGRET or LIFE IS YOURS TO MISS!!

SMILE ORANGE – Little Carib Theatre July 14-24th (Comedy)

One of the Executive Producers of this show saw me in RENT and made me an offer to be a part of Smile Orange. I didn’t even hesitate to jump on board! This would be a rough flight though as I ran straight into rehearsals for this show in late April after barely resting from RENT.

Smile Orange Cast

Reviews for this show weren’t good at all and most were directed at my character (and rightly so, it was a poorly developed farce of a character). I blame myself for this as I didn’t like the character nor did I make an effort to insert me into it, i just did as directed and got depressed when the reviews came in.  it didn’t help that my costume had me donning a Royal Blue Jack, Light Green Shirt, White pleated Trousers and a Bright PINK cravat with Red shoes!! I looked like a right TWAT in it and felt that way! 
 
It took awhile for us to find our groove within the production. There was always something about it that some audiences didn’t like but by the time we performed our last show in Mayaro, we were a well oiled machine and it showed. It is still a very funny show and once again I was so proud of being a part of it.  As with any production, there are some people who I would love to work with again and others who I would rather cut my wrist than be on another project with.   SMILE!!!

 —

DIEGO

Have you met the latest potential heartbreaker on the scene? I met him in July when his parents came to Trinidad for a visit and introduced me to the sweetest boy with the most amazing smile and laugh you have seen in ages!!!

                                

Once again, I could not resist the call of being his god-father! Now all we have to do is figure out how I am doing these Trans-Atlantic gifts!!!

I took a deserved break after Smile Orange and concentrated on my REAL job as it was sort of being neglected a lot during the first six months of the year.  This would be reflected in my boss’ comments during my annual performance review where he questioned if this (work) is where I wanted to be. I quickly pointed out that I took no sick days during any of those productions and work did not suffer. He understood that but felt that he didn’t have my 100% attention. Sigh, you would swear we were in some kind of relationship…. I just smiled and told him that we were good.

REST PERIOD

After Smile Orange, a short relationship I had entered into ended rather abruptly. I could blame myself for the end since I had requested it, but one must always remember that it takes two to tango and one to realise that their dance partner was faking it the entire time. There would be no more attempts at relationships for me for the rest of the year. My blog on August 10th – In a Very Unusual Way… was my attempt at dealing with that. All I got out of that relationship is how much I now can’t stand to hear Daniel Powter. Thank goodness his music sucks so much that he will never make another successful album (fingers crossed).

“If”

During this rest period I journeyed to New York and ended up sleeping for the first three days I was there. I also travelled to Minnesota to see Janet Jackson In Concert. I can still recall how my heart was racing as the video for “Control” played and the crowd just started screaming her name (not me. I was silently hyperventilating). Then she came out and all restraint left my body and I joined along in the frantic screaming and jumping up. Briefly, the inner child was allowed to play. He disappeared a minute later when I realised that I must look insane jumping up. Sigh… Love will never do without you, Janet!

I stayed at the Hilton, had a sweet room and had sweet seats that I could see the sweat dripping off of her. Sigh…

While my credit card still hasn’t fully recovered from that excursion, I enjoyed every single minute of it, while getting to see a new city and being close to the one woman whose bath water I’d drink in a heartbeat!! (No not really…I am not that crazy (whistles).

 RABBIT HOLE – TTW Belmont Oct 21-23, Oct 28-30th, Nov 4th-6th (DRAMA)

I returned home to find the country under a State of Emergency and the area where I lived, under curfew. This was not fun! Every discontent I could think of surfaced during this period. Not because of the curfew ( because I barely go out anyway) but simply for the denial of human rights and the apparent lack of direction the Government seemed to have in the execution of this drastic crime reduction measure.

Then my friend Giselle Langton called me as asked me if I could be the Stage Manager for a play she was directing called “Rabbit Hole”. I had sworn to myself in August that there would be no other productions for the rest of the year.

