Mawwiage, that bwessed sacwament

You know that age when people from high school are starting their careers and their families (one way or another) but you’re still stuck in university trying to cling to some semblance of a Life? Yeah. I’m there.

sweetbrown_autotune2

Whenever Facebook explodes with pictures of weddings, engagements and new babies I get this curious mixture of envy and annoyance. When will that happen for me? Why do I even need to be subjected to this? I don’t care about your baby’s nursing habits! I think weddings are one of those things that are difficult to get excited about unless you’re actually going to one. If one of your casual acquaintances was to tell you,

“Hey, I’m getting married.”

you wouldn’t exactly respond with showers of ecstasy, would you? But when one of your closest friends tells you she’s engaged? I literally jumped up and down screaming outside the movie theatre. I didn’t even know I could get that excited about something that wasn’t Doctor Who. Or my boyfriend.

If you add to that the offer of being a bridesmaid, the scream factor multiplies exponentially. You guys, I am going to be the most kick-ass bridesmaid ever. The day after she told me, I was already armpit deep in research. It takes a lot of work to be a bridesmaid, apparently. And it’s not cheap either. Right now, we’re in the middle of planning the bridal shower, and that alone is an enormous undertaking what with invitations and catering and decorations and themes and keeping it all a secret from the bride-to-be. I love planning though, and I’m lucky to be working with a group of girls who can pull together resources faster than you can say “I do”. It is going to be a fabulous, if hectic, six months. (December weddings for the win)!

Of course, all this research into marriage has me thinking idly about what I want for my own wedding. This is a slippery slope: one minute you’re casually looking at dress styles and the next minute you’re signed up for a wedding site obsessively clicking through advice on seating etiquette. Seating etiquette and D-I-Y escort cards. This is my life right now. And then the next thing you know, you’re haranguing your boyfriend for this “ultimate sign of commitment” and driving the poor boy out of his mind. . .

Darcy really knew what he was talking about.

I haven’t reached that stage yet, mercifully. But sometimes I get a little too involved in the projects that I’m working on.

And if you all haven’t read or watched The Princess Bride, I strongly suggest that you do. You’re missing out on a classic tale of true love and high adventure. And the sarcastically submissive yumminess of Cary Elwes. Young Cary Elwes, that is. Do not look at recent pictures of that man. There’re more Elwe than Cary. (See what I did there)?

Run along now.

the (real) perks of being a wallflower: (folie a) deux

credit to aspartamee on deviantart

They’re all cajoling me to have one round of puff-puff-pass.  I decline politely, meaning without once mentioning lung cancer or how gross the human mouth is.  He leans over me, token hanging limply from his fingers. He’s way ahead of the game of bloodshot eyes and blackened pulmonary parenchyma. “I’m not into the peer pressure thing,” he confides, “but you’re seriously not gonna have one? Come on.”  I don’t think peer pressure means what you think it means. 

  • My friends’ tagline should be “Doing all this shit so you don’t have to”.
  • My problem isn’t that I don’t have stories to tell; it’s that I don’t know how to tell them.
  • I spent this morning coming up with alternatives to the afore-mentioned game. Puff-pass-pass-pass-pass is my favourite so far.
  • I don’t get hang overs (knock on wood).
  • This morning I woke up before anyone else and cleaned. I like to feel useful. I discarded cigarette butts like some people discard sex partners. I threw out drink cups and empty Red Bull cans with what can only be described as a malicious glee. I wished there were cigarettes in the empty cartons I crumpled so satisfyingly. I wished there was tea somewhere.
  • secret: the real reason people try to get everyone else drunk is so no sober people are around to tell tales.
  • secret: sometimes drunk people tell tales too.
  • the best drink-ups: are invitation-only in a small dark room. floor seating. at least three bottles of alcohol. several strategically placed ashtrays. an impressive sound system that doesn’t leave when the dj does. ventilation and clothing optional.
  • Alcohol has a habit of doing away with awkwardness. Or at the very least dressing it up in heels and fishnets.
  • hipster social tip: the goal in answering ‘what would you like to hear’ is to name an artiste you think they couldn’t possibly know/have.
  • Being a wallflower is a great way to spend a party if you’re not weirded out by watching other people lose their inhibitions. Some people can’t handle watching other people act drunk while they’re sober; I find it morbidly fascinating. But then, I’m a natural voyeur.

top quote of the morning after:

  1. Um, if you find a mark on your neck, don’t worry that was me.

I’m at that age?

