Wed | Aug 23, 2017

Yanique's Quest: Reality check from my 'friends'

Published:Monday | June 29, 2015 | 6:00 AM

Oftentimes in the quest for love and companionship, we become so overwhelmed that we find ourselves settling. Then we have the occasions when we find ourselves loving an individual who may share the same feelings, but you - yes you, do not fit the image they want for their lives, or the image that their parents or society feel is deserving. It could be that you are either too dark-skinned, not educated enough or are from the wrong family background. And, most times, it's these things that you have no control over, that usually make the decision for you. It's really at these times that I wonder how powerful love is, and if it can manage the pressure that society has placed on it.

 

'Their' Reality check

 

After my spa date with Jason, some of my friends started questioning my relationship with him. I am quite sure that they like him, and I am also quite sure that some of them are even envious of the time I spend with him. Almost all my friends are in relationships, and most have been in the same relationship for more than a decade. Yet, whenever I speak about him, they remind me that he is an anomaly. They made it very clear that this was only happening to me because (a) He was not Jamaican (b) He hadn't got the 'koochie' and (c) I was safe for him.

During our regular Monday evening hook-up, I was bringing them up to speed on all that had happened over the weekend, when they decided they were going to give me a 'reality check'. This was to basically put me in 'check', so I wouldn't be hurt when he decides to stop seeing me, because they knew, without a doubt, that he would. I sat and listened, because it seemed they had given this much thought and I wanted to hear what they had to say.

 

Reason # 1

 

My background: I was a country girl from Trelawny who, as a child, woke up every morning and fed the chickens, pigs, and the dogs before going to school. I was the country girl who sometimes had to carry a bucket of water on my head from the neighbourhood standpipe because the water pressure was so low that it couldn't make it up the hill.

His background: He was born a privileged child who never had to lift a finger because he had people around him to do it all. He had no idea what chicken feeding looked like, and he had never endured the smell of a fowl coop.

 

Reason #2

 

His family: Unlike our culture where you are free (more or less) to choose your partner, his culture was slightly different. As the firstborn, and first boy, a lot of pressure is placed on him to settle with his own kind - specifically his mother's. These expectations never seem to affect him, and he ignores them, but my friends seem to think that as he got older, he would start adjusting his life for his family.

 

Reason #3

 

My children: Jason gets along very well with my kids and treats them extremely well. It was a shock to me that they brought this up. They were of the opinion that even though he treated them well, it doesn't mean that he would want a ready-made family especially because he had no children of his own. "Men don't just enter into a relationship with a single mother especially one with four kids, Yanique. That is asking too much." Those were the words that echoed over and over again while we talked. They must have reiterated this more than 20 times because this was the one that stuck with me and replayed in my head throughout that day.

 

My perspective

 

When they stopped talking, I asked if they were done and they said yes. It seemed to me that they expected me to respond to what they had said, but I had nothing to say. It was at this time that Jason called, and I excused myself from the table. They hadn't said anything that I hadn't pondered or thought about before, but these were things that I had no control over, and no intentions of dwelling on.

What truly bothered me was that my 'friends' found it so easy to point out all the reasons why he and I wouldn't work, but could not find one reason why we would.

They had spent over an hour outlining all the negatives, and could not find anything positive about our interactions. I didn't need to respond to that. They had already figured it all out. They really didn't need my input.

If they had said one positive thing to me that day, I might have responded differently. They thought I was upset but I wasn't. I was just disappointed. I was disappointed because they couldn't stop for a minute and be happy for me. I was disappointed because I was excited to share with them how Jason made me feel, and they took the opportunity to crush that. I have always been a secretive person, and for some reasons unknown to me, I had started sharing my personal business with some of my closest friends.

Needless to say that stops now. I had no idea where Jason and I were going, I had no idea if I would even be alive tomorrow. The only thing I was sure about was that I was my happiest when I was with him. If they couldn't see that, it simply meant they were not looking out for me.