Scene from Rabbit Hole

I said yes to her and therein began my most difficult task of coordinating actors props and sets into one cohesive unit. Thank goodness I had help but when one has to be there before the actors arrive and there after they leave; one misses the feeling of just being the actor in the production instead of this stressed out person coordinating everything else. 

It was a worthwhile learning experience  but I doubt I will ever try to repeat it. “Dat ting was REAL hard!!!”  Rabbit Hole also marked the first time I saw my pictures appear in the newspapers. It was a weird feeling to see the pictures and keep wondering to myself, “Did I do that?” Felt good though.

Then, well to top it all off, I saw Heather Headley in Concert and well I still haven’t fully recovered from that musical treat! Sigh.. It has been a really good year.

 

PHOTOGRAPHY

When I purchased my Nikon D90 in December 2011, I was so scared to hold it in my hand for too long. I spent most of January cuddling it and when I did venture to take pictures, I was totally disappointed in the output. Of course, most people will say that I am just being hard on myself but I guess it was just nerves about using the camera for the first time.

Now I can barely put the camera down and I have learnt so much about it and its uses that I am well on my way to being a decent photo-take-outer. Thanks to hiking trips, Model Shoots with Legacy Fotography, my first Wedding gig and random shots from all over the place, I think I am beginning to understand the itch I feel when I sit still sometimes and just see photog moments just flashing in front of me.

I was like that at the Heather Headley Concert. I sat there seeing so many possible shots of her and how good they will look but not being an authorised photographer meant I could get booted out for trying to take a picture. SMH! I swear at times my eyes were clicking as If I could take a picture with it and process it later. If only someone could develop that technology, beyond just me seeing it on Mission Impossible.

I’ll publish a blog with at least a photo from every month this year (It’s just a lot to sort through and embedded maybe some memories that i wish I could delete but for whatever reason, I can’t part with it.

Well that’s some of my 2011 memories for now!

There are some that are still too personal and others like the Cleaner who was coming on too strong and who mysteriously got transferred to another floor. These are some things that my brain would never let me forget.

How was your 2011?

 
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Posted by on December 21, 2011 in Emotions, Entertainment, Humor, Photography, RANT, Relationships

 

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You Don’t Know Me (Unrequited Love Hangover…)


This is my first night in my apartment before 10pm in like a month or more.

I have been Stage Managing a play called Rabbit Hole that premiered last weekend at Trinidad Theatre Workshop and runs two the next two weekends….so my time hasn’t been my own. (Shameless PLUG for the Play –RABBIT HOLE TTW)
Anyway, I get here after the gym (no story there) and I put in a CD at random and it turns out to be Jann Arden’s Greatest Hurts. I only came across this artist due to my weird and totally unexplained love for My Best Friend’s Wedding and the fact that her song “You Don’t Know Me” appears on the Soundtrack. Every time I hear the song, it takes me to a pure place of love and understanding.

My pure place lies in the realm of unrequited love. I find that songwriters have a knack for penning some of the most beautiful songs when it comes to this topic.

While she never made a video for it, it is still one sweet sweet song..

No you don’t know the one Who dreams of you at night
And longs to kiss your lips Longs to hold you tight
Oh I am just a friend That’s all I’ve ever been
Cause you don’t know me

Sigh.. How can you not love that song.

—————————————

It got me thinking of some other songs of unrequited love and that caused me to smile and humm out loud..

  1. My Eyes Adored You – Franki Valli (I’ve sang this to so many people under my breath)
  2. I Can’t Make You Love Me – Bonnie Raitt / George Michael (Hits home everytime)
  3. I’m Confessing – Lizz Wright (Just haunting…..)
  4. Giving Everything Away For Free – Daniel Merriweather
  5. I Who Have Nothing – Shirley Bassey/ Jordin Sparks version
  6. To Make You Feel My Love – Adele/ Kriss Allen (One Day I will sing this in a concert)
  7. Alone – Heart
  8. Iris – Goo Goo Dolls (big chune!!)
  9. On My Own – from Les Miserables (Don’t roll your eyes)
  10. I Want You – Janet Jackson (she has to be here)
  11. Constanly – Vanessa Williams (I just keep on thinking of you)
  12. All I Ever Wanted – Mariah Carey (More than you could ever know..all I ever wanted…is YOU)
  13. I Wanna Be With You – Mandy Moore (bad memories attached to this but hey)
  14. I Love You – Sarah MacLachlan (I grieve in my condition for I cannot find the words to say..)
  15. I Want You – Marvin Gaye (just  like buttah)

