You made it through Part One of the list! Congratulations - you STILL want to marry (or date) a Caribbean woman. When my husband and I were dating, he told my family and friends that he planned to ask me to marry him. My mother’s reaction was, “Are you sure about that? She ain’t easy.”
Now it is true that I can be a difficult person at times. I don’t talk a whole lot when things are bothering me, and before I fell in love with Jesus I was a bit on the mean side. I’m still a little mean now, but you need that to survive in this world. I digress.
Here are ten MORE things to remember when you marry (or date) a Caribbean woman. Like I said in Part One - I'm not a marriage counselor, therapist, or your BFF, but I still feel like I should let you know some of the things that could help you out when you are blessed with the opportunity to have a Caribbean queen.
9. In reference to Caribbean food, never start a sentence with “isn’t this the same as…?” It’s not, and you will wish you never formed your mouth to ask. I mean, it might actually be almost the same, but almost doesn’t cut it when it comes to food. Empanada and Jamaican beef patty? Not the same. Burrito and roti? Not the same. Solo in glass and Solo in plastic? Not the same. Red Stripe and Carib? Not the same. Champagne Kola and Kola Champagne? Not the same. Jamaican Callalou and Trinidadian Callalou? Not the same. Peas and rice and rice and peas? Not the same. Granny’s black cake and whatever you bought in the market that was labeled black cake? Not. The. Same. You see where this is going right?
10. In reference to Caribbean music, never start a sentence with “isn’t this the same as…?” It’s not. Bachata ≠ soca ≠ reggae ≠ reggaeton ≠ dancehall ≠ kompa ≠ calypso… and so on. Also, if you hear “Hot, Hot, Hot” or something with a similar sound and you say, “Hey! That’s like that Buster Poindexter song!” Just pack your stuff up. Get your CD’s back if you can, and change your Netflix password – it is over.
11. Even if she doesn’t drink, you can’t out-drink her… or her uncle. If her uncle says you can’t drink like he can, agree to disagree, keep quiet, and continue to nurse that Red Stripe. If the family clowns you for nursing the beer or rum or whatever they gave you, take the L. At least you will live to take another sip with a fully functioning liver and kidneys.
12. If you find yourself in a club, and dancehall, soca, or any other type of Caribbean music comes on, give her space. Whatever you saw somebody do in a music video, in a Carnival parade, or at the club, don’t do it. Just wait. It could be that she doesn’t get to hear her music very often and just needs a minute to experience it without any interruption. When and if she is ready for a dance partner, she will come get you. If not, take a note of the songs she enjoyed and find it on Radial or Spotify. Play them at home and ask her to show you her moves. You’re welcome.
13. Don’t expect subject-verb agreement at all times. It doesn’t matter how many degrees she has. For the most part, she is likely right. You’ll hear “a pants” or “a shoes” occasionally. “Foot,” “hand,” “finger,” and “toe,” is the singular and the plural. The plural of shrimp is shrimps. Do not argue or try to correct her. If you have any idea what she means, just go with it. She likely speaks the king's English when she is in a professional setting. If you hear it, she is comfortable with you and put her guard down. Don’t make her put it back up. This is not the time to be the grammar police.
14. Don’t expect any of your family gatherings to compare to her family gatherings in any 1 to 1 ratio. Your Christmas celebration is not going to be like her Christmas celebration. Your family’s cookout is not like her family’s lime. Prepare to enter an entirely different event than you had in your mind. It may be strikingly similar, you may come in and hear R&B playing and see people playing dominoes, but that vibe could change in a heartbeat. Be ready to adjust.
15. Never try to fake the accent. It is super annoying and not funny. Unless you are Maja Hype. Then, and only then, should you go for it.
16. Some mornings, breakfast will be unrecognizable to you because she just needed to feel like she was home. Enjoy it. You will come to love it just as she decides it is too much trouble and stops making it altogether. Sorry about that.
17. If you make a mistake, diamonds work, but a trip to the Caribbean market works just as well. It is more expensive than any other grocery store you have been to, but if you are really trying to make up with her, say nothing. You may realize that it would be cheaper to buy a whole goat than buying the pound of goat that they grudgingly handed you over the counter, but don’t say it. Just pay for the goat and keep it moving. Also, the international market is not the Caribbean market. Keep that in mind. You may have to do some driving to find one that is acceptable.
18. Have a travel fund that you contribute to regularly. See number five.
Are you married to or dating a Caribbean woman? Are you a Caribbean woman who has had misunderstandings with the people you date or person you’ve married because of your Caribbean roots that have caused conflict? Share with us in the comments.