She buys carnival tickets; I buy bread. And Lasco.

Big up everybody who go Trinidad carnival last week go wuk up dem body and see Machel live. Big up everybody who couldn’ afford di plane ticket so dem a save up fi UWI Jouvert and Ring Road march. Don’ worry, ah di same wuk up you ah get.

I used to think I had it bad because I had no shoes, then I met a man with no feet.

Now, I know that unhappiness lies in the gap between where you think things should be and where they actually are and I know it’s bad to compare yourself with other people, but I find myself unequal to the task of accepting my reality. I’ve never been able to accept my reality. If it wasn’t books I was getting lost in, it was my friend’s lives, or my own daydreams. Reality has never been enough to satisfy me, except in those (warning: girl moment) random moments when I’m with the boyfriend and my world is rose-coloured.

So most of the time I am trapped in the depression of longing. I am writing this in the hope of finding out that I am not alone, and if you are also sometimes given to bouts of irrational envy: hey, you are not alone.

You are not alone in your wanting.

This isn’t about the necessities. No, I already have the things I need; this is about the things I want. Pretty things. Like popcorn. Or an HD TV. Or trips abroad. Okay, I’ve had my share of that. So I’m speaking on behalf of you now, anonymous wanter. Maybe it’s acceptance to the Master’s programme of your choice, maybe it’s just acceptance. Materialistically, emotionally; whatever or whoever it is, we can’t have it and that makes us unhappy.

The man with a toothache thinks everyone happy whose teeth are sound. The poverty-stricken man makes the same mistake about the rich man.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. Before you go out robbing banks, understand that I’m not only talking about getting what you want. Sometimes we want things we shouldn’t, things that aren’t good for us, and not getting them is actually a good thing. So sometimes the solution is just to accept your reality and let go of those feelings of inadequacy and “less than-ness”. Use something that puts you at peace. When I’m sad, I put on my Sadface playlist and choreograph dances in my head until I fall asleep and by the time I wake up I’m not sad any more.

But I don’t think that will work for everybody.

On the other hand, that thing you think is a want might actually be something you need, something that you are meant to have or do. In that case, it’s more about bridging the gap than sitting on one side singing Kumbayah. That means hard work and sacrifice and plenty of BS&T. I’ve found that if something isn’t handed to you then you have to earn it, and that’s never easy.

Life contains but two tragedies. One is not to get your heart’s desire; the other is to get it.

Whichever way we choose, our goal is to dispel the sadness. Whether you get the want or give it up doesn’t matter as long as you’re happy with your choice.

As for telling the difference between a want-want and a need-want, if you figure it out be sure to tell me how.

BS&T: Blood, sweat and tears.

Cat lover seeks cat on time-share

I want to start this one by declaring that I am not destined to become a crazy cat lady. The voices in my head would never allow it.

I do love cats, though, in the way you love something you’ve never had but desperately want despite all the conflicting opinions you’ve heard on the subject. Like children. Or a writing gazebo. I’ve never owned a cat, or had to take care of a cat, or spent any meaningful length of time with a cat (but the meaning of ‘meaningful’ is really up to the meaner, isn’t it?). Despite all of this, I remain convinced I want a cat. Perhaps even cats plural.

I have played with only a handful of cats in my lifetime – my first experience being with a litter of playful kittens when I was much younger. I don’t remember particularly wanting cats at the time; we had dogs then. We have always had dogs. This love for cats grew practically out of fancy. I have friends who love cats, who own cats, who own cats on time-share (the cat decides whose turn it is, of course), who have kittens to give me free of charge if my mother would only let one in the house. Which she won’t. Alas, I think cat-hating is another Jamaican tradition I’ve skipped out on.

It’s gotten to the point where I have a built in cat-radar. I will spy feline movement out of the corner of my eye and swivel my head just in time to catch the flash of a tail as it disappears round a corner. It’s how I spotted the orange and white tabby lurking just outside the front office on campus last Friday.

He was this cute, I swear.
But KT probably saw this.

It was so clean that at first I thought it belonged to someone who had just gone into the office. So naturally I called it over and proceeded to stroke its ears. KT was less than pleased. I was surprised when the girls inside told me it was a stray. I’ve seen the stray cats on this campus. They are a bad crowd. This tabby cat was all right, it just needed some food. At least that’s how I interpreted its plaintive mews. (See, I’m a natural at this maternal instinct thing). I stopped apologizing to him for not having any food when K started giving him the stink eye because we had stuff to do. I was so afraid he wouldn’t be there when we came back. But he was!

Mr. Muggles (KT named him, go figure) was hiding under a car, but he came out when I called him and actually ate the leftovers I got! It’s silly to be so excited over such a little thing, especially since the (charmingly) ungrateful cat just strolled right back under the car when he was done without so much as a by-your-leave, but this is the first cat to ever be so nice to me! Usually cats are a bit standoffish when it comes to strangers – except my friend’s grey tabby who kind of gets around – but this one just came right over and introduced himself. He totally made my day.


Do you love cats or hate cats? Any cute/horrific cat stories to share?