Well that’s all that came to mind. I know my list is piss poor but me likey it a lot…..

Unrequited love is a unique position. There is no disappointment in it. You love from afar and it makes total sense. Then you get to know the person and start to wish again for the fantasy and then everyone else around around you chimes in after it ends….

.. “Me aint know what you saw in dem, nah. I thought you went mad, oui



		
 
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Posted by on October 24, 2011 in Emotions, Entertainment, Music, Relationships

 

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Papa Don’t Preach


(Excerpt from a conversation during a rehearsal for a play last night….

Director: So this weekend, we will be doing a photoshoot. I don’t know what day as yet but just be prepared.

Male Cast Member: If it is Saturday. I can’t make it. I have a Baby Shower

I turned and watched him with a puzzled look.

Director: Umm you have a play opening soon. Do you have to go to the shower?

MCM: Yes, it is important

Stefan: Why? What man goes to a Baby Shower?

MCM: Well it is sort of a big lime that will turn into a party

Stefan: I’m confused, why are there men at a Baby Shower?  Boy you don’t have to go

MCM: Well I do.

Female Cast Member: Is it your baby the shower is for?

MCM: Yes

My mouth opens and doesn’t close til I feel the dribble forming

 ————————————–

The reason this shocked me was the fact that this cast member is 18 years old and in Sixth Form!!  He calls his mother to pick him up from rehearsal every night. How does he have a baby? How does he get someone pregnant? If you have ever seen this person you would swear that they look like 15 but whatever the case, he obviously knew where to put it and what to do and is now going to become a father next month.

 

I stared at him a little while longer and he kept going “WHAT!” but I just couldn’t get over the fact that this teen had gotten someone pregnant and was being so non-chalant about it.

 

On further investigation (I pulled him aside and asked him his business – YES Ah FASS!), I discovered that he is fine with it and that parents on both sides are going to help out since they are both still in school. I asked if she considered not having the baby and he told me her parents were Anglican so it was out of the question. (I kept my thoughts about Anglicanism not actually being a real religion to myself at this point since it wouldn’t have added value to the conversation).

He then made the statement that stuck in my head..:

“My chile go get handle real good!”

I didn’t know how to translate the statement properly but I just assumed it meant that he is going to be a good father. Alas I have issues with it

 

Hearing him talk, I suddenly recalled an experience I had when I was about 19 or 20 in which I was told that someone’s period was six weeks late. Well I didn’t panic in front of her but in the privacy of my room I was sweating like a whore in church. Thoughts came flooding through my head and they all were screaming that I wasn’t ready for this. Sigh at that point I wanted to go back in time to that particular Panorama Semis and just not leave with her but it was too late. She had said thatshe was “on the pill” at the time. Thinking back it may have been Panadol she was talking about!

 

I tried to rationalize in my head all that I would do but then the most significant thought  hit me  – I didn’t want HER to be the mother of my child – And with that realisation came prayer and fasting and the promise to God to turn my life around if he spared me from having a child with someone I considered a lil bat-shit crazy but who I knew had a good heart. I wondered if the child would get her crazies and how  I would deal with that.

 

Period came. Crisis was over and I avoided her like the plague afterwards. I know it was wrong but hey I was young and  I didn’t exactly think logical back then.

