I married an American guy, and my family was thrilled. Not for citizenship reasons or anything like that *insert wide eye emoji*, but because, “he look Trini in the face” (what does that even mean?) and “he can handle you” (again, what does that even MEAN??). They had other reasons too. They genuinely liked him, and they didn’t know why.
Turns out, it wasn’t that he was of a particular origin, but because he had particular qualities. Over the years that we have been married, I have seen the similarities between him and the Caribbean and Caribbean American men I know, and now I see why people always ask him, what part of Trinidad/The Caribbean he’s from when he’s around my family. The look on their faces when he says, “Delaware,” is priceless.
My family and I have deduced that he is Caribbean on the inside. Your Non-Caribbean husband might be too. Here are ten signs that I noticed in my husband, that you might see in your mate. This is not a full list, so feel free to add your own experience in the comments. (There are a couple of affiliate links in this post.)
- He insists on having a cutlass at our urban home. Who needs a cutlass in the city? You going ham on this potted plant, or nah? I grew up in America, but we lived in the country, so a cutlass was necessary. There were snakes and bushes, and all manner of cutlass worthy activities in which to engage. Here? Our little patch of grass doesn’t get but so high, and everybody is too close. You swing that cutlass, and you’re likely to give your neighbor a haircut. He still thinks we need one.
- He does not believe in toe nail clippers. Any manner of cutting tool will suffice once the toe nails are too long… tin snips, wire cutters, the kids’ safety scissors… also, anything found in a tool box works. Carefully trimming toenails? Nah. Not unless I do it… and he won’t let me… so pocket knife it is.
- Knives are more than just knives. Knives are finger nail cleaners and makeshift screwdrivers. The only acceptable way to eat fruit and cheese, or offer it to someone else, is off of a knife. He has no issue asking a small child to bring him “the knife.” The only person he won’t ask to bring him the knife, is me.
- He doesn’t know why my chicken tastes so good, but he respects the process. The first time he saw me make chicken, he was confused. There were limes, salt, vinegar… then bleach and more bleach for the counters, floor, cutting board, and any dishes that were used… or nearby. Rather than say, “it don’t take all that,” he would just get out of the way and keep the children out of the kitchen until it was safe to return. Related Reading: Lime and Salt: Cleaning Chicken Caribbean Style
- He truly believes he can fix anything with wire cutters, a wire hanger, and/or duct tape. He appreciates/thinks he is MacGyver. Don’t act like your brother didn’t watch MacGyver and try all that stuff… or that your daddy or granddaddy wasn’t MacGyver before MacGyver was MacGyver. You thought you had cable throughout the house… nah… you had Caribbean MacGyver.
- He doesn’t believe cooking is for women only. By cooking, I mean corned beef (bully beef) and rice, canned salmon and rice, other canned or preserved meats… and rice. If I am running late, the kids might have high blood pressure, but they’ll have full bellies. He cooks lots of other things now, but in the beginning… woi.
- He always remembers to bring something to the party. He doesn’t come into the party with his two hands swinging (empty handed). Caribbean people, you know that is one quick way not to get invited back. He always would stop and get something for the party or for the house, or bring a game for everyone to play.
- He would spoil the kids every day all day if it weren’t for me. On days with my dad at his office, he used to sneak me burgers and fries, peppermint candy, and let me eat peanut butter from the jar (off of a knife) while I watched Star Trek… with no mention of homework. My mom still doesn’t know that. Sometimes, when I drop asleep by eight, and wake up around ten or eleven, I’m still hearing kids… kids who were on their way to bed when I went to sleep. They’ll be playing video games or having root beer floats that my husband made for them, as if no one is lactose intolerant and has school or work in the morning. Days out with daddy mean pizza or burgers, and ice cream or slushies, new video games or books… or a pet. The pet has happened.
- He understands the art of the lime. The American equivalent is “the cook out.” There’s no particular agenda, there may be a reason for the gathering, or not, and having at least one funny story is a requirement. He might not have to tell it, but he’s got it in his back pocket just in case… along with a bottle opener. Also, there are extra chairs and a card table in the trunk… and if it is outdoors, a tent, blanket, and/or tarp.
- He loves his momma, and expects you to love yours too. If he says, “we’re going to see my mom this weekend,” I just ask, “did you call her first?” He may or may not have. He sees nothing wrong with this. Caribbean women often have complicated relationships with their mothers. He probably won’t understand. Got beef with your mom? Share, but unless she has physically assaulted you or rendered you penniless, you may get little sympathy, a “but that’s your mom,” or, if he’s seen the movie, “but did you die?”
There you have it. Those are my ten ways that I could tell that my American husband was likely Caribbean on the inside. Are there any other Caribbean-esque, Quasi-Caribbean, or Caribbean adjacent qualities that you see in your mate? Tell us in the comments!
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