I have a confession to make: I spend an inordinate amount of my time on WordPress reading Mommy Blogs.

Something about these women’s stories of impending newborns, irate toddlers and cute kid moments just tugs at my heart strings and keeps me coming back for more. Is my biological alarm clock going off? Can I tell it to sleep for a couple more years?

I was chatting with a friend last night about how we kids in medical school are still waiting for our lives to start. I’ve talked about this issue before – dealing with friends who are now married, have kids, have jobs. But frankly it only gets worse the closer we get to our graduation date. Spending five years in university is an anomaly compared to everyone else. The girls now in first year on MSH are the same girls I will be graduating with in three years time. The cohort I entered university with is graduating next year. The math is all wrong.

Maybe that’s what my ovaries are trying to tell me by turning up the oestrogen and inducing this hunger for maternal information, secondhand or otherwise. Am I at the age when all I should be thinking about is starting a family? Curse you, my feminine body parts!

I have joined the ranks of (modern) women who put careers over kids, and financial independence over families. I’m not a fanatic feminist (okay, I’ll quit with the alliteration) but I recognize and appreciate the importance of having a good amount of stability in my life before I go complicating it with children. And children are complications, from the moment of their conception til the moment you move on to the afterlife. Cute, cocky, charming, frustrating complications.

So for now I’ll sate my totally irrational (but psychologically valid) instinct for nesting with stories of actual mamas dealing with their awesome, scary children.

Let the Mommy Blogs continue!

Mommy Blogs I read with astonishing regularity: 

Welcome to the Motherhood

The Bloggess (she counts. Sometimes. The Bloggess counts all the time).

Recent Mommy Blog from Freshly Pressed:

The Ramblings of a Pregnant Twenty-Something

This Mommy Blog fixation probably started with the friends I had on Livejournal, because all of them had kids and would tell stories about them in between the stories they shared about Harry Potter. So I blame Harry Potter.

My love/hate relationship with (Jamaican) food

Mannish water + roast breadfruit. Multitasking like a Jamaican.

Every conversation I have about food always ends up with my friends giving me looks that are a cross between deep consternation and serious concern. Given the way Jamaicans (and indeed, most humans) feel about their food, this probably can’t be helped. But sometimes I wish it would go a little differently.

“Robyn you don’t eat real food!” they’ll argue hotly.

“I do too!” I’ll shoot back.

“Popcorn is not real food,” will be their witty comeback.

I will scoff and argue that of course I don’t only eat popcorn. I’m not a bird for goodness’ sake. Which of course begs the question,

“What else do you eat then?”

in an entirely too demanding fashion for my tastes.

“I eat pasta and potatoes (mashed, preferably) and spaghetti and yam and bananas and dumplings (I love boiled dumplings).”

And they’ll start to waver in their conviction that I eat like a desperate model, which is when I throw in:

“But I don’t like the way people cook food.”

“What?” Their faces are a kind of cross between bewilderment and frustration. No one can ever quite figure out what’s going on in my head, least of all me.

“I like the way Mummy cooks, and Grandma sometimes…”

At which point one friend will usually demand, “What’s so special about their cooking?” which, come on, doesn’t even merit a reply.

And the other friend will impatiently inform me that I’m about to start boarding on campus, so I should probably start trying to prepare my own food. Which of course merits a scoff. My idea of cooking is making fabulous no-effort hors d’ouevres. And chocolate cake in a microwave. I fully intend to go over to everyone’s place for a meal at least every day I’m on hall.

Really though, I’m not as insanely picky about food as you might (and my friends certainly) think. My best friend actually says I eat a lot (and she wants my body) and this girl’s known me nearly half my life. I think the difference is just the way people approach food here.

(It will be helpful in the following discussion if you remember that I’ve lived in Jamaica all my life and have only been abroad once).

Jamaicans love food. Jamaicans love strong food. Rich, hearty meals are kind of a staple. Rice? Whole heap a dat. Chicken? Two breast, please. Nuff nuff gravy. Vegetables? Wha dat? is pretty much the average serving you find here. Rice and peas are our staple (even though from primary school, everybody hearing how ackee and saltfish is our national dish. Nutten nuh go so. Ask smaddy what dem get for dinner Sunday night? Rice and peas and chicken. What dem eat for lunch? Rice and peas and chicken. We only eat ackee and saltfish on Independence Day when ackee in season). It’s a distinctly Caribbean thing. But I. Don’t. Like. It.