 

Cut to present day and on hearing that this 18 year old is going to be a dad and I panic as I think about all the stuff this child will need and demand from a parent and how hard it is to raise a child. It still scares me to think about it now even though I am more financially secure to be able to handle it (I think).  How is he and his girlfriend going to cope? Flashes of the MTV show “Teen Mom” are now in my head and well it doesn’t take a genius to know that their lives will never be the same again and that there are going to be tough times ahead.

 

This is not the first time I encountered a young man who was having child at such an early age. During another production, one of the dancers, who flirted with EVERY woman in the cast, took two nights off from rehearsal because his baby boy was born. The boy was 17, clueless and confident in his own abilities.  I wonder how that baby is doing now?

 

Look, I know that no child brought into this world is an accident and all children deserve love and affection etc etc…. but come now, can we not be more responsible. People still go about having sex because it is the “grown up” thing to do but they never think of the consequences. Why are people so careless? Do people really think about the sacrifices when bringing a child into this world?  When I hear stories on teenage moms on their 3rd of 4th child  with “Baby Daddy No..3 or 4” I just wonder……Do people deserve the right to have children?

 

Having children is a gift that some people are not privileged to have. My friend Clint said to me today that “Every important thing we do in life we have to sit an exam for, but any old fool can become a parent”. Now this is not an indictment on the 18 year old but on society in general.

 

I want to advocate that we find a way to lock off the reproductive hormones of everyone in the world going forward and only give them the ability once they pass a one year course on parenting (with a year long psychological evaluation) component.

 

People should have to earn the right to have children!!!

 

Granted my plan would see the increased occurrence of indiscriminate sex and probably the rise in fornication and STIs but umm isn’t that happening now anyway? What we need to do is prevent people from aborting children because it will interfere with their lives or from abusing children because they are having man/woman/financial troubles. 

 

We have too many damaged people walking around today and way too many orphans that nobody wants who continue to grow up with a slight disadvantage and thereby limiting their potential to excel. I am serious here.

 

We need to imbed a chip at birth or something. We just need to do something! There are people who walk around with their babies as if they were dolls or miniature versions of themselves and dress buy brand name clothing and shoes and jewellery for these infants, yet some can’t afford to buy books for these same children alter on. It is as if they loved the children when they looked like dolls but as they got older, the effect wore off. The children are now problematic.

 

I recently met a child who, despite passing for QRC, had not a single book or uniform a week before school was to open. Daddy was absent (well a birthday present every year covered his duties apparently) and mommy was overextended.  This child deserved a fighting chance. Thankfully, the child was blessed with a godmother who came to the rescue but there are hundreds of children out there who are not so lucky. It kills me inside to think about these things.

 

Look I don’t claim to have a solution to any of these problems and Lord knows I envy every parent I see with a child, especially the parents of my godchildren, Kai and Diego, but I am scared to think of children who lack the family support or love in their lives. It is disheartening and sometimes I wish I could adopt all of them (well not really maybe two or three if God permitted).

 

Alas I am a single man and Caribbean law considers me a predator so I will have to look on and spoil my godchildren and the random children I encounter and let their parents worry about the damage I have done to their hard work.

 

I believe that children are our future….. (you know the rest)

 

Sorry… I just needed to vent.  

 
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Posted by on September 27, 2011 in Emotions, Family, RANT, Relationships

 

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Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered……


“Yuh see YOU!! You go pick and pick and pick until you pick…SH…..IT!!!”

 

Unfortunately, this comment has been directed to me on numerous occasions.  It is mainly uttered by older folks (my deceased grandmother included) and even some of my peers.  Now I wonder….have they cursed me with this prediction?

 

I used to think that this “picky” nature that they kept talking about only extended to me on an emotional/relationship level because Lord only knows that I seem to have a mutant power-like ability for picking the insane, mentally unstable, and/or the just downright awful people to be romantically involved with.  The people that seem normal and fun to be around initially, usually crack by the two week or one month mark and then you start to see the parts that made you wonder why you were attracted to this person in the first place.  The interesting parts of them seem to fade and you realise that the smoke screen can only last for so long. By then it’s too late and so you either opt to ignore the true version or run like wind. I choose the latter.

