Krysta Anderson, Gleaner Writer
With Christmas Day just around the corner, many families can anticipate an occasion filled with laughter, love, food, gifts and togetherness. For some couples, however, they will have to face spending that special day without the company of their significant other.
Now these three ladies, Carmen Brown, Kiki Smithand Kimberlee Seymourare no strangers to spending time apart from their lover, but they share unique stories in not only reason for the separation, but more important, the way in which they cope with the situation which presents itself each and every year.
Carmen Brown has been together with her boyfriend for almost five years, and they have a four-year-old daughter. Every Christmas they go their separate way to spend it with their respective extended families.
"He goes to St Thomas to be with his side of the family, while our daughter and I remain in Portmore and goes to my mother's house."
This decision, executed year after year by force, really has annoyed her, because spending that time apart has never been a choice of hers. She explained: "He asked me once if I wanted to go with him only once, when I was pregnant, and I declined because of the grand setting (they keep a big party every year). Since then, I have not been invited to attend again."
Her way of dealing with being away from him is to just work with the programme, since it is only for just one day. "The arrangement is that our daughter gets her Christmas gifts from him the day before (Christmas Eve), and opens it the following day. He only stays there one day, returning to Portmore to be with us by Boxing Day, so I guess I can survive one day," Brown asserted.
The best-friends-becoming-lovers story is one that Kiki Smith knows all too well. They decided to take the relationship leap their sixth year of high school, and it has been no turning back for Smith and her beau since.
Nine years later, Smith reveals that she has never spent an actual Christmas with her boyfriend, and that in recent times, that situation has been exacerbated due to distance. "We both grew up in Manchester, so we saw each other all the time and made Christmas our family time," asserted Smith.
With him now working in Kingston, the relationship has shifted to a long-distance one and, if matters are not already frustrating enough, there is the added stress of him actually working on Christmas Day.
"Now that we are older and getting ready to settle down together, it is hard not being able to share during one of the most wonderful times of the year," confessed Smith.
She has decided that there is nothing she can do about it, as it is a just a sacrifice she has to make for the sake of their relationship. "I focus on spending the holiday with my family, as I look forward to hopefully ring in the new year with him."
just a taste
Kimberlee Seymour has been with her boyfriend for five years now, and of the ladies, she has actually had a sweet taste of spending Christmas with both her boyfriend and her family. She explained, "Well, my Mommy started out liking him. He was even invited to Christmas dinner the first time we got together, an invitation he willingly accepted."
She continued. "He came and spent all of Christmas Day with me and the family. He sat and played games with us, had breakfast, lunch and dinner there, and everyone had a great time."
She noted, however, that things took a turn for the worse as her mother began to dislike him, claiming that he was leading her "innocent girl" astray. To add insult to injury, he actually carried her mother in on one of their arguments, noting it was the daughter that was coming on to him and that her daughter was not the innocent girl that she thought she was.
"I know he regrets saying what he said, but what's done is done and there is nothing he can do about it now, but try and make it right. I always tell him he needs to think of the consequences before he acts out all the time. But he doesn't listen and this is the reason why we are in this predicament now," Seymour admitted.
Since then, he has not been allowed to even be in the same room with her mother. And she would never allow her daughter to spend time with him on a family day, according to Seymour.
"I always make him remember that it is indeed his fault that we can't share Christmas together anymore. I told him not to do anything stupid but he still did it anyway, and all I can do is warn. You can carry the horse to the water but you can't force them to drink it," Seymour highlighted.
Names changed upon request.