In fact, it’s taken me years to figure out that I’m not a compulsive anorexic, I just don’t like that kind of food, and it’s taken me even longer to figure out that there’s food out there I do like. Namely, any carbohydrate that isn’t rice. Any meat that isn’t chicken (or at least chicken cooked in an unusual way). And lots and lots of vegetables. Since there isn’t much call for that kind of fare here (and I can’t imagine people buying much of that, much less cooking it) I usually go without. Or go with much less that everyone else eats because (surprise, surprise) I hate wasting food.

All my mother’s (and grandmother’s and aunt’s) speeches about starving children in Africa (this cannot just be a Jamaican thing) has instilled in me a horror of throwing food away. I infinitely prefer giving leftovers to my dogs that just chucking them in the bin, but I’m not always around the dogs when I have leftovers. Which has resulted in my habit of taking less food so that it’s easier to finish.

See? I’m not starving myself; I’m thinking about the children in Africa. (And my boyfriend, who eats twice as much as I do anyway).

Pax.

For us, 30 is the new 20

And every tick of my tock, echoes like an angsty gunshot

A few months ago I read a Medscape article titled ‘Is Your Social Clock Ticking?’. I didn’t even know I had a social clock until that article. Now it feels like mine is counting down in seconds like bomb blasts.

I have never been a social person. Not introverted (not even close), just not excessively friendly. I don’t have Facebook or Twitter on an IV drip like most folks, and I really, really relish my alone time. But that article forced me to stop and look around at my peers. And what I saw gave me a jolt. People I was in class with in high school are married. They’re having kids. They have jobs. They’re married, for heaven’s sake. For them, the decade of their 20’s is all about establishing themselves as adults. And I know I’m talking about the segment that passed up or got passed over by tertiary education, but that’s still a good chunk of them. Enough to have me feeling (reluctantly) that some part of life is passing me by.

Because my 20’s are all about cobbling together a career, not starting a family. They are all about the hard work and not the pay off. The pay off will come much later, when I’m old enough to enjoy it (hopefully). Five or ten years from now when I’ve established my dreams *touch wood* and scratched up enough sanity to pass for an adult, I will be glad that I laid this foundation. So no, I don’t feel like I’m behind in life because I see people around me planting roots. These tedious and seldom-rewarding years are my roots, and I think they’re well worth it.

Pax.

Which side of the coin are you on? Do you feel like you’re in the running with your peer group or behind the game?

When dreams come true (and kind of screw you over)

(This entry mostly humorous. Mostly. :))

Anatomy needs to lose weight to compete with the internet.

I never thought I’d say this, but it seems like life was a whole lot easier when I didn’t have an internet connection at my fingertips. People expected less of me. They were simpler times. I was happier.

Now that I have it, I have to use it to study. The horror! One of the reasons (the only reason, really) I have internet access so readily is that it’s fairly integral to my studies. How integral could it be, you may argue, if medical students ten or twenty years ago didn’t have it and graduated just fine? To which I would succinctly reply, they didn’t have Facebook.

Another thing is that now I actually have to do all those things I told people I couldn’t do because I didn’t have net access that often. Like update WordPress (I like to be meta sometimes), or hang out with my fanfiction peeps, or fangirl over Super Junior. Those are all hilariously unrealistic ideals because we all know the only thing I fangirl over is Doctor Who. And cats. The same goes for ‘things I update’, and ‘people I hang out with’.

The sad reality is that all this newfound net-savvy streak is doing for me is making me a much better procrastinator. That’s why at midnight on a school night, I am typing this entry instead of pre-reading for my lectures tomorrow.

Thank you, internet.

Pax.

Riding in cars with boys

We only wish we looked like this.

The most fun I ever had travelling for four hours, I had in a car with three guys on our way to Kingston. Allow me to add some context to that. My dance group wanted to see a performance at the UWI campus in Mona, and even though everyone was “interested in going”, the journey ended up being a Three’s Company role reversal. I didn’t honestly mind. I was just really excited to be seeing the first full-length ballet rendition of Annie Palmer.

I got dibs on the music, even though I didn’t ride shotgun, and from Trelawny to Kingston it was a non-stop party. We laughed, we sang, we shouted, we danced (some more vigorously than others). I earned the moniker ‘DJ Docta Bird’. And to this day I can’t think of anything more fun than speeding along an endless highway blasting Tina Turner’s Rolling and singing along at the top of your lungs.

We didn’t even mind (that much) when we arrived at intermission.

What was your most memorable road trip?

Pax.