Then I realised the curse extended to some of the people that I called friends.  I have made some really bad friend choices in the last decade and even when others told me about it, I chose to ignore it. Not all my friendship choices are/were bad. Well, just two or five choices that have now been corrected and those demons exorcised FOREVER!!! It is amazing the insecurities we let people use against us when we value their opinion, only to realise that they weren’t helping us but keeping us weak for their prolonged benefit. 

Now I realise this curse has overtaken almost every aspect of my life and therefore I can only conclude that the problem is ME!!

Hi I’m Stefan. And I’m too PICKY!

(Murmurs are heard all around the room but no acknowledgement or welcoming to this support group)

SILENCE……..

 

My problem I have realised is that when I am placed with too many options, I then either pick the cheapest (alleged cost savings) or the prettiest (everyone will like my pretty choice) option and then suffer for it. (Applause!!!)

CASE ONE – Physical Training

Day 2 of my Fitness Phase kicked off yesterday with me arriving at the gym to find that my Personal Trainer was nowhere to be found. I checked my phone, saw no messages, and then headed to the stationary bike section to begin my workout. Now at the point of not seeing the Trainer, the old Stefan would head for home and forget about exercise for the day. This is not the old Stefan.  I decided to start my cardio routine in the hopes that by the time I am done he would be there. Forty –five minutes of cardio later and I still don’t see him. He never showed up.

I messaged him after I left the gym and asked what happened. He said he was still in school and that project difficulties had kept him there.

“And you couldn’t call me to say that?”

I of course said this to myself and not to him because I don’t want to be accused of being anal retentive or trying to be someone’s boss. However, I paid money for a service and expect some kind of common courtesy!!

 FAULT: Mine!: I picked a cheap trainer and therefore got what I paid for!

SOLUTION: The month isn’t over yet but me thinks someone will not get a renewal for the next month.

——————————

CASE TWO:  – Colors of the Wind

I had used a particular “Straightener” for my car when minor accidents had occurred with it.  The most recent one being when my “God-fearing” Christian neighbour hit my car door and said nothing about it until I asked him if he had seen the incident. The Guy did the work really good and his pricing was reasonable (well cheaper than the other businesses and his turnover time was really excellent.

I decided to have the whole car painted over and all the little dents and scrapes removed. So I employed said gentleman to do it for me. His price was comparable to the normal car places so I obliged especially since he had done work for me in the past. I left the car with him and went on vacation.

Two weeks later I am back in Trinidad from vacation and I give him a call informing him that I would pick up the car the next day. He tells me it would only be ready the following day. I sigh but say nothing (as I don’t want to be accused of being an asshole or complaining while he still has my vehicle).

I appear at his garage the stated day only to find my car all over the place and parts still not painted. He said the curfew prevented him from finishing it earlier. I laughed inside. I asked when he might be done and he told me in two days.

This could only mean that NO work was done on my car for TWO WEEKS!!!. I say ok and walk away. The old Stefan would’ve shouted at the gentleman for the inconvenience and stated that it is obvious why “black” people are second class citizens because we can’t be trusted to do a job without someone constantly behind our back making sure we do it!!  But I am not that Stefan anymore. He is angry and wants vengeance on everyone that he thinks wronged him. He doesn’t have God’s  love in his heart. The New Stefan does!!

Two days later I get my car and while the color is fine, the parts of my car that used to be grey are now painted black. His wife is in front of me saying that the car looks really good with the black trimmings. I am just smiling.

I asked him what is the balance I owe him and he calls one price and I reduce that price by $1000.00 as he did not restore the car to the condition I asked. His wife nodded and I got the discount.

Now I drive an old time police vehicle…sigh

FAULT: Mine! I should never trust that people would do their jobs. You have to micro manage them. 

SOLUTION: Phone Numbers were deleted. He no longer exists as one of my tradesmen..

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I can give you so many more examples of my choices turning out to be bad but I am sure you had read some of them on my blog. I am sure people remember my story on the two plumbers and how one fell asleep on my bathroom floor while estimating the cost of repair of a leak. Sigh.. well it seems that the more I try to make informed decisions in Trinidad, the more they backfire.

So, considering I am so bad at picking people to do anything for me, shall I employ someone to do that job for me? Nah I can’t, because I will end up picking the wrong person for the job and then be stuck with someone trying to control my fate.

When people try to set me up on blind dates, I balk at the idea and talk my way out of it by asking: “If this doesn’t work out, whose side are you going to take?”  When no answer comes, I just reply: “Thought so.”

Maybe I have been going about this all wrong? Maybe I need to stop making decisions and let others do it for me?

Hmmm, not a bad idea.

Nah that won’t work.

As I sit here I can recall the MILLION times I asked people what do they want to do and the answer would always be a shrug of the shoulders. Asking someone where they want to eat is sometimes as bad as asking them to recite Pythagoras’ Theorem.  The answer is always the same. “You Pick!”. I always have to point out that while I may be a tad fussy, I am a fat boy so  there will always be something on the menu for me to eat. Women on the other hand have numerous reasons why they don’t like a restaurant or the waiters in it or even the décor. Who CARES? I just want to eat somewhere!!

This scenario is no different liming with guys but at least they know that they want to eat and drink and KFC and a bar at the roadside will always be a winner.

So I ask again, how do I get rid of the curse of being “picky”?

 When people called me pickyin the past  I usually cited my Credit Risk background and said that I overanalyse situations so that I don’t suffer too much in the short/long run.

“If I lose the High, at least I’m spared the lows” – Will Young (Leave Right Now)

Alas to some extent, I have become numb to people and their “dutty” ways. No longer do I lash out. I just resign myself to walk away and not end up choking someone. Chances are if I continued to let allt hese people affect me, I may be in Woodford Square in my underwear shouting randomly at people.

We definitely don’t want that, do we?

So, what am I to do now?

HELP!!!

 
1 Comment

Posted by on September 21, 2011 in Emotions, Humor, RANT, Relationships

 

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In A Very Unusual Way


As you get older and (hopefully) wiser, this thing called love and by extension, relationships, either start making sense to you or they start crumbling all around. I’ve had both instances happen simultaneously and boy have do I have stories to tell,but not now!  I’ve learnt alot over these years and as I near f(cough)ty thirty, it becomes apparent that I either need to compromise on alot of the stuff I want from people or continue along my road of being the cranky old  guy in the neighbourhood that children throw stones at at night.

The problem is, I think I compromise too flipping much and as I recently learnt while doing the play Smile Orange: don’t let the anger build up . Otherwise you never know when someone telling you that you missed a line can trigger you near to Mount Vesuvius levels of eruptions on them. One needs therefore to achieve some measure of balance in dealing with people and relationships.

Gone are the days when I technically gave people enough rope to hang themselves, I now do the deed myself in a much quicker time period saving rope.

I always find it amazing that while I can look past the faults in others, and see the beauty of who they are ( in my own cynical way), they can’t seem but to need me to change immediately as if this form is just not pleasing to them. To this I say: then why were you with me? I am not anExtreme Home Makeover Challenge nor are you its host! The number of times I have endured going to the gym, changed my diet, (well except for peanut butter cuz then you need to step!), lost weight, gained weight, wore clothing I have scorned on other people, driven like TAXI driver looking for fares to various corners of Trinidad and endured your comments on various boring topics, sigh sometimes i think I should get a humanitarian award. Then again, they had to deal with my cynical, bossy, arrogant, selfish controlling ways. Cynical and arrogant I will take and run with. The rest is totally not me. What do you think attracted you to me in the first place? It couldn’t have been me acting all dumb and “beh beh”. Yuh think!

Through it all it has become obvious to me that I have been self sabotaging different prospective relationships for years or plainly just picking the people I know were so absolutely wrong for me just so that I have an excuse why it didn’t work out. (LOL yeah I’m THAT messed up),

Then again, some people misrepresent themselves so much and while you try to look past the smoking, drinking, ill fitting clothing, bad haircuts, skin rashes, split personality, crazy, bat crazy, insane, emotional, psychotic, use of a spoon other than for soup, bad breath, whoring ways, flirtations, lies, turrets- like syndrome, lack of money, lies, excuses ( just to name a few), you just can’t help but call your friend and say: How did I get into this mess again?

In hindsight, I realise something that my grandmother said to me once. She said it the day I came home from school and told her that I had broken up with the girl with the nice hair and the iron teeth (the girl had braces, my grandmother didn’t care what they were called). Mudder,as she was affectionately called, said:

“You mudder ass too happy! You doh understand one backside!”

Sigh..I miss being verbally abused by my grandmother. She always brought perspective in a simple but effective way.

Anyway, she was correct, when she said that I am too happy. I have nothing to complain about or put blame on anyone but myself for the things that happen to me.  I absolutely cannot complain about my life on any aspect. God has been so good to me and  I am blessed with AMAZING friends (both near and far), CRAZY family (too near for my liking), GOOD job (that allows me to be able to feed my soul on the side) and HEALTH (a lil chubby but I like it)  and BEAUTIFUL soul that loves easily.

Then there’s my love life. LOL… some people have all the problems in the world and some people have very little, yet they spend their time complaining about their lack of abs, additions to the house, what car  to buy, acne, having to wait in line everywhere etc.

I just can’;t complain. Actually I just have no right to complain. Life is good. Life is sweet.

Then there comes those moments when I am out with friends and I am surrounded by the hundreds of doomed relationships around me and I just smile.

Then I see that one couple that looks like its heaven between them. They are not holding hands or kissing in public. Nope they steal glances at each other, slightly touch their partner without making eye contact. They walk up to each other from different directions and and you see a grin in their faces or you know a joke is just about to be told. They argue and laugh at the same time and make fun of people passing by. Yup….that’s when i stop smiling….cuz they sicken the SHIT outta me for getting it right.

And in those brief moments, this Elton John song creeps in and reminds me that for the old fussy annoying old man that I am, I do know what I want. Hopefully someday I’ll get it.

I WANT LOVE – Elton John

I want love, but it’s impossible
A man like me, so irresponsible
A man like me is dead in places
Other men feel liberated

I can’t love, shot full of holes
Don’t feel nothing, I just feel cold
Don’t feel nothing, just old scars
Toughening up around my heart

But I want love, just a different kind
I want love, won’t break me down
Won’t brick me up, won’t fence me in
I want a love, that don’t mean a thing
That’s the love I want, I want love

I want love on my own terms
After everything I’ve ever learned
Me, I carry too much baggage
Oh man I’ve seen so much traffic

So bring it on, I’ve been bruised
Don’t give me love that’s clean and smooth
I’m ready for the rougher stuff
No sweet romance, I’ve had enough

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And that’s my therapy session for the day…..

 
3 Comments

Posted by on August 10, 2011 in Emotions, RANT, Relationships

 

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Success Is In Your Hands


Every now and then, we need a reminder. A wake-up call. A boost. A shot in the arm whenever we think life is just not going anywhere or we let “life” take over.

This song by Fred Hammond is always my wake-up call. My shot in the arm to let me know that to stay focused. To not let the negative things and people take over your mind. Situations come and go but God is always there.

This song popped into my head this morning and i was glad for the reminder. Everytime I hear it, it takes me back to walking in London with my Discman (then months later my Ipod) and feeling a calm rush over me.

So I share this with you this morning.

Have a Great Day EVERYONE!

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Success is in your hands
Follow my plans
I’ve called you for this hour and placed in you my power

Its in your hands
Follow my plan
I will do exceedingly above all you ask of me

Its in your hands
Follow my plans

Don’t waiver to the left 
Don’t waiver to the right

Its in your hands
follow my plan
I’ve called you by my name
and you will never be the same

Its in your hands follow my plans

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